Press room

Upcoming Barbican own-promotion contemporary music highlights in 2020

Colour photo of Erland Cooper

The Barbican’s own-promotion contemporary music programme in 2020 features a wide range of national and international artists across many genres, showcasing established musicians alongside new talent and giving Barbican audiences the chance to hear new material live for the first time and experience exciting new collaborations. 

Inside Out

The Barbican’s 2020 year-long cross-arts programme, Inside Out, explores the relationship between our inner lives and creativity. Featured contemporary music events in 2020 include:

  • Damon Albarn: The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows (Tue 26 May 2020, Barbican Hall, 8pm)
  • Erland Cooper: An Orkney Triptych with the London Contemporary Orchestra + Amy Liptrot (Sat 13 Jun 2020, Barbican Hall, 8pm)

Contemporary-Classical

  • David Lang’s prisoner of the state (Sat 11 Jan 2020, Barbican Hall, 8pm)
  • Max Richter: Voices (Mon 17 & Tue 18 Feb 2020, Barbican Hall)
  • Kelly Moran and Missy Mazzoli (Fri 6 Mar 2020, Milton Court Concert Hall, 7.30pm)  

Electronica

  • Robert Henke: CBM 8032 AV (Thu 23 Jan 2020, Barbican Hall, 7.30pm & 9.30pm)  

Special Projects / Collaborations

  • Wacław Zimpel + Park Jiha (Fri 31 Jan 2020, LSO St Luke’s, 7.30pm)  
  • These New Puritans: The Blue Door (Sun 23 Feb 2020, Barbican Hall, 8pm)  
  • The Lark Ascending: People, Music, Landscape
    With Richard King, Arthur Jeffes, Andrew Weatherall, Vashti Bunyan, Daniel Pioro and friends, Rob St John, and Deep Throat Choir (Tue 24 Mar 2020, Barbican Hall, 7.30pm)  
  • Richard Dawson: Delight is Right (Sat 28 Mar 2020, Barbican Hall, 7pm)  
  • Lee Ranaldo & Raül Refree (Tue 7 Apr 2020, Milton Court Concert Hall, 7.30pm)  
  • Aoife O’Donovan (Fri 22 May 2020, Milton Court Concert Hall, 7.30pm)  

Film & Music

  • King Creosote: From Scotland with Love – Screening of Virginia Heath’s documentary film with live accompaniment (Sat 14 Mar 2020, Barbican Hall, 8pm) 
  • Julia Holter: The Passion of Joan of Arc (Sat 27 Jun 2020, Barbican Hall, 7.30pm)  

Showcasing New Albums

  • Wacław Zimpel + Park Jiha (Fri 31 Jan 2020, LSO St Luke’s, 7.30pm) 
  • Julian Cope (Sat 8 Feb 2020, Barbican Hall, 8pm) 
  • These New Puritans: The Blue Door (Sun 23 Feb 2020, Barbican Hall, 8pm) 
  • Efterklang + Kristín Anna (Sat 29 Feb 2020, Barbican Hall, 8pm) 
  • Patrick Watson (Fri 6 Mar 2020, Barbican Hall, 8pm)
  • Richard Dawson: Delight is Right (Sat 28 Mar 2020, Barbican Hall, 7pm)  
  • Lee Ranaldo & Raül Refree (Tue 7 Apr 2020, Milton Court Concert Hall, 7.30pm)  
  • Shards (Fri 17 Apr 2020, Milton Court Concert Hall, 7.30pm) 
  • Erland Cooper: An Orkney Triptych with the London Contemporary Orchestra + Amy Liptrot (Sat 13 Jun 2020, Barbican Hall, 8pm)

Jazz

  • Chick Corea Trilogy with Christian McBride and Brian Blade (Mon 16 Mar 2020, Barbican Hall, 8pm)  
  • Alison Balsom plays Sketches of Spain with Guildhall Jazz Orchestra (Wed 18 Mar 2020, Milton Court Concert Hall, 7.30pm)
  • The Jungle – Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis & London Symphony Orchestra / Rattle (Sat 30 & Sun 31 May 2020, Barbican Hall, 7.30pm)

Full concert listings details (in date order) below

David Lang’s prisoner of the state (European premiere)
Concert staging
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Sat 11 Jan 2020, Barbican Hall, 8pm
Tickets £15 – 40 plus booking fee

