Located in the usually hidden rafters of the Royal Festival Hall, ‘Klanghaus: 800 Breaths‘ is a site-responsive immersive experience that merges art, music, machinery and performance. And it’s bloody brilliant.
Described as “part gig, part live art installation, totally theatre at the edge of darkness,” visitors are taken up stairs, around dark corners and through several dark rooms full of humming ancillary equipment and ventilation pipes.
Musicians appear and disappear in the darkness, as background sounds and loud music burst out from unlikely places in a multi-sensory encounter of shifting sound, colour and light.
Noises unexpectedly echo around the corridors while walls are illuminated by flickering video projections.
Created by experimental art-rock collective The Neutrinos and visual artist Sal Pittman, KlangHaus brings to mind the hippy ‘happenings’ of 1967, with experimental music and visual imagery colliding in unexpected ways.
Here’s some photos from my visit, although they don’t come close to retelling the full experience:
Musicians popped up behind electrical equipment and pipes.
The music ranged from industrial to prog rock, with some elements being reminiscent of early Pink Floyd (and that’s A Good Thing in my book).
The vocal harmonies between these two musicians were exquisite.
The audience were kept on the move, being gently nudged from one darkened room to another.
There were multiple ‘stages’ throughout the venue.
I love the sound of a saw being played by a violin bow!
At the end, the audience found themselves walking across the roof of the Festival Hall.
With its bursts of lights, random sound loops and evocative songs, Klanghaus: 800 Breaths is an exhilarating and exciting trip through the darkness.
It’s also a whole load of fun too and it’s a performance I can thoroughly recommend.
Get in quick before tickets sell out!
Klanghaus: 800 Breaths
Runs till Sunday 23 Jul 2017 6.30pm & 8.30pm (not Mondays 10 & 19 July)
Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
020 7960 4200
£15 – £25