The Capel y Graig is a small chapel located village of Furnace in Ceredigion, Wales. In Welsh Graig means rock or stone. It was built in 1868 and was in use until 2001. The Chapel also has a back stables with living quarters to host itinerant preachers on the preaching routes round Wales.
Avi in the Capel
From 2003 until 2011 the chapel was lovingly restored and renovated by Avi Allen and her father Christopher Allen and is now used as a very special arts space.
This improvisation was convinced of in the chapel after a long walk in the surrounding valleys and hills and then performed that evening. It is named after the river that runs by the chapel, Einion.
Jim found the old chapel organ and adapted an old Irish gypsy folk song that he learned off a friend of the family. The organ was in a bit of disrepair with one of the foot bellows and a fair few of the keys out of use.
The Riviera Grünau consists of two once impressive buildings; the Ballhaus and the Gesellschaftshaus, which translates literally as ‘society house’. Like the Ballhaus, the Gesellschaftshaus is falling to pieces and there are now few signs of it’s former gory apart from this rapidly decaying hall. Throughout the building the floors are virtually non-existent, the decor is long gone and graffiti, including a worrying abundance of nazi graffiti, pervades the entirety. The ceiling in the hall, once red, now looks close collapse.As this postcard from 1910 shows, guests could sail down the Spree and arrive by boat. While the Ballhaus can boast of a cultural significance during the 1920s as a concert venue, the Gesellschaftshaus seems more like a reminder of the opulence in days gone by.
As you will see in the video, in the hall itself there are now two large wall paintings on either side which add yet another layer to this space; an abandoned reminder of a bygone era still visited by both artists and neo-nazis alike and still an excellent space for a performance.
The piece played here is the first part of a group of three pieces. The name of the piece reflects this. It also reflects the fact that the themes of the piece are quite diverse and abstract.
And for our next trick, we put French duo Please Spring! in the abandoned military complex of Krampnitz. Krampnitz is a huge military complex used by both the Nazi’s in the 30’s and 40’s and then the Soviets during the Cold War. In the officer’s club building there is a huge hall which I’m sure saw a few swinging parties in it’s time. The acoustics of the hall are also fantastic and perfect for a field recording. The musicianship of Paul Audoynaud and Héloïse Lefebvre easily rival the acoustics. This recording was made with just one stereo microphone and the sound is a testament to this.
Please Spring! consist of two first rate musicians, originally from France but now resident in Berlin. In their music they blend many different styles of music with composition and improvisation. The song they chose to play here is La ballade de Melody Nelson originally by Serge Gainsbough, but drastically rearranged for guitar and violin.