Film programme confirmed for Sounds and Visions - a marathon weekend curated by Max Ritcher and Yulia Mahr

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Barbican announces full film programme for Sounds and Visions a marathon weekend of film and music curated by Max Richter and Yulia Mahr

Sounds and Visions
The Barbican’s marathon weekend in 2018 curated by Max Richter and Yulia Mahr
Barbican Hall & foyer, Barbican Cinemas 1 & 2, LSO St Luke’s, Milton Court Concert Hall, St Giles’ Cripplegate
Friday 11 – Monday 14 May 2018
Tickets £10 – 35, plus free events
Produced by the Barbican

Renowned composer Max Richter and artist Yulia Mahr have confirmed final details of the film offering that completes their Barbican marathon weekend, dubbed Sounds and Visions. Cinemas 1, 2 and the foyer will host presentations of both experimental and documentary screenings; subjects include musicians, dance, artists, technology, science and more. Works from the 1950s to the present day are to be found in the programme, as are a cine-concert and Q&A.

Co-curators Richter and Mahr said: “StudioRichterMahr, our 25 year collaboration, has taken many forms over the years. From the cafés of Hackney, our kitchen table in Edinburgh, the studios and gallery in Berlin, to its current incarnation; deep in the English countryside, our work has encompassed all manner of collisions between sound and image, and this marathon weekend, ‘Sounds and Visions’ sums up one of our central concerns - that creativity exists as a social project that can illuminate the lives of individuals and society as a whole, and that art exists beyond all boundaries.”

Within the added material new highlights include:

  • Visionary epic Dog Man Star screened with a new score by electronic musician and producer Clark
  • Q&A and discussion with Max Richter and director of Waltz With Bashir, Ari Folman
  • A group screening of short films including The Powers of 10, The Very Eye Of Night, and Works of Calder
  • Peter Greenaway’s study of the artist Meredith Monk
  • A must-see for synthesizer fans, I Dream Of Wires
  • Experimental film making matched with equally experimental musicianship in Ornette: Made In America
  • Hypnosis Display, the collaboration between vocalist Grouper and the late filmmaker Paul Clipson
  • Harvard Sensory Ethnography Lab’s Ah humanity!, a reflection upon the Anthropocene

As previously announced, further highlights include:

  • Richter’s Infra and Three Worlds: Music From Woolf Works receive a UK and London premiere respectively in new, full orchestral versions
  • Two different takes on Bach come from Icelandic pianist Vikingur Ólafsson, presenting a recital of Bach’s keyboard music, and The Will Gregory Moog Ensemble who reinterpret Bach for massed synthesisers
  • Ambient producer Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith brings material from her album The Kid to the stage along with new visual accompaniments
  • A new project from American saxophonist Colin StetsonEX EYE in a debut London performance
  • A new audio-visual show from upcoming electronic visionary Jlin including dance receives its UK premiere
  • One of many young talents Richter and Mahr have invited to join Sounds and Visions is Caterina Barbieri whose trance-like music demonstrates her minimalist mastery of synths old and new
  • Roomful of Teeth performing the UK premiere of Caroline Shaw’s Pulitzer Prize-winning composition Partita for 8 Voices
  • Acknowledging Richter’s extensive work in film, BAME orchestra Chineke! conducted by Fawzi Haimor perform a live soundtrack alongside a screening of the Golden Globe Winning Waltz With Bashir, marking the 10th anniversary of its release


The full film programme for Sounds & Visions is now confirmed as follows.

The Powers of 10 (1977), Charles and Ray Eames with soundtrack by Elmer Bernstein / The Very Eye Of Night (1958), Maya Deren, with soundtrack by Teiji Ito / Works of Calder (1950), Herbert Matter, with soundtrack by John Cage
Saturday 12 May 2018, Cinema 1, 11:00 / Sunday 13 May 2018, Cinema 2, 11:00 & 14:00
FREE to holders of any marathon weekend event ticket

A trio of films will be shown in rotation in three screenings, one on the morning of Saturday 12 May and two on Sunday 13 May 2018. This begins with Charles and Ray Eames’ examination of the scale of the universe in The Powers of 10 (1977), followed by Maya Deren’s The Very Eye Of Night (1958) which captures dancers performing to music scored by Teiji Ito. The third film, Works of Calder (1950) by Herbert Matter, highlights the connection between nature and the works of sculptor Alexander Calder, featuring a soundtrack by John Cage.

