Regular Expression

by Laura Stanley

June 10, 2019

Crooswijk doesn’t move with any sense of urgency, but rather with thoughtful determination to take up space and to breathe.

If letting go had a sound, what would it be? What sound do the knots in your stomach make when they unfurl? What’s the sound of the weight on your chest dissolving away, or your boiling thoughts slowing down to a simmer?

Maybe it all sounds like the crystalline tones of the five brief movements of Crooswijk. Regular Expression’s (singer-songwriter Isaac Vallentin) minimalist electric piano piece doesn’t move with any sense of urgency but rather with thoughtful determination to take up space and to breathe. The five movements easily absorb one another, so much so that you don’t know when one ends and another begins. Somewhere in the middle of Crooswijk, while Vallentin pensively chooses which notes to softly play, you realize that each note is taking hold of whatever is troubling you and releasing it into a passing breeze so that it scatters and is forgotten.  

About Crooswijk, Vallentin says that he played it “on every piano [he] met in 2017 and 2018” before finally recording it in his apartment on his Rhodes piano this spring. He adds, “during this time, nothing of the piece itself changed, only my relationship to it.” Crooswijk won’t change: it will always be a simple and soothing piano piece. But you will change and things will change, and everything will be okay.

Laura Stanley

Contributor at DOMINIONATED
Laura is a freelance writer from Toronto. She was an editor of the now-defunct Canadian music blog Grayowl Point and is currently the folk & country editor of Exclaim! Magazine. She has a lot of feelings.
Laura Stanley

Latest posts by Laura Stanley (see all)