Composer and co-founder of pioneering new music collective Bang on a Can, David Lang’s new one-act opera prisoner of the state receives its European premiere at the Barbican in January 2020, as part of the Barbican’s Beethoven 250 celebrations. Lang’s work is a dark, futuristic retelling of the story behind Beethoven’s opera Fidelio – a woman’s struggle to rescue her partner from unjust imprisonment and execution – and asks searching contemporary questions about the price of liberty and the pursuit of truth in an oppressive state. Directed by Elkhanah Pulitzer and performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and BBC Singers under conductor Ilan Volkov with soloists Claron McFadden (The Assistant), Jarrett Ott (The Prisoner), Alan Oke (The Leader) and Davóne Tines (The Jailor). prisoner of the state uses original text material written by Lang, as well as scraps of Beethoven's original librettos (but not his music).

Produced by the Barbican and the BBC SO
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Robert Henke: CBM 8032 AV
Thu 23 Jan 2020, Barbican Hall, 7.30pm & 9.30pm
Tickets £12.50 – 15 plus booking fee

German sound and laser artist, composer and software developer (Ableton Live), Robert Henke returns to the Barbican’s contemporary music programme for two performances on 23 January 2020. Here he will present CBM 8032 AV – his latest computer graphics and sound project, which received its premiere at Unsound Festival in October 2019.

In this project, vintage hardware produces an audio-visual experience that is completely modern in its complexity and fluidity. It explores the beauty of simple graphics and sound, using five carefully restored computers from the early 1980’s, running custom software developed by the artist and his team. The work is about the ambivalence between a contemporary aesthetic and the usage of obsolete and limited technology from 40 years ago. ‘Everything presented within the project could have been done in 1980,’ says Henke, ‘but it needed the cultural backdrop of 2019 to come up with the artistic ideas driving it.’

Robert Henke, who is also known for his ground-breaking techno productions under the Monolake moniker, returns to the Barbican following on from his presentations of Lumière I as part of the Barbican’s Digital Revolution exhibition in 2014 and Lumière III in 2017.

Created by Robert Henke with Anna Tskhovrebov, Mark J-K, Ralf Suckow and Sebastian Wolf. Produced by the Barbican.
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Wacław Zimpel + Park Jiha
Fri 31 Jan 2020, LSO St Luke’s, 7.30pm 
Tickets £17.50 – 20 plus booking fee 

This special double-bill at LSO St Luke’s as part of the Barbican’s contemporary music programme brings together two artists from different sides of the globe: Poland and Korea. Here they both present their respective approaches to traditional sounds in contemporary contexts. Polish multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer Wacław Zimpel’s music has been inspired by jazz, electronics, minimalism and roots music from across the world. In his work he does not only blur the boundaries but eradicates them altogether to create a whole new musical language. His solo work includes the critically acclaimed album Lines and he also made his mark as a collaborator, most successfully with fellow Pole and musical explorer Kuba Ziołek, resulting in the Zimpel/Ziołek album; and his Saagara project has seen him successfully bring together the seemingly disparate disciplines of western jazz and Indian raga music. Wacław Zimpel will also soon release collaborations with James Holden and Shackleton.

Korean instrumentalist and composer Park Jiha’s vivid sound world is often contextualized by its kinship with minimalism, ambient and chamber jazz, and her creative backbone is Korean traditional music. Jiha formally studied both its theory and practice and she has mastered three of Korea’s most emblematic instruments: piri (a double reed bamboo flute), saenghwang (mouth organ) and yanggeum (hammered dulcimer). Park Jiha released both her debut and follow-up albums – Communion (2018) and Philos (2019) – to great critical acclaim on tak:til/Glitterbeat. Park Jiha said: My musical influences come from my life, and I think music comes from being human; a person’s music is ultimately representing that person. I know for sure that I have been living sincerely when I make music.

Produced by the Barbican
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Julian Cope
Sat 8 Feb 2020, Barbican Hall, 8pm 
Tickets £25.00 – 32.50 plus booking fee 

In anticipation of his brand-new album release for 2020, singer, poet, and occultist, Julian Cope brings a solo performance of music from his significant back catalogue to the Barbican in February 2020. The former front man of The Teardrop Explodes, and a key figure in mid-90s psychedelia, will bring psych-pop and masterful musicianship from across his career to the Barbican Hall – including pieces from his critically-acclaimed albums Peggy Suicide, Jehovahkill, and Autogeddon and his 2017 LP Drunken Songs – his 30th solo album.

