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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.

View shows & offers

Unsilent Spring: George Monbiot, Chris Watson & Ewan McLennan

Words / Nature Unwrapped

Celebrated activist and author, George Monbiot, is joined by sound recordist and artist-in-residence Chris Watson. With music by Ewan McLennan.

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Family Folk Show with Megson

Family / Nature Unwrapped

Award-winning folk duo Megson blend their infectious mix of heavenly vocals and lush harmonies into a gentle, entertaining concert specially for younger children, featuring children’s folk songs about the natural world from their When I

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Good Things Await - Film

Contemporary / Nature Unwrapped

As a pre-concert event to Songs of the Soil with Theatre of Voices, Paul Hillier wanted to show Phie Ambo’s beautifully- filmed, award-winning documentary Good Things Await, about a biodynamic farm in northern Denmark, and its farmer.

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Songs from the Soil

Classical / Nature Unwrapped

We welcome Theatre of Voices to open Nature Unwrapped’s music programme with a spell-binding evening of choral music by Jóhann Jóhannsson, Arvo Pärt and Michael Gordon.

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The Askew Sisters

Folk / Nature Unwrapped

Emily and Hazel Askew have become known as two of the foremost performers and interpreters of English folk music. Their live performances brim with the depth and connection not only of two sisters, but also of two musicians who have been immersed in folk music all their lives.

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Storytelling - Step Carefully in the Forest

Words / Nature Unwrapped

Storyteller Matthew Crampton and pianist Olga Jegunova bring two mighty tales for a dark winter afternoon.

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Professor Brian Cox, Jack Liebeck and Friends

Classical / Nature Unwrapped

In this illustrated talk, Professor Brian Cox will discuss the seasons, why they happen, what they mean, and the more fundamental concepts of how time passes.

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Alice Oswald: Nobody

Contemporary / Nature Unwrapped

Listening to Alice Oswald’s poem Nobody is like watching the ocean: we slip our earthly moorings and follow the circling shoal of sea voices into a mesh of sound and light and water.

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Lau present - Unplugged

Folk / Nature Unwrapped

LAU present their celebrated songs in a naked form, in what they consider to be the band’s natural environment: entirely acoustic. Back to nature.

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Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment – Cell Your Soul

Classical / Bach, the Universe & Everything

The science: Professor Buzz Baum works at the intersection of biology and physics. He is trying to understand how cells evolve. This cantata repurposes a famous tune from Bach’s St Matthew Passion.

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Kate in the Kettle

Folk / Nature Unwrapped

Kate Young’s compositions are a thing to behold - rhythmically entrancing folk originals which explore the depths of nature's potential for healing.

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Cosmo Sheldrake

Contemporary / Nature Unwrapped

Cosmo Sheldrake presents a special project, delving deeper into flora and fauna, crafting beautiful, improvised sound worlds from ecological samples collected over the years.

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Aurora Orchestra with Nicholas Angelich

Classical / Aurora Orchestra

Aurora enters the fifth and final year of its Mozart’s Piano series with the American pianist Nicholas Angelich making his Kings Place debut.

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Albion Quartet

Classical / Nature Unwrapped

The Albion Quartet bring a trio of work inspired by the natural world.

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Riot Ensemble

Contemporary / Nature Unwrapped

This is the first in Riot Ensemble’s ReNEW series at Kings Place, bringing the cream of international contemporary music on to the Hall One stage.

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Aurora Orchestra: Far, Far Away

Family / Nature Unwrapped

Join Aurora Orchestra for a magical, musical adventure of Chopin waltzes, dancing dragonflies and a very sleepy tortoise.

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Aurora Orchestra: Far, Far Away

Family / Nature Unwrapped

Join Aurora Orchestra for a magical, musical adventure of Chopin waltzes, dancing dragonflies and a very sleepy tortoise.

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Västerås Sinfonietta & Simon Crawford-Phillips

Classical / Nature Unwrapped

A programme of wind, waves and forest murmurs from Sweden’s dynamic Västerås Sinfonietta, featuring Lawrence Power and Paul Watkins under the baton of chief conductor Simon Crawford-Phillips.

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Aurora Orchestra: Far, Far Away

Family / Nature Unwrapped

Join Aurora Orchestra for a magical, musical adventure of Chopin waltzes, dancing dragonflies and a very sleepy tortoise.

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Rafael Anton Irisarri + Oliver Coates

Contemporary / Nature Unwrapped

Rafael Anton Irisarri and Oliver Coates begin a new dystopian noise collaboration for Nature Unwrapped, exploring a world endgame scenario caused by accelerated environmental change.

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Aurora Orchestra: Far, Far Away

Family / Nature Unwrapped

Join Aurora Orchestra for a magical, musical adventure of Chopin waltzes, dancing dragonflies and a very sleepy tortoise.

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Vox Luminis

Classical / Nature Unwrapped

An evening of Lamentation in the face of wanton destruction. Allow Vox Luminis to immerse you in a meditative tapestry of voices. 

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Around the World in 80 Trees: an Illustrated Odyssey

Words / Jewish Book Week

Author, Eden Project trustee, World Wildlife Fund ambassador and former BBC TV science and nature commissioner Jonathan Drori has produced a glorious love letter to trees, our most constant and varied companion.

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