It’s not every day Eugene gets compared with a world-class city like Berlin. But Danielle De Picciotto of nomadic avant-garde and ambient-electronic duo HackedePicciotto sees some similarities.
“Climate and nature-wise,” De Picciotto says of the Eugene-Berlin connection. “It’s got this crisp weather and a particular color to the sky.”
Alongside her husband, Alexander Hacke of German experimental music group Einstürzende Neubauten, De Picciotto is returning to Eugene in support of Menetekel, their latest release of deeply purple cinematic texture-sounds. The album brings together everything from the slow menace of goth rock to the fragrant incense of some far-off bazaar.
Album track “Jericho” takes Hacke’s pulsating soundscapes and drops them behind De Picciotto’s elemental violin work, while horn-like sounds raise some kind of battle cry. It’s something harder-edged than ambient or new age music, but with an expansive and free-associative structure that’s hard to quantify.
While in Eugene, the pair will also be speaking at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art on the University of Oregon campus about their film work and life as nomadic artists.
After escaping the gentrification of Berlin, the pair now live life on the road pretty much full-time. Eugene has become a favorite place for them to stop on their travels.
“As a community, Eugene is very interesting,” Hacke says, mentioning how much he appreciates our town’s progressive politics. And that’s another similarity to Berlin, De Picciotto comments. “Berlin is very active politically,” she adds. “Portland and Eugene are a lot like that as well.”
So has the pair found a place that’s truly escaping gentrification while remaining supportive and livable for independent artists? “We thought that was a Berlin problem,” Hacke says. “This is a global development.”
Schnitzer Cinema: Hackeddepicciotto: Film Music by Berlin’s Art Nomads is 7 pm Wednesday, Jan. 23, at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art on the UO campus; FREE, all-ages. The duo perform 8 pm Thursday, Jan. 24, at Tsunami Books; $17.50, all-ages.