Sonic Fiction : Jenny Hval & Ben Frost

Schauspielhaus Zürich, Pfauen, 21.4.2018

Sonic Fiction is a collaborative festival of, I would dare to say, modern extraordinary music. Organized by Norient and the Rewire Festival, I link the pages than rather elaborate on read-up things. Also, because I went for a Ben Frost concert, and discovered more: first a very “classic” venue and then another artist, as well as the organizers and their commitment to good music.

Jenny Hval

These were my notes taken in the break between the two performances, fresh, just after Jenny Hval’s performance.

new fresh gingerhair female norway

trio 2 girls 1 guy 3 machines

strawberries voice guitar

machines and this angel clear voice

is it because of the classic theater stage setting, that i think modern opera ? or was it the three extraordinary and yet just so ordinary people on stage ?

what is it about the workout, the flower petals, the pink bot?

it was different. a colorful quiet exploration of art on stage. intriguing and curious. content. fascinating and then again, towards the end, it reminded me of some of the rather tedious opening acts. still not sure where to place it.

looks like they sold Jenny a festival, what she got was a theater full of intensely listening but barely applauding quiet people. she is definitely not mainstream… but she has something to say. i would like to hear her again, elsewhere, when not waiting for another act.

Ben Frost

Tonight, I had the impression that Thor surfing the sound of storm clouds was on stage and he’s taken the violence of this Earth to another level, making it audible and livable.

It was a moment out of space to be permeated by his machines’ basses which are accompanied by so many fine, low and high, and simply so many more sounds. the word of sound-carpet is not enough any longer, sound-mural cannot be used neither. Guess that would be ironic anyway, when after the concert, it looked like as if  some of the sound-waves brought the theater’s plaster ceilings down. A wall-of sound would be too dense to describe what it was also.

This was sounds going through and through, through me anyway. And, Ben Frosts compositions played out live are much more than whatever sound system can give you. They depict the power of a quiet but permanent storm, not violent in the sense of attacking, but heavy and tough and rolling. being in the audience felt to me like being on a rocking and rolling boat while letting the captain steer me through the waves he created and which were at the same time thundering down and washing through me. There was fog, there were reflections on the wall, there was water on the projected screen behind the lightening layer screen. Being in the audience, is like being part of a bigger thing and I realize once more, I don’t have words enough to express the dimensions of his concert. I was there. I was in it. I didn’t want to be anywhere else. I wanted it to go on. I’d go again, immediately, any time, but please, next time, let me stand and take it in not seated. I want the sound to feel in my whole body and to be able to move.

And for reminiscing’s sake, some notes on how my story with Ben Frost goes way back, most of the time in fabulous settings. I cherish every one of them, go on reading if you like, it’s how I came to be here last night… There was the Bedroom Community concert in Fri-Son, when after that concert I had ashes from Vatnajökull in my pocket and the impression i was floating 20cm above ground to my hotel room.

  • There was the Ballet in Sadler’s Well on Ben Frost’s music.
  • There was the concert in Lisbon which we attended only because it had been postponed to the tuesday we were there
  • Then, there was the Salzhaus
  • And now, there was the Schauspielhaus Zürich which was just transcending


Author: a bit of everything and beyond

music lover with no aspiration to be a critique, but who gave in to a need to vent a bit online and who decided to do that on one of my hobbies, after a particularly intense concert

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