In early 2010, German pianist Hauschka and Icelandic experimental cellist Hildur Guðnadóttir were invited to perform together as part of Arctic Circle’s Bubbly Blue And Green festival, themed around water, which took place at King’s Place, London over the course of four days. For the occasion, the pair had concocted a series of pieces inspired by various Pantone shades of blue, from near-black to aquamarine, each evoking a particular colour of the ocean.
So truly individual are their respective work that the inspired pairing of Volker Bertelmann, a man with a penchant for purposely tempering with his piano with all manners of to props to alter its sound, and Hildur Guðnadóttir, whose exploratory work takes the cello out of its usual remit to experiment with textures and loops, was always likely to deliver something totally unique. And unique this never-to-be-repeated performance was on more than one level. Bertelmann’s randomly distorted melodies and Guðnadóttir’s exquisite layered drones and loops combine to create a particularly haunting soundtrack, which is as nuanced and contrasted as the ocean they endeavour to portray. The random playfulness of the prepared piano contrasts greatly with the sombre tones of the cello, yet the music resulting of this unlikely collision is incredibly dramatic and poignant.
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