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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

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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A Walk with the Urban Birder

Words / Nature Unwrapped

Join David Lindo, ‘The Urban Birder’, as he takes you deep into nature in the middle of London.

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Hollie Harding’s At the Tide’s Reach

Contemporary / Nature Unwrapped

A participatory immersive performance for singers and string players exploring the sound of our rising, heating oceans.

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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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BEAM Live

Contemporary / Nature Unwrapped

Artist Wolfgang Buttress with musicians Kev Bales and Tony Foster present their latest soundscape which was originally composed for the critically acclaimed art installation BEAM for Greenpeace at Glastonbury 2019.

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The Canticle of the Sun

Classical / Nature Unwrapped

The charismatic young South African cellist, Abel Selaocoe joins the BBC Singers for Gubaidulina’s spiritual tour de force, the Canticle of the Sun. Written for Rostropovich, her radiantly mystical setting of the St Francis’s prayer

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Crick Crack Club presents

Words / The Crick Crack Club

Performance story-telling by Hugh Lupton

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The Sixteen

Classical / Nature Unwrapped

Our artistic associates, The Sixteen, bring us movements from Brumel’s astonishing Earthquake Mass to Kings Place as part of Nature Unwrapped.

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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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VOCES8 – The Passing of the Year

Classical / Nature Unwrapped

Acclaimed vocal ensemble VOCES8 present music rooted in nature – from extravagant Elizabethan idylls, styled for their queen ‘Oriana’, to a set of Monteverdi madrigals in which an Arcadian shepherd pines for a nymph.

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Handel: L'Allegro

Classical / Nature Unwrapped

Did any musician of the 18th century better understand the human condition than Handel?

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Natural Order

Contemporary / Nature Unwrapped

Natural Order is an immersive new work by composer, Ben Corrigan. Featuring a new, co-written text in collaboration with award winning vocalist, Lauren Kinsella that she will perform live alongside new music pioneers the London Contemporary Orchestra.

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The Lydian Tree

Family / Nature Unwrapped

The Lydian Tree is a new collaborative work between children's author Kim Hillyard, composer Ben Corrigan and his art installation co-creator Matthew Watt.

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Two-Piano Gala with Katya Apekisheva, Charles Owen, Vadym Kholodenko, Noriko Ogawa, Kathryn Stott & Finghin Collins

Classical / Nature Unwrapped

Six internationally-acclaimed pianist friends team up in various pairings for an evening of enormous variety, including Stravinsky’s seminal masterpiece The Rite of Spring and a new work by Sally Beamish.

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Fabulous Beasts

Family / London Piano Festival

Animals both real and fantastical will be brought to life through the imaginations of two brilliant composers, with imagery and storytelling.

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Eliza McCarthy

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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Tom Kerstens’ G Plus Ensemble

Classical / Nature Unwrapped

Tom Kerstens’ G Plus Ensemble plays premieres of new IGF commissions: work by Léo Brouwer, Joe Cutler, Howard Skempton, Laura Snowden and Errollyn Wallen. Programme also includes work by Toru Takemitsu. Tom Kerstens is a major figure in

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The Imaginary Road: Jackie Kay and Julie Brook in conversation

Words / Nature Unwrapped

In this conversation with Skye-based sculptor Julie Brook, Jackie Kay reflects on her experience of the Scottish landscape as she travelled around the highlands and islands in her literary role, and discusses creativity and ownership of land, peat and ideas.

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Southbank Sinfonia: The Lark Ascending

Classical / Nature Unwrapped

Salt water stained nostalgia calls Grace Williams back to her coastal childhood home in a piece which traces the many moods of the ocean from its calm, flat surface of endless horizons to the unforgiving,

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Tim Dee and Matthew Herbert: Landfill

Words / Nature Unwrapped

Tim Dee discusses his recent book Landfill joined by composer Matthew Herbert who will present his sonic response to the work.

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