With musical and literary output spanning over four decades, Cope has performed as a solo artist and in multiple collaborative projects with the likes of Sunn0))), and as a writer - with best-selling written works such as The Modern Antiquarian: a detailed first-hand study of the occult, mythology and Britain’s prehistory. Documented following 8 years scouring the British highlands and islands for lost stone temples of the first monument builders, The Modern Antiquarian established Cope as a voice for the occult, non-conformism and archaeology. This period of research also fed into Cope’s 2017’s Drunken Songs with tales of various stages and states of inebriation from across the British Isles – echoing his unashamedly hedonistic earlier career.

With a wealth of material and experience to draw upon, Cope will present a deep dive into his work - performed with inimitable showmanship, stage presence and peerless instrumentation. With his brand new album of songs to be released in January 2020, Cope brings this performance to the Barbican as part of his full UK tour.

Produced by the Barbican
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Max Richter: Voices
Mon 17 & Tue 18 Feb 2020, Barbican Hall
Tickets £35 – 45

The Barbican has co-commissioned Voices, a new work by composer Max Richter, known for his style that combines the classical tradition with the experimentalism of contemporary electronica. The world premiere performance will be given by an orchestra featuring a radically reimagined instrumentation. With this new commission, Richter continues his long-established relationship with the Barbican. Most recently he co-curated the Barbican’s marathon weekend of music and film, Sounds and Visions, with artist Yulia Mahr (May 2018), which followed on from a performance of his landmark eight-hour piece Sleep in an overnight event at Old Billingsgate alongside the Max Richter Ensemble in May 2017.

Produced by the Barbican
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These New Puritans: The Blue Door
Sun 23 Feb 2020, Barbican Hall, 8pm 
Tickets £17.50 – 22.50 plus booking fee 

English band These New Puritans, founded by twin brothers George Barnett and Jack Barnett, bring their latest TNP live event, The Blue Door, to the Barbican in February 2020.

The group defies categorisation, and this performance – which will be the band’s biggest undertaking to date – is no exception. The expanded line-up, including minimalist, pitched percussion, will cut across electronic, contemporary, classical, rock and industrial music. Based on the themes of sex, death, transcendence and love at the end of the human age, the concert features reinterpretations and rearrangements of music from across TNP’s four studio albums (including recent album Inside The Rose) alongside new material to be released in 2020. All combined and for the first time presented with an industrial stage installation and visuals from George Barnett and some of the band's collaborators including photographer and director Harley Weir, filmmaker and artist Daniel Askill and photographer Angelo Pennetta.

These New Puritans return to the Barbican following their sold out presentation of TNP EXPANDED which saw a performance of their album Field of Reeds in its entirety, and Lost Chords (old and new works, worked and re-worked) in April 2014; and their acclaimed Hidden Live concert in autumn 2010, which featured Britten Sinfonia, a children’s choir, 10ft taiko drums, multiple vibraphonists and live Foley techniques. 

Produced by the Barbican
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Efterklang
+ Kristín Anna
Sat 29 Feb 2020, Barbican Hall, 8pm 
Tickets £20 – 25 plus booking fee 

Seven years after their last album release, Danish band Efterklang make a welcome return with their fifth studio record Altid Sammen (released on 20 Sep 2019 on 4AD). London audiences can hear the new material, as well as songs from the lauded back catalogue, live at the Barbican in February 2020, when the band stops here as part of their European tour in support of the new album.  

Altid Sammen (meaning “always together”) is deep and sonorous, steeped in the sonic experimentation that has long been their trademark since Tripper, the band’s 2004 debut. As bold and ambitious in scope as their last collection of songs, Piramida, Casper Clausen (vocals), Mads Brauer (synths, electronics) and Rasmus Stolberg (bass) have taken another creative U-turn, this time fusing baroque instrumentation with their signature expansive sound. For perhaps the first time in the band’s history, they took a less-is-more approach to Altid Sammen, engaging on a more primal and emotional level. The album also sees the trio break from tradition with Clausen singing in his mother tongue some of his most personal lyrics thus far.

