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Barbican announces Erland Cooper: Folded Landscapes and Balmorhea Barbican-debut.

Photo of multicoloured seats in the Barbican Hall

Erland Cooper: Folded Landscapes + Scottish Ensemble & guests

Acclaimed Scottish composer Erland Cooper returns to the Barbican with his recently announced fourth studio album, Folded Landscapes, in four intimate, immersive performances in the Barbican’s Pit theatre joined by Scottish Ensemble.

Hailed for work that celebrates themes of nature, people, place and time, Cooper continues to merge music with evocative storytelling and conceptional art in these performances of Folded Landscapes (released 5 May on Mercury KX). Recorded in sub-zero temperatures that slowly rose across seven movements, and with an audio master sun-burnt in the 40.9C heat of the hottest day in UK history, the album figuratively and literally thaws over time. The performances will take the album into new realms where Cooper will be joined by Scottish Ensemble, a collective of pioneering string musicians with whom he developed the album, and will also feature piano, voice, harpsichord, electronics and field recordings. Like the album, each performance will thaw too, melting gradually over seven movements. Though born from observations on climate change, Folded Landscapes and these performances are, ultimately, an opportunity to celebrate and cherish our natural world.

On Folded Landscapes, Cooper says “I hope in this new work, a listener will be rewarded for their patience from a cold, glacial ascent by a slowly thawing, burning hope.”

Cooper returns to the Barbican following a debut performance in Milton Court Concert Hall in 2019 and a Barbican Hall performance to live and livestreamed audiences as part of the Live from the Barbican series in 2021.

Produced by the Barbican in collaboration with Experience Studios.

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Following their recent signing with Deutsche Grammophon — Texan ensemble Balmorhea make their long-awaited return to London, and Barbican-debut, with a special concert at Milton Court Concert Hall. 

Known for stark-yet-vibrant portraits of emotional landscapes, Balmorhea take to the Milton Court stage after a lively 2022 that saw them release an EP dedicated to Harold Budd, a feature-length concert documentary filmed in Marfa, a deluxe reissue of their DG debut ‘The Wind,’ and newly commissioned works for Nils Frahm’s Piano Day, Brian Eno’s Earth Percent, and Randall Poster’s Birdsong Project. This exclusive live presentation will be among the ensemble’s first performances since 2018.

Balmorhea defies easy definition, spanning genres and resonating with a vast, worldwide listenership. The group have shared stages with many familiar Barbican acts, from neoclassical pianists Nils Frahm and Dustin O’Halloran, to experimental artists Oneohtrix Point Never and Grouper, to rock acts such as Efterklang and Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore. Their diverse perspective and expansive range - “both restorative and disquieting…” (The Atlantic) – invites in anyone seeking to engage in life’s fragility with sincerity and an open heart, in ways both painful and beautiful.

Balmorhea is Rob Lowe (piano) and Michael Muller (guitar), joined by Aisha Burns (violin) and Clarice Jensen (cello) and special guests.

[Balmorhea] is an exemplary experiment in restraint, lush with a slow-burning, wordless, and ambient Americana that manages to captivate while avoiding the histrionics of its post-rock forebears.” – The New Yorker

Produced by the Barbican in association with Bird of the Wire.

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