Sneak preview – Lucy  McLauchlan commission


Here’s a little sneak preview of the work we’ve commissioned by artist Lucy  McLauchlan for the Library of Birmingham Discovery Trail.  Lucy  McLauchlan’s  site  specific artwork sits within the spectacular  surrounds  of  the   Book  Rotunda. Yesterday Joe and team began the complex task of installing the work, and they’re doing an amazing job, we can’t wait to see the finished piece it’s going to be really stunning. Each block is being carefully placed on the book shelves in this massive space.
The Library opens on the 3rd of September and the work will be on display until the end of December.

Lucy describes her process “I spent some time in John Madin’s library making sketches, rubbings and photographs documenting the architectural features and absorbing Madin’s style and use of materials. This research material has influenced my final artwork (which was important to me to include some of the old into the new, a nod of respect) as has the new library been my other source, with it’s constant circles, ever connecting.”

 






With thanks to Katja Ogrin for the photographs

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Leftfoot present Omar / 6 September / Library of Birmingham

We’ve invited our friends at Leftfoot to take over the Library studio space for one night. They’ve invited British soul legend Omar. A soul singer, songwriter and musician, Omar learned his craft classically, playing the trumpet, piano and percussion. Making albums since the early 1990s, his work is often compared to Stevie Wonder’s work of the 1970s. He is described by some as the father of British neo soul.

www.omarmusic.co.uk

Leftfoot was founded back in 2000 by Adam Regan and Richard Whittingham, and has evolved into one of the most important left-of-centre, soul- based projects in the UK. Voted the best Club Night by Gilles Peterson in 2003, the intervening decade has witnessed Leftfoot’s pioneering progression, hosting guests across a vibrant palette covering house, hip-hop, disco, jazz, funk, soul, reggae, drum & bass, techno, Afrobeat, Latin and more.

Tickets are available from www.birmingham-box.co.uk

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Box Of Light: celebrating early cinema

The Icebook

Before the days of film, the magic lantern was an important source of entertainment, using glass slides to create moving images and visual tricks. Birmingham played a key role in this pre-cinema world, producing thousands of lanterns for export, leading to the birth of the flipbook, and eventually the cinema. The Library of Birmingham boasts a hefty archive of 60,000 lantern slides, and to coincide with the Magic Lantern society’s annual conference in Birmingham, Flatpack Festival presents Box of Light, a weekend full of events, workshops and activities celebrating early cinema, part of the Capsule curated Discovery season.

Box of Light Variety Show / 25 October / 7.30 – 9.30pm / £8
An evening of edification and entertainment featuring acclaimed performer Professor Heard, followed by the Physioscope, a Victorian experiment with light and mirrors. The finale of the show is provided by French artist Julien Maire, whose Open Core performance includes a live dissection of a video projector.

The Icebook / 26 October / performances from midday / £5
Beautiful and intimate theatrical performances using paper cut-outs and miniature projections. The Icebook will delight small audiences using old pre-cinematic illusions and magic lanterns; to create shadows and silhouettes complemented with a film footage backdrop.

Projecteo / 26 October / 1.30PM / FREE (bookable)
Designer Benjamin Redford will be giving a talk about his ingenious miniature slide projector. In response to modern technology and the craze for Instagram, Benjamin has created a tiny projector to share Instagram pictures called the ‘Projecteo’. This analogue approach works by creating wheels of slide film to hold up to 9 images, which can be watched and enjoyed as a slideshow.

Mirror Mirror Lantern Workshops / 26 & 27 October / FREE (drop in)
Mirror Mirror will host an array of free family workshops, where visitors will have the chance to create their own lantern slides and experiment with colour projection.
Box of Light’s weekend is set to include more talks and activities and a comprehensive walking tour of key locations in Birmingham’s pre-cinema history. Watch this space for updates.

Tickets for the Box Of Light variety show are now on sale via birmingham-box.co.uk.

www.flatpackfestival.org

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Supernormal Festival this weekend

I’m delighted to have been asked to take part on a panel for Supernormal Festival this weekend. The line up is looking great and includes some Supersonic Festival favourites Richard Dawson, Mugstar, Descalator Shit & Shine and Grey Hairs plus loads of acts we haven’t seen before which is always a treat.

 

WOMAN’S HOUR (AND A HALF)
An open forum to invoke discussion and celebrate the creative and vital practices of women working within creative and cultural fields. Join women from the programme to discuss their significant contributions to the visual and sound arts and consider points such as:
– Gender equality and the representation of women within the arts and music industries
– The relevance of this subject in today’s society

See more details of the full line up HERE

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Shangaan Electro dance workshops – get involved!

This vibrant South African dance style is soon set to visit Birmingham as part of the Capsule curated Discovery Season and you can learn their moves and dance alongside the collective by joining a free dance workshop.

