Composer shines with debut album

Classical composer, Caroline Leisegang (25), released her debut album of piano compositions entitled, Øyeblikk, in Illovo.

South Africa’s newest classical composer, Caroline Leisegang (25), recently released her debut album of piano compositions entitled Øyeblikk in Illovo.

“I think the biggest feeling now is a sense of achievement and a bit of relief that now it’s finally out there to do its own thing. For me, it’s a very moving album which almost anyone can relate to and experience in their own unique way,” explained Leisegang.

She added that Øyeblikk is Norwegian for ‘moment’ and it is essentially a series of 10 solo piano moments. “Being part Norwegian (on my dad’s side), I liked the idea that there’s a certain repetition in the spelling of Norwegian words which mirrors the repetition in my music, and so it all just fell into place.”

Leisegang explained that she is one of those people who becomes a little too overwhelmed by things she sees or experiences and then ends up a bit sad when they’ve passed, so she decided to try hold onto those moments by writing this series.

“I started writing it when I was in London and travelling back and forth between the UK and Johannesburg and the struggle I found myself in. Trying to hold onto fleeting moments.”

When she was 19, Leisegang had this idea that being a film composer would be the greatest thing, but had never really written anything before. A good friend of hers, Jono Hall, was directing a commercial at the time and she went to him and asked him how she could learn to write for visuals and he said, “Well, I’ve just done this ad, so why don’t you try to write something and I’ll use it in my pitch.”

She did just that and got the job. “So I guess you could say that’s how and, in the most part, why I started writing. He has always been my biggest encouragement.”

She also finds inspiration from other composers such as Philip Glass, Max Richter and Nils Frahm, and on the older spectrum, she loves the soundscapes of the romantics and impressionists.

“I think the album launch went really well. It ended up being a wonderful summer evening with an intimate audience. The most important thing for me was that everyone enjoyed their experience, that they could walk away from the soiree with a feeling of being part of the journey.”


Shanice Naidoo

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