Preview: London Contemporary Music Festival - 26 May - 1st June at Second Home, Shoreditch

Second Home, Shoreditch

Following the resounding success of last year's inaugural festival, Sound Four present second London Contemporary Music Festival which will take place from the 26th of May to the 1st of June of this year.

Last year it was at a car park in Peckham, this year it will be held at Second Home in Shoreditch. Tickets are £10 for each show or £27 (a bargain) for a festival pass.

Geoff Winston and Rob Edgar present their picks of the 2014 Festival:

Geoff Winston writes:

My reaction on seeing the line-ups over the 6-day festival is that the LCMF 2014 is a programming tour de force, and each day's combination of performers and composers is an imaginative feat in itself.

I'm intrigued by 'The Japanese Extreme' which will bring together the austere, traditional 14th century Noh theatre music with a Stockhausen percussion piece that reveals the influence of Noh on his compositional practice, and culminates with ear-bending intensity as Japanese Noise pioneer, Pain Jerk, and Russell Laswell join forces.

Equally tempting, but with an entirely different flavour, is 'A New History of Song' which brings together the haunting work of Andrew Poppy, Josephine Foster's unorthodox take on German Lieder, John Giorno, articulating the New York Downtown angle, Lore Lixenberg reciting Aperghis, to introduce a zestful humour to proceedings, and a rare chance to hear Robert Ashley's 1964 viscerally unnerving work, 'The Wolfman', with Jennifer Walshe in the key vocal role.

'The British Underground', to open the festival, facilitates, in a richly diverse programme, a rare collaboration of Gavin Bryars and Christopher Hobbes, revisiting earlier works, and 'Marxist Chillwave' sees Nono and Cardew alongside raw, acerbic cultural critique from Kuwaiti and German viewpoints.

Rob Edgar writes:

I'm looking forward to hearing Kit Downes' and Tom Challenger's colourful Wedding Music again on the 31st of May. These pieces – hugely influenced by Messiaen, but not derivative – follow the tradition of improvised organ playing. Challenger's reedy saxophone tone floats over the top, and special attention is given to silence and space.

Speaking of colour, the 1st of June sees an exciting group of Italian performances: the famous keyboard sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti (judged to be a better harpsichordist than Handel and whose father Alessandro is credited with the invention of the Neapolitan 6th Chord), will be paired with piano and string works from Salvatore Sciarrino culminating in a performance of artist Michelangelo Pistoletto's piece, 'Fourteen less one' promises to be a smash-hit!

LINKS: Our LCMF 2013 reviews:

- The Glenn Branca Ensemble
New Complexity and Noise night, 
 - Round-up review of the final two nights


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