It’s hard to find anything about Christian Fennesz online. At least, beyond the usual – born in Austria, working in Vienna, and known for his wide-ranging collaborations with sometimes unexpected artists.
The 53-year-old guitarist and electronic musician is notoriously tricky. He rarely stands still for a photo. In a shoot with Wondering Sound, he covers his face with one hand, a cigarette pinched between two band-aided fingers. His long, serious face is half hidden by a pair of dark sunglasses.
Listening to his music, however, is a revealing experience. Treading a fine line between melody and white noise, Fennesz’s attention is in every moment, constantly playing with the sound, pushing it to the limits of what is possible. In his music, Fennesz is present in a way he never is in front of the camera. His latest live album, Mahler Remixed, is sixty-five minutes of heart-stilling clarity.
Much of his music is the result of collaboration. Recent albums have seen him work with Ryuichi Sakamoto, drummer Tony Buck and fellow guitarist David Daniell. It is artist and visualist Lillevan, however, who seems to have had the most constant presence in Fennesz’s career. Appearing in live collaborations in Vienna, Montreal, Tokyo, Mexico, New York and London, Lillevan’s visuals have added another sensory layer to Fennesz’s earthy, complex sound.
For the first time in ten years, Fennesz and Lillevan will bring their performance to Australia. In town for the Adelaide Festival, Fennesz will make just one other stop: Carriageworks. Joining them will be American artist Keith Fullerton Whitman. Whitman is similarly known for inventive, experimental music which refuses to conform to a particular genre. This, like all of Fennesz’s performances, will be a one-off, never-to-be-repeated experience.
According to Lawrence English, who will curate the evening, he is one of few artists who will survive the test of time. “Hindsight will create hierarchies of relevance and influence, and amongst the musicians whose work is sure to have thrived and assumed greater relevance is Christian Fennesz.”
We have two tickets to give away for Fennesz + Lillevan on February 26. To win, send your details to firstname.lastname@example.org, with ‘107 Projects giveaway’ in the subject line. Entries close Wednesday February 24. Go – you might see us there, and if not, tell us how it went – seriously!
For more information visit carriageworks.com.au/events/Fennesz.