Grandbrothers in Cologne Cathedral: now available at Arte Concert
Album ‘Late Reflections’ out April 14th on City Slang
Cologne Cathedral served as an unusual recording studio for Grandbrothers’ fourth album, marking the only time the Cathedral has ever permitted a recording of this kind.
On the 700th anniversary of the consecration of the choir of the Cologne Cathedral, Grandbrothers gave a unique concert in the nave of the Cologne Cathedral in August 2022 – with a height of 45 meters and a length of 144 meters it is one of the largest in the world. Arte Concerts broadcast the concert yesterday (Sunday) on French and German TV. As of now, it is available to view on YouTube.
It all started with a request so extraordinary that it was hard to believe: In 2019, cathedral builder Peter Füssenich unexpectedly approached Erol Sarp and Lukas Vogel after a performance and proposed a big concert in Cologne Cathedral. “We got to know each other in Düsseldorf, have a connection to the region and of course to the cathedral. Everyone who grew up here knows this impressive building. The prospect of playing a concert here one day remained abstract for us for a long time. You just can’t imagine it,” Sarp recalls.
After three years of planning and intensive preparation, this initial idea turned into not only a special concert, but also an album composed especially for the cathedral and its unique acoustics. The recordings took place over several consecutive nights in this gigantic space with its exceptionally long reverberation and will be released by City Slang on 14th April under the title ‘Late Reflections’.
“After the long planning, when we finally set up the grand piano and our electronics in the nave and really heard for the first time how the music we had written for this exact situation sounded here, we were just overwhelmed. It’s hard to put into words,” Vogel says.
Those who don’t want to wait that long, now have the chance to hear many of these new pieces for the first time – in a performance at the exact venue they were created for. With an elaborate light production, it’s a unique opportunity to rediscover not only the musical development of the German-Swiss musical duo, but also Cologne Cathedral – as a symbiosis of sound and architecture, of gothic and modern.
A beautiful concert through and through, Grandbrothers command your attention as they take you on this colossal adventure. A vivid journey that takes the audience through an array of atmospherical arrangements with lasting influences, a truly enchanting film from these compelling composers.
At its core, Grandbrothers’ music represents a communion between the old and the new. On their extraordinary new album, ‘Late Reflections’, due out April 14th on City Slang, the German-Swiss duo place their art in communion with an institution so old it predates their music by seven centuries: Cologne Cathedral. The iconic monument of Gothic architecture, which is both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Germany’s most visited landmark, served as an unusual recording studio for Grandbrothers’ fourth album, marking the only time the Cathedral has ever permitted a recording of this kind. The resulting album pulses with a rare sense of history and architecture, allowing the spatial properties of this magnificent building to shape and deepen the timbre of the duo’s swelling compositions.
As far as concept albums go, ‘Late Reflections’ is evocative and immersive, and it asks as many questions as it answers: What does it mean for music to interact with architecture and physical space? What is the sound of a church that has been revered for centuries for the way it looks? How can artists forge something new out of 700 years of history?
The cathedral setting subtly steered the duo towards more ambient, atmospheric instincts. “On our previous album we went into a more physical and club-influenced direction,” reflects Sarp. “This album, we just said, ‘Let’s see what happens and be free to go more into ambient, or more atmospheric, experimental sound spheres.”
This is a deeply collaborative album—not just a collaboration between two unusual musical partners (as well as sound engineer Francesco Donadello and mixer Paul Corley, who finely helmed the stereo mixes), but a collaboration between Grandbrothers and the Cathedral itself, a backdrop which influences the album’s sound as profoundly as a set design might shape a movie’s look.
‘Late Reflections’ will be released on April 14th via City Slang. Pre-order here.
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