“I don’t believe in ghosts but I do believe places can be haunted by meaning” – Bibio
Bibio’s ‘Phantom Brickworks’ installation is certainly a compelling argument in favour of this view. Created by Bibio himself, the hour-long audio/visual experience featured a seamless blend of (mostly) improvised musical pieces and video projections, which explored a range of themes across several large screens in Brick Lane’s iconic The Boiler House.
The visuals ranged from close-ups of derelict buildings to panning shots of vast, misty valleys, all of which were equally visually striking. Working in tandem with the hypnotic-quality of the musical pieces, the installation was more than enough to transport attendees away from The Boiler House’s bustling E1 postcode into a world of tranquillity, seldom experienced by most Londoners. Were it not for a small technical hitch part of the way through – the popping up of a MacBook screen saver – it is unlikely that the throng of engrossed fans would have remembered that they were in the heart of the ever-busy Brick Lane.
“A place can be charged with atmosphere because of what it has been through or what is has been…” – Bibio
As a venue, The Boiler House delivered both visually and sonically. The minimalism of its stripped-back red brick interior blended beautifully into the slow-panning shots on the large screens, while the imposingly-high ceilings amplified the reverberation of the ‘Phantom Brickworks’ soundtrack, adding to the pieces’ ethereal qualities.
The ‘Phantom Brickworks’ installation served as a reminder of the awe-inspiring power of music. Whether transporting us away from the frenzy of a morning commute or enhancing the drama of our favourite nail-biting TV drama, music possesses a unique ability to play conductor to our emotional orchestra. Without doubt, Bibio has thoroughly tapped into this, with ‘Phantom Brickworks’ as emotionally engrossing as it is musically gripping.
‘Phantom Brickworks’ is out now via Warp Records