Art and Music      


A Hive of Activity
LIZ REVER:  Since releasing Central Market on Warp in 2009 to critical acclaim, Tyondai (son of Anthony) Braxton has been involved in a wide range of musical projects including performing in a duo with Philip Glass at the ATP festival in New York, no less, remixing Glass’ 'Rubric' as part of Rework: Philip Glass Remixed, curated by Beck in honour of the composer’s 75th birthday.

Braxton, founding member and now ex-vocalist and guitarist of the New York band Battles, has taken his solo projects in an even more experimental direction, writing for chamber orchestra and string quartets, often mixing orchestral elements, pedal effects, electronics, and distorted guitars. His latest venture, HIVE, takes the form of a live, multimedia installation and performance that combines architectural installation, visual art with acoustic and electronic music.

HIVE features five individual musician performers sitting cross-legged atop their own space-age oval pod designed by Danish architect Uffe Surland Van Tams, creating a unique environment within the performance. The music is exploratory and expressive – technically a composed piece of music, but exploring highly improvisational elements and surprise. In HIVE, Braxton  combines modular synthesizers, samples and intricately composed acoustic percussion; each pod programmed to complete the sonic mood of the piece with ever-changing LED light emitting through its perforated wooden walls.

HIVE is a rare opportunity to experience experimental electronic music and installation, previously seen at The Guggenheim Museum Rotunda in New York and the Sydney Opera House. The UK premier and one off performance of HIVE is taking place on May 20 at London’s Oval Space in Bethnal Green.  

HIVE is part of the Barbican’s Explorations: the Sound of Nonesuch Records, a series of musical events taking place from May 2nd to 30th 2014, to mark Nonesuch Records 50th anniversary.

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