De Nederlandse klassiek gitarist en componist Robin Scherpen bracht tijdens een experimentele hoornvliestransplantatie zeven weken lang door in het donker.
Waar dit voor de één misschien een beangstigende setting zou zijn, putte Scherpen juist inspiratie uit de duisternis en creëerde zo iets moois. Zijn debuutalbum For the Unseen componeerde hij helemaal in het donker. Een omstandigheid die hem helemaal terugwierp op zijn intuïtie. “Mijn slechte ogen hebben me geleerd hoe essentieel het is om volledige vrijheid te voelen als je in een creatief proces zit”, zegt de gitarist daar zelf over. Die vrijheid ervoer Scherpen pas echt toen hij merkte dat de meest zuivere muziek tot hem kwam op onbewuste momenten.
Scherpen laat zich inspireren door moderne componisten als Ólafur Arnalds, Yann Tiersen en Nils Frahm. Zijn fonkelende spel geeft het klassieke instrument een frisse energie. Robin Scherpen maakt muziek waaraan je jezelf kan, mag, móet overgeven.
The story of classical guitarist Robin Scherpen is one of darkness and light.
Due to an eye condition, he was no longer able to read his scores.
An eye operation that was as daring as it was successful forced him to spend quite some time in a dark room during his recovery. On pure intuition he honed his creative urge there and took the first steps in composing. That has now resulted in the album 'For The Unseen'. There was light at the end of the tunnel.
Always broadly oriented, he started arranging South American music. 'Aurally I brought orchestral parts back to solo guitar,' That worked out very well. ‘I then started composing step by step, everything by ear and in ultimate freedom.’
At the end of that period in solitary seclusion in the dark, he began to see better in his left eye and had written the foundations of eleven compositions with which he should be able to continue. The foundations for an own album were there.
In the lockdown, where he found space again, Scherpen started working on the sketches of his compositions that he still had lying around. The whole world fell silent, it was the perfect time for it. ‘In peace I started to concretise those pieces. I'm still working on music as I did when I started it. In fact, I even embrace it. I retreat to a dark room and let the music find its way,' says the man who is happy that he can now see his family in addition to the beautiful world. The track Son is dedicated to his 2-year-old son.
Scherpen's artistic process may have been born out of necessity, but it has led to a new, liberating insight: 'Music is a language. It does not necessarily have to be understood to be effective. You must first know the spoken word for understanding. This is not necessary with music. A score is nothing more than a tool to make music insightful.
The album 'For The Unseen' is a tribute to that closed period and the realization that intuition is the only thing he needs to exist as an artist. 'Without visual noise, I feel complete freedom to compose from the heart.' In the music that resulted from it, he takes his audience into the dark and back into the light. Every now and then he asks them to close their eyes, because often we see so much more without looking. This increases the empathy of his gripping and inspiring story.