In BristolNews

Artists from three continents, working at the vanguard of music and sound, interwoven with spoken word, moving image, and creative learning, are among a diverse programme of live events at Arnolfini this Autumn.

The season opens with the culmination of Bristol-based percussionist Dan Johnson’s residency at Arnolfini, Ecstatic Drum Beats, on Saturday 9 September. Through discovering ways to create music responding to site and the unique skills of his co-performers, Dan, with collaborators Saffiya Abibu and Sumaya Hassan-Murphy will present a unique, improvised performance, with support from poet Iman Sultan West and Run Logan Run partner Andrew Neil Hayes. 

The following day, Dan will run Ecstatic Drum Beats Workshop on Sunday 10 September exploring new and traditional approaches to composition, improvisation, and performance and share a series of exercises designed to develop new skills and ways of thinking in each of these areas. All instruments will be provided, though participants are welcome to bring their own if they wish, for an opportunity to create brand new collaborative music and performance pieces during the session. Activities promise both fun and challenge for professional, intermediate or beginning musicians and for drummers and non-drummers alike.

On Saturday 16 September 64 Variations presents an atmospheric, cross-artform interpretation of JS Bach’s legendary Chaconne in D Minor. The piece itself is played by the British viola virtuoso Lawrence Power, with responses from dancer Sharia Johnson and soprano Heloise Werner. The three artists performed in an abandoned warehouse and were filmed in atmospheric detail by Jessie Rodger. Presented in Arnolfini’s theatre space, the film will be on loop throughout the day.

Poet Caroline Bergvall, who exhibited at Arnolfini in 2000, makes a very welcome return with Nottsong on Friday 22 September. A duo for two voices, spoken and sung, with sound installation and moving image, Nottsong is inspired by ancient Norse mythology, the nomadic and migratory nature of people and language, and ‘what it means to be in the dark’. Nottsong will be presented at dusk at the Autumn equinox, marking the transition into the darker half of the year with a dream-like reimagination of our deeply interconnected lives, across times and languages.    

Calling Calling on Wednesday 14 October is an evening organised by popular Bristol artist collective The Brunswick Club. The close of an expanded vocal project which has involved many different artists exploring approaches to voice through the last six 
months, Calling Calling will include performances by Sharon Gal, Phil Minton, Dali de Saint Paul, Jason Singh and a new work developed by local artists during a residency at Arnolfini in September. There will also be a screening of Voice: Sculpting Sound, a portrait of musician and singer Maja Ratkje, at The Cube on the Sunday. 
Calling Calling

Taking place at the preview evening of Elias Sime Eregata እርጋታ exhibition, on Friday 20 October, Another Sky is a performance of experimental music linking southwest Asia and North Africa to the UK and Europe. Working across overlapping strands of new music, improv and electronics, and curated by composer Sam Salem with producer Emily Moore, Another Sky is presented at Café Oto in London with satellite events at Arnolfini, Sonic Matter Festival and Zurich, Irtijal Festival in Beirut.   

New music specialist Adam Swayne brings a programme for piano with electronics to Arnolfini, with Couperin and Concrète on Friday 27 October. Referencing the French electronic music technique of splicing together sounds from many sources, Swayne draws together new works exploring different approaches to quotation, reinvention and homage, with a favourite piece by the 18th century French keyboardist and composer Francois Couperin. A recital overlapping musically old and new influences. 

A celebration of the work of the iconic American composer, Pauline Oliveros, begins on Saturday 28 October with a workshop introducing the artists’ technique of Deep Listening as a transformative creative practice. The session will include exercises in focal and global listening, improvising with sound, movement and dreams, as well as opportunities to collaborate whilst developing attention and awareness.
Later the same day Pauline Oliveros Deep Listening will include interpretations of three of her text-scores by musicians Ximena Alarcon, Tina Hitchens and Dan Johnson; and a screening of the new documentary ‘Pauline Oliveros – Deep Listening’ by Daniel Weintraub.

A Man in a Room, Gambling on Saturday 18 November is part of Phaedra Ensemble’s year-long marking of beloved British experimental composer Gavin Bryars’ 80th birthday. Reinterpreting a number of his seminal works for Arnolfini audiences, they bring a new take on A Man in a Room, Gambling.  Described as ‘an extraordinary aural sculpture’, the piece combines ten recorded episodes of the artist Juan Muñoz describing card tricks and illusions, overlaid with Bryars’ lush string quartet writing. A surreal, immersive performance by genre-defying Phaedra Ensemble, augmented by moving-image work by composer Jamie Hamilton. 

All live events at Arnolfini are set at affordable and accessible prices, with concessions for those who need them. 

The full programme includes more fantastic offerings from Arnolfini’s creative partners and can be found at




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