Altid Sammen’s songs are about belief and togetherness,” Clausen says. “Not in a religious way – none of us are believers of a defined religion. The words are searching for meaning in intimate relationships, in nature, in death and eternity. The bonds we create; to gather, hold hands, sing or share a moment together. We’re all connected, across nations, age, sex and gender. We come together with all of our backgrounds, and we move apart in all sorts of directions, always together.”
Efterklang return to the Barbican following sold-out concerts in 2009 (with Britten Sinfonia) and 2012 (The Piramida Concert) and their collaborative opera project Leaves - The Colour of Falling in 2017. 

Support comes from Kristín Anna who will perform a solo set with material from her album I Must Be the Devil. The former iconic múm vocalist has previously appeared at the Barbican as part of ‘An Evening with the Bel-Air Glamour Records Gang’ – Ragnar Kjartansson’s evening of performance art, poetry and experimental live music in July 2016.

Produced by the Barbican
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Patrick Watson
Fri 6 Mar 2020, Barbican Hall, 8pm
Tickets £20 – 25 plus booking fee

Montreal-based singer-songwriter, film composer and pianist Patrick Watson presents material from his latest album Wave (released on 18 October 2019 on Domino/Secret City) to Barbican audiences in March 2020. Here he will be joined by his full band, with whom he has been performing for over a decade.

Watson’s music is often described as ‘Chamber-folk’ which doesn’t quite do it justice or ‘Indie-pop’ which isn’t entirely accurate either. He is very diverse musically and has produced lush orchestral pop, experimental junk percussion, mariachi brass and even sci-fi R&B. But whatever mode he’s in, Patrick Watson strikes a balance of maximalism and subtlety, with meticulous arrangements supporting his tender songcraft.

In 2007, Patrick Watson and band were recipients of Canada’s prestigious Polaris Music Prize for their album Close To Paradise. Outside of his band projects, Watson has composed a number of scores for film and TV, notably for The Walking Dead and Wim Wenders’ Everything Will Be Fine.

Produced by the Barbican in association with Communion
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Kelly Moran and Missy Mazzoli
Fri 6 Mar 2020, Milton Court Concert Hall, 7.30pm 
Tickets £20 plus booking fee

Composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Kelly Moran and composer and pianist Missy Mazzoli bring their new collaboration to the Barbican’s music programme in a concert in the intimate surroundings of Milton Court Concert Hall in March 2020.

The evening sees solo sets from both artists with piano, keyboard and electronics, culminating in the UK premiere performance of their new collaborative piece for prepared/unprepared piano. Special guest violinist Etienne Abelin will join Missy Mazzoli for part of her set.

Brooklyn-based Kelly Moran’s music spans a wide range of genres, including classical, electronic, minimalist, jazz and metal and she utilizes the John Cage-pioneered technique of the prepared piano in her work. Moran’s 2018 album Ultraviolet was released by Warp Records to critical acclaim.

Missy Mazzoli has received critical acclaim for her chamber, orchestral and operatic work. In 2018 she became one of the first two women to receive a commission from the Metropolitan Opera, and her Vespers for Violin was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2019. Mazzoli is currently the Mead Composer-in-Residence at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Produced by the Barbican
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King Creosote: From Scotland with Love
Screening of Virginia Heath’s documentary film with live accompaniment
Sat 14 Mar 2020, Barbican Hall, 8pm 
Tickets £20 – 35 plus booking fee 

March 2020 sees the return of Scottish singer-songwriter Kenny Anderson aka King Creosote’s From Scotland with Love project to the Barbican’s music programme, which he first presented here at Milton Court Concert Hall in autumn 2014. The two Milton Court dates sold out very quickly, so this is another chance for Barbican audiences to experience a screening of the film with live accompaniment by King Creosote and his band.

Featuring Scottish archive footage, director Virginia Heath’s poetic documentary film From Scotland With Love features themes of love, loss, war, resistance, emigration, work and play and was commissioned as part of the Cultural Festival accompanying the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Conceived as an eleven-song soundtrack to the visual narrative, Anderson’s music was released to critical acclaim on Domino in July 2014, and this was his first-ever film soundtrack.

Kenny Anderson has become one of Scotland's most acclaimed and prolific singer-songwriters, bridging the gap between Folk tradition and modern electronica by blending acoustic instrumentation with digital soundscapes. In 2011, he was short-listed for the Mercury Prize for Diamond Mine, his collaboration with Jon Hopkins.

