Incense of Music

INCENSE OF MUSIC 36

by Maria Flip

The grounded vibrations of the bass instruments carried on what seemed to be the spiritual exploration of three people via music. Combined with the smell of Lavandula had a mesmerizing effect on the audience.

After a glass of wine and an hour of pouring rain it was safe enough to hit the streets again. Walking down Lychenerstrasse, Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin, the heat of the evening had already started to dry the stone pavements. Entering something that had the feeling of a parking lot, but was actually the entrance to a formerly squatted and currently collectively owned house, I had the chance to meet some friends and explore the peculiar yard. We all walked towards the basement that turned out to be an independent venue for music, film, literature, performance and other artistic endeavours.

A spacious studio with tall ceilings, fur walls and approximately 20 seats was welcoming us. The lighting was low and the air was relieved by the humidity of the city. An obfuscated space propagating ceremonial vibe. The people started gathering slowly and the solemn ambience started to intensify. Sitting at the back of the room, I started to observe the stage in its simplicity: three microphones and two double basses.

Everyone was settled in time for the multisensory concert to commence. BassX3, two double basses and one bass clarinet/bass flute, Gebhard Ullmann on the horns, Chris Dahlgren and Christian Weber on the double bass, embarked on “a musical journey on the lower end of the tonal range of improvised chamber music”.

Meanwhile the scent of Lavender had already started to fill the room and since the lights had been limited on the stage the whole experience was starting to feel mystical. The first song of the set “Transatlantic”, a minimal soundscape navigating the psyche through diverse emotions. Somehow the simultaneous occupation of the senses provoked a different kind of concentration. Progressively we were transported to a parallel tonal space.

The grounded vibrations of the bass instruments carried on what seemed to be the spiritual exploration of three people via music. Combined with the smell of Lavandula had a mesmerizing effect on the audience. “The no piece” gradually transferred us half way through the concert and at this point the venue was vibing. The channels were open and through the low-pitched frequencies we followed the music through the second part of “Transantlantic”.

The second part continued in the same modulation intensity tracing the scheme of senses. Moving towards more esoteric explorations of tunes and presenting tracks such as “Berlin is full of lonely people”, a different aroma flooded the underground studio. A “priestess” was passing around a metallic bowl in which the incense were burning and the balsamic effect of Myrrh increasingly transcended the audience inwards.

Blended with the extrusion of the music the stony smell harmonized with the various noises from household items attached to the double basses. A metallic string and a music box were assorted with the instruments to produce a high pitch background. The quest concluded with the third part of “Transantlantic”, letting us explore this musical route between two continents.

An hour and a half later I felt allured. The profound sounds of the instruments created an entity delivered to us by the guts of the tonal range. Somehow an acute strike of melancholy and cosmic balance settled in, as if silent parts of the human brain were awakened by the low-pitched tunes and were now strolling around the room, enjoying the odours of an orthodox church.

I grabbed another glass of wine and stayed in “ausland” for a while, contemplating the experience and talking to acquaintances and strangers. Myrrh was still in the back of my throat and the smooth string tunes were chanting far and wide in my head.

Now it’s already October, the smell of Berlin summer rain is replaced by the Athenian tropical autumn storms and The Incense of Music Festival “Solos and Mixtures” is only three days away, taking place in Pandatheater, Berlin. From the 10th until the12th of October a “multisensorial challenge of highest ambition” is taking place in Prenzlauer Berg. Eight different fragrancies per mixture and twelve different concerts in three days.

Fabio Dondero, the organizer and producer of the multisensory concert series and the festival, along with Dominik Breider, has curated a wide range of exceptional musicians from all over the world and a vast selection of incense. European and Arabic classical, to jazz, experimental and free improvised music will blend with the mesmerizing smells of rosemary, guajak and cypress.

Incense of Music Festival at Pandatheater

ausland

Incense of Music Nr. 36, BassX3

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