Stephan Eicher, down from his raft, takes to the road again


Stephan Eicher in concert at La Cigale, in Paris, on January 20, 2023.

In the spring and summer of 2021, Stephan Eicher played on a raft. A real one, made of wooden planks mounted on barrels and crates, with a mast, a sail, ropes… A traveling structure called “The Raft of the Useless”, which had traveled to several places in Switzerland (in the mountain pastures , near a river, in front of heritage buildings…) and was installed from July 6 to 10 at 106, in Rouen. In the fall of 2022, it was deconstructed. “A piece of wood remains that was used to make this guitar”says Stephan Eicher, met on January 19 at La Cigale, Parisian stage of his new tour, which, in addition to France, will take him to Switzerland and Belgium.

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Baptized “And That’s Tower”, it started a few days earlier and is currently scheduled to run until May 25. Rather in theaters, rooms that allow intimacy, proximity. Out of loyalty to the wood, Stephan Eicher and his three instrumentalists sit around a large table, with huge chests placed vertically at the back of the stage, and a cupboard on the side, who also play for parts in chorus.

Odethis is the title of Stephan Eicher’s album released in November 2022, which brings together twelve wonders – we have selected it from the list of our favorite albums of the year -, almost all of which are included in the repertoire of this tour, when, often, artists who already have a long career slip in three or four new releases and rest on the most famous titles and successes. Without contact, to start, then To our lonely hearts, The Lightest in the world, Storm, stunning, Lieblingsläbe, I would lie to you saying… In chiaroscuro lights, orange, bluish softness.

Streams of harp arpeggios

Stephan Eicher favored an acoustic or discreetly electric approach for this tour. On the keyboards, integrated into the large table and which we do not see, there is Reyn Ouwehand, who rather selects piano sounds, layers of strings, sometimes fine sounds of synthesizers. On bass, sometimes on guitar, it’s Simon Gerber. And then, leading towards a crazy charm, the waves of arpeggios, slidings, ornamentations in plucked strings, harmonics of a harp played by Noemi Von Felten. If all this suits the songs ofOde, those taken from previous albums – yes, No friend (like you), how long and lunch in peace are there – have also been arranged for this refined instrumentation.


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