KlangHaus in Norwich today – © The Eye Snapper
The London and Edinburgh sell out sensation comes home to Norwich for the very first time.
Part gig, part live art installation and total theatre from noise art/rock/visual art collaborators
Norwich Eye joined a small group of KlangHaus friends and supporters for a dress rehearsal event earlier today. We gathered in an unpromising back yard to one of Norwich’s long lost shoe factories in Muspole Street, until we were ushered in by torch bearing guides who help us navigate the dark and mysterious interior as the show progresses. The show takes us around the building giving glimpses into its past lives, including the last industrial use as the Hadley and Ottaway furniture repository – there are still a few odd items left unloved and forgotten in dark corners.
The contrasts of a few shafts of bright light amidst the dark shadows is reflected in the light and dark contrasts within the Neutrinos music, occasionally loud but often soulful and plaintive. The performance requires the audience to move around the building, up and down stairs and between cramped and vast space. There are no seats, and no heating, but a little internal warmth may appear!
After 3 sold out weeks at the Edinburgh Fringe and 41 sold out shows at London’s Royal Festival Hall, KlangHaus, the immersive music/theatre crossover collaboration between Norwich based band The Neutrinos and Great Yarmouth born artist Sal Pittman is coming to Norfolk for the very first time.
Produced and presented by Norwich Arts Centre, the 7 performances will take place on 20, 21, 22 and 23 December at St Georges Works, Muspole St Norwich. The shows will be at 6.30 and 8.30 on all days except Friday 23 when it will be 6.30 only.
KlangHaus is a maverick collision between noise, concealed sound and visual imagery. In the atmospheric surroundings of Norwich’s disused furniture depository St Georges Works, experimental art-rock collective The Neutrinos and visual artist Sal Pittman have assembled a site-responsive montage of light, sound and space inspired by the history of the building. KlangHaus is completely reinvented for each location it is performed in, akin to a duet with the building, taking deep breaths of life and love to create a sensory encounter of shifting sound, colour, electronica, improvisation and disorientation.
Sal Pittman has created a new film with music, stills and film footage from the last incarnation of KlangHaus which took place in a disused Colchester bus depot. See the film to get a taste of the type of musical and visual treats in store for Norwich here: https://vimeo.com/194166225
KlangHaus originally crept out of nowhere to become an award winning sensation at the Edinburgh Festival. It was created anew for a 41 show sell out run in July at London’s Royal Festival Hall as KlangHaus:On Air. In September it regenerated as KlangHaus:Alight Here for another sold out series of shows in a disused Colchester bus depot. Now it comes to Norwich for the very first time as KlangHaus:Four Storeys (reflecting the building’s structure and interwoven themes of belongings, belonging, leaving, arriving). Harvesting unheard sounds, unseen images and unknown atmospherics from the walls of the building, to unravel a secret world of sound and vision that reinvents the idea of what a rock gig can be.
This is a show like no other, which engages all the senses and which I found provoked thoughts of all the people who had worked and created in this same space over the years. Get yourself a ticket – this will be the event we are all talking about for months to come.
‘the walls of the space and the music . . . are genuinely in dialogue with each other’ ★★★★ Lyn Gardner, The Guardian
Celebrating the ghosts within, KlangHaus reinvents the gig-going experience as a unique close up promenade performance confronting the conventions of audience and musician separation. This 360-degree, immersive experience brings buildings to life through live performance, sound design, projected images and glimpsed vignettes.
‘a blast of aural and visual magic . . . a joy-inducing original’ ★★★★★ Donald Hutera, The Times
Neutrinos singer Karen Reilly said ‘although we’ve been working on KlangHaus for over 2 years now you could say that we’ve been building towards it for much longer than that. The success elsewhere has exceeded all our expectations. The way that Sal reflects the music through visual art has really appealed to people, describing it as ‘it’s like being inside the music’ which reflects the immersive environment that the songs and visuals create together. We’re so pleased to be able to bring it home to Norwich for the first time, where our audiences have been very loyal but also critical enough to keep us on our toes!’
Pasco Q Kevlin of Norwich Arts Centre added ‘Norwich Arts Centre has been supporting KlangHaus from the very start. Watching its success in London and Edinburgh has made me feel very proud for everyone involved and now we are ready to present the latest version of the show in Norwich, the city where it was first conceived and created and allowed to develop’.
Samantha Coe of Shoe Factory Social Club who run St Georges Works said ‘After its sell out successes in London Edinburgh and elsewhere we’re thrilled to be hosting the first Norwich dates of KlangHaus at St Georges Works. What a perfect lead up to Christmas!’
In London, Colchester and Edinburgh KlangHaus was a true crossover experience, equally attractive to music and theatre critics, introducing theatre to rock n’ roll audiences and vice-versa as the drama of the promenade performance erupts into the dynamics of a full on loud rock show and embraces the subtleties of intimate acoustic settings.
‘One show that truly delivers the shock of the new, the most innovative presentation of live music I’ve ever seen – a total game-changer’ Alex Needham, The Guardian
KlangHaus originally grew out of the band’s experiences recording their third album The Butcher of Common Sense, working together with Pittman in Berlin’s legendary FunkHaus, a vast former DDR radio studio. The sessions revolutionised their attitudes to making music and art. The result was a limited edition 340page hand-finished art-book containing the album on CD and a 10inch vinyl record.
The Neutrinos have spent the last 10 years in constant states of reinvention. They have released 3 albums, performed around the UK, northern Europe, Canada and the USA. Their music has been used for underground film soundtracks and throughout the feature length Channel 4 documentary The Trials of Amanda Knox.
‘Breathes a lungful of fresh air into gig-going and theatre alike’ ★★★★ Maxie Szalwinska, Sunday Times
Sal Pittman is an artist working with light, supergraphics, typography and montage in a seamless line between analogue and digital presentation. Visual representations of music, rich with tactile, off-kilter, unapologetic personality – Her art direction and design work can be seen on promos and short films for 4AD and mute, including Grinderman, Can, Scott Walker/Sunn O))) and Daughter.
‘This strides from page to projector with bold vision’ Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, Directors, 20,000 Days On Earth
‘Throbbing art-punk noise and sexy urgent energy’ Time Out New York
★★★★★ Times, TV Bomb, Kirkintilloch Herald, The Mumble, Fresh Air, Remote Goat
★★★★ Guardian, Sunday Times, Telegraph, Time Out, Scotsman, Fest, Exeunt, What’s on Stage, The List, Herald, British Theatre Guide, Broadway Baby, The Skinny, Fringe Review, A Younger Theatre, Culture Whisper
KlangHaus:Four Storeys is produced by Norwich Arts Centre.
Find out more:
Tues 20, Weds 21, Thurs 22 December 6.30 and 8.30. Fri 23 December 6.30 only
St George’s Works, Muspole St, Norwich NR3 1DJ
Tickets £12 (£6 concessions) from Norwich Arts Centre 01603 660352 www.norwichartscentre.co.uk <http://www.colchesterartscentre.com>
‘By turns lulls, terrorizes and invigorates the audience … an eerie but magnetic rock’n’roll mantra … crashing drums, rumbling fuzz bass, lighting is either low or blinding’ ★★★★ Fiona Shepherd, The Scotsman