Five reasons to get excited about contemporary music this summer

familiar high res resizedOur Summer Festival is jam-packed with new music, from Arun Ghosh‘s newly commissioned Spitalfields Suite to electronic musician Valgeir Sigurðsson‘s collaboration with City of London Sinfonia. Here are our top five reasons to get excited about contemporary music with us this summer:

1. Associate Artist: Arun Ghosh
Clarinettist Arun Ghosh is another of our Associate Artists this summer. He’s writing a new piece, Spitalfields Suite, inspired by the area’s rich history of migration. He’ll be looking at the musical traditions of the Huguenots, and the Jewish and Bangla communities, and is asking you to bring your instruments to Tales of Tradition & Trade for an interactive music-making session.

2. Immersive installations
At LimeWharf, experience the world premiere of MURAL, a multimedia installation exploring our personal, spiritual and physical relationships with the world around us. On Sunday 8 June, contemporary vocal ensemble EXAUDI performs within the installation to create an audio-visual intoxication. In Passing Light, composer Bryn Harrison works with digital artist Tim Head and London Sinfonietta to create an immersive experience where the audience are free to explore the space.

3. Cross-arts collaborations
Presented in partnership with Sadler’s Wells, we welcome Compagnie Käfig and Quatuor Debussy who combine boxing and contemporary dance with music from Schubert, Philip Glass and Glen Miller in Boxe Boxe. Having sold out shows at theatres around the world, the London premiere of this fantastic spectacle is a must-see event this summer. If you’re interested in music and film, check out the The Voice and the Lens curated by Sam Belinfante and Third Ear’s Ed McKeon. The night will feature work by composers, vocalists and film-makers including Lina Lapelyte, Lore Lixenberg, Jayne Parker and Artprojx. Remember the Holographic Opera in our Winter Festival 2012? Well Opera Erratica are returning with the visually stunning Triptych which combines music, avant-garde performance, art and fashion to engage with feminism and the absurdity of language.

4. Genre-defying sounds
Contemporary musicians are notoriously hard to define yet these musicians make it their mission to break any rules of convention. club inégales are transforming Wilton’s Music Hall into a jazz club with a special guests Evan Parker, Byron Wallen, Oliver Coates and more. Also at Wilton’s, hear firefly burning’s unique blend of Sufjan Stevens-style unadulterated pop, post-minimalism, gamelan and folk, while the Orchestra of the Age Enlightenment’s The Night Shift gets a Spitalfields mash-up in The Night Shift E1 presenting the OAE REMIX ensemble and their contemporary reworkings of baroque alongside Arun Ghosh and a DJ set.

5. New commissions and premieres
There are plenty of premieres to get your new music fix from this summer. See Matthew Herbert’s 20 Pianos, a piece which tells the stories of pianos around the world using samples and recordings, while City of London Sinfonia work with Icelandic electronic musician Valgeir Sigurðsson to perform his new work No Nights Dark Enough. Comedian and contemporary vocalist Stewart Lee joins pianist Tania Chen for an evening of world premieres from five British composers in Familiar/Unfamiliar. The works are conducted by Ilan Volkov, former Chief Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, more recently renowned for his experimentations in new music. We’ll be finishing with David Lang’s new commission Crowd Out – a work for no less than 1000 voices and we’re still looking for participants, so join us to create new music this summer!


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