It’s been a busy period for me, and this was one of those nights where I did not want to be out on a mid weeknight, but for Hans Joachim Rodelius to drag himself at the age of 82 all the way from Germany to perform for us here in SF made me recalibrate my mood and tough it out in order to enjoy the experience of witnessing this very rare performance by the only living founding member of Cluster/Kluster/Qluster and Harmonia and vanguard of the German avant garde underground music scene.
I had the chance to see Moebius a few years back (2012) and missed it for whatever reason and have been kicking myself because he has since passed away. I didn’t want to miss another opportunity to experience a living master of the craft.
His set at The Chapel SF opened with a bit of electronic work and he was joined by Tim Story also on electronics. This went on for awhile with Hans at one point transitioning to piano for some light melodic pieces, sketches almost, beautiful melodies, light and moody, playful yet melancholy at times. This first video captures some of that.
Tim departed the stage after the dedication to leave Hans to indulge in some more electronic work which was some of my favorite stuff of the evening. Abstract dynamic and dreamlike sounds culled from various sources created a lovely sound collage.
Nobody seemed to be sure what he was hearing but after his set he asked who in the crowd was playing with him as he seemed to hear some sort of Flutes or horn coming from somewhere in the building….maybe a ghost? Maybe a ghost in the machine?
He ended the set with a bit of a lull-a-bye on piano, stood up and took some pics of the crowd with his smart phone and then offered anyone who wanted to hug him to hang around afterwards. I went and picked up a record from his merch table and had a few moments with him, the record was already signed from the initial run but I had him sign it again. I asked if he ever figured out who was responsible for the sounds he heard to which he replied in that soft German accent ‘Was it you?’ hahaha! He told me to ‘spread love’ and he smelled like wine and we hugged and it was a wonderful experience.