A little over a week ago I had the great pleasure of attending a Low-Fi first; three concerts in three apartments, in one evening. Over the course of the mini-festival we all wound and burrowed through the cosy apartment building in Østerbro – climbing spiraled staircases, shuffling through narrow hallways and running in the rain across rooftops – everyone with their shoes in one hand and wine glass in the other. The enchanting and talented Canadian artists Sam Lynch, Laura Reznek and Alexandria Maillot performed in one of the three apartments each, also calling each other up to the stage for back-up harmonies for some of the numbers. In the coldest and darkest time of year, this magical evening of thoughtful and heartfelt musical performances – amidst the comfort of fragrant wines and warm bodies –was exactly what my worn and weary soul needed. For those of you who couldn’t make it, here’s a taste of the magical evening.
Apartment 1. The Aquarium – Sam Lynch
I walk into the first apartment, caught in a shuffle of fellow concert-goers I bumped into in the staircase, as we all try politely – though unsuccessfully – to remove our coats and shoes without elbowing each other. I eventually manage to untangle myself from all the heavy layers required in Danish December, and slip through the next doorway into the Aquarium (each one of the living rooms we visited this evening had its own name, featured in the heading of each concert review here, because they’re great).
Soon I’m leaning against the back wall of the room, wine glass in hand, when two gentlemen (who turn out to be the hosts of the other two apartments for the evening) offer up some space on the sofa – perfect. With my hands still burning delightfully from their drastic change in temperature, I peek through the rows of faces kissing glossy wine glasses; the whispering fades out as Sam starts to play her guitar. She starts singing and I’m immediately hypnotized – the lyrics are sweet, melancholic and funny at the same time, and her sleepy voice is drenched in wisdom while stripped of all pretension.
The performance is both vulnerable and strong and suddenly, in my total absorption, I feel like she’s looking at me – is she? I’m pretty sure she’s not, but I start blushing all the same because I suddenly realize that the look on my face must be something like dazed-eyed staring. Listen to the clip below to hear my favorite of her moving and ethereal songs.
With my hands still burning delightfully from their drastic change in temperature, I peek through the rows of faces kissing glossy wine glasses; the whispering fades out as Sam starts to play her guitar.
Apartment 2. Wild Rabbits – Laura Reznek
After following the paper trail of arrows leading to the next apartment, I find myself a seat near the front this time. I gently scoot the chair to the left and throw the person behind me look that’s something along the lines of “is that better? can you see?” – she’s gives a friendly thumbs-up and I sink happily into my seat, only to notice Sam and Alexandria squished side by side on the floor at my feet, perching to get a good view of their friend.
Laura starts to play on her keyboard and the whispers blow out like candles again. Laura’s music is beautifully described in her own words as “drawing upon history, memory and philosophy […] the things that keep us up at night – storms and cityscapes, guilt and ghosts”. And storm is the exact right word for Laura and her music – soft and strong like quiet thunder, dramatic and yet serene, each song leaves you in a drunk mist of after-rain catharsis.
The wax candles and slanting ceiling make the cozy loft feel like some sort of magical cave, and the combination of Laura’s storytelling and the close, attentive atmosphere is utterly enthralling. The haunting music is folkloric, dark and soul baring, and it mingles deliciously with the second glass of red wine swimming lazily in my blood stream. Pour yourself a glass and have a listen to the song below.
Storm is the exact right word for Laura and her music – soft and strong like quiet thunder, dramatic and yet serene, each song leaves you in a drunk mist of after-rain catharsis.
Apartment 3. Placebo – Alexandria Maillot
For the last apartment, we all slowly make our way up and out onto the rooftop walkway. I probably would have been more appreciative of the beautiful view if it weren’t for the cold, but there was also something kind of reinvigorating about the wind and light rain, and by the time I’d slipped into the safety of the next apartment my mind felt cooled, cleared and refreshed.
Having occupied good furniture at the last two concerts, I decided it was time to exercise some modesty; I find a sweet spot on the floor next to a resting guitar, and fold my legs beneath me. Alexandria starts to play, but is almost immediately interrupted by a ghost suddenly opening the door to the left of the stage. Laughingly she continues playing; “the first verse isn’t important anyway”. Funny, vivacious and irresistibly charming, Alexandria shares the stories behind her music with us; her doubts and fears, loved one’s passing away, and loved one’s being born.
The set is awash with emotional nuance, each song an exciting different colour and flavour. She ends with an acoustic rendition of Grease’s “You’re the One That I Want” and the audience sings along, doing its best to keep up with her surprising and sophisticated rendition of a well-worn song. Play the song below for a listen to the lovely Alexandria.
Thanks to the wonderful artists and great company for the winter-time healing – and to everyone else, I hope to see you there at the next one.
Photos by the talented Chris Milne