Anna Von Hausswolff’s church shows cancelled after protest of “satanist” music
Anna Von Hausswolff released a solo instrumental album made entirely on a pipe organ, All Thoughts Fly, in 2020, and she's been playing shows supporting it in cathedrals and churches throughout Europe this year, including Union Chapel in London. Her show scheduled for Tuesday (12/7) at the Notre-Dame de Bon-Port in Nantes, however, was protested by a group Nantes' deputy mayor Bassem Asseh called "intolerant radicals." The protestors accused Anna of making "satanist" music, The Guardian reports, and sang "Saint Mary, mother of God, pray of us poor sinners."
Anna's Paris show, scheduled for Thursday (12/9) at Saint-Eustache in Paris, was also cancelled following Tuesday's incident, with curator Yves Trocheris telling The Guardian that the move was "to ensure that public order was maintained at the gates of the church." On her Instagram stories, Anna wrote, "Paris don't give up we're trying to find a new space for the concert, more info soon."
Anna also discussed the incident in an Instagram post, writing:
Yesterday night the far-right Catholic integralism won over art, but not over love. Here I am waiting inside the church while listening to about 50-100 integralists chanting and screaming outside the church’s doors, blocking the way for almost 400 people. It was a scary, tense and sad situation and there was nothing for us to do but to cancel, we had too little security. My thoughts go out to all of you amazing fans who stood peacefully and patiently in front of these guys, I loved that you remembered that these things will never be solved by violence. Me and the church are working together and not against each other. This has worked very well, both parts are happy. Lots of love and respect. Thousands of people have traveled to come to these shows, and there has been nothing but love and affection in the air, both from my audience and from the church. When different people try to overcome differences and barriers that’s when true healing begins.
A statement from Eli Commins, director of le lieu unique, who promoted the Nantes show, called the cancellation "an attack on the freedom of creativity and expression." "At 21.10, after many unsuccessful attempts to find a favourable outcome, we had to take the decision, in agreement with the artist, to not open the doors in order to protect the security of everyone present," he continued. He also spoke against "unfounded accusations of desecration" against Anna, telling Ouest-France, "There is no religious inspiration, no violence! She just plays the organ, and organs are found in churches. It’s post-metal-influenced music."
Stream All Thoughts Fly below.