Howe Gelb

Haus der Musik, 2010

Howe Gelb sits in the backstage room of Porgy & Bess with a big grin. He has just finished soundcheck for his headline show at Blue Bird Festival and seems to be satisfied with how things are going. We didn’t really get through to him with our request to do a session before, but it looks like the right time to introduce the idea to him. And indeed, he likes it, but wants a piano. So we head out to find one and finally are able to even present a choice to Howe. He opts for the grand piano at Haus der Musik, at which he enscones himself for a 30-minutes session, featuring numerous songs; some with, some without lyrics. His audience includes a school class with a noisy teacher, a family with fascinated children – the girl contributes to the music with her toy harmonica – and Haus-der-Musik workers, who occasionally pass by with trolleys. Just at the end of Howe’s piano performance, though, almost nobody is around, which makes him joke about „the sound of one-hand-clapping“.

Michael Luger
Sound Recording
Sarah Brugner
Post production
Michael Luger
Simon Brugner
Howe Gelb

Haus der Musik

The gold-lettered writing above the entrance and the historic building – Palais Erzherzog Karl – in the Inner City of Vienna may at first sight give a false impression of Haus der Musik. Indoors, there is a highly modern museum of sound where one can experience music in an interactive and multimedia-based way. Haus der Musik was opened in the year 2000 and since then depicts the past and the present of music and sound on 2.000 square meters of exhibition space. In the mid-19th century, the Palais was home of the famous Viennese composer Otto Nicolai. He founded the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the leading orchestras in the world, which still has its historic archive and own museum there as a part of the Haus-der-Musik exhibition. In the roofed courtyard of Haus der Musik, there is not only a café to relax and a grand piano to prove your own musicality, but also space for music-related events such as concerts, discussions and workshops.