CANCELLED: First Avenue presents Efterklang with Nightlands (at The Cedar)
Tonight's Efterklang show at the Cedar Cultural Center has been canceled due to weather.
Tickets purchased online will be refunded automatically through Etix. Tickets purchased through our local outlets can be refunded at The Depot Tavern or First Avenue.
Forever fascinated by the purest possibilities of sound, since forming in 2001 Efterklang have consistently adjusted their sonic modus operandi to suit very specific inspirations. The results the Danes have produced so far – most notably across three acclaimed albums, 2004’s Tripper, 2007’s Parades and 2010’sMagic Chairs – have each explored different directions, each an end product of remarkably studied songcraft and emotional resonance. But Piramida is perhaps the band’s greatest achievement: an album bringing the outside in, informed by frozen time and the relics humanity leaves in its expanding wake.
Its roots were laid in 2010, when the band first saw photographs of a forgotten settlement lying, slowly dying, on Spitsbergen, an island of the Svalbard archipelago midway between the Norwegian mainland and the North Pole. This ghost town, which the trio eventually visited in August 2011 (drummer Thomas Husmer left before Piramida’s commencement), would give their fourth album its title, and comprise the conceptual catalyst for its contents. Once an outpost for some 1,000 Russians, the former mining facility was abandoned in January 1998, near as overnight. Today the town is in a state of slow decay, as deserted possessions erode and buildings where once people were schooled, fed and entertained return to nature. Between the empty oil drums and fuel tanks, glass bottles and lampshades – and sea birds, and polar bears – the band discovered the world’s northernmost grand piano, standing proudly in a concert hall that once held 400 people. Its notes can be heard on Piramida, perhaps for the first time anywhere in over a decade.
When the band returned home, nine days later, they’d accumulated just over 1,000 field recordings from the many and varied environments they explored in Piramida. The beginnings of this approach can be seen on the band’s 2010 film collaboration with Vincent Moon, An Island. Then the time came to transform these audio snapshots of abandonment, of isolation touched by unique beauty, into songs. “The idea for this album was to start from scratch, for all three of us to create from the same blank canvas,” says Stolberg, the best part of a year after their trip, in Berlin. It was to the buzzing German city that Efterklang relocated from Copenhagen in 2010, and where Piramida found its final form. It was Brauer who made sense of the sounds the three had brought home. Returning to his memories of visiting Piramida, he selected noises and carefully treated them to produce incredibly standalone sounds for use in the album’s songs.
A less-densely layered collection than the electronic-hued Parades, and more direct than Magic Chairs, Piramida is a rare example of a conceptually strong project that never forgets to let the concept serve the song, rather than the other way around. It’s a streamlined sound, but distinct and absorbing too. It showcases a band superbly capable of transitioning experiences shared by a select few into music that can be enjoyed by a wide, open-minded audience. That Efterklang had to journey to the top of the world to begin their creative process makes for a fantastic story; but it’s just the prologue for what happens now with Piramida. Launching the album at the Sydney Opera House in May 2012, the band completed the first voyage of many in this campaign – from north to south, with their finest record yet crafted somewhere between extreme latitudes. And wherever it lands next, Piramida has the elegant touch to make any vista a memorable one.
Philadelphia-based multi-instrumentalist Dave Hartley aka Nightlands will open the evening, with a set of his dream-inspired music featuring a bed of delicate, chiming strings and bubbling synths beneath a blanket of choral vocal arrangements.
Ticket options and info
- On sale date: now
- Phone: 612-338-2674 ext 2 12-4pm (M-F) ($2 fee per ticket)
- In person: From First Avenue and their outlets (fees vary)
- Online: eTix (fees apply) (click on red Buy Tickets button at top of this page)
- All Cedar shows are all ages.