Bristol New Music 2018

This April the Bristol New Music weekend returns for its third, most ambitious installment to date. Taking place in venues across the city and presented in collaboration with five key organisations in Bristol (Colston Hall, Arnolfini, Spike Island, St George’s Bristol and the University of Bristol), this unique weekend celebrates the innovators and boundary-pushers of contemporary music, and offers them new platforms to reach audiences.

Featuring jazz, classical, installation art and electronica, Bristol New Music is a fertile testing-ground for both established and emerging artists, who fearlessly explore new realms in sound.

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Bristol New Music 2018

Bristol New Music 2018 brings together an exciting array of eclectic artists presented in more venues across the city than ever before to create a weekend of new music filled to the brim with inspiring performances, unique collaborations and fearless aural exploration.

Highlights include…

Experimental viola player Ulrich Mertin wielding his bow in the University of Bristol Auditorium to combine classical, house, folk, experimental and electronic music in a performance that will redefine how we think of his instrument. Later in the weekend Bristol Ensemble will fill the Auditorium with the sounds of young Bristol University graduate compositions while Ensemble Variances contrast violence with melodic bitterness as they perform Thierry Pécou’s seminal work Outre-Mémoire; an exploration of the slave trade through music.

Experimentation spreads into some of Bristol’s smaller venues this year’s festival as A Hawk and a Hacksaw blend Eastern European folk traditions with their own New Mexico roots for a performance injected with sheer unfettered adrenalin. Meanwhile, over at The Cube Cinema, legendary Berlin electronic music producers Moritz von Oswald and Rashad Becker, two heroes of the 1990s dub techno movement are joined by conceptual singer-songwriter Eric Chenaux for a double helping of experimental electronica.

One of history’s great saxophonists Evan Parker brings his iconic improvised style to The Arnolfini while the Theremin-conjuring Sarah Angliss performs highlights from her new release Ealing Feeder and offers a show and tell delving into the extraordinary history of her instrument and Tom Richard’s Mini Oramics machine.

Over on the far side of the harbour European artist research collective AUDINT (featuring Hyperdub founder Steve Goodman aka Kode9) present a mind-bending series of installations, talks, workshops and performances at Spike Island across the whole festival weekend that will transform the way we understand and experience sound.

Colston Hall’s new associate artists The Paraorchestra and Friends present a live sound installation with Charles Hazlewood and members of Army of Generals and The British Paraorchestra spread across all four levels of Colston Hall Foyer exploring the workings of an Orchestra through Steve Reich’s The Four Sections.

To bring the festival to a close will be Berklee College of Music composition and sound engineering graduate Kaitlyn Auralia Smith who will cast her intoxicating electronic sounds across the cavernous space of the former IMAX screen at Bristol Aquarium.

Please note, the Keith Tippett Octet and Matthew Bourne concert will no longer be going ahead on Saturday 21st April due to unforeseen circumstances.

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Supporters and Partners

  • Bristol New Music is supported using public funding by Arts Council England in partnership with the University of Bristol.

  • Colston Hall, Bristol’s largest concert hall and home of music since 1867.

  • Spike Island is Bristol’s vibrant hub for production, presentation and debate and an international centre for the development of contemporary art and design.

  • St George’s Bristol one of the country’s leading concert halls boasting a superb acoustic and unique atmosphere.

  • University of Bristol is one of the most popular and successful universities in the UK.

  • Arnolfini is a centre for contemporary arts based on Bristol’s harbourside in the heart of the city.

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