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Open Haus Behind Her Name Chestnuts Fall Forever





Sunday, May 26, 2024


Listening Experience

For this Open Haus, Reethaus presents “Behind Her Name Chestnuts Fall Forever” by the Danish sound artist and producer Sofie Birch, known for her lush ambient releases and live shows, such as her much-lauded 2022 performance with Polish singer Antonina Nowacka at the Pinault Collection for the Philippe Parreno exhibition. 

Staged publicly for the first time, “Behind Her Name Chestnuts Fall Forever” was inspired by the soundscapes of electronic pioneers Franco Battiato, Raul Lovisoni and Francesco Messina, central figures within the 20th-century Italian avant-garde. It is music for dreamers, for those who pay close attention to the details in their nighttime reveries, for whom every small moment is full of meaning.

Built upon a series of improvisations from the same morning, the piece is arranged and played without tempo and grid. Birch set a close mic on a piano with a stereo setup of two Røde NT5, and in the same room set up an old B&O ribbon microphone, allowing a very dusty and noisy mono sound to weave in and out of the composition, and recording the synths and vocals later in her Copenhagen studio.

“I’m very fascinated by playing arpeggio-like synth figures without a grid,” said Birch. “When working with minimal compositions, I think it leaves room for other very small things to stand out, such as repetitive figures that slightly move in tempo and intensity, constantly aware of themselves and their context. …the listener either unconsciously or very carefully recognizes small changes. It feels alive. It feels present and personal.”


Sofie Birch

Experimental producer, composer and singer Sofie Birch creates sonic works that manipulate space and imbue it with calm. As a multidisciplinary artist who has worked on both live performances and in other, more perennial contexts such as art installations and animations, Birch brings notions of stillness, suspension and sustenance to her work by creating a distinct fashion of ambient music, where repetitiveness is clinically avoided and harmonic progressions resolve all tension. Meditation is a vital part of her composing process. With electronic hardware and field recordings, she creates melodic compositions produced with a sense of brightness and spirit, encouraging listeners to dive into themselves. She has a profound interest in the healing nature of sound and vibrations, which she conveys through her music, performances and radio mixes.

In September of 2022, Birch and Polish singer Antonina Nowacka premiered their album “Languoria” in a celebrated performance at the Pinault Collection Bourse de Commerce, which the French artist Philippe Parreno has transformed into a space out of time for the exhibition “A second of eternity.” Other highlights include appearances at Roskilde Festival, Mutek, Unsound, CTM Festival, NTS Remote Utopias, Ars Cameralis, Kings Place with Laura Misch, Rewire, Ephemera, Copenhagen Contemporary and Strøm Festival. In the first months of 2024, Birch performed at Norway’s Munch Museum with Alabaster de Plume, and sold out a headliner at Casa Montjuïc in Barcelona two days later.