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Meredith Monk (1983), Peter Greenaway
Saturday 12 May 2018, Cinema 1, 12:00
FREE to holders of any marathon weekend event ticket

Peter Greenaway’s study of the artist Meredith Monk (1983) is an excerpt from his documentary series 4 American Composers which also examined Philip Glass, John Cage and Robert Ashley; originally broadcast on Channel 4. In this screening the audience gains an insight into Monk’s works including Dolmen Music.

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I Dream Of Wires (2014), Robert Fantinatto
Saturday 12 May 2018, Cinema 1, 14:00
FREE to holders of any marathon weekend event ticket

With synthesizers featuring prominently across this marathon weekend I Dream Of Wires (2014) is an essential addition to the programme. Robert Fantinatto’s film plots both the history and resurgence of the modular synthesizer, including interviews with artists such as Gary Numan, Vince Clarke (Depeche Mode/Erasure), Trent Reznor and many more.

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Ornette: Made In America (1985), Shirley Clarke
Sunday 13 May 2018, Cinema 2, 12:00
FREE to holders of any marathon weekend event ticket

Acclaimed saxophonist and free jazz pioneer Ornette Coleman is the subject of this documentary by American experimental filmmaker Shirley Clarke. Emulating the playing style of Coleman, the film mixes excerpts from performances, interviews and music videos with re-enactments of Coleman’s childhood. Ornette: Made In America features footage of William S. Burroughs, Buckminster Fuller, Don Cherry and more.

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Dog Star Man (1982, cert. 18), Stan Brakhage, with live soundtrack by Clark
Sunday 13 May 2018, Cinema 1, 14:00
Tickets £15 plus booking fee

Stan Brakhage’s experimental film Dog Man Star will be screened, giving platform to this vast avant-garde cinematic journey. A live soundtrack performance accompanies Dog Man Star courtesy of electronic musician Clark. For this specially-commissioned live score, Clark will manipulate the sound of his own cello live, looping and superimposing sound as deftly as Brakhage splices the film. The Warp records artist has produced music and scores for a number of art, dance, film and TV projects, most recently including the soundtrack to Channel 4’s mini-series Kiri.

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Hypnosis Display (2017), Grouper & Paul Clipson
Sunday 13 May 2018, Cinema 2, 16:00
FREE to holders of any marathon weekend event ticket

16mm film collaboration between experimental vocalist and musician Grouper and filmmaker Paul Clipson, Hypnosis Display explores impressionistic, emotional and sensory environments found within the vast natural and urban landscapes of America. The work immerses the viewer in vivid, layered and collage-like imagery, interacting with haunting field recordings which make up the soundtrack.

This screening is presented as a tribute to Clipson who sadly passed away in February 2018. He previously performed Hypnosis Display live with Grouper in a Barbican produced event at LSO St Luke’s in 2014.

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Ah humanity!, (2015) Ernst Karel, Véréna Paravel, Lucien Castaing-Taylor
Saturday 12 & Sunday 13 May 2018, Barbican Foyer, all day

Ah humanity! reflects on the fragility and folly of humanity in the age of the Anthropocene. Taking the 3/11/11 disaster of Fukushima as its point of departure, it evokes an apocalyptic vision of modernity, and our predilection for historical amnesia and futuristic flights of fancy. The images were shot on a telephone through a handheld telescope, at once close to and far from its subject, while the audio composition combines empty excerpts from Japanese genbaku and related film soundtracks, audio recordings from seismic laboratories, and location sound. This audio-video installation was created by the Harvard Sensory Ethnography Lab and it will be screened in the Barbican’s Foyer.

