Living Room (4 stars)

This article is from 2009.

Living Room

Improving on improv

Austrian acts have been too few and far between since the halcyon days of classical music. The multi-faceted session-like duo of Living Room take both a step into chamber music and another into the world of jazz improvisation. Messrs Christoph Pepe Auer & Manu Delago are at ease performing in a sedate room of a dozen patrons, most appreciative of their unique abilities and unusual stylings.

Augmented by the odd, in fact very odd, toy instrument (a spinning top and a plastic tube thingy), bass clarinetist Christoph and hang-percussionist Manu present their laid back musak like no other, although undeniably inspired by such New York jazz session luminaries as Wayne Shorter and Ornette Coleman.

Incidentally, the ‘hang’ is a relatively new instrument (c. 2001), of Swiss origin and comprising of 3 flying-saucer-like metal objects with varying degrees of note structure. Meditative but seductive, one finds their music – and this is not a criticism – taking you to the land of nod. Only a sharp poke in one’s eye and their undeniable talent, keeps one from narcolepsy – or maybe it was just that time of day.
Listen out for the unique medley of Queen songs.

Sweet Grassmarket, Apex City Hotel, 0870 241 0136, until 312 Aug, 3.45pm, £8 (£6).

Living Room

  • 4 stars

CHRISTOPH PEPE AUER - bass clarinet, pepephon MANU DELAGO – hang & fx Living Room consists of bass clarinettist Christoph Pepe Auer, Austrian Newcomer of the Year 2007 (Hans-Koller-Award), and Manu Delago, one of the most popular Hang players in the world. This pioneer duo focuses on exploring the bass clarinet’s…

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