OOFJ talks performance

Emma Roszkowski

roszkows@grinnell.edu

OOFJ features Jens Bjørnkjær as DJ and Katherine Mills Rymer on vocals. Photo by Jun Taek Lee

OOFJ features Jens Bjørnkjær as DJ and Katherine Mills Rymer on vocals. Photo by Jun Taek Lee

“It’s kind of hard for me, being very interactive with the crowd.” Though this statement could pose challenges for an upcoming artist, OOFJ has made their onstage shyness work for them. This past Saturday, Sept. 19, in Gardner Lounge, the Danish/South African duo of Jens Bjørnkjær and Katherine Mills Rymer performed a set that held audiences rapt, even as the performers downplayed the influence of audience feedback on their sets.

“I do a lot of pushing buttons during the show and trying to improvise the show. Of course you get the reaction from the crowd, but it’s also very busy doing just the actual work, trying to make something sound as cool as you can,” Bjørnkjær said.

“I find it very hard to have a stage banter like, ‘Hey everyone, we are OOFJ,’” Rymer added. “I might say three or four words in an hour and that’s kind of fine and, in some ways, it keeps this environment and this world without me going, ‘And now the next thing is…thank you for being here.’”

In terms of creating a unique environment using only their eerie blends of classical and electronic influences, OOFJ delivered. While the duo remained insulated within their own world—Rymer, eyes closed or fixed on Bjornkjær, crooned into the mic while she bounced along to the beat. Bjørnkjær, for his part, remained intent on his work and barely glanced up from the sound board—they managed to transport the audience as well. Any shortcoming in stage presence was quickly forgiven; attendees bobbed along to echoing harmonies, encompassed by the bubble of sound and energy. OOFJ’s performance was that of musicians over entertainers, and that was fine with the crowd.