It took a while. Started a good eighteen years ago, Sid Hille recently played his 500th solo concert and in so doing reached the conclusion of an epic saga. Staying true to his pneuma, the pianist soldiered on even through the hardships of the COVID 19 -ridden Spring of 2020: A string of shows already booked was quickly transformed into streaming events. The gamble paid off and the popularity of the ”Empty Church” events managed to surprise even their mastermind. According to Hille’s own statistics, on the busiest nights his audio-visual production reached in excess of 200 000 people.
Not before long, new plans were afoot. A concert on the 27th of May at the Temppeliaukio Church in Helsinki had been recorded and Hille pulled into the Ambience Studio with Abdissa Assefa as engineer to embellish the outcome with vintage synthesizers. ”Improvising to tracks of yourself improvising” is not a new method but the twosome managed to create and capture some truly momentous and mesmerizing moments. The end result is Here – Beyond the Infinite, a defiant ritual to ward off the wraiths of the pandemic.
Led by his conviction, Hille returned to the Temppeliaukio Church for an important event in September. His jubilee solo show number 500 provided the perfect backdrop to release the album. Overcoming a massive quandary was not what the pianist had expected when initially arranging his shows for 2020 but he prevailed.
SID HILLE: Here – Beyond the Infinite