The Magnetic Fields: 50 Song Memoir

Songs 1 to 25

9 September 2017 / 19:30
Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields catalogues a life in verse with 50 songs, each dedicated to one of his years on earth – tonight taking us through to the cliffhanger at the end of his first quarter century.

With black humour and disarming frankness, Merritt guides us on a chronological journey through his life. From his birth, via enforced beatnik Buddhist retreats, to stumbling back from glamorous excess of 80s New York discos – his deep, affectingly deadpan bass tells a personal history through understatedly theatrical Pop miniatures.

It’s not Merritt’s first time undertaking such a gargantuan and unique project. His writing for The Magnetic Fields often has a conceptual structure and focus – their breakthrough record 69 Love Songs was, as the name suggests, a collection of 69 love songs, while 2004’s i contained songs whose titles each began with the letter ‘I’. Tonight’s project presents the live rendition of 50 Song Memoir, a five-disc chronicle of the songwriter’s first 50 years on earth.

The second half of the story (songs 26 to 50) is on 10 September, click here for more information. Buy tickets to both 50 Song Memoir shows in the same transaction and receive 20% off your booking.

This event is part of:
Produced by the Barbican and The Magnetic Fields

Co-commissioned by the Barbican, Edinburgh International Festival, BAM, the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, and Melbourne Festival.

Barbican Contemporary Music
London’s home to the boldest new jazz, world, folk, contemporary classical, rock, pop & electronic music from across the globe.