• Electronic duo Space Afrika and Mercury Prize and Emmy nominated composer Hannah Peel are Artists in Residence
  • Other highlights include the Colin Currie Quartet, Lucrecia Dalt, Cosmo Sheldrake, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Robert Henke, The Breath, Rakhi Singh, London Sinfonietta, Explore Ensemble, Vox Luminis, Midori Takada and more
  • In partnership with d&b audiotechnik, Kings Place presents a state-of-the-art d&b Soundscape system installed in Hall Two

Kings Place today [18 November] reveal the second wave of events for Sound Unwrapped, a year-long series which will take a deep dive into innovative sound art, spatialised listening and immersive sonic events. From acoustic choral works spread around the Hall One gallery to spatialised performances in Hall Two, Sound Unwrapped will open up the listening experience and explore the space where music meets sound art.

A partnership with d&b audiotechnik will see Kings Place install a state-of-the-art d&b Soundscape in its flexible Hall Two space. A revolution in the live sound experience, d&b Soundscape is an alternative to the traditional left and right stereo system, using 19 loudspeakers in the round to open up a plethora of creative possibilities for artists to diffuse their music. Audiences can trial the d&b Soundscape system in Moonbathing, a 45-minute immersive sound experience featuring new spatial mixes from Oliver CoatesRival Consoles, Gruff Rhys and more [19, 20 Jan & 2 Feb].

Artist in Residence Hannah Peel will kick off her residency with a live premiere of her pioneering Mercury Music Prize shortlisted album Fir Wave [17 Feb] followed by a new collaboration with charismatic percussionist Beibei Wang, exploring human and machine-made beats [16 Jun]. Well-known as a presenter of BBC Radio 3’s Night Tracks, Hannah will also be curating a special multi-space event at Kings Place in October 2023.

Space Afrika present a fully scored version of their celebrated album Honest Labour, which topped Resident Advisor’s Album of the Year list in 2021 [28 Feb]. Later in the series audiences can enjoy a Space Afrika curation as well as a fully-spatialised show on d&b Soundscape. The duo is at the forefront of the electronic music scene with their open, collagist approach to composition and will be working with a wide array of guests for their projects at Kings Place.

In addition to the Artists in Residence concerts, Sound Unwrapped features artists from a wide range of genres. Opening the series will be the Colin Currie Quartet with a programme that will play with the acoustics of Hall One, ranging from four drum kits in all four corners of the hall to a performance of Julia Wolfe’s Dark Full Ride through to two musicians locked into the same pitches on wooden keyboards for Rolf Wallin’s Twine [20 Jan]. The Sixteen fuse the traditions of baroque and jazz with pianist Julian Joseph, uniting the two styles and eras through a musical dialogue inspired by the music of Monteverdi [27 Jan].

Genesis Sixteen and Friends will present Tallis’s 40-part Spem in Alium and other polyphonic works from around the Hall One gallery [16 Jul] and I Fagiolini and English Sackbutts and Cornetts perform Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers using both stage and galleries of Hall One, offering an intimate guide to this defining work [29 Sep]. Hélène BreschandAngharad Davies, Dominic Lash and Rhodri Davies perform solo and duo pieces by influential composer Éliane Radigue, before showcasing the world premiere of her new piece for two harps [1 Oct].

Ambient music legend and percussionist Midori Takada brings hervirtuosity to Kings Place for the first time [23 Sep] while critically-acclaimed Colombian vocalist and producer Lucrecia Dalt presents a new show around her upcoming album ¡Ay!, combining traditional Colombian instrumentation with Afro-Latin syncopations and sci-fi meditations [29 Jan], and Riot Ensemble return to Kings Place to perform the must of sound pioneers James Tenney and Alvin Lucier alongside the world premiere of Atom Cry by young British composer Jasmine Morris [17 Feb]. Multi-instrumentalist Cosmo Sheldrake presents a venue takeover at Kings Place as part of Sound Unwrapped [18 Feb]. Cosmo will perform live in Hall One, sharing new and old songs as well as improvisations using the disappearing soundworlds of British birds and the changing sonic landscapes of coral reef fish. Hall Two will feature a spatialised audio installation of Cosmo’s 2020 record Wake Up Calls using the d&b Soundscape system.

Marina Herlop performs work from her third album Pripyat, subverting piano and vocals with computer-aided electronics and unsettling three-dimensional effects [14 Apr]. Explore Ensemble presents music that spans the extremes of harmony, noise, speed and space, including Beatrice Dillon’s first all-acoustic work Seven Reorganisations [14 Apr], and American synth composer, artist and producer Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith presents Let’s Turn It Into Sound, her most ambitious and intuitive work to date [15 Apr]. Vox Luminis utilise the different spaces of Hall One for a performance of Tallis, Byrd, Sheppard, Morley and Weelkes [28 Apr].

London Sinfonietta perform twice in one day, first in Hall One with a programme of electro-acoustic music and manipulated sound by composers Kaija Saariaho, David Fennessy and more, and later in Hall Two with spatialised versions of Stockhausen’s Gesang der Jünglinge and Varèse’s Poème Electronique [24 Jun]. Nonclassical launch their new record Disruptive Frequencies with an evening of experimental sounds by NikNak, Dhangsha, Nikki Sheth, Poulomi Desai, Gary Stewart and Dushume [15 Jul]. The album features music created and produced as part of the Exploring Cultural Diversity in Experimental Sound project hosted by the Sound/Image Research Centre at the University of Greenwich.

d&b Soundscape events
Kicking off the series in Hall Two using the d&b Soundscape system, Liam Byrne will present an enchanting programme for viola da gamba and electronics, featuring works from his debut album Concrete [20 Jan]. Also during the opening weekend is award-winning DJ and turntablist NikNak, recently featured in DJ Mag’s ‘One to Watch 2022’, who presents Sankofa, an immersive sound and visual experience exploring the narrative of a young black woman, Afrofuturism, and her comic book heroes [22 Jan]. Her improvised turntablism will be combined with imagery by visual artist Loëpa.

The Breath premiere new material from their forthcoming album, as well as reinterpret material from Carry Your Kin and Let The Cards Fall to make full use of the d&b Soundscape system [28 Jan], and English electronic musician Holy Other is part of a mesmerising double bill in immersive surround sound with French ambient musician Malibu, who makes her UK debut [4 Feb]. Continuing the sonic experiences available through the d&b Soundscape system, audiences will have the opportunity to experience the premiere of Félicia Atkinson and Chris Watson’s new collaborative work Things that are far and near [11 Feb]. The work pairs recorded material gathered by Watson on trips to Japan over the last fifteen years with spoken word by Atkinson, creating a unique sonic painting of Japan with sound of mountains, forests, streams, rivers, cities and more.

Nine-piece vocal ensemble HOWL’s d&b Soundscape performance combines soundscapes and field recordings with arrangements of folk songs from the British Isles along with works by Caroline Shaw, Meredith Monk and Moondog [18 Feb]. Brand new musical collective Flock – featuring jazz and experimental musicians Bex Burch (Vula Viel), Sarathy KorwarDan “Danalogue” Leavers (The Comet Is Coming), Al MacSween (Maisha) and Tamar Osborn (Collocutor) – make their London live debut in immersive 360 sound [24 Feb].

An exclusive for Sound Unwrapped, songwriter, saxophonist and electronic producer Laura Misch collaborates with Danish sound artist and producer Sofie Birch, creating a concoction of jazz-leaning electronica and ambient sonic tapestries [11 Mar]. An amplified string quartet of Manchester Collective musiciansperform George Crumb’s cult work Black Angels in d&b Soundscape alongside music by Gabriella Smith, Edmund Finnis, Franz Schubert and the world premiere of a brand-new commission by New York hip-hop artist, activist, poet and composer Camae Ayewa (Moor Mother) [24 Feb].

Stick in the Wheel create immersive, spatial versions of tracks old and new using the Soundscape system [28 Apr], pioneering composer and software developer Robert Henke performs Dust, a vast sonic world based on field recordings from across the globe over twenty-five years [3 Jun], and co-founder of Manchester Collective Rakhi Singh performs works by Wolfe, Gordon, Matteis and Groves, adapted and spatialised for the Soundscape system [10 Jun].

Pianist, composer and technologist Zubin Kanga launches an album of new works using innovative technologies to swirl, melt and morph the sounds of the piano using digital instruments, motion sensors, AI-generated sounds and interactive video [30 Sep]. Kanga’s performance will feature works by Laura Bowler, Emily Howard, Oliver Leith, Laurence Osborn and Shiva Feshareki, all of which play with the use of acoustic or machine-made sound with the piano. Shiva Feshareki also performs with radical guitarist Sean Shibe, for a performance of her Seismic Orchestra Wave diffused through the Soundscape system – Shibe also creates new spatialised sound performances of Reich’s Electric Counterpoint and Julius Eastman’s Bhudda [2 Dec].

Artist in Residence Hannah Peel said: “I’m ecstatic and honoured to be joining Kings Place as an Artist in Residence for Sound Unwrapped in 2023. I love their unbridled enthusiasm for supporting composers and I’m really looking forward to bringing you some events that I would not otherwise have the opportunity to present: from performing my Mercury-nominated album ‘Fir Wave’ in full for the first time to a live improvisation concert between virtuosic classical and Chinese percussionist Beibei Wang and myself. Plus, I’m very excited to be working with Kings Place on a BBC event for next autumn.”

Artists in Residence Space Afrika said: “With the ambitions for our work to exist outside of a purely linear listening experience, Kings Place presents an opportunity for us to develop a new level of live production and breathe more life into the notions affirmed in Honest Labour, our most recent album on Dais Records.

Following the first presentation of selected works from the album … we will expand on our live interpretation and translate the full album into an audiovisual performance with orchestral ensemble and guests continuing in the spirit of collaboration.

Building on our warm relationship with the venue having first performed at a sold-out evening here in 2021, we felt valued by the shared experience with the team and audience. We’re excited to build on this in 2023.”

The current line-up of events for Sound Unwrapped can be found below and on the Kings Place website.