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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

O/Modernt – The Man Who Planted Trees

Classical / Nature Unwrapped

This concert illuminates Beethoven’s philosophy of nature through a reading of Jean Giono’s fable The Man who Planted Trees (1953). Plus, music by Bach, Brahms, Satie, Schoenberg and Fazil Say.

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Orchestra for the Earth – Mahler Symphony No. 9

Classical / Nature Unwrapped

Experience Mahler’s celebrated Ninth Symphony in a new way, played beneath breathtaking images of Alpine glaciers.

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Karine Polwart – Community Singing Workshop

Learning / Nature Unwrapped

Renowned singer-songwriter Karine Polwart leads an environmental song-themed community workshop, suitable for all ages and abilities!

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Jimmy Aldridge & Sid Goldsmith with Edgelarks and Hazel Askew

Folk / Nature Unwrapped

Can the traditional music of Britain help us to make sense of the current environmental crisis? In this brand-new collaboration, five of British folk’s leading voices reflect on this question and present an inspiring show.

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George Monbiot and Peggy Seeger in Conversation

Folk / Nature Unwrapped

What role can music and art play in tackling the climate crisis? How has folksong been used to help the social movements of the past? Peggy Seeger (folksinger/activist) and George Monbiot (environmentalist/journalist) debate these questions.

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Karine Polwart

Folk / Nature Unwrapped

Award-winning Scottish folk singer, theatre maker and writer, Karine Polwart, speaks to the urgency of environmental crisis and the contested use of land via song, spoken word, story and myth in an intimate solo performance. 

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Brodsky Quartet: On Wenlock Edge

Classical / Nature Unwrapped

The Brodsky Quartet are joined by tenor Daniel Norman and pianist Sholto Kynoch for a special performance of On Wenlock Edge, presented with Jeremy Hamway-Bidgood’s shadow-play film.

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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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Joan Shelley

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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Saigyo-Zakura

Classical / Nature Unwrapped

Our classical programme includes highlights from Noh playwright Zeami’s masterpiece Saigyo-Zakura (Saigyo’s Cherry Tree) as performed by Minoru IV Gensho Umewaka.

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Song of the Birds

Contemporary / Nature Unwrapped

Hear the songs of birds reimagined afresh in a cross-cultural collaboration between British recorder virtuoso Piers Adams, leader of the celebrated baroque quartet Red Priest, and Japanese Nohkan flute maestro Yukihiro Isso. Together they explore

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Sumida River in Sign Language

Classical / Nature Unwrapped

Sumida River in Sign Language brings the natural and human worlds together in a drama of physical gesture and facial expression.

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Cerith Wyn Evans: Noh (A-Drift)

Contemporary / Nature Unwrapped

Cerith Wyn Evans draws on his deep knowledge and love of Noh theatre to create a new film piece, as well as collaborating with Noh musicians to produce a live performance.

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Kakitsubata (Water Iris)/Hengenka

Contemporary / Nature Unwrapped

Two much-loved classical masterpieces, a contemporary interpretation of Noh by dance duo Thick & Tight, plus the UK premiere of a work composed by Yukihiro Isso, which celebrates the awe-inspiring power of nature.

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Laura Cannell's Modern Ritual XIII Feat. Stewart Lee

Contemporary / Nature Unwrapped

Laura Cannell’s Modern Ritual is ancient, modern, experimental, real, fictional, personal, folkloric. It explores human and mechanical rituals, failure of ritual and provides a platform to premiere new works in the UK. 

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