Review of Clem Leek’s “Lifenotes” by Subba Cultcha

Posted by on Oct 31, 2011 in clem leek, lifenotes, review | No Comments

Multi-instrumentalist creates a personal work of art


Clem Leek is a young lad with maturity far beyond his years, producing haunting pieces of neo-classical compositions which capture the full spectrum of emotions that we expierience throughout our existance. Aptly titled, the album features 16 exquisite tracks which are each a quick sketch on various pivotal moments in life; be they joyful or bleak. The multi-instrumentalist combines minimal guitar, piano and violin work with more experimental samples like bird song to create a release which drifts through the senses and oozes pure emotion.

The beauty of the album comes in its simplicity. Clem himself says; ‘For this cd it was all about getting back to basics and recording pieces which were simple, which happens to be my best way of writing’. And that’s what shines through on the record; the fact that Clem is obviously putting his heart and soul into each reflective track. It’s sometimes brooding, sometimes stark, sometimes uplifting but you can guarantee that every second of Lifenotes is rich, raw and genuine. This is one for the loner, content with turning the lights down low and embracing the resonant ‘soundworlds’ that Clem creates through his haunting piano pieces.

Taking inspiration from composers like Steve Rich and Philip Glass, it’s hard to believe that Clem only released his debut album last year as Lifenotes establishes itself as a work of a genius craftsmen able of producing delicate and intricate pieces with what feels like effortless splendour. One track is entitled; ‘The Diary I Never Kept’ which I think is what Lifenotes acts as; it’s a way of taking note of his young life thus far. Indeed Clem states; ‘Lifenotes is a combination of old and new pieces, each one is very close to me heart’. It’s this dichotomy between the old and new which I think echoes throughout the album; it is both a reflective look back and a tentative hope for the future.

original review