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Barbican continues to offer new digital content and concert livestreams

Photo of the yellow line on the Barbican highwalk

A curated mix of livestreams, podcasts, playlists, films, videos, talks and articles enables audiences to continue to enjoy the Centre’s rich and varied programme from home or on the go during this second lockdown, inspired by the Barbican’s international arts programme.

Digital content is available for everyone to read, watch and listen to at and via the Barbican’s social channels. New independent film releases, exclusive one-off titles, ScreenTalks and curated film seasons and festivals are available to stream on Barbican Cinema On Demand. Our concert series Live from the Barbican continues from the Hall, livestreamed for online audiences. Podcasts can be accessed by subscribing to the Nothing Concrete podcast via Acast, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

The Barbican will reopen to the public again on Thu 3 Dec 2020, in line with government guidelines.


Highlights of the current and new digital content include:  

  • A new Nothing Concrete podcast between Nigerian-American artist Toyin Ojih Odutola and Erin J Gilbert, curator of Modern and Contemporary African and African American Art
  • Live from the Barbican continues with Cassie Kinoshi and SEED Ensemble (Sat 14 Nov) and Shabaka Hutchings and Britten Sinfonia (Wed 18 Nov) as part of EFG London Jazz Festival
  • Cinema on Demand: the annual London Palestine Film Festival; bold new queer cinema and exciting contemporary titles as part of Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Festival; and James Erskine's new documentary Billie as part of EFG London Jazz Festival
  • Live Barbican Facebook Q&A to celebrate Love Child with director Eva Mulvad and one of the documentary’s lead subjects, Leila Morsali
  • We Cover the Universe by Akin is a sensory online show for the under-fives and parents/carers and extended families, available via Zoom from Thu 10 Dec
  • Soundhouse: Intimacy and Distance - experimental audio works and written commissions exploring audio culture in a physically distanced world – is a free digital showcase
  • A selection of design-led gifts is available 24/7 from the virtual Barbican Shop


Full details of digital content:

Visual Arts

The Barbican releases a new Nothing Concrete podcast. In this inspiring conversation, Nigerian-American artist Toyin Ojih Odutola and Erin J Gilbert, curator of Modern and Contemporary African and African American Art, talk about creative process and storytelling. The podcast accompanies the exhibition Toyin Ojih Odutola: A Countervailing Theory, a site-specific installation for The Curve and the first-ever UK commission by Toyin Ojih Odutola. An epic cycle of new work unfurls across the 90-metre long gallery, exploring an imagined ancient myth conceived by the artist. An immersive soundscape by renowned conceptual sound artist Peter Adjaye fills the space in response to Ojih Odutola’s work. The exhibition will reopen on Thu 3 Dec 2020, in line with government guidelines and runs until Sun 24 Jan 2021.

To coincide with the first ever major exhibition on the groundbreaking dancer and choreographer Michael Clark, and to celebrate Clark’s creative friendship with musician Jarvis Cocker, the Barbican exclusively screens A Musical Response to Michael Clark: Cosmic Dancer. Cocker’s recently formed band JARV ISperform an exclusive set of songs including ‘House Music All Night Long’ from their latest album ‘Beyond the Pale’, a cover of The Velvet Underground’s ‘Venus in Furs’, a newly arranged version of ‘Further Complications’ from Cocker’s eponymously titled solo album, and a cover of ‘Big New Prinz’ by The Fall. The performance takes place in the newly-commissioned immersive film installation by Charles Atlas A Prune Twin (2020), the recreated set of Clark’s collaboration with The Fall for I Am Curious, Orange (1988), and in Sarah Lucas’s installation. Filmed by Andy Hui, this Barbican commission is available to view for free via the Barbican's website. The exhibition Michael Clark: Cosmic Dancer will reopen on Thu 3 Dec 2020, in line with government guidelines and runs until Sun 3 Jan 2021.



Live from the Barbican, the Barbican’s livestreamed concert series, continues during this month with performances as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival. In a concert to celebrate the life and work of spiritual jazz icon Pharoah Sanders, alto saxophonist Cassie Kinoshi leads the Mercury-award nominated SEED Ensemble on Sat 14 Nov, followed by saxophonist, clarinettist, composer and band leader Shabaka Hutchings performing with Britten Sinfonia on Wed 18 Nov.


Sat 14 Nov 2020, Barbican Hall, 8pm

SEED Ensemble and Special Guests Celebrating the music of Pharoah Sanders: Live from the Barbican

Part of EFG London Jazz Festival 2020

Tickets £12.50 (livestream)

Celebrating the life and work of spiritual jazz icon Pharoah Sanders (who turned 80 this October), Cassie Kinoshi and SEED Ensemble perform from his much-revered songbook, livestreamed from the Barbican Hall as part of EFG London Jazz Festival 2020.

