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Sounds of Life

From the curlew’s call to the groaning of ice, the music of the natural world has always inspired musicians and writers. As the future of a liveable planet becomes the most urgent issue of our time, we launch Nature Unwrapped. The twelfth edition of Kings Place’s award-winning year-long series will explore the sounds of the biosphere, man’s interaction with nature, and reflect on the paths open to us to make change.

Renowned choral director Paul Hillier is an Associate Artist, opening with Songs of the Soil to the music of Arvo Pärt. From Brumel’s Earthquake Mass to Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony, Messiaen’s Catalogue d’Oiseaux to Max Richter’s Seasons Recomposed, Bach’s Peasant Cantata to Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture, the series celebrates the inspiration of nature. Martin Simpson, Eliza Carthy and Nancy Kerr present Folk on Foot events, reflecting on the landscape. There will be ground-breaking music projects from Laura Cannell, John Luther Adams, Matthew Herbert and Ben Corrigan’s interactive Lydian Tree. Riot Ensemble bring GF Haas’s Solstices and Liza Lim’s Extinction Events, while Manchester Collective perform Crumb’s extraordinary Voice of the Whale.

Look out for more music events coming on sale, and for the spoken word programme, taking in poetry, nature writing, political debates and curated walks outside the building.

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Aurora Orchestra with Yeol Eum Son

Classical / Aurora Orchestra

This scintillating programme includes a symphony performed entirely from memory; a work of orchestral theatre from Harrison Birtwistle; and a collaboration with rising star pianist Yeol Eum Son.

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The Lock-In: Immersed – Beethoven 6

Classical / Nature Unwrapped

This special late-night event offers you the rare opportunity to experience Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony from inside the very heart of the orchestra.

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Live Exclusive: Sarah Nicolls - 12 Years (Filmed Concert)

Contemporary / Nature Unwrapped

Acclaimed pianist and composer Sarah Nicolls' new project 12 Years was inspired by the 2018 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, giving us 12 years to take drastic action on emissions.

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Laurie Anderson

Contemporary / Nature Unwrapped

In this solo performance, All the Things I Lost in the Flood, Anderson employs spoken word, video, live music and electronics to explore the power and perils of language and storytelling.

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Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment – Can Bacterium Compute?

Classical / Bach, the Universe & Everything

The science: Professor Susan Stepney introduces us to different types of non-conventional computing. The music: This cantata marks Pentecost, and the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles.

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Laurie Anderson

Contemporary / Nature Unwrapped

Due to popular demand, we are delighted to welcome Laurie Anderson for a second performance of her solo show, All the Things I Lost in the Flood, where Anderson employs spoken word, video, live music and electronics to explore the power and perils of language and storytelling.

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Bach in the Country: The Secular Cantatas

Classical / Nature Unwrapped

Bach’s Cantate Burlesque (known as the Peasant Cantata) and his Coffee Cantata – two short comic operas, written in collaboration with Bach’s favourite librettist Picander.

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Tamara Stefanovich

Classical / Nature Unwrapped

Birdsong was a key musical resource for Olivier Messiaen. His Catalogue d’oiseaux, 13 portraits of different birds divided into seven books, is one of the greatest, most original works of the 20th century.

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I Fagiolini

Classical / Nature Unwrapped

As the focus on climate change grows, I Fagiolini sing of nature and the passing of the year in a programme inspired by Pieter Breughel the Younger’s The Four Seasons.

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London Sinfonietta: Takemitsu

Contemporary / Nature Unwrapped

The Japanese composer Tōru Takemitsu in focus, with musical performances, film and discussion.

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Manchester Collective: Voice of the Whale

Contemporary / Nature Unwrapped

Voice of the Whale performed under blue light by anonymous, masked musicians, on instruments that are amplified and modified. This is music from another dimension, an undersea world which audiences will experience on stage, together with our players.

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Groove Baby presents: Groove Into the Woods

Family / Nature Unwrapped

Come on a jazz and funk-fuelled family adventure into the deep dark woods. Who will we find and will they be bad or good? Specially designed show for ages 3 - 7 and their grown-ups.

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Chilingirian Quartet

Classical / Nature Unwrapped

The Chilingirian Quartet offers a celebration of the Nature theme through the string quartet medium.

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London is a Forest: Walking Tour

Words / Nature Unwrapped

Join Paul Wood, author of London is a Forest, and London's Street Trees on a tour of the remarkable trees found right on our doorstep.

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Living with Trees in the City with Paul Wood and Robin Walter

Words / Nature Unwrapped

Enjoy an evening’s discussion with Paul Wood, author of London is a Forest, and Robin Walter, author of Common Ground’s forthcoming handbook Living with Trees published by Little Toller Books.

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From the Haunted Forest with Jack Liebeck & Friends

Classical / London Chamber Music Society

Celebrated violinist Jack Liebeck is joined by a host of leading musicians for a night of nature-inspired Romantic works.

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Guardian Masterclass

Words / Nature Unwrapped

Learn to write powerful stories about the natural world, and increase your enjoyment of the outdoors

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London is a Forest: Walking Tour

Words / Nature Unwrapped

Join Paul Wood, author of London is a Forest, and London’s Street Trees on a tour of the remarkable trees found right on our doorstep. Paul will lead us around the streets and natural corners of King’s Cross, all

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Life at Longmeadow, Behind the Camera: Monty Don

Words / Nature Unwrapped

BBC Gardeners’ World lead presenter, Monty Don, has taken time out of this busy Chelsea flower show schedule to share tales from a life of gardening.

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Joan Shelley + James Elkington

Folk / Nature Unwrapped

Joan Shelley is a songwriter and singer who lives near Louisville, Kentucky not far from where she grew up. Like the River Loves the Sea is her fifth album.

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Riot Ensemble: Solstices

Contemporary / Nature Unwrapped

Performed from memory in over 75 minutes of complete darkness, Georg Friedrich Haas’ Solstices is a mammoth experience of tuning, listening and beauty.

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Aurora Orchestra with Imogen Cooper

Classical / Nature Unwrapped

A riot of vibrant colours splashes through this lively Mozart’s Piano programme with Aurora Orchestra and acclaimed pianist Imogen Cooper, including Copland’s Appalachian Spring.

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The Lock In: Travels with My Trombone

Classical / Nature Unwrapped

Aurora’s Principal Trombone, Matthew Gee, travels through the bittersweet landscapes of Vaughan Williams’ Songs of Travel, the fierce chill of Schubert’s Winterreise and the dizzying terrains of Jan Sandström’s A Short Ride on a Motorbike.

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