Some of us visit new countries and take home a neon snowglobe, or a plastic rendering of the Eiffel Tower; tacky, useless souvenirs consigned to a life coated in dust. Memories are kept by tagging digital photographs, captioning them with a pithy comment. Holidays over, on to something new.
But for Hauschka, otherwise known as German composer and pianist Volker Bertelmann, a jaunt abroad is a time to soak up, spongelike, all that your new surroundings offer.
The collision of historical forces in Alexanderplatz; the light in Madeira, children grasping hands in central parks; the bustling energy of Union Square; women brushing snowflakes from their painted faces.
Although Hauschka is a man who employs ball-bearings and ping-pong balls as nameless band-members when performing his solo piano pieces live, it was simply not enough for him to rely on these elements when evoking the spirit of countries new.
So with the help of a full orchestra, Foreign Landscapes expands on Hauschka’s sound in a natural – and welcome – way.