There’s only two ways, really, to listen to a concert by Hauschka. Either you sit by the stage, and watch him play his prepared piano and electronics. Or you stand surrounded by speakers, eyes closed, and let your body float to his music. Either the cerebral or the spiritual route.

I had the chance to stand in the perfect spot, tonight at The Ritz PDB, where the Duesseldorf born musician played a generous concert in front of a very concentrated crowd. Obviously, my physical positioning helped to get in the groove, as sounds were hitting my body from everywhere. Deep bass would strike my chest, as a bunch of sounds buzzed from side to side, even from behind me, on the left, as the room was also doing its job of bouncing the music from one wall to another. The Ritz (and previously The El Motor) isn’t an easy room to make the sound good. Hats off to Hauschka’s engineer, a guy named Michael, who handled the beast.

The toughest thing is to stay still, standing up silently, for a few hours in a row, as you let your body float to the music’s waves of intensity. In that mood, you don’t want foot or back ache disturb the experience. A bit of yoga exercices, discretly, help.

Hauschka’s music is hard to describe. It’s a trip. It’s a path through a bunch of themes that blend one into the other, with sounds that are thrown in the mix as he goes. Kind of reminds me of a vortex, or a blender. The piano (that rarely sounds like a piano) creates loops on which some ingredients are added. At first you notice the new elements, but soon, they seem to disappear into the mix, coloring the mixture. Just like when you add a colored fruit into a smoothie mix. You see the new colors suffuse the juice, but soon, the whole thing is a new thing, with nice colors that weren’t there before. The whole things kind of “eats” the new elements like a giant vortex or a black hole.

Ok, so I might have lost you at this point. You might think I was on acid or something at the show. Nah. No drugs were necessary to live this experience. Just an opened mind and a great spot in the room. Hope you had fun too, or will get the opportunity to live this.

For a remote experience, try this clip.

HAUSCHKA was playing live at the RITZ PDB in Montreal, on April 14, 2015.

A Blue Skies Turn Black presentation.

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About The Author

Nicolas Pelletier

Mélomane invétéré plongeant dans tous les genres et époques, Nicolas Pelletier a publié 6 000 critiques de disques et concerts depuis 1991, dont 1100 chez emoragei magazine et 600 sur enMusique.ca, dont il a également été le rédacteur en chef de 2009 à 2014. Il publie "Les perles rares et grands crus de la musique" en 2013, lance le site RREVERB en 2014, et devient stratège numérique des radios de Bell Média en 2015, participant au lancement de la marque iHeartRadio au Canada en 2016. Il dirige maintenant la stratégie numérique d'ICI Musique, la radio musicale de Radio-Canada.