"The week has been enthralling... wide in taste, clever in programming and engaging and stylish in presentation. Long may it continue"
Ivan Hewett, The Daily Telegraph

Fiona Maddocks, The Observer

"A clever, eclectic new-music programme... it might well become the 21st-century replacement for the much missed Almeida festival"
Andrew Clements, The Guardian

Following the success of the inaugural London Contemporary Music Festival (LCMF 2013), "the capital's most adventurous and ambitious festival of new music" (The Guardian) returned for its second year. LCMF 2014 offered a week of multi-disciplinary events exploring the best new music and performances from around the world (by everyone from Gavin Bryars to Fatima Al Qadiri, John Giorno to Karlheinz Stockhausen) in an extraordinary new space.

Exploring the intersection between music, performance and art, LCMF 2014 also presented a ten-mirror installation by Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto. This work formed the basis of his cataclysmic performance piece Ten Less One (2009), with which we closed the festival on 1 June.

From a Noh play presentation to DJ sets, from the Italian Baroque to power electronics, LCMF 2014 was a kaleidoscopic tour of the contemporary scene, each night focusing on a different aspect of where music finds itself today.

For our 2014 edition we teamed up with Second Home to take over a spectacular 20,000 sq ft former carpet factory off Brick Lane.


Christopher Hobbs McCrimmon Will Never Return (1970-73)
James Clarke Island (2003)
Gavin Bryars 1, 2, 1-2-3-4 (1971)
Tim Parkinson untitled 2004b (2004) (world premiere)
John White Piano Sonata No 46
Christopher Hobbs Aran (1970-73)
Maggie Nicols Live improvisation
Consumer Electronics Estuary English (2014)

Leo Abrahams electric guitar (Bryars)
Philip Best voice, electronics (Consumer Electronics)
Gavin Bryars reed organ, percussion, double bass
Leo Chadburn voice (Bryars)
Sarah Froelich voice, electronics (Consumer Electronics)
Russell Haswell electronics (Consumer Electronics)
Christopher Hobbs reed organ, percussion, piano
Maggie Nicols voice (Bryars)
Ashley Paul saxophone (Bryars)
Lucy Railton cello (Bryars)
Philip Thomas piano, reed organ
John Tilbury piano, reed organ, percussion

This year, we open the festival with a survey of the many British composers and performers who have chosen to swim against the tide.

In a rare reunion since their Obscure Records days, Gavin Bryars and Christpher Hobbs will resurrect several key experimental works of the era. Alongside this John Tilbury will perform an early piano sonata by fellow experimentalist John White. Meanwhile, subterranean explorer Philip Thomas showcases the work of two composers - James Clarke and Tim Parkinson - who have sidestepped conventional musical thought in two very different ways.

It is through improvisation that some of Britain's most radical artists have found their voice. Tonight we witness the legendary solo vocals of Maggie Nicols (pictured above) and terrifying transgressions of Consumer Electronics (pictured below), active since the early 1980s. Their recent album Estuary English provides tonight's focus.

Lead photo credits
2: William Pine


Richard Wagner / Leon Michener Improvisations on Der Ring des Nibelungen (1869-1874)
Fatima Al Qadiri
Johannes Kreidler Fremdarbeit (Outsourcing) (2009)
Luigi Nono ... sofferte onde serene ... (1976)
Cornelius Cardew Red Flag Prelude (1973)

Fatima Al Qadiri
Michael Cox flute (Kreidler)
Mark Knoop piano (Nono, Cardew), conductor (Kreidler)
Johannes Kreidler moderator (Kreidler)
Leon Michener piano (Wagner)
Lucy Railton cello (Kreidler)
Serge Vuille percussion (Kreidler)
Kerry Yong sampler (Kreidler)

Music and global capitalism: for the artists featured in this programme, the interlacing of these two themes has been a central concern.

Richard Wagner is sometimes considered the first musical Marxist, with Der Ring des Nibelungen tracing its story around a critique of financial greed. In the mid 20th century, political upheavals led both Luigi Nono and Cornelius Cardew to see music as a platform for anti-capitalist agitation.

Two currently active artists who have turned their attention to today's networks of power and wealth are Kuwaiti composer and producer Fatima Al Qadiri (pictured below) and German composer Johannes Kreidler (pictured above). While Kreidler's Fremdarbeit (Outsourcing) offers a blistering critique of contemporary culture, Al Qadiri's darkly compelling futurism draws on the impersonal sonic vocabularies of corporate culture and hi-tech, commodified club genres.

