The rhiz, a venue known for hosting some of the most avant-garde acts of the contemporary scene, opened its doors to a select crowd for a set of memorable presentations delivered by Fågelle and theclosing, two projects that are redefining experimental music and questioning whether there should be any boundaries in Pop.
The bricked walls of the rhiz were the perfect scenario for the performance of two projects that are living proof that there’s still lots of experimentation to be done in current music. Once again, promoter Liccht is responsible for bringing the forefront of sonic experimentation to the capital city.
From the beginning, the attendees are graced by the deep and mellow sounds of theclosing, a Vienna-based project with Ambient and Drone influences, but at the same time too hard to describe with arbitrarily constructed tags that they seem to break with every discordant sound they emit. Alexander Hengl’s voice echoes through the speakers in waves as mysterious as those one could perhaps pick up from whales or even sirens, all this while Daniela Palma’s synth work provides the perfect accompaniment. The booming sounds bounce against the rhiz’s cupula, generating an all-encompassing atmosphere, and one can’t help but wonder if this is how all humans feel while still in the womb.
A bird not meant to be caged
Then Fågelle enters the stage. At first glance, Klara Andersson appears to be a very calm and collected person; even when she speaks to her captivated audience, she does so in a low, rich tone. However, nothing can prepare you for what comes next. The bow slides ominously over the guitar’s strings, drawing chills out of every single body in the room. Immersive noises come out of the speakers, sometimes to accompany the guitar, sometimes to serve as a stark contrast to it. And then, a melodic voice erupts from the depths of her chest, one that is filled with such strength and sentiment that it’s nearly impossible not to be moved by it.
As her bird-like name suggests, Fågelle’s music is meant to be experienced live, and no high-quality studio recording can do it enough justice; akin to a bird’s song, that can only be appreciated in all its richness and soulfulness when enjoyed right while it’s happening. Her music is also the kind to evoke a variety of feelings that would otherwise seem contradictive; she manages to make us feel wandering about a cold forest as well as in the exact center of the beating heart of a city.
Harmony amidst chaos
By the impending end of the concert, an unspoken bond has been formed between the audience and the artist. She bends, attacks the guitar with either the bow or her bare hands and all eyes are following her every move, all ears the shifts and changes of the music. Two things are clear: there’s pleasantness in the seemingly unpleasant and there’s harmony in the ostensibly chaotic. And perhaps more important, there’s interesting music being made, waiting to be discovered by those who dare to look beyond and venture into the captivating Viennese night.