It’s always something

So Catholics think they have a monopoly on organ music? They think they get to dictate who can and can’t compose and play organ music? Why would that be the case? Who has the authority to make it the case? What’s next, we have to seek permission from religious fanatics to play any instrument at all, and to sing, and to hum under our breath?

After Catholic fundamentalists prevented Swedish musician Anna von Hausswolff from performing in a church in Nantes on Tuesday, the Paris church Saint-Eustache has cancelled her planned 9 December concert, citing concerns over security.

On Tuesday, a group described by Nantes’ deputy mayor, Bassem Asseh, as “intolerant radicals” blocked the entrance to the church Notre-Dame de Bon-Port ahead of von Hausswolff’s show, accusing her of making “satanist” music, despite the show being organised in accordance with the Nantes diocese.

Why didn’t the police remove the bossy censors from the entrance?

Von Hausswolff’s primary instrument is the pipe organ, largely found in places of worship. British music publication the Quietus described the Swedish Grammy nominee’s music as exploring “unmapped territory where post-rock, prog, doom metal, modern classical and high church music all coexist in uneasy alliance”. Her lyrics have touched on gothic themes.

And she doesn’t need anyone’s permission for any of that.

“Yesterday night the far-right Catholic integralism won over art, but not over love,” Von Hausswolff wrote on Instagram, alongside a photograph of herself sitting in the empty church “while listening to about 50-100 integralists chanting and screaming outside the church’s doors, blocking the way for almost 400 people”.

She said it was tense and scary and that they had no choice about canceling because they didn’t have security. Who knew organ music required security?

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