Homebeat Presents: Grandbrothers

An electrifying evening from the experimental duo

Words by Eoin Comiskey
October 6th, 2016

A grand piano is an object often treated with reverence and respect. As instruments go, you don’t get much more significant in western music than the piano. And sitting atop the piano food chain is the grand piano. On a chilly and wet September night, in the atmospheric surroundings of Dublin’s D-Light Studios, an intimate stage was designed around the night’s special guest: the grand piano of experimental German duo, Grandbrothers.

This particular piano serves as a succinct visual respresentation of what Grandbrothers do. On the one hand you have the linchpin of classical composition, the principal instrument around which many compositions are built. On the other hand are the modifications and additions Grandbrothers built in order to enhance and alter the intsrument’s sounds – production: the trademark of modern composition.

grand-brothers-d-light-maven46photo: Stace Gill

This classical/modern duality is most clearly illustrated by the two band members. Erol Sarp is a trained jazz pianist while Lukas Vogel builds synthesizers for a living. The concept is to “make modern-sounding music using classical instruments”, according to the band’s website. To achieve this, Lukas adapts the piano using a series of electro-mechanical hammers that he controls via laptop. The sound is then further controlled using loops, drum-pads, effects etc. Erol says, “We see the project as an experiment: how far you can go with a piano? How much you can get out of it, soundwise?”

The resulting sound was worth the journey through the rain in Dublin. Grandbrothers took to the stage and immediately grabbed the audience with the overwhelming concoction of organic and refined piano, polished dancefloor production, light and smoke. Acknowledging the piano and explaining their modifications, Lukas joked, “It’s a pretty big piano. Well, there are bigger, but we think ours is big enough.” It certainly is, Lukas.

grand-brothers-d-light-maven46photo: Stace Gill

Photos by Stace Gill & Agata Stoinska

Video by Eoin Comiskey

To hear more from Grandbrothers, visit grandbrothersmusic.com

For more information on upcoming gigs, go to homebeat.ie