A vital part of London’s thriving jazz scene, SEED Ensemble is a Mercury Award nominated ten-piece band, led by alto saxophonist and composer Cassie Kinoshi. Their style comes from the bustle of the city alongside the West African and Caribbean influences of Kinoshi’s heritage, exploring a blend of genres through original compositions and improvisation: a truly Black British sound. The band’s line-up features some of London’s most exciting and innovative young jazz musicians including trumpeter Sheila-Maurice-Grey (Kokoroko) and guitarist Shirley Tetteh (Maisha).

Co-produced by the Barbican and Serious in association with EFG London Jazz Festival

Wed 18 Nov 2020, Barbican Hall, 8pm
Shabaka Hutchings with Britten Sinfonia: Live from the Barbican

Part of EFG London Jazz Festival 2020

Tickets £12.50 (livestream)

Saxophonist, clarinettist, composer and band leader, Shabaka Hutchings, is one of the foremost proponents of the current British jazz scene. In this special concert as part of the Barbican’s newly devised autumn concert series, Shabaka Hutchings’ background as a classically trained artist will take centre stage. Blurring the lines between jazz and classical music and exploring the jazz idiom, he performs Copland’s Clarinet Concerto, written for the legendary ‘King of Swing’ Benny Goodman, alongside Britten Sinfonia, followed by Stravinsky’s Three Pieces for Solo Clarinet, and a solo improvisation on clarinet.

Barbican Associate Ensemble Britten Sinfonia will conclude the programme with a performance of Copland’s musical portrait of 19th century pioneers, Appalachian Spring, which brings together traditional Shaker melodies with his quintessentially American sound.

Full programme:

Copland Clarinet Concerto
Stravinsky Three Pieces for Solo Clarinet
Copland Appalachian Spring 
Co-produced by the Barbican and Britten Sinfonia



An expanded programme of ScreenTalks and exclusive partner festivals’ content are available on Cinema on Demand. Many films from the London Palestine Film Festival, Fringe Queer Film & Arts Festival and the EFG London Jazz Festival, which were originally scheduled for Cinema 1 and the Theatre, are now available to watch at home or on the go, as well as a selection of live and recorded ScreenTalks.

Cinema on Demand also offers a curated selection of independent new releases.

Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Festival
Cinema on Demand, Tue 10 – Mon 23 Nov

A selection of bold new queer cinema and exciting contemporary titles will stream on Cinema on Demand for an extended run with three pre-recorded ScreenTalks available to watch.

Making Sweet Tea (12A*) + virtual pre-recorded ScreenTalk with director Nora Gross
Dirs John L Jackson, Jr & Nora Gross, US 2019, 90 min
Available to stream: from Tue 10 – Mon 23 Nov
Pay per view: Full: £8.00 | Young Barbican: £4.00 | Barbican Members £6.40

If It Were Love (15*) + virtual pre-recorded ScreenTalk with director Patric Chiha
Dir Patric Chiha, France 2020, 82 min
Available to stream: from Tue 10 – Sun 22 Nov
Pay per view: Full: £8.00 | Young Barbican: £4.00 | Barbican Members £6.80

Cocoon (15*) + virtual pre-recorded ScreenTalk with director Leonie Krippendorff
Dir Leonnie Krippendorf, Germany 2020, 95 min
Available to stream: from Tue 10 – Mon 16 Nov
Pay per view: Full: £8.00 | Young Barbican: £4.00 | Barbican Members £6.80

For further information:

London Palestine Film Festival
Cinema on Demand, Fri 13 – Thu 26 November

The annual London Palestine Film Festival returns with a programme of films and discussions to encourage crucial dialogue about Palestinian cinema and culture.

It’s a strong year for UK premieres from Palestine’s most dynamic filmmakers including Najwa Najjar’s Between Heaven and Earth (Palestine/Iceland/ 2020), and Kamal Aljafari’s An Unusual Summer (Germany/Palestine 2020). The full programme is available at:

Pay per view: Full: £6.00 | Young Barbican: £4.00 | Barbican Members £4.80

EFG London Jazz Festival
Cinema on Demand, Fri 13 – Sun 22 November

Billie (15*) + Live on-line ScreenTalk
Dir. James Erskine, UK 2019, 98min
Pay per view: Full: £10.00 | Barbican Members £8.00
Plus live ScreenTalk with director James Erskine and co-producer Shianne Brown, hosted by broadcaster and DJ Zakia Sewell, on Sun 15 Nov

James Erskine’s film Billie will now stream on Cinema on Demand from Fri 13 – Sun 22 Nov. A newly-unearthed treasure trove of audio interviews about Billie Holiday form the basis of this new documentary profile of the great jazz singer.
For further information:

London International Animation Festival – Amazing Animations
Cinema on Demand: Fri 27 Nov – Sun 6 December
Pay per view: £2.50

Love Child Q&A

On Fri 13 Nov at 6pm Barbican Facebook will co-host a Live Q&A with director Eva Mulvad, film subject Leila Morsali, and Tara Sepehri, Far, Middle East and North Africa researcher for Human Rights Watch to celebrate the documentary Love Child (Denmark, 2019), which is available to stream on Cinema On Demand until Sun 6 Dec. Love Child is a heart-breaking portrait of Leila and Sahand, an Iranian couple who are forced to flee for their lives from Tehran where their secret affair and child born outside of marriage are both considered crimes, punishable by death.

