"A genre defying sensory experience"
by Rebecca Wall for remotegoat on 30/07/16

When you struggle to find the words to describe your plan for the evening to colleagues, you know that what you are about to attend will be genre-defying. Before visiting KlangHaus: On Air, I was unsure what I had signed up to: a performance, a concert, an art installation? Afterwards, epithets seemed less important, as this is an immersive experience that stimulates and engages all of the senses.

Having first gathered in the foyer of the Royal Festival Hall, we were led by guides up several floors, and ushered into a stairwell. Here, a haunting voice signalled the beginning of proceedings, as a performer sitting casually on a step sang of known unknowns and unknown unknowns, a fitting description that matched my expectations of what lay ahead. The intimacy of the space, and proximity of fellow attendees felt, at least to my British sensibilities, a little claustrophobic, and slightly uncomfortable. This was a sentiment that persisted through the next sixty minutes, as we were channelled through the pipe-filled roof spaces of the building, which were transformed by lights, projections, smoke, and music into something akin to an otherworldly space ship. Gradually, however, I did feel my inhibitions and reserve start to fray, as the sheer joy of attending what felt like the world's smallest gig took hold.

This was a physical and emotional journey, through space and time, yet without a clear narrative. Brimming with creativity, it steered a careful course that stayed on the right side of pretentiousness, and I left feeling that I wanted to experience it again. Alas, it was the final evening of the performance, and I await KlangHaus's next incarnation with great anticipation.

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