Shangaan Electro -the high-speed dance phenomenon from South Africa has risen from streets into clubs and venues all around the globe. The creation of charismatic producer Nozinja, this is a very contemporary product of Africa. Based in Soweto, Nozinja saw the chance to update Shangaan music for the 21st Century, replacing its traditional bass/guitar instrumentation with midi-keyboard sounds and repitched vocal samples (in English and seemingly sampled from rave anthems). Propelled by jacking four-to-the-floor beats and trademark drum-fills, the sound quickly became a hit at weekly street parties in Soweto, with young and old competing to show off their moves to this dizzyingly fast music, which can reach speeds of up to 188 beats per minute.The craze soon went viral in Europe and the US via a vast archive of youtube videos.

We are looking for people of all ages and experience to join a dance workshop on Friday 25th October. Shangaan Electro will lead the session, giving people of all abilities the chance to learn the wildest Shangaan dance moves step by step – dazzling footwork, rubber-limbed body shakes, hyper-accelerated beats and some crazy, colourful costumes all feature.

Workshop: Friday 25 October (Time TBC) DanceXchange, Birmingham
Performances: Friday 25 October Rainbow Warehouse (part of Bring To Light) / Saturday 26 October Library of Birmingham

Please email Laura Coult dance@capsule.org.uk for a registration form if you are interested in taking part.

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Discover New Music – Tickets now on sale


We are delighted to announce that tickets are now on sale for our Discover New Music series for the opening of the Library of Birmingham.
Tickets can be purchased via the Box office www.birmingham-box.co.uk 0121 245 4455

Our adventure with the role and function of the Library of Birmingham continues with a series of cutting edge live music performances. The breadth of performances on offer showcase some of the most exciting music around, from internationally renowned artists to young Birmingham bands making a real impact on the independent music scene.

 


Leftfoot presents Omar
Friday 6 September 2013
Venue Studio Theatre Library of Birmingham
Ticket price £15
Box office www.birmingham-box.co.uk 0121 245 4455

A British soul singer, songwriter and musician, Omar learned his craft classically, playing the trumpet, piano and percussion. Making albums since the early 1990s, his work is often compared to Stevie Wonder’s work of the 1970s. He is described by some as the father of British neo soul.
www.omarmusic.co.uk

Leftfoot was founded back in 2000 by Adam Regan and Richard Whittingham, and has evolved into one of the most important left-of-centre, soul- based projects in the UK. Voted the best Club Night by Gilles Peterson in 2003, the intervening decade has witnessed Leftfoot’s pioneering progression, hosting guests across a vibrant palette covering house, hip-hop, disco, jazz, funk, soul, reggae, electronic drums & bass, techno, Afrobeat, Latin and more.


Rise of Birmingham
Wednesday 2 October 2013
Venue Studio Theatre Library of Birmingham
Ticket price £5
Box office www.birmingham-box.co.uk 0121 245 4455

The city’s music scene has been making an impressive impact on the national indie scene in recent years. Last year, NME celebrated the ‘Rise of Birmingham’ and the diverse indie music scene here. This night will see some performances from some of the best emerging bands in the region including:

Free School
Bringing the sunny Balearic sounds of summer and the icy kosmische sounds of winter, Free School are maximalist and minimalist all at once. wearefreeschool.com

Victories At Sea
Victories At Sea are an experimental three piece, citing influences as wide and diverse as Slowdive, Boards of Canada, and M83 through to more unadulterated alternatives such as Echo and The Bunnymen. victoriesatsea.co.uk

Victor
Noise quintet whose diverse influences blend to create a mash up of genres, creating a new sound that has something for every alternative pallet.
 facebook.com/ victortheverbose

Youth Man
They generate an infectious energy during their intense live show as three individuals grapple with their instruments to whip up a reckless tornado of sound, flailing limbs and musical angst that is a feast for the senses.


Bring To Light Weekend
Friday –Sunday 25-27 October
Venue Rainbow Warehouse + Studio Theatre Library of Birmingham
Ticket price £40 weekend ticket
Box office www.theticketsellers.co.uk
0844 870 0000

Capsule will curate a weekend of adventurous music, celebrating the very best in new music and performance. Producing extraordinary events for adventurous audiences, Capsule have a keen eye and ear for the most exciting music and performance around.

Over the last 10 years Capsule’s Supersonic Festival has gained a reputation as one of the best experimental music festivals in the world, at its heart a passion for genre bending sound and performance. The festival will return in 2014 at a brand new city centre based location.

A Supersonic Festival inspired weekend, Bring to Light’s varied programme will combine electronic music, folk, black metal, electro acoustic composition, hip hop and more.
Friday’s programme will see performances in the industrial space of the Rainbow Warehouse in Digbeth, for the rest of the weekend dynamic new music will invade the Library of Birmingham.

