On January 29 and 30, two concerts were held in Berlin (Germany), at the CTM Festival 2020, dedicated to the music of the television series ‘Chernobyl’ performed by composer Hildur Guðnadóttir (read news).
Composer Héctor Marroquin attended the event and leaves us this brief concert summary in an exclusive for SoundTrackFest.
On Wednesday 29th of January I attended the show “Chernobyl” of Icelandic composer Hildur Guðnadóttir in the concert venue Silent Green in Berlin, Germany. The show was part of the program of the CTM Festival of this city and was performed on two different days, on the 29th and 30th of January. Both were sold out.
The show was more of a sound installation than a proper concert in the traditional way. The industrial looking venue was almost totally dark, speakers and lights were installed all around the big room, and the audience (who had the freedom to move around the room during the show) was surrounding a high positioned stage where the “Chernobyl” composer Hildur Guðnadóttir and two of her collaborators, Sam Slater and Chris Watson, were programing and creating huge and dark soundscapes.
As in the series “Chernobyl”, the music combined acoustic instrumentation and field recordings from Chernobyl’s “sister” power plant Ignalina in Lithuania.
Together with an impressive light show, including the use of stroboscopic lights, the 3 musicians were creating an oppressive, dark and time-holding atmosphere, sometimes in a very loud, even disturbing way, for 90 minutes.
The show guided the audience into the sound and visual colors of Chernobyl, creating a magic atmosphere, as if the building itself was making the sounds and music, “talking” with the audience.
I realized being there that the show more than a concert was the attempt of putting the audience “inside” Chernobyl and experience it from its very core.
A very special show, sometimes disturbing, sometimes very dreamy, and a unique experience of both arts: visual and sound.
Article by Héctor Marroquin
Pictures by Héctor Marroquin & CTM Festival