Anna von Hausswolff

Anna von Hausswolff: The miraculous

Anna von Hausswolff | Oslo | 8 December 2015

Photo credit: Anders Nydam

 There are a few signs that Anna von Hausswolff is of this earth: the sips of water between songs; the spontaneous response to her audience’s cheers (“This is unbelievable. It’s fucking amazing.”); the admission, as the encore begins, that she’s exhausted.

But for most of tonight she seems otherworldly, a long-haired silhouette with a transcendent voice. Seated behind a keyboard that gets as much of a workout as her vocal cords, the Swedish musician performs with such sustained intensity that, during songs, the capacity Oslo audience are rendered silent. No chatting. No texting. Just 375 people staring at a stage, seemingly transfixed by the supernatural sounds washing over them.

And it’s like that from the first stabs of industrial noise that mark the start of set opener ‘Discovery’, a 10-minute post-apocalyptic soundtrack of swirling synths and guitar distortion that rises and falls to a martial drumbeat, climaxing in von Hausswolff shouting “run run run”. Of course the crowd stay put, sticking around for a set that, in equal measures, haunts (the ethereal ‘Pomperipossa’, gothic – not goth – tragedy ‘Deathbed’, menacing epic ‘Come Wander with Me/Deliverance’) and uplifts (the hymnal ‘En Ensam Vandrare’, stridently angelic ‘Sova’, and even the funereal ‘Evocation’, joyous finale ‘Mountains Crave’).

‘Stranger’ achieves both at once, the inherent hopefulness of the music – all sunny, gently strummed acoustic guitars – contrasted by a melancholic vocal performed by a dancing, fist-raised von Hausswolff against a backdrop of Aurora Borealis lighting that only makes it more difficult to remember she’s human.

Advertisements

One thought on “Anna von Hausswolff: The miraculous”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s