Thirteen for ’13 – Part 1

As a special kind of celebration for the new year, we asked our 13 team members which Summer Festival event they are most looking forward to seeing in 2013! (It was also an excuse for some word-play…) Take a look at our staff picks ahead of booking opening Monday 4 February at 10.00am.


Open Souls. Image: Alys Tomlinson

Helen, Office Manager and Volunteer Co-ordinator
I’m very keen to see Open Souls as Seb Rochford is simply one of the most talented and inventive musicians around at the moment. He’s very quietly spoken and then produces these incredible organic rhythms.  I have seen him play with Polar Bear several times and something magical always happens. It’s as if a door opens in the air when they play and something completely surprising appears. The idea of him exploring Indian classical music with Jason Singh beatboxing and the vocals of Ranjana Ghatak is very enticing. Bishopsgate Institute is the perfect venue to see them in as it’s very welcoming and informal, and has a kind of elasticity that suits contemporary performances very well.

I’m also drawn to Scanner: The Haxan Cloak. I’ve known of Scanner’s work for several years – from his early eerie guerrilla mobile phone network scanning to his reinterpretations of classical composers such as Handel, Bach and Sciarrino. He took these three to laptop and decks for last summer’s Night of the Unexpected in Bishopsgate Institute and it is somehow very satisfying to hear how he reworks the well-known themes and pieces.

The Haxan Cloak includes Scanner taking a new look at John Dowland’s Lachrimae – I’m eager to see how he mixes it up!

Open Souls
Friday 7 June, 8.00pm – 10.00pm

Kate, Programme Director: Festivals
The first of our Associate Artist Scanner’s (aka Robin Rimbaud) series is one that I anticipate will be full of surprise. Bobby Krlic, the sound artist behind The Haxan Cloak and a performer fast gaining a cult following, is creating a new work for this event which I hotly anticipate will be a stunning fusion of sound worlds framed with unique atmospheric visuals in his inimitable style. I love working at Bishopsgate Institute – the beauty of the building is cemented in the history of the area – and we’ll be inviting audience to drink in the Victorian splendour in an informal atmosphere. Perhaps one of the elements I am most excited about is the enticingly named Computer Junk Orchestra – instead of ending up on the scrap heap following a recent dabble with fame appearing in a well-known advert, this live orchestra of scanners and computers will be programmed to play versions of Dowland in a unique and spectacular installation. As you watch in disbelief you may even be invited to orchestrate your own computer performance…

Scanner: The Haxan Cloak
Saturday 8 June, 8.00pm – 10.00pm


Associate Artist, Scanner. Image: Alys Tomlinson

Michael, Marketing Manager
It’s probably fair to say that within the Spitalfields Music office, I perhaps have a reputation for needing some heavy caffeinating in the morning… and the afternoon… So, it’s a little unsurprising that I was drawn to our Associate Artists’, Early Opera Company’s performance of JS Bach’s quirky secular Coffee Cantata at new venue Hoxton Arches. And there’s more; not only do we get about half-an-hour’s music about coffee addiction, but there’s also coffee tasting from artisan caffeine experts Whitechapel Coffee Company! Yum.

Early Opera Company: Coffee Cantatas
Sunday 9 June, 1.30pm – 2.45pm & 3.30pm – 4.45pm


Early Opera Company’s Christian Curnyn with an East London Dance performer. Image: Alys Tomlinson

Samantha, Director of Marketing & Development
“Curiouser and curiouser” said Alice – and could there be a better philosophy for choosing festival events! Topping my curious-ometer would be the Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain’s programme honouring Robert Johnson. It has ukuleles in it, it has tall tales and legend, it’s a bit blue-grass and a bit Delta blues. Come to Shoreditch and be transported to a Mississippi knees-up. Can’t promise catfish and cornbread, but do expect a lot of fun – what’s not to like! A tightly-run second is sound artist (and Associate Artist) Scanner’s series opener with The Haxan Cloak. Scanner’s roll-call of projects spans Tate to Royal Ballet, fashion to architecture; his collaborative partners run the gamut from Bryan Ferry to Michael Nyman; and his admirers include Björk and Aphex Twin. So undeniably a smart cookie then, but in describing this installation he calls it “playful”, which is definitely short-hand for ‘curious’ – so for me, long-hand for ‘first off-the-block and on the front row.’

The Devil at the Crossroads
Monday 10 June, 7.30pm – 9.15pm


Image: George Nigel Barklie

Sanaa, Marketing & Box Office Assistant
Many people describe their musical heroes as legends, but Robert Johnson’s life was truly made of grand ones. The Devil at the Crossroads is sure to be a joyous and booming celebration of the blues man’s talents and so I much look forward to being a part of such a lovely, spirited event.  With performances from none other than the Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain, all I can say is I’m surprised a ‘Now that’s what I call legend!’ CD hasn’t been released yet.

If you would like to be transported to Mexico but are too in love with our Summer Festival programme to leave, Morgan Szymanski’s intimate performance at one of London’s gem venues, Hoxton Hall is for you. Three Sketches of Mexico really is a summer delight – with the cherry on top.

Morgan Szymanski
Monday 10 June, 6.30pm – 7.30pm


Morgan Szymanski

Clare, Programme Director: Learning & Participation
Charlotte Barbour-Condini has been working with the Learning & Participation programme over the winter providing a star performance with young musicians from THAMES Saturday Music Centre and she’s also been to school assemblies off Whitechapel High Street inspiring a number of our youngest participants before our Winter Festival 2012. The magical combination of extraordinary composers (JS Bach to Roxanna Panufnik), Charlotte’s dynamic playing, positively sparkling harpsichord provided by David Gordon all partnered with the atmospheric and intimate Hoxton Hall is irresistible.  I can’t wait for this concert!

Charlotte Barbour-Condini
Tuesday 11 June, 6.30pm – 7.30pm


Charlotte Barbour-Condini. Image: Benjamin Harte

Abigail, Chief Executive
In June I can’t wait for a return visit to Hoxton Hall.  In our Winter Festival 2012 it hosted EXAUDI and Opera Erratica with their beautifully intriguing ‘holographic opera’ Toujours et Pres de Moi. Arriving at the hall is like entering wonderland. Behind a modest door, from the streets of 21st-century Hoxton, lies a wonderful historic gem. As you enter, a whole other world opens up and London’s history gently re-presents itself to you.  And the hall itself, seating fewer than 150 people, wraps its audience up, enchants and somehow the outside world completely disappears for an hour or so.

We thought for this summer we’d put a series of intimate chamber concerts in the hall, featuring some of the UK’s brightest musical talent – from local girl and finalist in last year’s BBC Young Musician of the Year Charlotte Barbour-Condini to one of our most promising young composers Mark Simpson. The series ends with a new song-cycle by composer Emily Hall and writer Toby Litt. The pair were last featured with us with their piece for Streetwise Opera in our Winter Festival 2010. Their style, combining folk and classical traditions, is perfect for Hoxton Hall and the event promises an evening with one foot in the 21st century and the other in the past.

Mark Simpson
Tuesday 11 June, 8.30pm – 9.30pm

Wednesday 12 June, 8.00pm – 9.45pm


Lady Maisery. Image: Alys Tomlinson.

Watch out for Part 2 of Thirteen for ’13 coming soon…

You can explore our full Summer Festival programme on our website and make your own picks ahead of booking on Monday 4 February.  We look forward to hearing them!

Spitalfields Music Summer Festival
7 – 22 June 2013
Booking opens Monday 4 February, 10.00am | 020 7377 1362


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