Belle Chen

Award: Fusion Fund

Year: 2019

Genre: Classical

Instrument/voice type: Piano/ Sound art/ Composition

Location: London


Belle Chen is one of the most uncategorisable artists of her generation.
A classically trained pianist, Chen's music is a curious blend of classical, avant-garde, world, electronica, and sound art genres. Her approach to music is unpredictable, often bringing to the audience an element of surprise, yet she retains the tonal aesthetic of classical and neo-classical language in midst of textures drawn from experimental, avant-garde, and world genres.
Chen first gained attention in UK's art music scene with her self-released EP 'Listen, London' in 2014, in which she juxtaposed classical repertoire with field recordings taken around London. Self-released albums Mediterranean Sounds (2016), Mademoiselle (2017), Departure (2019) followed - each with a distinct artistic vision - and earning Chen plaudits from industry heavyweights including Brian Eno ("original and provocative"), James Rhodes ("hugely impressive"), Max Reinhardt ("a revelation"), and BBC Radio 3 (Top 4 Best New Music of 2016 BBC Introducing).
To date, her creativity is acknowledged through a string of awards; while performance highlights include BBC Radio 3 70th Anniversary at Festival Hall, Latitude Festival, Melbourne Recital Centre, and Piano City Milano Midnight Main Stage.
In live performances, Chen performs multiple instruments - notably an acoustic piano (that is prepared and unprepared through improvisation), synth, and melodica - while sampling electronics and found sound through laptop.