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As previously announced

Friday 11 May 2018
The 12 ensemble: Whitley / Woolrich / Lutosławski
Friday 11 May 2018, Barbican Freestage, 18:00

In the first of four appearances across this marathon weekend, The 12 ensemble performs a range of contemporary works. A renowned group of chamber musicians and one of the UK’s leading un-conducted string orchestras, The 12 ensemble last performed at the Barbican as part of Sound Unbound in April 2017 alongside Norwegian violinist Mari Samuelsen.

This first installment, reflecting both some of their own influences and those of Richter, features Kate Whitley’s Autumn Songs (2016), John Woolrich’s Ulysses Awakes (1989) and Musique funèbre (1958) by Witold Lutosławski.

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Sounds and Visions: Session 1
Max Richter with The 12 ensemble: Infra + Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith + Jlin + AGF
Friday 11 May 2018, Barbican Hall, 19:30
Tickets £25 – 35 plus booking fee

The first full-scale live performance of Max Richter’s Infra in the UK crowns the opening day of Sounds and Visions. Originally a score to Olivier Award-winning choreographer Wayne McGregor’s Royal Opera House ballet of the same name (2008), Infra was later extended into a full album and released on FatCat Records in 2010, reissued by Deutsche Grammophon in 2014. For this concert Richter will be joined by The 12 ensemble.

Support comes in the form of a new audio-visual show from Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, a modular synth sound sculptress and orchestral composer. Her performance will draw from material within her latest release The Kid (Western Vinyl, 2017) whilst employing specially created projections. As a Berklee College of Music graduate of composition and sound engineering, Smith’s synthesizer-focused solo works have received much praise; her album Ears (Western Vinyl) appeared in numerous ‘best of 2016’ lists.

Opening the first Barbican Hall performance of this marathon weekend will be Jlin, a fast-rising electronic musician whose most recent commission echoes the career of Richter. Jlin composed the score for AutoBIOgraphy, a new work by Wayne McGregor that premiered at Sadler’s Well in October 2017. This audio-visual show, combining material from her widely acclaimed second album Black Origami (Planet Mu, 2017), with choreography by Lillian Grace Steiner and visual components by Theresa Baumgartner will be a UK premiere.

Following the concert sound artist AGF performs on the Barbican ClubStage; melding electronica and spoken word AGF’s mixed media performance brings day one of Sounds and Visions to a close.

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Saturday 12 May 2018

Sounds and Visions: Session 2
Vikingur Ólafsson + The Will Gregory Moog Ensemble
Saturday 12 May 2018, LSO St Luke’s, 14:00
Tickets £15 plus booking fee

Icelandic pianist Vikingur Ólafsson is a prolific artist whose body of work belies his years, from recording Philip Glass’ Etudes (Deutsche Grammophon, 2017), composing five original piano concertos, and founding the Reykjavík Midsummer Music event. Ólafsson has also found time to record a selection of the works of Bach due for release this year and it will be a programme of Bach compositions that Ólafsson brings to Sounds and Visions.

Also appearing within Session 2 is Will Gregory, a musician and producer, best known as one half of electronic music duo Goldfrapp, as well as for performances with Peter Gabriel, The Cure, Portishead and more. For the marathon weekend he appears in the form of The Will Gregory Moog Ensemble, featuring a full complement of nine other luminary musicians, also turning their attention to Bach via transcriptions for synthesizers and electronic instruments. The ensemble previously appeared at the Barbican in 2015 as part of The Moog Concordance, a three-day series marking ten years since the death of Dr Robert Moog.

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Sounds and Visions: Session 3
London Syrian Ensemble
Saturday 12 May, St Giles’ Cripplegate, 16:30
Tickets £10 plus booking fee

Sounds and Visions will feature a performance from the London Syrian Ensemble, a collective of some of Syria's finest musicians based in the UK. They are a group of both newly arrived and long-term residents who either studied or taught at the eminent Damascus Conservatoire. Many members were also part of the Syrian National Orchestra and the Syrian Symphony Orchestra. The ensemble brings the sounds of Syria through a diverse repertoire of classical and traditional music from the region. The ensemble includes oud, kanun, ney, violin, viola, double bass and percussion, with performances also including cherry-picked guest vocalists.

