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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

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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Mira Calix & the Calix Ensemble

Contemporary / Nature Unwrapped

The Kalahari’s San people tell of a bee that carried a mantis across a river. The exhausted bee leaves the mantis on a floating flower, planting a seed in its body. According to their folklore,

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Reasons to be Cheerful

Words / Nature Unwrapped

A podcast about ideas. Former Labour Party leader Ed Miliband, and Sony Award-winning radio host Geoff Lloyd talk to smart thinkers from around the world.

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Tea Houses: Camellia Sinensis

Contemporary / Nature Unwrapped

New live music mixes with lighting and soundscapes, participatory tea rituals and ambisonic technology, which captures the audience’s emotional responses in the performance space.

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Wild Singing: Eliza Carthy

Folk / Nature Unwrapped

Eliza Carthy is one of the most influential figures in the UK folk scene. Ahead of a live performance, Eliza will be in conversation with Folk on Foot podcast host Matthew Bannister

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Wild Singing: Matthew Bannister presents Folk on Foot on Film

Words / Wild Singing

In this talk, broadcaster Matthew Bannister takes you behind the scenes of his award-winning podcast, Folk on Foot.

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Wild Singing: The Rheingans Sisters

Folk / Nature Unwrapped

Award-winning musicians, composers and folk scholars The Rheingans Sisters perform music from their critically acclaimed third album Bright Field, in which the natural world is the cathartic setting of many songs exploring our shared humanity.

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The Shackleton Trio

Free / Nature Unwrapped

This trio’s self-penned material blends seamlessly with imaginative re-workings of traditional folk standards, influenced by British, American and Scandinavian folk traditions, with a regional twist from the group's native East Anglia.

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Wild Singing: Martin Simpson

Folk / Nature Unwrapped

Regularly voted one of the world’s greatest guitarists, Martin Simpson has been nominated for an astonishing 23 Radio 2 Folk Awards – and won artist of the year twice.

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Wild Singing: Songhive - Beelore & Folksong in the British Isles

Folk / Wild Singing

Songhive is a project founded by singer and musician Rowan Piggott, comprising songs of ‘beelore’ and folksong of the British Isles, to raise awareness of the current plight of the bees.

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Wild Singing: Kitty Macfarlane

Folk / Wild Singing

Kitty Macfarlane is a songwriter and guitarist from Somerset, whose music is rich with visual imagery and written with an eco-eye. Her trademark lies in remarkably mature songwriting, a marked empathy with the environment and a strong sense of place.

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The Wilderness Yet

Free / Nature Unwrapped

The Wilderness Yet weave a tapestry of traditional & self-penned songs with a charm and familiarity that is usually only found in seasoned line-ups.

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Wild Singing: Nancy Kerr and James Fagan

Folk / Nature Unwrapped

Nancy and her husband James join us for a high-energy show. Ahead of a live performance, Nancy will be in conversation with Folk on Foot podcast host Matthew Bannister.

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Wildlife on London’s Canals

Words / Nature Unwrapped

In the 200th anniversary year of the building of the Regents Canal, discover the huge range of wildlife living within, beside and above London’s canals and waterways. David Courtnedge works for the London Wildlife Trust

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Eliza McCarthy & Jo Wills

Contemporary / ‘Under 14s’ / ‘Under 30s’ Tickets

Leading contemporary pianist, Eliza McCarthy, plunges into the natural world in this beguiling sequence of works for piano, analogue, amplified and prepared.

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12 ensemble – Max Richter: Four Seasons Recomposed

Classical / Nature Unwrapped

The critically-acclaimed 12 ensemble return to Kings Place with a specially curated programme of works by Max Richter.

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Firebird Orchestra

Classical / Nature Unwrapped

Inspired by their name, the Firebird Orchestra explores some of Nature’s ornithological themes in music.

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Sarah Nicolls

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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NYX + Christina Vantzou

Contemporary / Nature Unwrapped

NYX; electronic drone choir, and composer Christina Vantzou present a new, breathing symphony for electronics and the voice inspired by symbiosis in the natural world. 

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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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