This weekend of dynamic and innovative sound will include:
Dinos Chapman / Shangaan Electro / Josephine Foster / Clipping / Deafheaven / Masaki Batoh / Robedoor / Zomes / High Wolf / Kogumaza / Richard Dawson / Sleaford Mods / Sarah Angliss / Delia Darlings / Laurence Hunt / Hordes


Rhys Chatham & Charlemagne Palestine
+ special guests Ex Easter Island Head

Saturday 2 November 2013
Studio Theatre Library of Birmingham
Ticket price £12
Box office www.birmingham-box.co.uk
0121 245 4455

Charlemagne Palestine is an American composer, performer, and visual artist. A contemporary of Philip Glass, Terry Riley, Phill Niblock, and Steve Reich. Rhys Chatham is a composer, guitarist and trumpet player from Manhattan, currently living in Paris, who altered the DNA of rock.
Chatham and Palestine first met in the late 60s in New York, at the end of 2012; they decided to revisit their collaboration. This will be a UK exclusive and an incredible opportunity to see two giants in contemporary composition perform together.

Ex-Easter Island Head are a Liverpool-based ensemble composing and performing for solid body electric guitar, percussion and other instruments. Their music – played on horizontally mounted mallet-struck guitars alongside a battery of unusual percussion – has been compared to the likes of Steve Reich, Balinese Gamelan and Claude Debussy.

Large Electric Ensemble was commissioned for the inaugural World Event Young Artists (WEYA) festival, held in Nottingham 2012. Utilising an ensemble of experienced local musicians the piece sees an ensemble of 12 guitarists playing modified ‘third bridge’ guitars from a unique graphic score to create a unique shimmering soundworld, rich in heavenly drones, overtones and repetition.

Adrian Utley’s Guitar Orchestra performs Terry Riley’s in ‘C’
 + special guests Pram
Sunday 24 November 2013
Studio Theatre Library of Birmingham
Ticket price £15
Box office www.birmingham-box.co.uk 0121 245 4455

Adrian Utley is devoted to breaking new ground and exploring the potential of the guitar. As a member of the experimental electronic band, Portishead, Utley is jazz trained, with a passion for the minimalist approach to playing. To celebrate his love of experimental techniques, Utley’s task for the Discovery Season is to spearhead a guitar orchestra that will be re-interpret Terry Riley’s ‘In C’, which although written in 1964, is one of the most influential music pieces of the 20th century.
The audience will witness fifty three different ways of the playing the C note which will form an unforgettable performance, supported by organ music and percussionists. To commemorate this unique concert, Invada Records will release a recorded live version in the Autumn of 2013.

Birmingham’s Pram craft fairytales from concrete reality. The second city’s spin cycle of perpetual renovation, from the slum clearances to its current cosmetic upgrade, is etched in Pram’s restless groove, an endearing and gently refusenik mix encircling early Rough Trade innovators The Raincoats, astro jazz, sci-fi soundtracks, creepy Victoriana, tropical analogue and tumbledown funk.

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Typewriter – new commission for Library of Birmingham

Inspired by the library’s most treasured works and collections, and their iconic new home, Capsule has curated a trail of art works for the Discovery Season which will lead visitors around the new building and encourage visitors to explore more of what the library has to offer. The works encompass a wide range of media, including sound, digital media, and extraordinary objects. Some are new commissions, and others we have chosen for their ability to stimulate ideas and questions about what a library can be.

Here are some photos of a new commission in progress, created by artist Jennifer Collier.




Jennifer Collier’s Paper Typewriter makes a timely comment on the fragility of knowledge and ideas stored in the printed word. Situated directly next to the Encyclopedias and Dictionaries, most often overlooked in favour of internet research, the form of the typewriter – an extinct technology – feels all the more poignant.
Artist Jennifer Collier re-imagines domestic objects from paper; bonding wrapping and stitching to create her sculptures. She often draws inspiration from the narratives that reside on the paper that she re-uses: Paper Typewriter is made from pages of old typewriter manuals and discarded encyclopedias.

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Harvesting Stories – share your recipes

To celebrate the cultural diversity of 21st century Birmingham, Harvesting Stories has been developed to bring its people and their favourite food together. Between July and August, National Storytelling Laureate, Katrice Horsley, is leading workshops with groups in local settings and libraries to collect recipes, stories and images in order to showcase the city’s diverse range of communities.

We would like residents to take along a dish that represents ‘home’ for them, and to share their food and stories with us. Harvesting Stories will collect recipes and stories from Birmingham’s communities and provide a snapshot of the breadth of Birmingham’s multicultural communities. Selected recipes and their related stories will contribute to the Library of Birmingham’s  Discovery Season during public picnics.

Places are limited, so to be involved book your place with the following libraries direct:
•    3pm to 5pm, Tuesday 30 July
Hall Green Library, 1221 Stratford Road, Hall Green, Birmingham, B28 9AD. Tel: 0121 464 6633
•    9.30-11.30, Wednesday 31 July
Spring Hill Library, Spring Hill, Birmingham, B18 7BH. Tel: 0121 464 7422
•    12.30-2.30, Wednesday 31 July
West Heath Library, The Fordrough, Birmingham, B31 3LX. Tel: 0121 464 7548

Druids Heath Library
Frankley Library
King Standing Library
Ward End Library

For the Discovery Season Harvesting Stories presents three public picnic days, with each picnic representing stories, recipes and images from the workshops and includes further opportunities for sharing and engaging with food.

8 September – Food & Play
20 October – Food & Stories
14 December – Food & Film
Free Events

photos by Katja Ogrin

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