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Sounds and Visions: Session 4
BBC Symphony Orchestra with Roomful of Teeth conducted by André de Ridder: Ives, Berio, Richter + Colin Currie Group with Synergy Vocals: ReichSaturday 12 May 2018, Barbican Hall, Note new start time: 19:00
Tickets £25 – 35 plus booking fee

Saturday’s headline event sees Richter delve into some of his most significant influences, including music by noted experimental composer Luciano Berio with whom he studied in Italy.

The BBC Symphony Orchestra and conductor André de Ridder will perform American modernist composer Charles IvesThe Unanswered Question (1908). As per Ives’ original direction the piece will be staged with groups of players separated, offstage and across the auditorium – amplifying the call and response of the musical questions.

Colin Currie Group joins proceedings in a rendition of Steve Reich’s Tehillim (1981). Reich himself hailed their 2017 Tokyo performance of this work as “the best I’ve ever heard”. Specialising in the works of Reich and conducted in the performance by Colin Currie, this virtuosic ensemble is rivalled by few as the perfect group to bring Reich’s works to life. The ensemble are joined here by Synergy Vocals, a group whose association with Steve Reich began with their first performance in 1996, of Tehillim. Over the last 20 years they’ve appeared at prestigious venues and festivals worldwide.

The BBC SO also take to the stage for Berio’s Sinfonia, originally commissioned by the New York Philharmonic for its 125th anniversary (1968-69), this innovative work employs eight voices, used in a non-traditional classical way alongside the orchestra. Vocals come courtesy of Grammy-winning vocal group Roomful of Teeth who also deliver a standalone performance on the Sunday of Sounds and Visions.

Additionally, for Sounds and Visions Richter and the BBC SO perform Richter’s Three Worlds: Music From Woolf Works (2015). Originally a three-part score for the ballet Woolf Works by Wayne McGregor, the work musically interprets three of Virginia Woolf’s books; Mrs Dalloway, Orlando and The Waves. Following its initial incarnation as a score the work was released as an album in January 2017 on Deutsche Grammophon. This will be the work’s London premiere performance.

This performance has been reprogrammed and will now be presented in three parts; Colin Currie Group and Synergy Vocals will start the concert, followed by an interval during which The 12 ensemble will perform on the FreeStage. Part two will feature the BBC SO and Roomful of Teeth, followed by a further interval. The evening is brought to a close with the BBC SO joined by Richter.

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The 12 ensemble: Dessner
Saturday 12 May 2018, Barbican Freestage, Note new start time: 19:40

In their second Freestage concert, The 12 ensemble follow on from their performance of Witold Lutosławski’s Musique funèbre with a tribute to the Polish composer. The ensemble will present Réponse Lutosławski (2014) by Bryce Dessner. A highly sought-after artist in his own right Dessner is also known by many for his role as a guitarist in American rock act The National. Dessner himself has appeared at the Barbican on several occasions including as curator of 2015’s marathon weekend Mountains and Waves.

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Sunday 13 May 2018
Sounds and Visions: Session 5
EX EYE + Caterina Barbieri
Sunday 13 May 2018, Milton Court Concert Hall, 14:00
Tickets £15 plus booking fee

This double bill welcomes the new project from American saxophonist Colin Stetson, EX EYE. In their debut London performance, EX EYE unites Stetson with drummer Greg Fox, multi-instrumentalist Shazad Ismaily and guitarist Toby Summerfield to unleash extreme post-metal.

The concert also welcomes Italian-born, Berlin-based composer Caterina Barbieri. Working across both old and new synthesizers Barbieri’s music has a minimalist focus, exploring themes of human and technological interaction. Alongside two solo releases and an international performance schedule Barbieri has studied at a number of esteemed institutions including the renowned Elektronmusikstudion in Stockholm.

