Surprising, entertaining and downright unusual, these events are an absolute must.
This March, Sounds Like THIS Festival will return with a line-up so good you simply won’t be able to resist it. Alongside our own event, which brings together craft beer, street food and a night of immersive music, they’ve joined forces with Brighter Sounds and Beth Orton to present a night of new music from up and coming female talent. But that’s just the beginning, so if you want to explore the wonderful, intriguing potential of music, check out these five events – they’ll open your eyes to a whole new world of music and get you tapping your toes at the same time.
Classical music and craft beer in a laid back setting
Away from the concert halls and the orchestra pits, classical music is enjoying a long overdue resurgence and you can find out why at Headrow House this March. Five supremely talented musicians will take to the stage to perform a mesmerising programme of music that will take you from traditional to contemporary in the blink of an eye.
Clarinetist Maria Insua Cao is up first with Monster by Ed Bennett, then critically acclaimed violinist Aisha Orazbayeva will step in. Over the course of her set, she’ll introduce you to all-time classics from Heinrich Biber alongside modern compositions from John Cage. Afterwards, James Wilson and Sohrab Uduman will perform a specially-commissioned work that brings together the flute and live electronics, before saxophonist Sarah Markham presents a surprisingly modern set that combines live performance, recorded music and computerised sound effects.
By Night 1 comes to Headrow House on Wednesday 13th March 2019.
Experimental pop music in an underground club
By Night returns the next day with a completely different experience. This time, you can see an eclectic line-up of musicians perform familiar pop sounds, but in the most unexpected of ways. In the dark, atmospheric setting of The HiFi Club, experienced musicians will work side-by-side with up and coming artists to create a truly original show.
You can hear the Andy West Ensemble play through his original songs before Michael Sluman plays the oboe… with drones. Intrigued? So are we! New artist Hannah Willwood is up next with her band, then composer Jacob Thompson-Bell and keyboard legend Matt Bourne will join forces with the best and the brightest from Leeds College of Music to present a smorgasbord of new music. The show finishes with poppy sensation Talkboy before Jermaine Peterson brings his jazzy r&b.
By Night 2 comes to The HiFi Club on Thursday 14th March 2019.
Massive beats and ethereal sounds in a unique audio-visual performance
You’ve never heard anything like this before. Born in the Swiss Alps, with a rich Nepalese-Tibetan heritage, Aïsha Devi has a truly unique sound. It’s distinctly European, but almost ritualistic in style, with thumping beats, corporeal vocals and guttural throat singing – think Björk meets PJ Harvey.
But it’s not just the music. This is a mind-boggling audio-visual performance that will blow your socks off. Devi has teamed up with artist Emile Barret to create a totally immersive experience. As the music plays out, pulling you in with its rhythmic beat, the set will change before your eyes as Barret’s incredibly choreographed projection engulfs the whole stage. You’ve got to see it to believe it.
Aïsha Devi Live AV Feat. Emile Barret will takeover the Community Room at Brudenell Social Club on Friday 15th March 2019.
A fantastical musical journey through the cosmos
This all-new operatic production will send you hurtling into space as you join the only survivors of the asteroid disaster that destroyed Earth. Interstellar Cruiseship Cosmos X37 is travelling at the speed of light from Proxima Centauri to the Andomeda Galaxy and you can join them for a wild ride that will explore human nature in all its forms.
It may be set in the future, but this insane production will take you on a sci-fi adventure through musical history as you encounter Meredith Monk and Henry Purcell alongside Mozart, Verdi and Poulenc. Projections, theatre and the utter genius of Sarah Dacey and Morag Galloway make this an absolute must-see and one that will bring classical opera to life in a whole new way.
Earth Odyssey comes to Leeds College of Music on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th March 2019.
Stories, memories and insights from a music industry great
In the music industry, women are massively outnumbered by men, especially when it comes to engineering and production – which is why it’s so exciting to see Susan Rogers on the line-up of Sounds Like THIS Festival. Not only did she defeat the odds, but she’s also built a multi-platinum career as a record producer, engineer, mixer and audio technician. Over the years, she’s worked with music legends like Prince, and the stories she has to tell are simply too good to miss.
In this relaxed conversation with Dr Paul Abbott, you’ll get a glimpse into her past and her present – she now holds a doctoral degree in experimental psychology. Expect a candid one-to-one that explores the psychology of music – why do we listen to music the way we do, how do we decide what we like and why do our tastes change over time? The night will end with the question of what happens when an artist is gone and how we should manage their back catalogue when they haven’t told us what they want.
Susan Rogers in Conversation: Music Preferences and Preservation comes to Leeds College of Music on Monday 18th March 2019.