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2011/06/10 / Anton

SHOW // Julianna Barwick – .HBC, Berlin (08.06.2011)

An evening full of two-bar loops:

Yesterday I went to see one-woman choir Julianna Barwick at the .hbc-Berlin, the rooms of the former Hungarian cultural  center (Haus Ungarn), which now serve as a Bar, a restaurant, an art space and a performance venue where I saw other pretty decent shows, for example Hauschka with Hildur Gunnasdottir or Touchy Mob. I’m very certain I will experience lots of fabulous shows there in the future.

The support act of the night was A Newborn Riot of Dreams aka Jonathan Kroll from Chokebore who exemplified why music solely made with guitar loops is better than its reputation (well, I never doubted that).

After Jonathan’s one take loop, Julianna Barwick entered the stage. At the beginning I was a little curious to see how I will perceive her music live, because – to be honest – I had quite a hard time listening to her latest album The Magic Place all the way through . As much as I like ambient music, this was just a little too much, I guess. But seeing her perform live is just another story: Her music is almost entirely made out of vocal loops (with few exceptions like backing tracks or keyboard samples) and it’s just fascinating to see and feel how these layers are actually created.

And as a side note – during the few weaker moments of the set it did  sound a little like background music of a spa treatment or – apologies – like Enya. But, it never got boring and after seeing this show I’m actually much more comfortable when listening to her recordings.

Here is a nice video of her explaining how she records her music (before I watched the video I naively thought, I was the only one to come up with the term “one-woman choir” – embarrassing):

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