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Moogie wonderland! Sounds and Visions at the Barbican

Marathon weekend brings together an eclectic mix of musical genres and movies from the 1950s to today

11 May, 2018 — By Róisín Gadelrab

The Will Gregory Moog Ensemble will be part of Sounds and Visions. Photo: York Tillyer

ACCLAIMED composer Max Richter and artist Yulia Mahr curate Sounds and Visions, a marathon weekend of music and film at the Barbican starting tomorrow (Friday).

Taking place across the Barbican Hall and foyer, Barbican cinemas, LSO St Luke’s, Milton Court Concert Hall and St Giles’ Cripplegate, the programme of more than 18 film screenings and concerts from May 11 to 14 – some ticketed and some free – brings together an eclectic mix of musical genres and movies from the 1950s to today.

Two cinema screens and the foyer will host presentations of experimental and documentary screenings covering subjects such as musicians, dance, artists, technology, science and more, while there is also a cine-concert and Q&A with Richter himself.

Highlights of the programme include:

• Screening of Stan Brakhage’s experimental film, Dog Man Star, with a new score performed live by Warp Records electronic musician and producer Clark.

• Acknowledging Richter’s extensive work in film, BAME orchestra Chineke!, conducted by Fawzi Haimor, perform a live soundtrack alongside a screening of the Golden Globe-winning Waltz With Bashir, marking the 10th anniversary of its release, followed by a Q&A and discussion with Richter and director Ari Folman.

• A group screening of short films including The Powers of 10 (soundtrack by Elmer Bernstein), The Very Eye Of Night (soundtrack by Teji Ito) and Works of Calder (soundtrack by John Cage).

• Peter Greenaway’s study of the artist Meredith Monk.

• A screening of Robert Fantino’s I Dream Of Wires, which plots the history and resurgence of the modular synthesiser, including interviews with Gary Numan, Vince Clarke (Depeche Mode/Erasure), Trent Reznor and many more.

• Experimental film-making matched with equally experimental musicianship in Ornette: Made In America, a documentary on acclaimed saxophonist and free jazz pioneer Ornette Coleman, featuring footage of William S. Burroughs, Buckminster Fuller, Don Cherry and more.

• Hypnosis Display, a collaboration between vocalist Grouper and the late filmmaker Paul Clipson.

• Richter’s Infra and Three Worlds: Music From Woolf Works receive a UK and London premiere respectively in new, full orchestral versions.

• Two different takes on Bach come from Icelandic pianist Vikingur Ólafsson, presenting a recital of Bach’s keyboard music, and The Will Gregory Moog Ensemble who reinterpret Bach for massed synthesisers.

• Ambient producer Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith brings material from her album, The Kid, to the stage along with new visual accompaniments

• A new project from American saxophonist Colin Stetson, EX EYE, in a debut London performance.

• The UK premiere of a new audio-visual show from upcoming electronic musician Jlin.

• A performance from Italian-born composer Caterina Barbieri whose trance-like music demonstrates her minimalist mastery of synths old and new.

• Roomful of Teeth performing the UK premiere of Caroline Shaw’s Pulitzer Prize-winning composition, Partita for 8 Voices.

• A series of performances of contemporary works from chamber musicians The 12 ensemble including John Tavener’s The Lamb (1982), Philip Glass’ Company II (1982), Mica Levi’s Love from the film Under The Skin, Fratres (1977) by Arvo Pärt and Fljotavik (arr. 12 ensemble) by Sigur Rós.

Co-curators Richter and Mahr said: “StudioRichterMahr, our 25-year collaboration, has taken many forms over the years. From the cafés of Hackney, our kitchen table in Edinburgh, the studios and gallery in Berlin, to its current incarnation; deep in the English countryside, our work has encompassed all manner of collisions between sound and image, and this marathon weekend, Sounds and Visions, sums up one of our central concerns – that creativity exists as a social project that can illuminate the lives of individuals and society as a whole, and that art exists beyond all boundaries.”

Tickets £10-35, plus free events. See www.barbican.org.uk/soundsandvisions for more information.

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