Commissioned by the British Film Institute to craft a new score for Benjamin Christensens silent witch classic Haxan, UK duo Demdike Stare are bringing their accompaniment to New York City for a screening and live event at the 1880s-built West Park Presbyterian Church.
Presented by The Bunker, the Demdike Stare-Haxan event is one of only three U.S. appearances, the other two hitting Knoxville and Detroit. Surely, the spectacle of seeing Christensens stunning doc that revels in witchcraft, pagan and satanic iconography in a 120+ year old Church isnt lost on many would-be attendees, and I know Ill be there steeping in the spooky vibes.
The Bunker writes: For our first sit down event in a church, World-renowned UK-based electronic musicians Demdike Stare perform a new live score commissioned by the British Film Institute to a screening of Benjamin Christensen’s Haxan, a silent Swedish/Danish film from 1922. Häxan (English title: Witchcraft Through The Ages) is a study of how superstition and the misunderstanding of diseases and mental illness could lead to the hysteria of the witch-hunts. Originally shown at the British Film Institute’s Southbank Cinema in London, this rarely performed project reaches America for one weekend with performance/screenings in NYC, Knoxville, and Detroit only. Demdike Stare has long been known for their obsession with obscure cinema, and have recently contributed music to films such as Joe and Kiss of the Damned.
Opening the event is another well-known techno artist doing something completely different. Rrose will perform James Tenney’s solo gong piece “Never Having Written A Note For Percussion.” This piece is a powerful study not only of minimalist composition, but also the importance of the room and environment that a performance, or just pure sound, takes place in, and a potent example of the kind of experimental tendencies that make Rrose one of technos more fascinating figures.
The event gets underway at 7 p.m. this Thursday, March 26th at the West Park Presbyterian Church (165 West 86th St). Tickets can be found here. See a trailer, featuring Demdike Stares work, below. If Haxan‘s got you in the mood, also check out our 15 Essential: Witch Movies.