In association with Verso books

Lead photo credits
1: Tom Cawley
2: Dimitri Djuric


Noh play excerpts:
Shakkyō (The Stone Bridge)
Hagoromo (The Celestial Robe)
Funa-Benkei (Benkei and the Boat)
Karlheinz Stockhausen Himmels-Tür (Heaven's Door) (2006)
Pain Jerk and Russell Haswell Live set

Udaka Tatsushige, Udaka Norishige, Diego Pellecchia actors, chorus
Akai Yosuke flute
Hayashi Yamato shoulder drum
Moriyama Yasuyuki hip drum
Maekawa Mitsunori stick drum
Pain Jerk electronics
Russell Haswell electronics
Serge Vuille percussion

In this night we investigate the extremes of the Japanese musical aesthetic, from 14th century Noh theatre to a new live set by Noise music pioneers Pain Jerk (Kohei Gomi) and Russell Haswell.

The music of Noh (hayashi) is played by four instruments (stick drum, hip drum, shoulder drum, flute) and by a chorus.
This performance (led by Udaka Tatsushige and Udaka Norishige, Kongo School) features excerpts from the plays Shakkyō (‘The Stone Bridge’), Hagoromo (‘The Robe of Feathers’) and Funa-Benkei (‘Benkei and the Boat’).

Bridging the two worlds will be Karlheinz Stockhausen’s epic Himmels-Tür, which is performed on a wooden door (pictured below). Stockhausen often referred to Noh as an important influence, and the ritualised theatre of Himmels-Tür, for percussionist (Serge Vuille) and little girl, provides ample evidence. The entry of metal percussion in the work's final bars reaches out to the clangorous second half of the night.

This will see Pain Jerk (pictured below), a central figure in the development of Noise music in Japan since the 1980s, joined by regular collaborator and power electronics pioneer Russell Haswell. Pain Jerk has explained how he works within a tradition that seeks 'sound that is so terribly loud as to abolish all meaning'.

Russell Haswell gratefully acknowledges the generosity of M.A.S.F. pedals for this performance.

Lead photo credits
1: Dimitri Djuric
2: Robert Seymour Beckinsale


Andrew Poppy 12 Thoughts on the Language of Others (2010)
Josephine Foster German Lied Unorthodox (2014)
Peter Ablinger Voices and Piano (1998 - ) (excerpts)
Georges Aperghis Récitations (1977 - 78) (excerpts)
John Giorno:
Life Is A Killer (1982)
It Doesn’t Get Better (2010)
The Death of William Burroughs (1997)
Thanx 4 Nothing (2007)
Jennifer Walshe i: same person/ii: not the same person (2007)

Eric Chenaux guitar (Foster)
Josephine Foster voice
John Giorno
Victor Herrero guitar (Foster)
Mark Knoop piano (Ablinger)
Lore Lixenberg voice (Aperghis)
Andrew Poppy voice, keyboard
Gyda Valtysdottir cello (Foster)
Jennifer Walshe voice

In this night we reimagine the popular song and explore the limits of the voice. We begin with a set of Josephine Foster’s arrangements of songs by Schubert, Schumann and Brahms, drawn from her 2006 recording A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing, which sees the singer transform the Romantic Lied into homespun American folk ballads.

‘Do great songs need to be sung?’ asks Andrew Poppy (pictured below) in 12 Thoughts on the Language of Others. Tonight we explore the possibility that they don’t. Alongside Poppy’s work will be selections from Peter Ablinger’s Voices and Piano, in which the piano sings while voices speak. From here we wander into the extraordinary world of Georges AperghisRécitations (1977-78) with mezzo Lore Lixenberg.

Poems are songs too - when John Giorno recites them. A legendary figure of the downtown art scene in New York, Giorno will recite several works that reflect on five decades of creativity collaborating with the likes of William Burroughs (pictured below - Giorno, right) and Andy Warhol (with whom he made the film Sleep).

To end the night, acclaimed composer and vocalist Jennifer Walshe will perform one of her own compositions i: same person/ii: not the same person (2007) that sees 'a steady crescendo of electronic flutter' give way to 'a torrent of half-whistling, half-salivating vocalism'.

Lead photo credits
1: Robert Seymour Beckinsale
2 & 3: William Pine
4: Dimitri Djuric


Peter Zinovieff / Aisha Orazbayeva OUR TOO, a concerto for violin and computer (2014) (world premiere)
Conlon Nancarrow Studies for Player Piano (1948 - 1992) (a selection)
Tom Challenger / Kit Downes Wedding Music (2014)
Supersilent Live set

Johan Berntsen live sound, production (Supersilent)
Tom Challenger saxophone
Kit Downes hammond organ
Arve Henriksen electronics, voice, trumpet (Supersilent)
Aisha Orazbayeva violin
Helge Sten electronics (Supersilent)
Ståle Storløkken keyboards, electronics (Supersilent)
Peter Zinovieff computer

For this event we venture to the wild, fraying edges of electronic music and musical mechanisation, with a landmark new commission from legendary synth pioneer Peter Zinovieff and violinist Aisha Orazbayeva, a performance by Norwegian improvisers Supersilent (pictured below) and a presentation (by Dominic Murcott) of several of Conlon Nancarrow's celebrated studies for player piano.

