Ahead of the release next year of a special archive to commemorate the solo composer’s 90th birthday, the former Cluster and Harmonia founder, Hans Joachim Roedelius, returned to London after his last visit in 2019. He was supported by his archivist and collaborating artist Tim Story, who performed a solo set containing fragments of Roedelius material from the unreleased, archive material which he had pieced together in his own compositions. Starting on sharp, mechanical scrapes and primordial keys, it then featured choral and disembodied vocal samples; a second piece contained Roedelius’ piano compositions amongst a jungle of thumping beats and twisted, singing synths opening up into an ambient landscape with Story going on to include some Harmonia tracks.

Unable to perform for long periods these days, Roedelius then played a continuous 30-minute piano composition from memory that reflected the style of his work: a tonal mixture of bass and treble clef scales, lingering ambience with thoughtful pauses, stitching each section together in a similar way to collaborator and Roedelius archive curator Tim Story’s earlier performance. Joachim also included his classical influences such as Beethoven symphonies and those of his own personal ancestor, Johann Christian Roedelius.

He ended the piece with a spoken word poem which he sung without piano accompaniment.

27/07/23: Hans-Joachim Roedelius + Tim Story @ Cafe Oto, London.

Photos © Peter McDonnell Photography.

© Ayisha Khan.