We have not been shy to sing our praises of the contemporary music programming offered by the Barbican. Deep in the centre of the City, the Barbican is a concrete fortress of culture, welcoming burgeoning sounds and innovative communities to a high-brow platform. 2018 is no exception with a calendar showcasing neo-classical composers alongside grime MCs and techno royalty. Here are our hot tickets for the coming months.
Nils Frahm – All Melody – Wednesday 21st, Friday 23rd & 24th February
The long awaited return of Nils Frahm is almost upon us. Frahm’s gift for fusing modern classical styles with contemporary electronic sounds has earned him prodigal status in the eyes of his fans. After a year-long hiatus, the pianist, composer and producer has finally returned, blessing his followers with a new album – All Melody – and an accompanying tour. The album introduces new elements into Fahm’s palette; vocals, horns and other instruments accompany his piano. Seeing how this new material translates to a live show will be unmissable.
Just Jam Reloaded – 17th March
If any event could truly show Barbican’s support of London’s culture, it’s the return of Just Jam. Just Jam is the brainchild of Tim & Barry, two photographers who rose to fame nearly 15 years ago recording UK MC freestyles on the streets of London. Their work, predating YouTube channels like SB.TV, would become the holy archive of grime music’s early years. They went on to begin the Just Jam live streaming shows, featuring their signature psychedelic “broken N64” visuals. Fast forward to today and they are launching their second event at the Barbican centre; an evening showcasing a new generation of music from the streets. The roster includes jazz keyboardist Kamaal Williams (previously of Yusseff Kamaal), afrobeats trio Belly Squad, and grime DJ, Grandmixxer. Joining them will be a number of up and coming MCs; Mex, Naira Marley and the YGG gang.
Simian Mobile Disco with Deep Throat Choir – 4th April
British dance music veterans Simian Mobile Disco have taken a whole new angle on house and techno, collaborating with Hackney’s all-female Deep Throat Choir for a collaborative album called “Murmurations”. Together, they will perform the material for the first time in the Barbican Hall. Don’t miss support from the very talented Fatima Al Qadiri, who uses the medium of experimental club music to explore urgent themes of systemic oppression, gender and racism.
Carl Craig presents Synthesizer Ensemble – 6th April
Carl Craig is one of the true demigods of Detroit techno, working to build the foundations that dance music stands on whilst many of today’s ravers were still in strollers. His back catalogue has provided revellers with two decades of transcending dancefloor moments. In the next step of his unrelenting experimentation and futurism, Craig has reimagined his finest works into an electronic symphony. He will share the stage with a team of keyboardists and an arsenal of synthesizers, samplers and drum machines as they take “four-to-the-floor” music to new orchestral depths.
Sounds and Visions: Max Richter Performs Infra – 11th May
Max Richter has composed for every medium imaginable, TV, film and stage. He even composed an eight hour long piece and played it live to listeners as they slept. Featuring a string ensemble, this piece will showcase enveloping ambient textures that Richter does so well, along with familiar sounds of the unremarkable; everyday human chatter, the whistles of radio static. It’s a haunting and melancholic exploration of the everyday. The evening will welcome some equally exciting warm up acts with sets from footwork music’s latest hero, Jlin, and modular magic from Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith.
Tickets for our selections can be found at the links below.
Nils Frahm – All Melody
Wednesday 21 Friday 23 & *Saturday 24 February 2018 / Barbican Hall / 19:30, *15:00 & 20:00
SOLD OUT returns only
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Just Jam Reloaded with Belly Squad, Kamaal Williams, Nídia, Skengdo x AM, Kenny Allstar, Murlo and Headie One
Saturday 17 March 2018 / Barbican Hall / 19:30
Tickets £15 plus booking fee
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Simian Mobile Disco with Deep Throat Choir + Fatima Al Qadiri presents Ja7eem
Wednesday 4 April 2018 / Barbican Hall / 20:00
Tickets £17.50 – 22.50 plus booking fee
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Carl Craig presents Synthesizer Ensemble
Friday 6 April 2018 / Barbican Hall / 19:30
Tickets £20 – 25 plus booking fee
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Sounds and Visions – curated by Max Richter and Yulia Mahr
Friday 11 – Sunday 13 May 2018 / Barbican Hall & foyer, Barbican Cinemas 1 & 2, LSO St Luke’s, Milton Court Concert Hall, St Giles’ Cripplegate
Tickets £10 – 35, plus free events
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