Nils Frahm Barbican weekend line-up announced

Nils Frahm © Alex Kozobolis
Nils Frahm © Alex Kozobolis

Line-up announced for Nils Frahm-curated Barbican weekend

Nils Frahm, the Berlin-based contemporary composer and pianist with a cult-like following, is to curate this year’s Barbican marathon weekend – featuring Frahm’s only live show in 2016.

Tickets for Possibly Colliding went on sale to the general public on Friday 4 March – and Frahm’s inaugural performance promptly sold out. The weekend will include a mix of contemporary classical and electronic music alongside new works and projects, with a line-up of artists drawn from Frahm’s collaborators, fellow-travellers and his sources of inspiration.

Taking place 1-3 July, Possibly Colliding comprises seven concerts, three film screenings and an installation, with events to be spread across the Barbican Hall and Foyer, Barbican Cinema 1, Milton Court Concert Hall, LSO St Luke’s and St Giles’ Cripplegate.

It will begin with A Most Ambitious Concert by Nils Frahm & Company, which will feature Frahm performing his own material both solo and in collaboration with guest performers on stage.

Other performances will include a work by Anna von Hausswolff with choir Shards and Penguin Cafe; a jazz-infused ambient double-bill with Ambiq and Nik Bärtsch’s acoustic group Mobile Extended; intimate shows at the Barbican’s parish church, St Giles’ Cripplegate, including performances from s t a r g a z e collective of musicians and a classical choral concert featuring Britten Sinfonia Voices; an electronica day featuring Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Canto Ostinato Audio Visual, and Luke Abbott’s new project Szun Waves; and a choral collaboration with Swedish duo Wildbirds & Peacedrums performing with new British vocal ensemble Shards and an AV project by Vancouver-based Loscil.

Film screenings as part of Possibly Colliding will comprise short film Ellis, a 14-minute narrative piece by French director JR starring Robert De Niro telling the story of the forgotten immigrants who built the US; Victoria, a film by Sebastian Schipper set in Berlin and shot in all one take; and the world premiere of Benoit Toulemonde’s Empty. All three films feature music either written by or performed by Frahm.

The event will also feature an installation designed by FELD, a studio for digital crafts based in Berlin with which Frahm has collaborated over the last few years on artworks, installations and instrument design. The installation will be in the ground floor of the Barbican foyer and will be in site until September 2016 as part of the venue’s year-round programming calendar.

Said Frahm: ‘One of the most wonderful things about my job as a composer and musician is that I rarely know what challenge will come next. I have played many festivals and I have always wondered how it would feel to organise one myself. Thanks to the Barbican, I have been given the opportunity to experience the immense fun and the tremendous headaches of doing just that by curating this year’s marathon weekend: Possibly Colliding.

‘The work reminds me of a big puzzle, made of a million tiny parts, and it all has to come together in the end to create the one image that you had in mind. An image of all my musical friends meeting in London to create something unique together. Guided by this image, we have worked for the last year to develop a programme which will entice the listener into a different sphere of existence.’