Henning Christiansen – Op.163 Penthiselea 2LP



Beautiful, haunting and sombre, this 2LP presents the entire recording from Henning Christiansen’s Heinrich von Kleist tribute at Rene Block’s Rosenfest festival, Berlin, 1984.

THE REALITY IS A GHOST IN MY MIND (LP1) is a work that unfolds patiently with a mix of field recordings; wind, bird song and the sound of snow being crushed underfoot all unite in a foreboding atmosphere.

IN PENTHESILEAS HÖHLE (LP2) features electronic treatments to the original field recordings found on THE REALITY IS A GHOST IN MY MIND, a representation of psychological reorientation perhaps? A deep ground tone (or ROOT as Henning calls it) leads the listener through a variety of realistic and unrealistic environments. As Henning says in his essay reprinted on the back sleeve:

“Then comes a section where the field recordings of the sea, the storm, birds, cars and other things, are built together so that the realism of these sounds become unreal. For example the cars drive into the sea and the birds are singing within the storm. When you hear footsteps in the show, it’s Kleist
sneaking past Deutsche Schauspielhaus. When you hear a deep, human sleeping noise, it’s Achilles sleeping. When you hear hammering it’s the weapon smith working. When you hear a stone being thrown it means the unanswered question: “Who threw the first stone?”

These recordings lead to the finale where Carla Tatò’s haunted vocals into her singing mournfully along with Jan Tilman Schade’s violoncello and tuba, then a chainsaw appears.

Presented in a deluxe di-cut sleeve with writings by Ursula Reuter Christiansen and Henning Christiansen and adorned with an artwork, Penthesilea by Ursula Reuter Christiansen, 1983


> Henning Christiansen