Internationally renowned musicians to perform live from A Room for London throughout 2012
Sounds from a Room is Artangel’s year long programme of international musicians taking up residence and then performing live from A Room for London, a one-bedroom architectural installation perched on top of Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall on the River Thames. This intimate temporary new venue for the capital will broadcast a series of live ‘bedroom gigs’, starting this January with Andrew Bird and also including Heiner Goebbels, Amadou & Mariam and Imogen Heap, with more names to be announced later in the year. Each musician’s performance will be streamed live on www.aroomforlondon.co.uk and relayed onto screens at Southbank Centre.
Andrew Bird says: “ I have this history of playing non-traditional venues: former bank lobbies, Odd Fellows Halls and a few boats, but nothing quite like a boat stranded in the heart of London. Seems like my kind of thing. I also like the look of the other guests.”
Laurie Anderson will become resident in A Room for London in March, exploring the city and its secrets to produce a new sound piece; and David Byrne will stay in February, using the space to record a special soundwork for podcast later the same month.
Byrne says: “My decision to be involved with A Room for London stems from my relationship with Artangel. Though there might have been a great temptation to squat in a house filled with poisonous crystals or one with strange twins, a view of the Thames seems a lot more sensible, more comfortable and private. I have some pretty good ideas about what I'll do up there, but I suspect there'll be room to react to the boat itself and the surroundings - so there'll be some improvising as well.”
Sounds from a Room Performance Schedule
28 January 2â€‘3pm The Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall (via screen)
Chicago based multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bird’s seventh solo album Break it Yourself will be released this March and other than his sold out Barbican gig, this will be the only opportunity to see him live in the UK this spring.
26 February 6-6.45pm Queen Elizabeth Hall Front Room (via screen)
The German composer Heiner Goebbels, known for his compositions for ensembles and large orchestras, will produce a musical response to Joseph Conrad’s 1890 journal Up-River Book. He will be joined by Senegalese Griots Sira and Boubakar Djebaté (voice and kora), the French musician Xavier Garcia (electronics) and the actor André Wilms.
25 March 5-6pm Spirit Level Blue Room, Royal Festival Hall (via screen)
Visual artist and musician Laurie Anderson has released numerous acclaimed albums, films, books and exhibited her art in musuems and galleries around the world. For Sounds from a Room, Anderson will be creating and performing a new sound piece.
Performances, featuring two husband and wife duos, will follow on 26 April with Swedish band Wildbirds and Peacedrums and Amadou & Mariam from Mali on 23 May; and Imogen Heap will be writing a new song while in residence for performance on 22 June.
Musicians performing as part of Sounds from a Room will use A Room for London as their studio and draw from its position as a unique window on the sights and sounds of London. Offering live ‘bedroom gigs’ from musicians who usually headline large venues, it is a unique opportunity to experience these artists in a more intimate space.
Sounds from a Room is part of Artangel’s A Room for London programme. This also includes A London Address, a series of monthly writings and recordings, and Ideas for London, a competition in association with the London Evening Standard to uncover Londoners’ most remarkable ideas to make their city a better place.
All performances relayed live onto screens at Southbank Centre are free and guests will be admitted on a first come first served basis.
A Room for London is a major new collaboration between Artangel and Living Architecture, in association with Southbank Centre. It is a one-bedroom architectural installation in the form of a riverboat. Taking inspiration from Joseph Conrad’s book Heart of Darkness and Roi de Belges (the boat he captained in the Congo in 1890) it was designed by David Kohn Architects, in collaboration with artist Fiona Banner. Built by Living Architecture as part of their programme of making great architecture available to the public, A Room for London will be in situ throughout 2012 and occupied by members of the public who have pre-booked to stay there. The Artangel programme is part of the London 2012 Festival.
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX