Upcycling: Sustainable Sound

upcycleIn recent years upcycling has had its moment. Or more than a singular moment it would seem, as shiny new commodities have been pushed aside repeatedly in favour of repurposing existing belongings. Upcycling is all about taking what you already have, or what someone else doesn’t want, and adding to it to create something new.

You only have to look around you here in East London to see the popularity of the upcycled: Shoreditch is dripping in vintage shops, Dalston keeps popping up with cafes using food rescued from landfill, and our emails are filled with invites to workshops teaching us how to turn our old jumpers into hats.

This trend may greatly appeal to the eco-conscious millennials, but really dates back to the wartime attitude of ‘make do and mend’. Either way, it’s sustainable, it’s creative and it’s accessible for everyone, so needless to say we love it.

Spitalfields Music is all for ‘upcycling’: mixing the old with the new; taking what others think isn’t for them, and creating something new with it.

Therefore, it’s no surprise really that this year’s Summer Festival programme is full of events that mirror this wave. Reinventing and repurposing is what it’s all about and clearly these artists think so too:


Langham Research Centre: Dark TowerLRC-CREDIT-James-Birtwhistl

In this innovative experience, Langham Research Centre make use of seemingly obsolete technology – tape machines, sine-wave oscillators and phonographic cartridges – to make a fresh, experimental, dynamic sound.



King-Arthur bwClub Inégales: King Arthur

Taking Purcell’s 17th century opera, Club Inégales reinvent this piece of English history with a radical reworking. Breaking from convention, they improvise, add to and riff off the original to create something completely new and inspired.




Anno-CREDIT-eleanor-meredit BW

Scottish Ensemble: Anno

Using the infamous Four Seasons as a base, Anna and Eleanor Meredith modernise, visualise and digitalise a whole new world for Vivaldi’s well known work as you’ve never experienced it before!





For the full Summer Festival 2016 programme click here.



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