Michael Gira (SWANS) + Kristof Hahn (SWANS)
Michael Gira (SWANS) + Kristof Hahn (SWANS) solo performances tour 2022.
Michael Gira founded the seminal NYC band Swans in 1982. Quickly infamous for their punishing, brutal and repetitive onslaughts of sound, extreme volume levels, and the self-abusing, abject shouts and growls of Gira’s sloganeering vocals, Swans gradually transformed over 15 years, ultimately venturing into harsh mechanical proto-industrial rock, to sprawling shifts of texture and perspective (see the bucolic atmospheric folk idles and martial stomps of their much heralded Children of God double LP from 1987), to gentle acoustic-based songs, and finally on to their ultimate statement, Soundtracks For The Blind (1997) which somehow incorporated all of these elements at once, across well over 2 hours of music in one album.
At this point, Gira called it quits after 15 years of relentless touring and productivity, and disbanded Swans. Since 1999 Gira has released his music under the name Angels Of Light. He writes the songs for Angels Of Light on acoustic guitar and orchestrates them using a shifting cadre of musicians, employing a wide variety of instrumentation such as strings, wind, brass, electric guitars, electronics and choral vocals. The songs are often eccentric and extreme, in keeping with Gira’s love of soundtrack music.
Though nominally more traditional than Swans, Angels Of Light is often just as hard hitting through different means. The most recent album by Angels Of Light is We Are Him. When not recording, writing music, or touring, Gira spends his time producing and releasing music through his label Young God Records. He’s been responsible for such notable talents as Devendra Banhart, Lisa Germano, Akron/Family, Larkin Grimm, and James Blackshaw. Michael Gira published in 2022 his book “The Knot”.
Kristof Hahn is an experimental, avant-rock’n’roll guitar player. He lives and works in Berlin. Hahn’s music ranges from abstract cinematic soundscapes to elegant rock’n’roll noir songs.
Hahn is best known for his lap-steel guitar playing in the New York experimental rock band Swans. He joined the band in 1989 for the Burning World tour and played on the subsequent album “White Light from the Mouth of Infinity” (1990). He left the band in 1992, joined SWANS’ bandleader Michael Gira’s follow-up project Angels of Light in 1998 and became a constant member of the SWANS relaunch from 2010 until 2017.
Hahn is also the founder of the Berlin based bands Les Hommes Sauvages and Sultans of Gedankebrain and has collaborated with a variety of artists from different backgrounds such as Alex Chilton, Tav Falco, Thomas Wydler, and Pere Ubu. His approach to the lap-steel guitar is less rooted in traditions but more drone-oriented, creating vast soundscapes that at times erupt into sonic thunderstorms and at other times resolve into ethereal melodies.
Besides his band activities Hahn has recorded movie soundtracks for German director Robert Schwentke (Eierdiebe/The Family Jewels – 2003) and Austrian film-maker Marko Doringer (Mein Halbes Leben – 2008, Naegel mit Köpfen – 2013). He also translates books from English to German – among these are: “The Song of the Silent Snow” by Hubert Selby Jr., “Margrave of the Marshes”, by John Peel, and “Thy Neighbor’s Wife” by Gay Talese.