In September 2016, King Creosote launched his album Astronaut Meets Appleman in an intimate Barbican produced show at Hoxton Hall, which was followed by a larger showcase of the new material with an eight-piece band in the Barbican Hall in January 2017.

Produced by the Barbican
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Chick Corea Trilogy
with Christian McBride and Brian Blade
Mon 16 Mar 2020, Barbican Hall, 8pm 
Tickets £35 – 45 plus booking fee

American jazz pianist Chick Corea returns to the Barbican’s music programme in March 2020 alongside bass powerhouse Christian McBride and drum master Brian Blade. The trio will present a programme based on a range of inspirations, spanning from American Songbook standards to jazz classics, reaching back into Chick’s own back catalogue as well as that of some of his most renowned collaborators, including Miles Davis and Joe Henderson.

The trio has already earned two Grammy Awards for their 2014 landmark 3-CD set Trilogy, and the long-awaited follow-up album, Trilogy 2, was released on 4 Oct 2019 (Concord Records). Trilogy 2 is a two-disc set featuring tracks hand-picked by Chick from throughout the trio’s 2016 world tour.
“Both are master musicians and together we have an easy rapport," Chick says of McBride and Blade. "There is a lot of give and take in our music. It’s always a lot of fun”.

Produced by the Barbican
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Alison Balsom plays Sketches of Spain
with Guildhall Jazz Orchestra
Wed 18 Mar 2020, Milton Court Concert Hall, 7.30pm
Tickets £15 – 31 plus booking fee

Milton Court Artist-in-Residence, star trumpeter Alison Balsom and Guildhall Jazz Orchestra and director Scott Stroman give their take on Miles Davis’s ground-breaking concept album Sketches of Spain (arr. Gil Evans) which picked up where Kind of Blue left off in questioning the nature of jazz. This concert also offers the opportunity to hear the Guildhall Big Band performing Iain Ballamy's 21st Century Pastoral, starring the composer himself on saxophone.
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Part of Alison Balsom Milton Court Artist-in-Residence

The Lark Ascending: People, Music, Landscape
With Richard King, Arthur Jeffes, Andrew Weatherall, Vashti Bunyan, Daniel Pioro and friends, Rob St John, and Deep Throat Choir
Tue 24 Mar 2020, Barbican Hall, 7.30pm 
Tickets £17.50 – 22.50 plus booking fee 

This special evening at the Barbican was conceived by author and cultural historian Richard King during the writing process of The Lark Ascending, published in summer 2019 by Faber. The concert coincides with the paperback publication of his lyrical exploration of the relationships between the people, the music and the landscape of Great Britain, which takes Vaughan Williams’ most celebrated and popular composition, The Lark Ascending, as a starting point.
The performance will feature a seamless blend of music, specially-commissioned audio-visual content, spoken word and dance and will offer Barbican audiences an opportunity to experience an alternative reimagining of the book’s narrative, including appearances by many of the artists mentioned in the text.

Violinist Daniel Pioro, who will be joined by Barbican music programme regulars organist/pianist James McVinnie and viol player Liam Byrne as well as cellist Clare O’Connell, will open the evening with a new arrangement of Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending. Musician, composer and producer Arthur Jeffes will present a selection of Penguin Cafe Orchestra material, whilst Deep Throat Choir will perform their own arrangements of songs from the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp songbook. Singer-songwriter Vashti Bunyan will contribute a short set of her own songs, and DJ and producer Andrew Weatherall will close the evening with a specially-composed new piece of music. The overall music and video direction comes from artist and musician Rob St. John who will also weave his own compositions into the concert.

Produced by the Barbican
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Richard Dawson: Delight is Right
Sat 28 Mar 2020, Barbican Hall, 7pm 
Tickets £17.50 – 25 plus booking fee 

Following the release of 2020, his new and highly-anticipated sixth solo album (released on 11 October 2019 on Weird World/Domino), celebrated Northumbrian songsmith Richard Dawson presents a specially curated evening at the Barbican – a gathering of his friends, fellow travellers and favourites. The eclectic line-up (tba) will reflect the breadth of Dawson’s influences and performances will stretch across two stages and culminate in a headline Richard Dawson set in the Barbican Hall. For this he will be joined by a full band, presenting new material from 2020 – a hard-hitting state-of-the-nation study on contemporary Britain which introduces the listener to grand themes through small lives and portraits of human beings struggling with recognisable concerns, conflicts and desires. Dawson’s music has been described as a blend of traditional English and jazzy psych folk and North Country Blues.

