How do you describe the undescribable? Explain the seemingly unexplainable? All without taking away from the genuine magic of a performance that has been described by The Guardian as ‘a total game changer’.
This was the dilemma we faced when attempting to break down Klanghaus: 800 Breaths, which comes to Royal Festival Hall from Saturday 1 - Sunday 23 July. Whilst we know those who joined us to experience KlangHaus at Southbank Centre in 2016 will be well versed with the group's unique world, what about the rest of us? What exactly is ‘a multi-sensory encounter of shifting sound, colour and light, which reinvents the gig-going experience as a site-responsive close-up standing performance’?
‘It looks a bit complicated to me,’ was the understandable response of one of our followers, when we announced the event on social media, but is it? It is most definitely different, something unique, but that certainly should not be seen as a barrier, rather a reason to take it on.
So how does it reinvent the gig going experience? Well for one, the performances of KlangHaus’ band The Neutrinos do not take place on a singular stage. Instead the gig moves through the roof of Royal Festival Hall as a promenade performance, pitching up intermittently in different spaces. As an audience you follow the performers and also commit to this unusual environment - sometimes standing, sometimes seated - each new configuration giving a fresh level of intimacy.
As for multi-sensory, well the sound and life of The Neutrinos are only one part of KlangHaus - the other is the mesmerising visual art of Sal Pittman. Each performance is backed by the remarkable work of Pittman, a fluid continuation of colour and light which gives an additional dimension to the music, whilst also illuminating hidden corners of our buildings.
In effect Klanghaus: 800 Breaths is three rare and exciting not to be missed moments, rolled into one very distinctive event. The witnessing of an incredible display of visual art; the opportunity to enjoy an intimate gig, which stretches those levels of intimacy to new ends. And, the chance to explore a corner of Southbank Centre that would ordinarily remain hidden from view. It’s easy to see why The Times called it ‘a joy-inducing original’.
KlangHaus: 800 Breaths is at Royal Festival Hall as part of Summertime, with two performances, daily from Saturday 1 - Sunday 23 July.