In early 2014, Kurt Overbergh, the artistic director of the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels Belgium approached the Echo Collective about arranging Burzum’s Daodi Baldrs for a small acoustic ensemble. The premise behind the project, was that Daobi Baldrs, written by Varg Vikernes while in prison in Norway, had never been performed live and had only been released as midi sounds. By arranging it for acoustic instruments, the goal is to give the piece new life, both dynamically and musically. In essence setting it free to be performed, recorded and re-released. Though Burzum and Varg Vikernes are controversial by nature, performing this piece free of this presence allows the music a second life, and asks the important question: where does art and the artist cease being one? The result is a piece of music rooted in black metal, but influenced clearly by classical music minimalism, medieval tonality, and symphonic form. It is a piece that can touch a wide audience and bring new listeners to both classical and metal music.
Margaret Hermant: violin, harp
Neil Leiter: viola
Charlotte Danhier: cello
Gary De Cart: Piano
Yann Lecollaire: clarinet, bass clarinet, baritone saxophone
Helene Elst: contra-bassoon
Antoine Dandoy: mixed percussion
"I saw A Winged Victory for the Sullen at Joe’s Pub last year and while that was a very good show, this was on another level. You felt the sound, every long note teased through the air and left you hanging for more. Aside from the odd clinking glass from the bar, this was the most politely attended show I think I have ever been to. Every single person seemed appropriately captivated, there was no need to applaud between songs as each piece bled into the next. From the moment the musicians took their place on stage to the final notes of the set, no-one made a sound.
While O’Halloran has a more apparent role in what you see and hear, taking to the piano for the majority of the set, and also layering samples, Wiltzie plays electric guitar which adds subtle textures even further. The duo are joined by a string trio from Belgium, who as you can imagine are integral, two violins and a cello seemingly make the sound of an orchestra. It’s an incredible experience seeing them up close, everybody loves seeing musicians play fast, it’s an obvious talent, but the discipline of holding a note and playing slowly is incredibly underestimated."
Live review Free Williamsburg, New York, Le Poisson Rouge, March 24, 2015