Extraordinary music in the new Frontiers

Elysian quartet for web

Elysian Quarter are among the acts confirmed for Frontiers Festival: tickets now on sale!


Tickets are now on sale for Frontiers: Extraordinary Music from Downtown New York & Birmingham and Hotel La Tour is delighted to be a partner for what promises to be a great event.

Frontiers is a major festival of music celebrating the sounds and cultures of downtown New York and Birmingham, starting this March and continuing until June 2014. We have special offer for festival-goers so watch out for event literature so you can take advantage of these.

 Confirmed artists visiting Birmingham include Pauline Oliveros, Rhys Chatham, Carl Stone, Elliott Sharp, David Lang, Warren Smith, Thurston Moore, Object Collection, Apartment Hous, Decibel and Henry Hills, plus visitors can expect film screenings in association with Flatpack Film Festival, musical workshops, talks and more.

The festival begins on 22 March when Sarah Farmer performs her response to Laurie Anderson’s As:If outside the Library of Birmingham, a special violin performance – the violinist wearing skates encased in ice. The Library of Birmingham also hosts SCORE, a major exhibition of visual music and graphic scores with work by 30 artists and composers.

Other highlights include the world premiere of Robert Ashley’s String Quartet Describing the Motion of Large Real Bodies (1971), in which 42 laptop artists perform alongside the Elysian Quartet (pictured).Considered too technologically difficult to perform before, this will be its first ever fully-realised performance, some 43 years after it was written. Ashley’s early classic Maneuvers for Small Hands will also get its European premiere and first performance in 40 years by the Dutch pianist Reinier van Houdt, whilst Object Collection offer the UK premiere of Ashley’s celebrated Automatic Writing.

Pioneering American composer Pauline Oliveros – now aged 81 – will lead a real-time improvised performance using super-fast broadband linking artists in Birmingham, California, New York and Montreal, the first time she has attempted such a feat in the UK.

The Festival culminates in June with David Lang’s Crowd Out, a new piece for 1000 voices, plus a special appearance by legendary drummer Warren Smith with Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) and the UK premiere of A Secret Rose by avant-rock pioneer Rhys Chatham, performed by an orchestra of 100 electric guitars.

Other events include the Frontiers Marathon, a ‘festival in a day’ with sounds, performance and film. Classic works by Philip Glass are presented by Frontiers’ resident ensemble Decibel, whilst the ‘king of sampling’ Carl Stone presents his latest work Fujiken in which the sounds of south east Asia shape-shift into clouds of sound. Cult group Apartment House will rework Lou Reed and John Cale’s tribute to Andy Warhol, Songs for Drella.

Presented by Birmingham Conservatoire and Third Ear, Frontiers Festival looks to the collaborative and do-it-your-own-way traditions of New York and the sounds, ideas and iconic moments from that city which have fuelled music culture. Birmingham’s own vibrant music scene, with its strong young voices and bold new work, adds to the programme.

Supported by Hotel La Tour, Frontiers is presented in partnership with Library of Birmingham; Town Hall Symphony Hall; Ikon Gallery; BCMG; Flatpack Film Festival; Yorks Bakery Café; BBC Radio 3, UK Guitar Shows; Laney Amps; and Rotosound.

Frontiers is curated by Ed McKeon (Third Ear Music), developed by Birmingham Conservatoire and Birmingham City University, and supported by Arts Council England.

Frontiers: Extraordinary Music from Downtown New York & Birmingham

22 March-5 April & 2-8 June 2014

Venues across Birmingham

Full programme and ticketing information at www.frontiersmusic.org 


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