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Baker's Dozen

Monumental Simplicity: Anna Von Hausswolff's Favourite Albums
John Freeman , December 8th, 2015 09:51

The Swedish musician talks to John Freeman about the 13 records that "opened doors" and helped create the blueprint for the mighty organ drone of her new album, The Miraculous, before she plays two UK shows


Earth - Hex; Or Printing In The Infernal Method
This might just be one of the most important findings for me in the last five years. Earth have made a great impact on how I compose music and how I listen to music. Those two things have affected me a great deal. When I heard Earth for the first time, I was struck by the slow tempo of the music and how, a little bit like Nils Frahm, they left a lot of space between each note, so once the note struck you it would be very heavy and powerful. You know it is coming, but you don't know how it is coming or when it is coming. Every time they hit a note it is exciting even if you know what chords they are playing.

I think the simplicity spoke to me and it just made me realise it was okay to use a lot of slow tempos in my compositions. I think I felt some kind of kinship to the band, even though I had never heard of them before. They opened me up a little bit - I admired their patience and their focus. It is not music that you have in the background, you sit with it and you focus on it and become absorbed into that world. It is a little bit like a meditation in a way. This is probably why this music speaks to me, because I recognise myself in it and that's why a lot of other music doesn't speak to me because I cannot recognise myself. Maybe I am not open enough.

I went to one of their shows in Hollywood. They played in a graveyard. It was a great concert. I was there with my sister and we were both very tired. It was our last day in America before flying home to Copenhagen and we'd had a really intense schedule of doing things every hour of every day. So, at the Earth concert, we just stood and bowed our heads in the tempo of the music. It was the slowest head-banging ever. Maybe it was more of a head-sway.

Actually, I have just remembered that I have seen Earth twice. The other time was in Gothenburg. The fire alarm went off, so they had to stop the concert and clear out the space. I felt satisfied with the hour-long concert and thought that it was just about to end, but then I found Dylan Carson smoking in a parking lot just outside the venue. I approached him and asked him how long they had left on the show. He told me that they had only managed to do a quarter of the show and that they only just got started.

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