Day Two – Balloon Speakers

Tuesday and the rain had stopped so it was a good time to go for a walk. Off back to Oranienstrasse where the previous night’s burger was had. I remember noticing book shops and other curiosity shops there. After a wander and a browse I stopped at a lovely wee corner cafe and had some soup. The soup invited some investigations into language between the waiters and me. What in the name is “rootabaga”? This was the English translation. But of course it is swede we eventually surmised.

After picking up some provisions from the local LPG Biomarkt (organic eating is very big in Berlin it would seem, which is great) I headed back to the hotel for some bread and cheese and then out determined to see some music. After a false start at HAU1, the Simian Mobile Disco show was not for my pass, I headed to HAU2. At last I get in. A great theatre space laid-out with very informal raked seating (not really seats, more steps).

Just before going in I meet Louis from the duo Quest who I met in Rio in December. Embarrassingly, initially, I couldn’t place how we knew each other. He of course is lovely about it. First up is Lucio Capece’s RX-11 Space Drum Machine. This a great chance to see Lucio’s work. He has been in touch to perform at Counterflows. What a beautiful start, eight balloons floating above the audience with tiny speakers dangling below each balloon. Delicate ringing sine waves transmit through the space as the balloons gently sway. Unfortunately for me once the drum machine music starts to bash out beats I lose interest. Lots of beats in a large space and no dancing, odd! Then two new artists to me, Pierce Warnecke and Matthew Biederman. Two large screens were now positioned in the space at angles to each other. Again musically I found the electronically generated burning ambience not completely convincing but the visuals were really beautiful, sort if digital blurry Rothko-like blocks of tumbling colour. Minimal Norman McLaren. So the music has begun! Hooray!

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