Over the last 15 years, Efterklang have made a storm of an influence on Danish music culture by bringing international yet sophisticated attention to the country with their remarkable expansive compositions and ideas, collaborating with illustrative compatriots (such as Hvass & Hannibal) for beautifully abstract album sleeves, performances with the Danish Chamber Orchestra and interjecting ambiance, post-rock and baroque pop together for an undefinable exploration of the possibilities of sound.
Unfortunately, they announced a hiatus in 2014 after the formation of Liima, which stole Rasmus Stolberg away from Efterklang. However, they have come back together temporarily for another innovative project that now inspires the food scene of Denmark. It could be on par with the chord project that saw them create a chord collage from US states in 2010 and like that project, it is also a collection of sounds but requires a larger effort on the role of the music fan. Efterklang have recorded a 60-minute sound piece of abstract noise entitled Stream of Noma that can only be heard inside the bathrooms at the Michelin-starred Copenhagen-based restaurant Noma.
Noma has a fantastic reputation in Denmark and worldwide for its reinvention of the Nordic Cuisine and has been awarded the ‘Best Restaurant In The World’ award by Restaurant Magazine four times. It’s another odd project from Efterklang that could potentially amass large angry queues for the lavatory, as to truly appreciate the piece fans have to remain inside said environment for the entirety of the composition.
Fortunately, you are able to hear a short excerpt of the project at home, which lasts just under six minutes and uses a contrast of real-life atmospheric samples (chicken noises both real and imitation, steam, water bubbles, talking, knives and restaurant china), with composed piano and instrumental performance that reflects the subject matter of food preparation in an entertaining and thought-provoking method.
It was constructed in both the restaurant environment and at a local chicken farm suggesting a social commentary that could be met with glee, by vegetarian campaigners but instead its purpose is to reflect the food process as stated by Rasmus Stolberg: “‘Stream of Noma’ is an abstraction of the Noma kitchen, the process—the circle, the suppliers, foragers, preparation— and the result is the menu. The piece tunnels a link between the kitchen and the diner, providing a behind-the-scenes glimpse, though both aural and abstract, at the mystique of the restaurant”.
It’s definitely different from the classical and pop music heard in most restrooms, but can it match the hysterical Blackadder comedy clips played in the toilets at nostalgic bars in Central London and will it generate business? Only a trip to Denmark can prove that. Read more here.