In October 2010, CTM Concerts, Digital in Berlin and venue .HBC began a collaboration with the intention of organising predominantly acoustic concerts in an intimate context.
[audio:James Blackshaw – the cloud of unknowing.mp3]HBC’s old film theatre, with its wood-panelled walls and grand piano, proved to be an ideal environment for this very special concert series. The name Palais Wittgenstein refers to the magnificent music salon at the family home of Vienna steel magnate, Karl Wittgenstein. The house, which was sadly torn down in the 1950s, was where his sons, philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein and pianist Paul Wittgenstein, both grew up.
There is currently a longing for more subtle and engaged attentiveness in listening that is a backlash against what is often deemed to be abstract and non-sensual in the presentation of computer music and the overly simple, bombastic effectiveness of club and pop music.
The old Cinema @ .HBC Berlin
The renaissance of chamber music performance practices can be read as an expression of this longing. This new genre of instrumental music featuring classical composition techniques, the primary use of acoustic instruments and a form of presentation that prioritises intimacy has found its way into the international circuit with the rather inappropriate label “neo classic”.
The concerts are seated only, in the classical tradition. Due to the limited number of seats we recommend purchasing tickets in advance.
2.2. > 20:00 CET
Erik K. Skodvin aka Svarte Greiner (NO)
Musician Erik K. Skodvin aka Svarte Greiner (Type Records) is one half of Deaf Center and the manager and graphic designer of internationally renowned label, Miasmah. The Norwegian imprint specializes in the production of suggestive and dark compositions, resembling film soundtracks, which combine orchestral sounds with atonal acoustic universes.
Simon Scott (UK)
In the 1990s the percussionist Simon Scott was a member of leading English shoegaze band, Slowdive. Later he performed with The Charlottes, Seavault (Morr Music) and Televise and worked with Brian Eno. He manages his own label, Keshhhhhh, and occasionally participates in Rafael Anton Irisarris’ project The Sight Below (Ghostly International). A shoegaze-monolith!
Markus Fjellström (SE)
Composer and multimedia artist Markus Fjellström has worked with artists and organisations including the Swedish Royal Ballet, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Salad Fingers creator David Firth. His disturbingly intense cinemascope sound collages are reminiscent of horror film soundtracks. Fittingly, his performances are accompanied by self-produced film passages.
3.2. > 20:00 CET
Ryan Francesconi (US)
For many years multi-instrumentalist Ryan Francesconi has worked as a studio and live musician for US new-folk epigone Joanna Newsom and is responsible for the string arrangements on her albums. His current solo album for concert guitars, Parables (Sweet Dreams), sounds like Nick Drake might if he were Bulgarian. Silence is the new noise!
James Blackshaw (UK)
English autodidact James Blackshaw plays in the tradition of twelve-string guitar and finger-picking style as developed by, among others, Leo Kottke He has released his paralysing compositions on Tompkins Square, Important Records and Bo Weavil as well as on Michael Gira’s label, Young God. He’s supported Swans, Stephen O’Malley’s Sunn O))) and others on tour and in 2010, also toured as a member of live band Current 93.
4.2. > 20:00 CET
Volker Bertelmann is considered the neo-impresario of the prepared piano. His compositions, influenced by Steve Reich and Michael Nyman, are miniature-worlds that fathom the space between poetry and rhythmic onomatopoeia. While his 2010 album Foreign Landscapes paid tribute to the world of the salon-orchestra, Hauschka’s new album, to be released on Fat Cat in May 2011, is a minimal pop hybrid featuring musicians from Calexico and múm that has one eye on the dance floor.
Hildur Guðnadóttir (IS)
Icelandic cello player Hildur Guðnadóttir is a member of the internationally renowned band múm and has also written chorus arrangements for Throbbing Gristle and Wildbirds & Peacedrums. As part of the trio Angel, she works with Schneider TM and Ilpo Väisänen on expanding the definition of the term “drone”. Her solo productions link baroque elements with a contemporary timbre to create poignant divinity.
5.2. > 20:00 CET
Greg Haines (UK)
Greg Haines’ compositions get their bearings from the works of Arvo Pärth, Gavin Bryars and Steve Reich. In addition to working with Peter Broderick and Machinefabriek and others, he writes music for contemporary dance companies including Meg Stuart, Ina Christel Johennessen, and was included on Universal Classics’ compilation Reflections on Classical Music. He collaborates with Will Saul as Liondialer, a project dedicated to improvisation as one of the most direct forms of artistic expression.
Library Tapes (SE)
Library Tapes is primarily the solo project of Gothenburg resident David Wennegren, master of minimalist piano music. His pointillist acoustic tones accord perfectly with the field recordings and string arrangements of sometime contributors Peter Broderick and Danny Norbury. Library Tapes releases music on labels such as Auetic, Kning Disk and Sonic Pieces.
Jan and Romke Kleefstra have been performing together for years. Since the release of the first Piiptsjilling album they have collaborated with Gareth Davis, Greg Haines, Danny Saul, Peter Broderick, Sytze Pruiksma and others, live and in the studio. An ominous, dreamy soundscape with experimental guitars and spoken word.
Palais Wittgenstein: The renaissance of chamber music
presented by CTM Concerts, .HBC and Digital in Berlin
supported by Michelberger Hotel
with Erik K. Skodvin aka Svarte Greiner, Simon Scott, Markus Fjellström, Ryan Francesconi, James Blackshaw, Hauschka, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Greg Haines, Library Tapes & Kleefstra/Pruiksma/Kleefstra. Decks all days: falko teichmann/joe le taxi
02-05.02.2010 | 20:00 CET | presale tickets @ www.koka36.de
.HBC (ex-Haus Ungarn) | Karl-Liebknechtstr. 9 | 10178 Berlin/Mitte