Zinovieff's new commission, the second of his collaborative pieces with Orazbayeva (pictured below at LCMF 2013), sees the composer using newer computer technology while also returning to the sounds and techniques of the VCS3 - which revolutionised electronic music in being the first ever portable, mass-produced synthesiser.

Before this Kit Downes and Tom Challenger present the latest version of Wedding Music for hammond organ and saxophone. And we end the night with the elemental electronics of Supersilent, who marry blistering synth lines with a propulsive sense of rhythm.

Lead photo credits
1-3: Tom Cawley
4: Dimitri Djuric


Domenico Scarlatti Keyboard Sonata in F minor, K519
Domenico Scarlatti Keyboard Sonata in E major, K380
Salvatore Sciarrino String Quartet No 9 (2012) (UK premiere)
Salvatore Sciarrino Esercizi di tre stili (after Domenico Scarlatti) (1999):
I Allegro K443
III Adagio e cantabile K208
VI Allegro K350


Domenico Scarlatti Keyboard Sonata in A Minor, K265
Salvatore Sciarrino Piano Sonata No 5 (1994)
Domenico Scarlatti Keyboard Sonata in C major, K159
Salvatore Sciarrino String Quartet No 7 (1999) (UK premiere)
Michelangelo Pistoletto Ten Less One (2009) (UK premiere)

Mark Knoop piano
Quartetto Prometeo:
Giulio Rovighi violin
Aldo Campagnari violin
Massimo Piva viola
Francesco Dillon cello

In our final event we profile three Italians whose fixation with colour is by turns delicate, explosive and cataclysmic.

Domenico Scarlatti's 555 keyboard sonatas are an astonishing set of compositions that shimmer with light and movement. Five will tumble forth in their original versions courtesy of piano virtuoso Mark Knoop. Three will be heard in a less familiar form, arranged for string quartet by Salvatore Sciarrino.

250 years after Scarlatti, the fascination for colour takes an unpredictable turn in the music of Sciarrino. In his quartets and sonatas, we find ourselves in a world of splintering, refracting patterns, never sure where the prism will next cast its light. Tonight, the Quartetto Prometeo (pictured above) will give the UK premiere of the seventh and ninth string quartets.

Michelangelo Pistoletto will end the night in spectacular fashion by drawing our attention to a object that has been of central concern to his practice for half a century: the mirror. In this UK premiere of his performance piece Ten Less One, we will witness light become colour in an irreversible act of spectral change, as we take a hammer to the glass.

Lead photo credits:
1: Aaron Holloway-Nahum
2 & 3: Tom Cawley

21 May: Consumer Electronics


Philip Best and Sarah Froelich in conversation with the Quietus's Mat Colegate.
In association with Ace Hotel and the Quietus


25 May: Aisha Orazbayeva


Violinist Aisha Orazbayeva presents music by two of LCMF 2014 featured composers: Salvatore Sciarrino (his Six Caprices for solo violin) and Peter Zinovieff (his violin and computer concerto, OUR). Orazbayeva and Zinovieff's second collaborative piece OUR TOO will see its world premiere at this year's festival on 31 May.
In association with Ace Hotel


26 May: British Underground


The Wire's Frances Morgan chairs a panel discussion on British musical outsiderism with composers Gavin Bryars, Chris Hobbs and Maggie Nicols.
In association with Verso Books, Zero Books and Ace Hotel


27 May: Marxist Chillwave


LCMF co-directors Sam Mackay and Igor Toronyi-Lalic chair a panel discussion on music and global capitalism with writer Adam Harper and composer Johannes Kreidler.
In association with Verso Books, Zero Books and Ace Hotel


29 May: The Japanese Extreme


An exploration of the extremes of the Japanese musical tradition. Udaka Tatsushige, Udaka Norishige and Diego Pellecchia discuss Noh. Kohei Gomi (Pain Jerk) and Russell Haswell talk Noise. Moderated by Robert Barry from the Quietus.
In association with Ace Hotel and the Quietus


30 May: John Giorno


An interview with artist and poet John Giorno.
In association with Ace Hotel and the Quietus


31 May: Peter Zinovieff


The Quietus's Robert Barry interviews electronic pioneer Peter Zinovieff.
In association with Ace Hotel and the Quietus




Mirror Feedback Music is an introductory workshop into the practice of creating self-regulating sound machines and generating music with feedback, mirrors and lasers, led by Ryan Jordan.

The workshop (limited to 15 participants) will culminate with a live public performance open to all.

The cost of the workshop covers all materials and participants take home what they have built at the end



Ace Hotel
100 Shoreditch High St
E1 6JQ
Tel: 020 7613 9800

Ace Hotel is 10 minutes walk from Second Home