Despite it's 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 of Summerhall's already atmospheric Small Animal
Hospital and utilising an array of slide projectors beaming out
home-made slides 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 (Devil's Mountain), the artificial hill built in
Berlin out of World War Two 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 ground-breaking,” Reilly says, “but when you go 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 might work best after dark,
Reilly seems to prefer the Neutrinos tea-time 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, it gives people a
strange feeling,” she says. “It's like having a really good afternoon
KlangHaus by The Neutrinos, Summerhall, Aug 1-24, 4pm and 6pm.
The List Edinburgh Festivals Guide, July 2014