A meeting of electronic circuits and physical instruments of overwhelming size. To be more specific a three-tonne bell carillon, which is the backbone of Pantha du Prince and the norwegian ensemble The Bell Laboratory’s electro-classical compositions.
Hendrik Weber aka Pantha du Prince has long been traversing the borderland of techno and modern composition. He’s made remixes for Animal Collective, Trentemøller, Philip Glass, Depeche Mode and Bloc Party among others, and with minimalism as common denominator has attempted to transgress the limits of electronic music and at the same time (re)unite it with a long, classical tradition, where the textures and rhythms of techno come together with sacred harmonies, field recordings and new compositional strategies.
The music of Pantha du Prince has always been characterized by chiming, ringing synths drawing intricate tone patters across swelling bass and carefully constructed beat structures. With The Bell Laboratory Weber follows his obsession with the musical potential of the bell as an instrument of simultaneously melody and rhythm to an ambitious extreme, drawing inspiration from post-rock and classical composers such as Terry Riley, Phillip Glass and the minimalist par excellence, Steve Reich, along the way.
Few instruments evoke as many and as vivid associations as the bell – few instruments are as steeped in history and has a similar range of sound and emotional impact. From the fearsome bombast of the alarm bells tolling as the enemy approaches to the ethereal and spindly patters of the churches’ musical preachings. The bell catillon is an instrument that transforms the physical solidity of the bronze to a medium for religious and romantical transcendence. Pantha du Prince & The Bell Laboratory utilizes it together with vibraphones, tubular bells, huge amounts of percussion and electronically generated beats and patterns, with a virtuoso lightness that belies the actual physical size and weight of the instrument.
The Panda du Prince & The Bell Laboratory concert on sunday night is a unique possibility to experience electronic music in a new and overwhelming context. A musical and logistical show of force, and a worthy way to end PHONO14.
The Panda du Prince & The Bell Laboratory is presented in collaboration with the Goethe Institut.