Retrograde is the new album of Pieter de Graaf. After studying jazz at the conservatory and playing as a pianist in a large number of bands in many different genres, Pieter decided at a certain point that he wanted something different and, above all, to be musically free.
Fermata was the first album to emerge from his new insight. After Fermata, Pieter released his EP ‘Vortex’, with which he received the prestigious Edison Award (neoclassical) in 2020. Pieter released ‘Equinox’ (2021) as his second album and the last EP he released was ‘Home’ last year.
His new album, Retrograde, marks Pieter’s constant search for musical freedom. On his previously released music, the piano is the main instrument. However, this album contains tracks for the first time with a much smaller role for the piano. In that sense, Pieter approaches composing and producing in a completely different way than before, which is why the title ‘Retrograde’ (literally translated: contrary or moving backwards) fits very well. In his search for sounds that translate Pieter’s feelings when thinking about the universe, he experimented with all kinds of instruments and objects. There are flutes, melodica, voices, synthesizers, pieces of wood and lots of toys – like a humming top. All productions on the album are inspired by the vast space that makes up the universe and the vast amount of undiscovered and unknown places, materials and energies.
Pieter’s longstanding interest in the universe started as a small boy. His father, a philosopher, also had an enormous interest in the existential issues raised by the universe, so that Pieter was fed with a view of the universe from an early age. Throughout his life, Pieter continued to think and read about subjects related to the universe.
According to Pieter, the undiscovered places and unexplained realities of the universe are closely linked to music and art. Music, too, is still unexplained in many ways and knows many unknown places. For example: Why does a minor third sound sad and a major third happy, to everyone? His interest in the universe has already left its mark in previous music and albums. The title of the second album ‘Equinox’ is universe related, as well as songs that Pieter released as Supernova and Event Horizon. However, this is the first time that Pieter fully focuses on this subject and dedicates an entire album to it
The titles of the songs already give a good impression of what you can expect when listening to them: Quasar, Interference, Nebula, Space Cowboy, Eclipse, Asteroid Fugue, The Dark Side of the Moon, Space Requiem and Something from Nothing. When listening, you can expect to be taken on a journey through the galaxy, past great voids, wandering asteroids or shining stars. All this is translated into music through layers of sounds that you don’t always expect. While listening to a slow wall of sound, you are occasionally surprised to a new chapter, where a heavy distorted beat passes by. It’s an album by surp
Like his album, his live tour is all about the universe. The premiere of Pieter’s tour will take place at the planetarium DOT in Groningen (NL), where he already gave a preview during a sold-out show at the Eurosonic Noorderslag festival. Pieter de Graaf took the audience on a special musical and visual journey through the universe. It’s an album full of surprises. From small intimate piano pieces of which we know Pieter to distorted beats with unexpected melodies. Pieter takes you on a musical journey through the universe.