Filip Gheysen (°1979) is a musician and audio artist, living and working in Ghent, Belgium, with a passion for sound and experimental music. Using only a tabletop guitar, effects and the occasional autoharp, he creates abstract droning soundscapes, stripped of all unnecessary elements, focussing solely on the timbre and tone of his instrument.
It’s this timbre that is vital in his musical works, in that the harmonic spectrums of the drones and the enhanced sounds he typically produces with his electric tabletop guitar are progressively shifting. Synonymous with timbre is the quasi-poetic phrase tone colour.
These elements are equally visible in Gheysen’s visual art, consisting mostly of abstract prints and paintings. There is obviously a play with the tones of a colour, thus an inversion of the aforementioned musical term. This pertinent in- and decrease of saturation and of temperature in the pictorial field is comparable to what is going on in his music.
Moreover, these are features which are obviously emphasised in the videos the artist has been creating since 2011. They show lines dance rather timidly, make turns or float along accompanied by passing spots and travelling smears in a scenery of inks and paint. The imagery, strongly reminiscent of his prints and paintings, is enlivened by humming guitar sounds. As an inspired symbiosis between his visual art and his music, the video clips constitute a logical step in Gheysen’s intriguing body of work that doesn’t cease to amaze.
Although appearing here for the first time under his own name, Filip Gheysen has been very active in different projects. He is the founder of Glasvocht records and has released albums under the monikers Picturesque, Teledroom (with Portables-guitarist Wio) and is a member of the band 4 Black Boxes (with Jürgen De Blonde aka Köhn and Tom Vangheluwe).
Trained as a graphic designer, he has also studied ‘printmaking’ at the academy of Ghent and had several expositions.
‘Tabletop Guitar’ presents both his musical and visual art and adds a third field of interest. His videoworks are the culmination of his two main outlets, giving a new dimension to his art.
All tracks are available for streaming on SoundCloud:
> Vital Weekly