The Radical Sound Of Many

A mysterious image of blues and purples, laser lights create shapes in smoke and people are seen walking in silhouette

On Saturday 16th March 2019 we are proud to part part of the Barbican’s  Tune in to Access, a celebratory free day of performances and participation exploring accessibility, technology and the arts.

The Radical Sound Of Many

Join us for The Radical Sound of Many, a showcase of brand new commissions as five Disabled musicians tear up the rule book and redefine notions of audience, performer and live music.

In this experimental series of world premieres, the Barbican’s public spaces will be transformed into ad-hoc studios and stages as we invite audiences to mould, mash up and be a part of the music making experience.

Expect unexpected things; take a trip through Transylvania or interface with a humanoid from 2049 as we celebrate the artists and work from our Emergent: A music legacy and PRS Foundation Talent Development Partner programmes.

Five world premieres

The Steve Varden Cloud Looping Experience – Steve Varden

Steve poses with his synth and keyboard wearing a brightly coloured shirt and a hat with flowers onFeaturing his solar-powered electric wheelchair loop-desk, Steve will explore the theme of communication in a cloud connected world. Via radio, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, email, SMS, instant messaging and perhaps the odd Post-It Note; Steve will put you, the audience, at the heart of his electronic loop creation process. Shaped from found sounds and snippets of conversation, Steve’s roaming performance opens up questions around how technology divides or unites us.
Meet the artist: Steve Varden

Robyn makes music up for you – Robyn Steward

Robyn is an avant-garde jazz musician who uses live trumpet and loop pedals to create melody and rhythm. In this hyper-relaxed performance Robyn will immerse herself in, and move among, the audience, creating the music with your input. Bringing together improvisation and interaction, Robyn’s unique methods allow you to be as involved – or not! – as you wish, in the creation of the final work. Join in the music-making, or just relax and listen. The choice is yours.
Artist profile: Robyn Steward

The Visitor – Oliver Cross

Oliver stands on the Fens before a ploughed field. He is wearing round shades and looking into the camera as he plays his harmonicaVisit the Cambridgeshire Fens at daybreak and travel to dusk in Transylvania. Oliver combines a passion for film-making with a fusion of English and Romanian folk music in this evocative commission, improvised and performed live with 3 musicians. ‘The Visitor’ is part concert and part collaboration, with an open workshop before the performance and an invitation to the audience to join the jam.

Meet the musician: Oliver Cross

2049 – Dike Okoh

Dike wears a black trilby hat and his black suit and white shirt are just visible. He looks down with the brim of his hat pulled low and a slight smileA humanoid is sent to present day London from the year 2049 with news of a cosmic event that changes human brain chemistry for ever. Inspired by a new hope for the future, Dike Okoh’s electro-pop masterpiece 2049 upends typical dystopian future fantasies. Using bespoke interactive technology he invites spectators to take part in an exploration of our cerebral chemistry, thinking about signal flow and interruption in a musical exploration of the electrical/mechanical processes happening in our brains.

Meet the artist: Dike Okoh

Something From Nothing – Ewan Mackay

A formal portrait of Ewan who smiles as he looks off-camera. He is wearing a tuxedo and bowtie and his hair is neatly combed to one side.The performance begins with a blank score sheet and ends with the world premiere. What happens in-between is up to you. Ewan’s commission is not a piece of music. It is a set of criteria, parameters, library instrumentation and an audience. He is inviting you, members of the Barbican audience, to become composers. With this commission, every time the work is performed it is created anew, a constant premiere.

Artist profile: Ewan Mackay

The full programme

Tune in to Access at the Barbican marks Disabled Access Day, a biannual nation-wide initiative powered by the disabled access review website and charity Euan’s Guide.

Following the Drake Music showcase, Britten Sinfonia cellist Caroline Dearnley performs synaesthetic composer Alexia Sloane’s Gate, Gate, which explores melody and text in Buddhist chanting.

There will also be a panel discussion titled ‘Look Deeper: Accessible Music Technology for Performance’ along with accessible film screenings and art exhibitions.

Visit the Barbican website for more information.

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Header Image Credit: Becky Morris Knight