Absolut Fringe 2012: Efterklang and the Major Lift Orchestra

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Posted September 5, 2012 in Music Features

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Bands don’t come more pretty than Efterklang. Having forged their own textured, carefully-arranged path over the course of three critically-acclaimed albums, the Danes return with their fourth, Piramida, on 4AD this month. It will be previewed at this year’s Fringe, with a little help from the Major Lift Orchestra. Casper Clausen tells us more.

You’re one of the highlights of the Fringe, and you’re coming to play with The Major Lift Orchestra. Talk to us about your work with orchestras.

Working with orchestras is something we’ve always been interested in. But performing with orchestras live is something really amazing, the physical presence-  it’s quite impressive. Working with skilful orchestral musicians is amazing for us, and often interesting for them because they have to use their ears differently to pick up a type of music they’re not used to. On the sheet it’s one thing, but then the way it needs to be played is what sort of makes it our music.

You’re kicking off the tour for your new album Piramida here with us in Dublin. How did this album come about and what can we expect?

The album starts in a Russian ghost town a thousand kilometres from the North Pole, and gives the title to the album. We went there in August last year for nine days, and we were like scientists, running around trying to find sounds and make sounds in this abandoned place. The album therefore has its foundation in field recordings and samples, but we went home and played with it too.

How do you start work on a new song?

I’ve realised that the core thing with Efterklang is that it all starts with sound – whether it’s a new musical instrument, or the sounds of the city, we’re curious about sound and we start writing something when a sound fascinates us.

What was it like playing the Sydney Opera House?

We got the offer to play there with the City Symphony Orchestra and it was the most amazing opportunity, we couldn’t possibly turn it down even though we didn’t have an album ready for it yet. So we had a double process, making the album and making a score for the orchestra, it was a really hectic process. We learnt to tour with the same conductor, as it really helps when he knows the music already!

Do you take turns with facial hair and switch?

No, we should though, Rasmus and I always have these moustaches, because Mars is hairier he  gets the beard.

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Words: Roisin Agnew

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