Helen Wallace, Programme Director: Peggy Seeger – 'Songs My Mother Taught Me' & Ruth Crawford Seeger – ‘Dear Superwoman’
One of my absolute favourite events of Venus Unwrapped, a long-held wish to bring together the music of pioneering avant garde composer Ruth Crawford-Seeger with the music of her daughter Peggy Seeger and her son Calum McColl. Pianist Christina McMaster bridged the generation gap, performing Ruth’s fiendish Studies and her charming American folk songs. A celebration of two extraordinary artists.
Chris Nye, Head of Visitor Services: The Adam Buxton Podcast with George the Poet
My 2019 highlight came with Adam Buxton’s podcast. He was joined by George the Poet who gave a compelling insight into his journey from the pull of a North West London estate, to the courts of Cambridge. Seriously multi-talented, and impossible to not admire. Come back soon, George.
Robert Read, Managing Director: Aurora Orchestra play Anna Meredith & The Lock-In: Surround with Anna Meredith
Possibly my most memorable performance of the past year was Anna Meredith’s collaboration with Aurora Orchestra, as part of Venus Unwrapped and the Mozart’s Piano series. The sequence of performances, across all of our spaces, in one night, exemplifies all that’s possible and best at Kings Place.
The programme started in Hall One with an orchestral exploration of the different guises of transformation through the music of Mozart, Meredith’s Origami Songs and a world premiere of Emily Hall’s Life-Cycle. A small ensemble of Aurora players serenaded the audience, at the interval, from the Gallery Level before we transferred to Hall Two for a full-on amplified, electronic, sonic feast, that has been the hallmark of Meredith’s past two albums. This truly astonishing performance was Hall Two at its most eclectic and loud, featuring electrified bassoons, a drum dual and a jumping dance matt percussionist.
Sophia Klose, Marketing & Communications Coordinator: Éthiopiques at Songlines Encounters – Girma Bèyènè & Akalé Wubé
I truly enjoyed seeing the legendary Ethiopian composer, singer and pianist Girma Bèyènè perform with the French band Akalé Wubé at Songlines Encounters Festival. Within seconds Girma had us all up from our seats and kept us dancing until the end of the show.
James Kinnaird, Marketing & Communications Manager: Klein + Loraine James + Beatrice Dillon (DJ)
In June we were proud to host The Oram Awards which was established to recognise emerging female and non-binary artists in the fields of music, sound and related technologies in honour of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop’s Daphne Oram.
The evening Luminate x Oram Awards showcase that followed stands out for me, as each artist who performed transformed our spaces in ways I had never seen or heard before. The glitchy 4/4 beats of new Hyperdub signing Loraine James sounded incredible through the Hall One sound system, and although not usually music you would expect to listen to while sat down, something about it worked. South London composer and sound collagist Klein followed, performing an eerie and evocative set shrouded in almost complete darkness.
Finally, Beatrice Dillon’s DJ set in Hall Two showed the full potential of our sound system there, building seamlessly from ambient textures into whirling sonic madness. I’ll never forget it.