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Anna Von Hausswolff Plays An Epic Pipe Organ In New York

Watch the Swedish singer perform a gorgeous version of "Funeral For My Future Children" in a New York City church.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013 - 02:00 PM

Anna Von Hausswolff performs a gigantic pipe organ at Christ Church in New York City. Anna Von Hausswolff performs a gigantic pipe organ at Christ Church in New York City. (NPR)

There's no denying there's a spiritual quality to the music of Anna von Hausswolff. Much of this can be attributed to the fact that the Swedish singer and musician plays the pipe organ, an instrument that fills cavernous church sanctuaries and holy spaces with rich layers of sound. But it's also her songs on this year's superb record, Ceremony, that take on an otherworldly transcendence mixing moody orchestrations with engrossing, almost poppy melodies.

So when Soundcheck had the opportunity to film von Hausswolff in New York City, as a co-production with NPR Music's Field Recordings series, it was only natural to seek out a pipe organ in a church that could accommodate. Filmed and recorded inside the spacious and regal Christ Church -- a United Methodist church on Park Avenue -- von Hausswolff's rendition of "Funeral For My Future Children" is outright stunning.



Amidst the ornate decorations and glowing candles, the stained glass windows, and simply the sound of the of organ as it swelled and enveloped the entire room, von Hausswolff's performance showcased the nuanced beauty of her voice and the epic power of the instrument. 

And you're looking for more of Anna von Hausswolff's music from Ceremony, be sure to check out her lovely three-song session recorded in the Soundcheck studio.



Produced by Bob Boilen and Mito Habe-Evans; Videographers Parker Blohm, Mito Habe-Evans, Mike Katzif; Audio engineer Kevin Wait; Edited by Parker Blohm; Special thanks to Christ Church New York City


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Comments [3]

Elias from Sweden

Frank, I advise you to listen more than just the first minute. The first minute is just her doing a vocal warm-up, but the rest is a very beautiful song. This version shows that the song and her voice has such power that it can work with just drums as the only other instrument, whereas the album version has guitars and more of a proper band accompanying Anna von Hausswolff's organ and vocals. I suppose that I may be slightly biased, though, as I am a big fan of her work.

Oct. 07 2013 04:21 PM
John from Baltimore

A very interesting recording, however, the organ console shown is NOT the console at Christ Church, Park Avenue. The instrument shown in the video is a small two-manual instrument. The instrument at Christ Church (see their website) is a four-manual instrument built by Casavant Freres.

Sep. 09 2013 06:52 AM
Frank Enstyne from Pluto

Organized cacophony at best.

Sep. 05 2013 05:19 PM

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