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Actress & London Contemporary Orchestra

+ Duval Timothy, Silvia Kastel and Toxe

Actress playing with LCO at Barbican

Hazy Electronica goes orchestral as Actress and the LCO present the latest iteration of their ever-evolving collaboration, ahead of a new album released on Ninja Tune.

Texture has always been one of the primary concerns of Actress (aka Darren Cunningham), his music melding peculiar samples with decayed dancefloor sounds to create abstract, R&B concrète. In the LCO he finds an ensemble that matches his curiosity for finding new, unusual sounds – a plastic shopping bag becomes a snare drum, while a piano prepared with Blu Tack is transformed into a live sampler. Taking the helm on drum machine and laptop, Actress integrates with the LCO to become one instrument – the orchestra reimagined as a groovebox.

Complementing the performance is a programme of like-minded musical adventurers curated by Actress. Multi-disciplinary artist Duval Timothy opens the evening with his impressionistic piano compositions, before a performance from Silvia Kastel, whose music blends sound art, noise and dance music. After the show, Swedish producer Toxe will make a debut live appearance on the ClubStage with a set of jittery house rhythms, hip-hop beats and muscular pop.


‘The triumph lay in the deconstruction and re-contextualisation of electronic sounds within a world-renowned concert space‘
‘A project which attempts to find a way forwards by fusing electronic and orchestral music. It succeeded.‘


actress in the cinema

Barbican Meets: Actress


We talk to Actress (Darren Cunningham), about his upcoming project with the London Contemporary Orchestra, and his relationship to acoustic instruments.

photo of man over dj discs

Watch: Actress performing with the LCO

Watch Darren Cunningham, aka Actress, perform with the London Contemporary Orchestra in our Hall back in 2017.

Barbican Hall