• Nonclassical: listening to place, Sun 20 Feb 2022 Barbican Hall, 7.30pm
  • Damon Albarn [pictured]:  The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows, Mon 21 & Tue 22 Feb 2022, Barbican Hall, 8pm 
  • Manu Delago: Environ Me , Tue 22 Feb 2022, Milton Court Concert Hall, 7.30pm
  • Roderick Williams & Andrew West: A Twitcher’s Delight, Tue 8 Mar 2022, Milton Court Concert Hall, 7.30pm
  • Joyce DiDonato: EDEN Tue 5 & Wed 6 Apr 2022, Barbican Hall, 7.30pm

In spring 2022, the Barbican dates include a number of concerts exploring different but interconnected themes of nature, the environment, and our place within it. The concerts will separately feature music drawn from and inspired by landscape, artists responding to the sounds of place and space, and celebrations of Nature and an enthusiastic nature-lover through song.

On 20 February, record label and promoter of new classical, experimental, and electronic music Nonclassical present a live and livestreamed concert in the Barbican Hall, exploring musicians’ relationships with environmental noise and how our relationship with our surroundings shifts with time. On 21 and 22 February, singer, songwriter and composer Damon Albarn brings his long-awaited projectand latest album The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flowsto the Barbican with music inspired by the landscapes of Iceland, where Albarn spends much of his time. Also on 22 February, musician, composer, and pioneer of the hang (handpan), Manu Delago brings his audio-visual show Environ Me to Milton Court Concert Hall and on 8 March in the same venue, baritone Roderick Williams is joined by pianist Andrew West to bring audiences a joyful and celebratory recital programme inspired by animal behaviour, birdlife, and natural history. Finally, world-renowned mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato will be joined by il Pomo d’Oro and conductor Maxim Emelyanychev atthe Barbican on 5 and 6 April with a new project: EDEN. A project of huge importance to DiDonato, EDEN will take viewers on an emotional journey exploring the majesty, might, and mystery of Nature through arresting and evocative music and theatrical effects.

Nonclassical: listening to place

Sun 20 Feb 2022 Barbican Hall, 7.30pm

Tickets £15 – 30 plus booking fee & £12.50 (livestream)

Nonclassical curate an evening of music and sound, exploring how we relate and respond to the environmental noise we unconsciously block out. Musicians have always responded to place and space, and, with the advent of recording technology, artists became able to work directly with environmental sound, embedding it into their practice. Through field recordings, musical responses, ambient performance and projections, Nonclassical ask how our relationship with the world has changed over time, and how aware we are of the noises and sounds around us. Joining this Nonclassical event are artists of different cultural and geographical backgrounds including Ligeti Quartet, Rebeca Omordia, Kate Carr, Langham Research Centre, Cedrik FermontLi Yilei and Photolanguage. Featured repertoire and sounds as part of the performance include works by John Luther Adams, Lili Boulanger, Nabil Benabdeljalil, Kaikhosru Sorabji, Gabriel Prokofiev, Christian Onyeji and more.

During the day, there will be a free programme from 3pm, leading up to the ticketed evening’s performance in the Barbican Hall at 7.30pm. The daytime programme includes a panel discussion in the Fountain Room around the evolution of field recording from documentation to personal artform moderated by Gabriel Prokofiev and featuring Kate Carr, Cedrik Fermont and Robert Warby (Langham Research Centre); Barbican FreeStage performances by Chihiro Ono, Langham Research Centre, Ligeti Quartet and Cedrik Fermont and a DJ set by Gabriel Prokofiev on the Barbican ClubStage.  

Co-produced by the Barbican and Nonclassical

Find out more here and here.  

