Haus der Musik, 2009
Zac Pennington minces fleet-footedly through the foyer of the Vienna’s museum of sound. He uses every corner of the space, expansively gestures with his hands and drives up and down in the elevator. There is a surreal aura he and the Parenthetical Girls have with them, something fairylike and graceful that makes them so easily distinguishable from everyone else walking around on the streets of the city on this early-November day. Musically, the Parenthetical Girls play on a very high level and still do a lot of improvising, as the Portland-based band has never done acoustic renditions of their multilayered, orchestral pop songs before. Thus, they had to figure out some instrumental parts on grand piano, accordion and melodica in the few minutes preceding the video shoot. During “Unmentionables” from their LP “Entanglements”, there is a bunch of school kids coming in. First, they whisper about the unconventional performance that is happening before their faces. But soon they curiously watch it, especially Zac’s expressive style of performing, and remain attentive until the end of the two song set.
Haus der Musik
The gold-lettered writing above the entrance and the historic building – Palais Erzherzog Karl – in the Inner City of Vienna may at first sight give a false impression of Haus der Musik. Indoors, there is a highly modern museum of sound where one can experience music in an interactive and multimedia-based way. Haus der Musik was opened in the year 2000 and since then depicts the past and the present of music and sound on 2.000 square meters of exhibition space. In the mid-19th century, the Palais was home of the famous Viennese composer Otto Nicolai. He founded the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the leading orchestras in the world, which still has its historic archive and own museum there as a part of the Haus-der-Musik exhibition. In the roofed courtyard of Haus der Musik, there is not only a café to relax and a grand piano to prove your own musicality, but also space for music-related events such as concerts, discussions and workshops.