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.