the biting point update: UPCOMING EVENTS

There are some big and potentially game-changing events going down in London this Summer that have certainly got me shaking with anticipation:::

  • Last month’s Nonclassical, at the Macbeth, was a celebration of the work of the late composer Steve Martland – British minimalist pioneer and an anti-establishment hero from whom the biting point still has a lot to learn. It was a fantastic gig, the perfect music for the setting, the perfect setting for the music. The next Nonclassical night, this coming Wednesday, promises to be just as fantastic (and it’s the last of their regular clubnights till September, so a good excuse to get down there). The Ligeti Quartet are performing a diverse programme, including music by John Adams, Arvo Pärt and Anna Meredith, before a set from rarescale, a flexible ensemble centred on the alto/bass flute, promoting new repertoire and blending in plenty of electronics. — Nonclassical feat. Ligeti Quartet/Rarescale, The Macbeth, Hoxton – Wednesday 3rd July, advance tickets £5 — (Listen to a podcast mix by Carla Rees of Rarescale >>>HERE<<<)
  • Bold Tendencies, the multi-storey car-park collective in Peckham which hosted the now-legendary car park Rite of Spring Project, is fast becoming an absolutely vital platform for new music in London. The ensemble behind that performance – The Orchestra Project – return with a particularly exciting project on Saturday 6th July called Wishes Lies and Dreams. For the first time, a new piece has been written for the venue and ensemble, by composer Kate Whitley, and it involves children’s choirs from across Peckham. This seems like a particularly important project because the only real negative aspect of these annual car-park concerts (and the venue in general) were their collusion with the intensive gentrification of Peckham currently ongoing. While the Orchestra Project have always done educational outreach work, their car-park concerts were previously treated as a separate initiative. Not any more though – this concert will bring both aspects of their work together, as well as producing something genuinely new out of it all. And while the issue of gentrification is obviously incredibly complicated (although, don’t get me wrong, it is always entirely a bad thing), the bridging of these physical, spatialised socio-economic and cultural gulfs appearing all over London is surely one of the most politically-expedient uses of the ‘community’ music projects that are sopping up most of the remaining government funding. AND TICKETS ARE FREE! BOOK THEM HERE! — Wishes Lies and Dreams, Rye Lane Car Park, Peckham – Saturday 6th July, 5pm, Free
  • Most exciting of all, I think: the London Contemporary Music Festival (LCMF 2013). From new production collective Sound Four, this is an absurdly exciting programme of concerts running over two long weekends at the end of July. Again, it is hosted by Bold Tendencies in Peckham, and again it is completely free! The line-up, spread across ten concerts, is incredibly broad and incredibly bold. There’s a ‘drone day‘ featuring a premiere performance by Charlemagne Palestine, a programme of music for loudspeakers, a Glenn Branca premiere, an insanely high-concept programme pairing Ennio Morricone and Helmut Lachenmann, and a beautifully curated set of keyboard music. Most exciting for us at the biting point, there’s a performance of Frederic Rzewski’s famous political work Coming Together, about the Attica prison riots of 1971, as well as two contemporary opera programmes, including an ‘immersive’ premiere from Kate Whitley (paired with Gerald Barry’s La Plus Forte) and a fascinating programme entitled To a New Definition of Opera, including work by Jennifer Walshe, Kurt Schwitters and Laurie Anderson, and extracts from Einstein on the Beach. On paper (or on website), this looks like the new music festival that London deserves. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be successful or have the impact that it could have, but just the fact that it’s being attempted – which gives it a direction from which to grow and develop – is incredibly heartening. And did I mention it’s free?! You have to book though… — London Contemporary Music Festival, Rye Lane Car Park, Peckham – 25th July-4th August, Free
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