By Sally Dale
1.Therefore 2, Glasgow
Hosted by the Glasgow-based arthouse Cryptic, Therefore 2 is an immersive audio-visual experience combining sculpture, video projection and live music. Each of the event’s three evenings are centred around a different musical performance which transforms everyday objects and symbols into a series of sonic sculptures. In one, Afghan hounds are curiously paired with domestic appliances to produce sound and inspire accompanying visuals.
CCA, Glasgow, June 2-4
2. Spitalfields Festival, London
Opera, folk, jazz, early music, choral and contemporary styles collide at this year’s Spitalfields festival, which embraces more unconventional venues than ever. Highlights include Depart – a circus-singing fusion in a deconsecrated graveyard; a concert from the Multi-story Orchestra at the V&A Museum of Childhood; intimate recitals of contemporary music in hidden corners of Spitalfields; eerie new music from former Radio 3 presenters; and a new take on Vivaldi from Anna Meredith and her illustrator sister Eleanor.
Venues around Spitalfields, London, June 2-26
3. Middlesex Voice, London
Part of FitzFest, an annual community music festival held by the London district of Fizrovia, Middlesex Voice is a stirring soundscape devised by electronic musician Scanner (Robin Rimbaud) using memories from people that worked, trained and were treated at the Old Middlesex Hospital, woven into a musical sound installation. The event will take place at the newly restored Fitzrovia Chapel – the only surviving part of the Old Middlesex Hospital – and includes improvisation by various artists working in shifts that mirror the original shift patterns of the hospital employees.
Fitzrovia Chapel, London, June 8
4. Aldeburgh Festival, Suffolk, England
A seventeen-day celebration of music staged in venues across Benjamin Britten’s east-coast hometown, this year’s Aldeburgh Festival offers a range of eclectic musical installations with circus, birds and pianos at its heart. Highlights include Illuminations (also involving circus); an outdoor performance of Les Catalogues d’Oiseux in a nature reserve from pianist Pierre Laurent Aimard; and a new immersive performance from Solomon’s Knot featuring a soundscape by sound artist Mira Calix.
Venues around Aldeburgh, Suffolk, June 10-26
5. North Sea Radio Orchestra, London
Camden music venue The Forge plays host to the critically acclaimed nine-piece North Sea Radio Orchestra. Performing the music of their member Craig Fortnam, the group fuses Romantic music and later twentieth-century forms, as well as bridging contemporary classical music, British folk music, poetry and art rock.
The Forge, Camden, London, June 12
6. The World Encompassed, Manchester
This journey in sound from contemporary composer Orlando Gough charts Drake’s epic journey of 1577, which took him to Morocco, the Cape Verde Islands, Brazil, Argentina, Patagonia, Chile, Mexico, California, Java, then round the Cape of Good Hope, Sierra Leone and finally to Plymouth in September 1580. The piece, performed by the viol consort Fretwork, is accompanied by a narrator and draws upon the music of the 16th century.
RNCM, Manchester, June 14
7. The Last Post, Orkney Island, Scotland
This new concert/installation is based on the letters of Second World War soldier Dennis Marshall to his fiancée and memorialises the veterans of the First and Second World Wars. Part of Orkney’s St Magnus International Festival, it takes place in the Ness Battery, a military compound on the outskirts of Stromness.
Ness Battery, Orkney, Scotland, June 19
8. Deep Minimalism, London
A celebration of music that takes its time, Deep Minimalism invites you to bring a cushion and enjoy a moment of calm. This weekend-long festival explores a series of contemplative pieces, collated in conjunction with Southbank artist-in-residence, Oliver Coates. Highlights include Shiva Feshareki performing on turntables alongside two live orchestras, and music by Pauline Oliveros, performed with rocks especially sourced from the Suffolk coastlines.
St John’s Smith Square, London, June 24-26
9. The Rattler, London
The Mahogany Opera group present The Rattler – a new interactive retelling of Rumpelstiltskin designed for families in which folk-infused music is interwoven with puppetry and storytelling. Each multi-sensory performance begins with a series of music and craft activities and a colourful pageant which bring the age-old fairy tale to life. Suitable for ages 7+.
Watford Palace Theatre, June 25
10. Brahms and the Gypsy, England
Brahms’s work is interwoven with Klezmer and Hungarian music, placing it in the context of the gritty tavern music that the composer loved to hear. It is performed by the ZRI quintet (named after the ‘Zum Roten Igel’ or Red Hedgehog Tavern, where Brahms went to hear gypsy musicians in Vienna), and is part of the Beaminster Festival in Dorset – a week long celebration of music and arts.
Dorset, June 29