The Neutrinos bring live music installation KlangHaus to 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Show at Summerhall challenges traditional notions of how a gig should be
This article is from 2014.
Despite its name, the new show by dark-hearted art-rock ensemble The Neutrinos is about much, much more than mere music. By keeping the audience in the dark at Summerhall’s already atmospheric Small Animal Hospital and utilising an array of slide projectors beaming out homemade pics created by artist Sal Pittman to play with the early evening light, KlangHaus (it translates as House of Sound) becomes what the Neutrinos describe as a 360-degree immersive experience.
‘It explores extremes of performance,’ explains Neutrinos’ vocalist Karen Reilly from the band’s spiritual home of Berlin, where the seeds of KlangHaus were sired. ‘With the slides we can really shape-shift the room, so your perception is altered, and because the room was a small animal hospital, the idea of anaesthesia keeps returning.’
Reilly and co are currently drawing some last-gasp inspiration from visiting Teufelsberg, the artificial hill built in Berlin out of World War II rubble on which an American listening station was built. Some of what they hear may end up either in KlangHaus or else in little sonic installations which Reilly describes as ‘sound graffiti’ placed around Summerhall.
‘Music can be groundbreaking,’ Reilly says, ‘but when you go to gigs, the format is really conservative. It’s always first band, second band, encore. We wanted to break out of that, so we started listening to rooms, and pulling out what we could hear. It’s like the bones have gone, but the songs breathe on.’
While one might presume that KlangHaus would work best after dark, Reilly seems to prefer the Neutrinos’ teatime slot. ‘To be doing something like this so early in the evening, and then to have the rest of the evening to do other things gives people a strange feeling. It’s like having a really good afternoon nap.’
KlangHaus, Summerhall, 0845 874 3001, 5–24 Aug (not 11, 18), various times, £12 (£10). Previews 1–3 Aug, 4pm, 6pm, £6.