Produced by the Barbican in association with Upset The Rhythm
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Lee Ranaldo & Raül Refree
Tue 7 Apr 2020, Milton Court Concert Hall, 7.30pm 
Tickets £25 plus booking fee

Singer, songwriter, guitarist, poet, visual artist and co-founder of Sonic Youth, Lee Ranaldo and renowned producer Raül Refree will bring their new creative partnership to the Barbican’s music programme in April 2020. In the intimate setting of Milton Court Concert Hall the duo will present material from their forthcoming new album Names of North End Women (out on Mute on 21 Feb 2020).

Considering that Ranaldo is ranked as one of the greatest guitarists of his generation and Refree is an artist who has been reinventing traditional flamenco guitar (his album with Rosalía continues to grow internationally), Names of North End Women was recorded with surprisingly little or no guitar. Using marimba and vibraphone, as well as analogue sounds from old cassette tapes, the new album is a collection of songs and spoken word pieces alive with experimentalism, loosely themed around the lives that pass in and out of one’s own over course of time.

Ranaldo and Refree first worked together on Ranaldo’s last solo album, Electric Trim (Mute, 2017), and soon after the pair returned to the studio to record the follow-up, they realised would become what Ranaldo describes as “the beginning of a new partnership, a new configuration".

Produced by the Barbican
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Shards 
Fri 17 Apr 2020, Milton Court Concert Hall, 7.30pm 
Tickets £15 plus booking fee

London based vocal group Shards led by singer, composer and producer Kieran Brunt returns to the Barbican’s contemporary music programme in April 2020, presenting material from their debut album Find Sound which was released on Erased Tapes on 30 Aug 2019. Combining voices, synths and percussion, Find Sound is an exploration of the human voice; using the concepts of sound and light as simple metaphors for gaining understanding. The album’s pieces are intended to be miniature sonic paintings, with each adding to an overall picture of the emotional confusion of early adulthood: the uncertainty, the excitement, the terror and relief.
Shards was conceived in 2016 in collaboration with the Barbican and debut at the Nils Frahm curated marathon weekend Possibly Colliding, which led to further collaborations on the choral arrangements for Frahm’s 2018 album All Melody. Shards has since gone on to collaborate with other notable artists, including Michael Price on his recent LP Tender Symmetry.
Shards is Kieran Brunt, Lucy Cronin, Sarah Latto, Bethany Horak-Hallett, Kate Huggett, Chris Huggon, Jack Lawrence-Jones, Rose Martin, Augustus Perkins Ray, Oli Martin-Smith, Josephine Stephenson and Héloïse Werner.

Produced by the Barbican
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Aoife O’Donovan
Fri 22 May 2020, Milton Court Concert Hall, 7.30pm
Tickets £20 – 25 plus booking fee

Sought-after Irish-American vocalist and songwriter Aoife O’Donovan makes her Barbican music programme debut in May 2020, in an intimate concert at Milton Court Concert Hall, performing solo and with a string quartet featuring fiddle player Jeremy Kittel.
Recognised for her ethereal voice and substantive songwriting, Aoife O’Donovan is also known for her collaborations. Her most recent one being the band project I’m With Her, comprised of O’Donovan and fellow singer-songwriters Sara Watkins and Sarah Jarosz. Their debut album, See You Around, was released in February 2018 to critical acclaim. 

As a solo artist, O’Donovan has released two studio albums: In the Magic Hour (2016) and her debut solo album, 2013's Fossils.
O'Donovan spent the preceding decade as co-founder and front woman of the bluegrass string band Crooked Still. She is the featured vocalist on The Goat Rodeo Sessions, the Grammy-winning album by Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile and is one-third of the female folk-noir trio Sometimes Why. Throughout her career, Aoife O’Donovan has also collaborated with artists such as Alison Krauss and jazz trumpeter Dave Douglas and is currently a member of the house band on Chris Thile’s Live From Here public US radio variety show.

Produced by the Barbican
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Damon Albarn:  The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows
Tue 26 May 2020, Barbican Hall, 8pm 
Tickets £20 – 40 plus booking fee 

Singer, songwriter and composer Damon Albarn’s new project The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows, which is inspired by the landscapes of Iceland, will receive its UK premiere at the Barbican in May next year. The title is taken from a John Clare poem entitled Love and Memory.
Damon Albarn will perform this new, very personal, piece with an ensemble and specially commissioned visuals. What can be more fascinating than the signs of the passage of time and the fragility of nature?

