Somehow I missed the information for Hausckha's Leeds concert until a few weeks ago... hurriedly planned but a great end to a holiday week. I first came across Hauschka in the German language magazine PIANONews and from there discovered his album with violinist Hilary Hahn, Silfra. Prepared piano is an intriguing concept - Hauschka's website has a good explanation - so it was really something to see it done live. At the Howard Assembly Room, Hauschka came on after his two support artists. introduced himself and a bit about the evening, then proceeded to perform for 50 minutes solid. Just the stamina was impressive - but also the ebb and flow of the pieces. A camera mounted onto the end of the piano meant the audience could see the prepared elements - where they were, how they moved and when Hauschka changed or removed them. At the end of the 50 minutes they were all on the floor by the piano stool. The soundscape was really quite different to Silfra - in some ways similar to pieces by Nils Frahm, but perhaps more acoustic.
|Pianocam - taken after the show|
First support was pianist and composer Matthew Bourne, showcasing his concept Moogmemory, creating pieces from live manipulation of synths. Moogmemory is available on Bandcamp. Second, Berlin-based British artist Tom Adams, who mixed piano based melodies and soaring lyrics. Lots of long arcs in voice and instrument. Tom also used his laptop - he explained that a microphone fed into his laptop from which he manipulated a program in real time to catch the resonances from the piano, adding an extra dimension to the sound.
Both artists were well received and yes, I enjoyed their works, but I struggled to emotionally connect with their pieces. I'm putting it down to the tumult of the EU referendum result.