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 for a registration form if you are interested in taking part.


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 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 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.

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 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.

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.

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


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.


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



Brain Pulse Music’, is experimentation with brain waves and sound. Formerly of the Japanese band Ghost, Batoh has dedicated years of research to this project, investigating the bioelectric functions of the human brain combined with the traumatic aftermath of Japan’s Great East Earthquake. Batoh combines this work with traditional folk influences to create and powerful and pure expression of the human condition.

Masaki Batoh will be performing at Bring To Light weekend 25-27 October which will take place at the Library of Birmingham as part of the Capsule curated Discovery Season.

Full line: 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

Buy Tickets



Justice Yeldham live at Supersonic 2012

Thanks to Cathy Soreny and Emma Vickers of Tinnitus Jukebox for sharing their video of Justice Yeldham aka Lucas Abela performing live at last year’s Supersonic Festival. They’re currently making a documentary about Lucas’ Vinyl Rally installation, one of the highlights of Supersonic 2012.

As Justice Yeldham, Abela creates an other-worldy sound by pressing his face and lips against glass whist employing various vocal techniques ranging from throat singing to raspberries.

Justice Yeldham – live @ Supersonic 2012 – full performance from Tinnitus Jukebox on Vimeo.

Supersonic Festival returns 25-27 April 2014. In the meantime, there’s heaps going on at the Library of Birmingham Discovery season, including a Supersonic-esque line up at Bring to Light 25-27 October, featuring Dinos Chapman, Robedoor, Josephine Foster, Masaki Batoh, High Wolf and more


Volunteer call out – Library of Birmingham launch

To mark the official public launch of Library of Birmingham, Capsule have invited Australian producers Super Critical Mass to present ‘Together We Breathe‘, a large-scale project comprising up to 150 brass players from the region, strategically positioned to play their instruments throughout the new library building.

We require a small team of enthusiastic volunteers to help us deliver this ambitious event.
Duties include:

– greeting brass players prior to the performance
– stewarding brass players to and from the performance space
– assisting Super Critical Mass in the positioning of players throughout the Library building
– engaging with audiences regarding the project during the performance
– setting up and clearing refreshments for brass players


Volunteers will need to be over 18 years old and available at the following times:

Thursday 29 August, 10am – 12pm (volunteer briefing meeting)
Sunday 01 September, 10am – 3pm (rehearsal)
Tuesday 03 September, 9am – 2pm (performance)

Volunteers will be appointed subject to an advanced DBS check (formerly known as CRB check) which Capsule will arrange on behalf of applicants.
Please email with ‘VOLUNTEER’ in the subject line for a registration form.

Deadline for applications: Friday 02 August 2013, 5pm

And if you play a brass instrument, there’s still time to get involved with this mass participatory performance. More details here


Artist call out: Public picnics

We have another opportunity for creatives to get involved with the Library of Birmingham’s Discovery Season. We are seeking artists to lead food-based activities, that will contribute to Harvesting Stories, a season of food-related activity to celebrate the culinary heritage of the city and showcase the new Library of Birmingham.

There will be three loosely themed ‘public picnics’ – Play, Film and Stories – and we are looking for artists to deliver public engagement projects on one of the following dates.

Sunday 8 September, 12-4

Sunday 20 October, 12-4

Saturday 14 December, 12-4

If you are interested please submit your idea, together with a budget (maximum £500) and your CV. We will not consider applicants who do not supply all of the necessary information.

Email your submission and queries to by 1 August 2013.