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Sounds and Visions: Session 6
Roomful of Teeth + Claire M Singer
Sunday 13 May 2018, St Giles’ Cripplegate, 17:00
Tickets £10 plus booking fee

In their second appearance within the marathon weekend Roomful of Teeth brings a UK premiere performance of Partita for 8 Voices (2012) to Sounds and Visions. This a cappella composition by American composer Caroline Shaw was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2013, with Shaw being the youngest ever recipient of the award. The eight voices of Roomful of Teeth have studied a vast number of vocal techniques, from Inuit and Tuvan throat singing, to Broadway belting and Death Metal singing. Their worldly approach to their craft and commissions aims to forge a new repertoire without borders.

Also appearing at this concert is composer, producer and performer Claire M Singer, presenting her organ work. She last appeared at the Barbican in 2016 in support of post-rock duo Stars of The Lid as part of the Barbican’s Transcender series.

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The 12 ensemble: Taverner / Glass / Levi / Pärt / Sigur Rós
Sunday 13 May 2018, Barbican Freestage, 18:00

The 12 ensemble continue their eclectic choices in their final Freestage performance of the marathon weekend. This closing programme offers John Tavener’s The Lamb (1982), Philip GlassCompany II (1982), Mica Levi’s Love from the film Under The Skin, Fratres (1977) by Arvo Pärt and Fljotavik (arr. 12 ensemble) by Sigur Rós.

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Sounds and Visions: Session 7
Richter: Waltz with Bashir performed by Chineke! conducted by Fawzi Haimor
Sunday 13 May 2018, Barbican Hall, 19:30
Tickets £25 – 35 plus booking fee

Amongst Richter’s expansive canon of work are a number of acclaimed film scores, such as that for the Golden Globe-winning animated feature Waltz With Bashir (2008). To bring the score to life, alongside a screening of the film, Chineke! Orchestra will be conducted by Fawzi Haimor in the closing concert of 2018’s Barbican marathon weekend.

Europe’s first majority Black and Minority Ethnic orchestra, the Chineke! group is formed of a number of exceptional musicians from across the continent. The foundation and its flagship ensemble exist to champion change and celebrate diversity in classical music. They have performed internationally and have appeared at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the BBC Proms.

Director Ari Folman’s Waltz With Bashir is an autobiographical piece, in which he searches for lost memories of his time as a 19-year-old infantry soldier in the 1983 war between Israel and Lebanon.

Now confirmed: to follow this performance Richter and Folman will appear in discussion on the Barbican’s stage, they will recount details of their highly regarded collaboration and also take questions from the audience.

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Barbican Box Music 2017/2018

In addition to co-curation of the Sounds and Visions marathon weekend, Max Richter is aligning with Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning for Barbican Box Music 2017/2018. The learning programme also welcomes experienced musician and educator Paul Griffiths.

The Barbican Box project supports teachers and students from east London schools to create their own songs using objects, inspiration and ingredients from a specially curated ‘Box’. The contents are inspired by the Barbican Contemporary Music programme, aiming to introduce students to new music and different ways of thinking about song-writing.

This year Richter and Griffiths have given Barbican Music Box 2017/2018 the theme – Reflections of Yourself. Using the objects that Richter and Griffiths have placed in the box, plus the box itself which is a large mirrored cube, the teachers will explore notions of personal history, autobiography, culture and identity with their students. Objects inside the box this year include a Kalimba, Cracklebox, PO-12 Drum Machine, Contact Microphone, Zoom H1 and a disposable camera.

Once boxes have been delivered to participating groups Richter and Griffiths will lead teachers through a day of training and Griffiths will make two mentor visits to each school. All groups will then be invited to the Barbican for an Artist Q&A with Richter, at which he will also perform. The project culminates in a showcase at the Barbican Hall on Monday 14 May 2018 in which young artists will perform their works, alongside Max Richter's Quintet. Tickets for this performance will be available to purchase for £3 plus booking fee.

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Notes to Editors

Barbican Box Office: 0845 120 7550