Event Cinema

Some Event Cinema content has also been rescheduled, and will now screen in December and January: Exhibition on Screen: Frida Kahlo, originally scheduled for Wed 18 Nov, will now screen on Sat 12 Dec. NT Live: War Horse which was due to screen on Tue 17 Nov will now screen on Sun 13 Dec. Idiot Prayer: Nick Cave Alone at Alexandra Palace, scheduled for Thu 5 Nov, has been moved to Thu 14 Jan.

New Releases

Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project (US 2020 Dir Matt Wolf), is a fascinating documentary about Marion Stokes, who secretly recorded television twenty-four hours a day for thirty years.

Barbican Cinema on Demand is supported by the BFI FAN Resilience Fund, awarding National Lottery funding, and the Mayor of London's Culture at Risk business support fund.


Theatre and Dance

Akin – We Cover the Universe
Thu 10 – Sun 20 Dec 2020, times vary
Press performances: Fri 11 Dec 2020, 10.30am and 2pm
available via Zoom

Poetry, drawing and gentle play awaken the imagination in Akin’s interactive, sensory online show for the under-fives and parents/carers and extended families.

We Cover the Universe introduces audiences to Dot, when she’s feeling small. She’s stuck in a grey room until, one day, she starts to draw and dream. Plucking up the courage to venture out, she encounters a glorious new world of colour and learns there’s more to life than she ever thought.

Two friendly performers guide children and adults through simple movement and inventive art-making activities via Zoom, exploring how basic household objects feel and sound. With magical music, vibrant visuals and lovely language, this wondrous experience takes families on a journey together, wherever they are, transforming items and spaces before their eyes.

Presented and co-commissioned by the Barbican, tickets for We Cover the Universe are £5 per household and are on sale now.

In Sep 2020, Inua Ellams curated an online Poetry + Film / Hack for Barbican audiences, which saw established poets respond to the Oscar-winning classic, Spirited Away.

The poetic responses, which were read by Andy Craven-Griffiths, Amy Key, Zaffar Kunial and Raheela Suleman, are now available to read and listen to on the Barbican website


Level G Programme

Soundhouse: Intimacy and Distance

Available online Sun 17 Jan 2021

Soundhouse: Intimacy and Distance, is a free digital showcase of experimental audio works and written commissions exploring audio culture in a physically distanced world due to the ongoing pandemic. The project is a collaboration with audio-makers Nina Garthwaite (In The Dark) and Eleanor McDowall (Falling Tree Productions).

Three bespoke online ‘listening rooms’ have been guest-curated by the audio producer Arlie Adlington; multimedia artist and audio-maker Ariana Martinez; and award-winning sound designer Axel Kacoutié. These engage with subjects ranging from of the political power of personal storytelling to the sculptural qualities of sound - drawing together audio from traditional speech-led narratives to more abstract, sound-focussed works. Rather than letting people listen to programmes on demand, Soundhouse adopts a ‘live listening’ approach, which means, whenever listeners tune-in, they’ll be having a communal listening experience.

Soundhouse: Intimacy and Distance also explores how increased isolation and social distancing have affected our psychological relationship with audio and sound. The project included a survey of around 200 audio-makers and listeners, which revealed that 75% of respondents’ listening habits had changed since the pandemic began. They found themselves particularly drawn to presenters they considered familiar, comforting or friendly, and to podcasts and radio programmes that offered humour and escape from the anxiety-inducing news cycle.


Barbican Shop

A selection of design-led gifts can be ordered online from the Barbican Shop while the building is temporarily closed.

Architecturally inspired highlights include the exclusive Brutal collection of accessories and clothing featuring a playful take on the Brutalist style associated with the Barbican, a Brutalist calendar for 2021, and the Concrete Utopia clothing collection which has been created especially for the Barbican by Apparel & Lovers from their studio in Helsinki.

To accompany Barbican Art Gallery’s latest exhibition Michael Clark: Cosmic Dancer, Barbican Shop is stocking a range of items including t-shirts, bags and posters featuring classic designs from Michael Clark productions, as well as an exclusive reproduction of Peter Saville’s daring 1998 poster for current/SEE. Also available is a fully illustrated exhibition catalogue with rare photography, previously unpublished archival material, an exclusive interview with Michael Clark, and contributions by Charles Atlas, Jarvis Cocker, Kim Jones, Sarah Lucas, Elizabeth Peyton and Susan Stenger.

The Barbican Shop is available online at

The Barbican believes in creating space for people and ideas to connect through its international arts programme, community events and learning activity. To keep its programme accessible to everyone, and to keep investing in the artists it works with, the Barbican needs to raise more than 60% of its income through ticket sales, commercial activities and fundraising every year. Donations can be made here: