I wanted to write to you about an exciting new initiative we are presenting at the Barbican Centre at the end of October, which we hope will attract new audiences to the widest range of classical music. Sound Unbound –the Barbican Classical Weekender will bring together all our resident and associate orchestras and ensembles for a specially devised weekend on 31 October and 1 November which will fill the spaces of the Centre with over 60 short taster concerts and other events. It’s intended for people who are curious about the appeal of classical music and will be the chance to connect to it in innovative and stimulating ways.
You can explore the full range of activity on the microsite for the full schedule and artists links at www.barbican.org.uk/soundunbound
Among the many events on offer, there are several that you might feel drawn to participate in, and one that you will notice happening on the outdoor spaces of the Centre. At about 4.30-5.15pm on both the Saturday and the Sunday there will be a performance of the piece Inuksuit by the composer John Luther Adams. This is a new version of a piece that was presented to huge acclaim in New York, where the music critic Alex Ross of The New Yorker described it as ‘one of the most rapturous experiences of my listening life’. It will be performed around the spaces of the lakeside; just prior to the performances the fountains will be turned off to create a stillness and lead the audience into the environment as the piece emerges from complete silence. It is performed by a group of 21 percussionists from our associate ensembles and the Guildhall School, with three piccolo players evoking birdsong of the local environment, specially composed for this performance by John Luther Adams.
We hope you will enjoy this event, which will respond directly to the special character of the place. The other event I wanted to bring to your attention in advance is within the Centre, the Overnighter with Matthew Barley and Friends which will take place from 11pm on Saturday to 6am on Sunday. The aim of this, Matthew explains, is ‘to draw us all deeper and deeper into a meditative state where we begin to hear in a different way’, and audience members are encouraged to dream the night away in this once-in-a-lifetime experience. This will be a quiet and reflective event: the Lakeside Terrace will be closed as usual from 11pm, and the Centre will be exit only from 12 midnight, and all audience movement will as usual be carefully monitored by our hosts.
I do hope you find something to enjoy and become involved in during Sound Unbound, and do let us know if we can be of any more help.
Thanks for your support of the Barbican Centre.
Sir Nicholas Kenyon
T: 020 7382 7005
F: 020 7382 7245
Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS