You can never quite be sure if Charlemagne Palestine is trolling. His altar of stuffed animals and weird sense of fashion suggest so, but his musical track record is far from absurd, as he is recognized as one of the most iconic figures in minimal music. His solo organ concert in the impressive neo-gothic Zwingli church in Friedrichshain started with an anthem for Rosh Hashanah celebrating the Jewish new year. When he chanted “Oh Palestine – oh Palestine,” was he celebrating himself or was there more to it? We’ll never know for sure. We’ll also never know how this concert would have sounded with a fully functional organ. “The organ is sick” Palestine proclaimed at the end, and as such, he could only do so much. Taped with red dots some of the most basic pipes like the bass flute did not work. Flawed instrument or not, Palestinecreated an impressive reverberation of the church walls. The standing tones with meandering drones bouncing of the thick walls made this concert a truely remarkable event. If we only knew we knew if he was trolling.
Laurent Hoffmann is a writer and photographer based in Berlin.