Sounds of Now In The Round

Starting in the Spring 2022 season, we open a thrilling new series of concerts that will bring some of the best performers of contemporary music to venues throughout Sheffield. Our Programme Manager, Tom McKinney, asks you to join him and leap headfirst into this intoxicating world of sound. 

“Contemporary classical music is in the healthiest shape it has been for decades, maybe even half a century. There you go. That’s my bold opening statement! 

For far too long, new music was tarnished by misleading ideas that there were no tunes; it was all ugly; the Emperor’s new clothes; too difficult; only specialists could possibly enjoy it. And so, over many years, musicians and promoters became terrified by the thought of programming new works, which they worried might act like musical tear gas – contemporary music would clear out the concert hall. 

Thankfully, things are changing. I’ve been obsessed with new and experimental music since my early teens – whilst my friends had posters of Kurt Cobain on their bedroom walls, I had a photo of Karlheinz Stockhausen sitting at a mixing desk! I love the pulse-racing buzz that comes from encountering the new and unknown in music. In our new concert series, the Sounds of Now, I’d love you to experience music that will leave you wanting more. 

Our opening three events couldn’t be more different from one another. Elaine Mitchener (11 March) can manipulate her voice to traverse an incredible range of characters and emotions, switching from rich, bluesy jazz to raw anger, and there are always so many of moments of simple and pure beauty. She is incomparable. 

That’s followed by Psappha (29 April), one of the most important ensembles on the British new music scene, who’ll be celebrating their 30th anniversary with us. An elite unit from the group will present beguiling musical hypnosis and jaw-dropping virtuosity, and it’s a concert that opens with tuned plant pots (yes you read that correctly) and ends with the Hungarian cimbalom.  

With the third concert in our series we will really be entering the unknown. Bastard Assignments (18 May, part of the Sheffield Chamber Music Festival) came up with their name when they were students – all they wanted to do was to perform, but “all these bastard assignments kept getting in the way”. This quartet challenge the very nature of what music can be. Their performances are physical, immaculately choreographed – prepare to be shocked, stunned and even burst out laughing.  

Contemporary classical music is in the healthiest shape it has been for decades, with performers who really want to communicate directly with you, the audience. So why not come and experience it for yourselves? I can even promise you some great tunes!”

Events

11 March 2022, 8:00 pm

Channing Hall, Sheffield

SOUNDS OF NOW series launch

Elaine Mitchener & Apartment House

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29 April 2022, 8:00 pm

Upper Chapel, Sheffield

SOUNDS OF NOW

Psappha

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19 May 2022, 9:30 pm

Site Gallery, Sheffield

SOUNDS OF NOW

Bastard Assignments

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30 September 2022, 8:00 pm

Channing Hall, Sheffield

SOUNDS OF NOW: VOICE(LESS)

Rosie Middleton & Angharad Davies

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8 October 2022, 8:00 pm

Upper Chapel, Sheffield

SOUNDS OF NOW: CYBORG SOLOIST

Zubin Kanga

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29 October 2022, 8:00 pm

Channing Hall, Sheffield

SOUNDS OF NOW: LULLABY

Manasamitra

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12 November 2022, 8:00 pm

Crucible Studio Theatre, Sheffield

SOUNDS OF NOW: ROTATIONS

Tabea Debus & Samuele Telari

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