The «Klangstube» is an intimate evening of solo piano recital in the setting of projected visuals. The Schubertian-like piano evening for a wider audience takes you on a journey into the „fragments-world“ of Julian where Sebastiano Bucca escorts the minor harmonies with stunning visuals.
With its premiere on June 3, 2010 at Kaufleuten Zürich, the «Klangstube» is a two-set piano recital evening where Julian draws the history of origins of a composition - beginning with his "fragments" towards self-contained themes which lead to a finalised dramaturgy at the end. The visuals by Sebastiano Bucca pick up this origination in order to form an experience of intersecting disciplines.
The «Klangstube» cultivates the interplay between music and visual arts presented as an intimate evening with lounge character.
Sonis-Aureus is the first project together with sculptor Cla Coray. In a highly individual style Cla and Julian fuse visual art with sound. Coray exhibits wooden sculptures which have been partly carbonised and then ornamented with gold paint. On the grand piano, Layn plays a piece of music which he has arranged specially for Sonis-Aureus; it is based on his Fragments. The piano solo takes up the theme in a style between jazz, classics and rock.
An out-of-use machine shop functions as a stage. In this environment, the trendy "Zeitgeist" has not made its entry until now, and one still seems to hear the ear-splitting hammering of the machines. The machine shop’s equipment has only just been dismantled, and the room’s future utilization is still uncertain. The shop has already run to seed; the beginning of a new age has not yet begun. This temporal vacuum between golden hope and ashy memory is the initial starting point of sonis-aureus. Cla Coray’s construction, consisting of several archaic wooden sculptures, provides a visual guide to Julian Layn’s piano concert. The visual and acoustic setting reflects the interplay of beginning and end, of loss and rediscovery, and of sadness and joy. The play of light and shade which creates a simultaneity of the objects’ revealing and veiling, of their presence and absence, is like the music’s mute reflection. The notes in turn join in the ritual of this illumination: they change it and state acoustic counterarguments.
The production makes the musical performance swing to and fro between seriousness and playful facility (both in a literal and in a figurative sense!). The ‘sculpture’ Sonis-Aureus revives the machine shop’s spirit for just one evening – it cannot take root. Similarly, the piano will never touch the floor. It will float smoothly through the shop. What remains is carbon, the memory of the concert. The concert tests the bounds of its genre, leaves the latter and finally turns into a real spectacle – but not without a touch of self-irony.
The performance of Julian Layn and Cla Coray is moving, it surprises us, sets us thinking and amuses us. However, its dense hotchpotch of visual and acoustic impressions irritates. It lingers on.