Damon Albarn is a singer, songwriter, composer and producer, and founder member of Blur, Gorillaz and The Good, The Bad & The Queen. Damon Albarn: The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows is part of Inside Out, the Barbican’s 2020 year-long programme exploring the relationship between our inner lives and creativity.

Produced by the Barbican
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The Jungle
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis
& London Symphony Orchestra / Rattle 

Sat 30 & Sun 31 May 2020, Barbican Hall, 7.30pm
Tickets £40 – 85

Barbican International Associate Ensemble, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis return to the Barbican for their 5th International Associate Residency, including a collaboration with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle on the European premiere of Marsalis’ The Jungle (Symphony No. 4), inspired by the multicultural asphalt jungle of New York City (further residency details tba).

Produced by the LSO and the Barbican
Part of the LSO's 2019/20 Season and Barbican Presents
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Erland Cooper: An Orkney Triptych
with the London Contemporary Orchestra
+ Amy Liptrot

Sat 13 Jun 2020, Barbican Hall, 8pm
Tickets £20 – 25 plus booking fee

Hailing from the archipelago of Orkney in Scotland, composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Erland Cooper explores the natural world of birds, the sea and landscape, manifesting in an immersive collection of music, words and imagery. Originally part of The Magnetic North and Erland & The Carnival, Cooper returns to the Barbican in June 2020 after his sell-out solo debut in Spring 2019. He will be joined by the London Contemporary Orchestra for a transportive journey across a trilogy of albums inspired by Cooper’s childhood home of Orkney, its air, sea, land, community and native dialect. The evening will combine his debut solo record Solan Goose (2018) – an ode to escapism, written to ease anxieties, amplified in a busy city, featuring piano, strings, electronics and wild birdcalls – and the award-nominated Sule Skerry (2019), inspired by Orkney seascapes. The concert will also preview the final record in this series, which looks at the islands’ land community, myth and mythology (to be released in 2020). 

The evening will also feature a spoken word contribution from award-winning author Amy Liptrot. Like Cooper, Liptrot originates from Orkney and wrote her acclaimed debut memoir based on her experiences of needing to leave the difficulties and alcoholism of her London life and finding peace and refuge in her childhood surroundings. Her book, The Outrun, is a Sunday Times top ten bestseller and winner of the 2016 Wainwright prize. Erland Cooper: An Orkney Triptych is part of Inside Out, the Barbican’s 2020 year-long programme exploring the relationship between our inner lives and creativity.

Produced by the Barbican
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Julia Holter: The Passion of Joan of Arc
Sat 27 Jun 2020, Barbican Hall, 7.30pm 
Tickets £17.50 – 25 plus booking fee 

In this Barbican film and music event in summer 2020, the emotionally charged sound world of Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter, composer and producer Julia Holter meets the intensely expressionistic universe of a landmark of early cinema – director Carl Theodor Dreyer’s 1928 film The Passion of Joan of Arc.
Commissioned by Opera North Projects, Holter presents her new soundtrack for this silent masterpiece, scored for and performed with the 36-strong Chorus of Opera North, plus her own band.

Over the course of her five studio albums, Julia Holter has pushed into new territories, experimenting with vocals, song-writing and musical structure. The commission to score Dreyer’s visionary film about the martyrdom of the French saint, gave her an opportunity to dig deeper into her fascination with the music and art of the medieval era.

From its very first screening, various soundtracks have been created for Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc, with music by composers as diverse as Nick Cave and J S Bach. On its release in 1928, the film caused a minor scandal. Condemned unseen in France, vilified by Catholic authorities and also banned in England for its depiction of English soldiers, it is now recognised as a cinematic masterpiece, startlingly ahead of its time. Based on the actual transcription of the trial, its claustrophobic close-ups and striking performance by Renée Maria Falconetti give an evocative account of the French heroine’s final moments.
Julia Holter returns to the Barbican following her appearance with s t a r g a z e in a career retrospective with specially commissioned chamber arrangements in autumn 2014.

Commissioned by Opera North Projects, co-produced by the Barbican and the Brudenell Social Club
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