Damon Albarn:  The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows
Mon 21 & Tue 22 Feb 2022, Barbican Hall, 8pm 
Tickets £20 – 40 plus booking fee 
What can be more fascinating than the signs of the passage of time and the fragility of nature?
Singer, songwriter and composer Damon Albarn will bring his current project The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows to the Barbican in February 2022. He will perform this very personal, new piece with an ensemble of musicians. The event title is taken from a John Clare poem entitled Love and Memory. A new albumThe Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows, was released to acclaim in November 2021, a panoramic collection of songs inspired by the landscapes of Iceland exploring themes of fragility, loss, emergence and rebirth, with Albarn as sage and storyteller. Much like the beauty and chaos of the natural world it soundtracks, The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows vividly documents the emotional ebb and flow of the human condition, in all its extremes, serving as a soul enriching document for our times.
Produced by the Barbican
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Manu Delago
Tue 22 Feb 2022, Milton Court Concert Hall, 7.30pm
Tickets £20 plus booking fee
Musician, composer and pioneer of the hang (handpan), Manu Delago brings his audio-visual show Environ Me to Milton Court Concert Hall as part of the Barbican’s music programme in February 2022.

Following several years as an international touring musician with Björk, Ólafur Arnalds, Cinematic Orchestra and Anoushka Shankar, as well as with the multi-award-winning music-and mountain-film ‘Parasol Peak’, the Grammy-nominated artist now returns with his first solo show.

The ambient and neoclassical sounds of Manu Delago’s acoustic percussion instruments are mixed with electronic beats alongside live visuals, bringing elements of the natural world such as water, fire, animals, wind and other environments into the auditorium.

Manu Delago said: “For many years I’ve been living between urban London and the Tyrolean Alps, and with my new project ‘Environ Me’ I wanted to create awareness for our immediate surroundings. As a musician it’s easiest to do that with sound, so I’ve done various adventurous outdoor recordings incorporating our environment and integrated them into my compositions. My previous projects ‘Parasol Peak’ and ‘Circadian’ were fully acoustic and included many humans. On the new album ‘Environ Me’ the sound of our surroundings melts with the digital age and electronic music, with highest appraisal for nature.”

Produced by the Barbican
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Roderick Williams & Andrew West: A Twitcher’s Delight

Tue 8 Mar 2022, Milton Court Concert Hall, 7.30pm

Tickets £15 – 40 plus booking fee

Roderick Williams baritone
Andrew West piano

British baritone Roderick Williams returns to Milton Court Concert Hall, following his residency in 2018, accompanied by pianist Andrew West, with a programme inspired by the poetic and witty musings of French author Jules Renard. From vain peacocks to belligerent guinea fowl, the miniature portraits of Jules Renard’s Histoires Naturelles offer an enchanting alternative perspective on life, humanity and nature. This wide-ranging programme which explores bird and animal behaviour across the twentieth century includes pieces by Maurice Ravel, Judith Weir, Gabriel Fauré and Ryan Wigglesworth – whose long-awaited song cycle receives its premiere here.

Produced by the Barbican

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Joyce DiDonato: EDEN

Tue 5 & Wed 6 Apr 2022, Barbican Hall, 7.30pm

Tickets £15 – 65 plus booking fee

Joyce DiDonato executive producer and mezzo-soprano

Maxim Emelyanychev conductor

il Pomo d’Oro orchestra

Marie Lambert-Le Bihan stage director

John Torres lighting designer

World-renowned mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato returns to the Barbican, focusing her creative vision and artistry on a new project and passion: EDENExploring the majesty, might, and mystery of Nature through both arresting and evocative music and theatrical effects, DiDonato will take the viewer on an emotional journey to reconnect to the power and fragility of Nature, and explore our place within the kaleidoscopic, wondrous world around us at a time when it is needed most. DiDonato is joined by her long-term musical partners, il Pomo d’Oro led by conductor Maxim Emelyanychev and French stage director Marie Lambert-Le Bihan. Also performing with Joyce on the Barbican stage will be student choir groups from London schools, as a result of an accompanying education initiative around the EDEN project. The concert repertoire will feature music from different genres ranging from the 17th to the 21st century and include the UK premiere of the specially commissioned EDEN anthem The First Morning Of The World by award-winning composer Rachel Portman as well as works by Handel, Gluck, Wagner, Mahler, Ives and Copland. Joyce DiDonato’s Erato album EDEN will be released on 25 February 2022.

Joyce DiDonato said: “With each passing day I trust more and more in the perfect balance, astonishing mystery and guiding force of the natural world around us, how much Mother Nature has to teach us. EDEN is an invitation to return to our roots and to explore whether or not we are connecting as profoundly as we can to the pure essence of our being, to create a new EDEN from within and plant seeds of hope for the future.”

Produced by the Barbican

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