Bendik Giske is an artist and saxophonist with a unique use of physicality, vulnerability and endurance. His drone-based 2019 debut album Surrender is stripped to the core: no overdubs, looping, or effects. Just his body, breath, the saxophone and a resonant physical space, plus lots of microphones.
Giske built his reputation by using said microphones to amplify the imperfections – a revolt against the mechanisms of classical music scenes that resonates with the musical heritage of the queer electronic music scene in his chosen hometown Berlin.
On his second album Cracks Giske collaborated with producer André Bratten and his extensive studio of electronic machines. The album investigates the bridges and separation (or cracks) between man and machine within certain fixed technical paramenters like circular breathing – establishing Giske as a conceptual artist.
He presents his third and most recent solo album "Bendik Giske"live in Berlin for the first time at the Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, accompanied by light artist Therese Baumgartner.
The self-entitled album Bendik Giske shows a musican and artist who knows himself well. With the intriguing choice of Beatrice Dillon as album producer – clearly the British electronic musician is a fellow traveler in the practice of original aesthetic expression – her influence is immediate and keenly felt.
Together, they strip away a layer of melodicism, honing in on pattern and rhythm to bring out a different dimension of his mesmerizing sound. While again working with single-take recordings, no overdubs, only saxophone and his body, gone is the reverberant space and mellifluous glamor. Giske finds the result akin to musical full-frontal nudity – every detail, every huff and puff audible, no obscuring, no aestheticizing. Confrontational, it demands greater attention, but through its physicality it remains immersive.
The composer, multi-instrumentalist and performance artist Sarahsson performs an opening live show which brings her multifaceted artistry (costume design, sound design, composing and performance art) together into a visceral expression of divine queerness.
Sarahsson’s work deals in extremes, drawing inspiration as much from the natural world as from gore and harsh noise. Her live performance reflects this: themes of bodies being contorted, ripped apart and combined anew (complemented by the tension of Sarahsson’s post-industrial baroque wardrobe) charge through her work to create beautiful and painful expressions of transness as art.