Godspeed You! Black Emperor

We are pleased to announce that we are collaborating with Sound of Static to present Godspeed You! Black Emperor.

Formed in Montreal, Canada in 1994 post rock legends Godspeed You! Black Emperor continue to release genre defining albums and still perform breathtaking live shows. Returning to UK shores for a handful of live shows this autumn, GY!BE will be showcasing their 2015 album, Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress along with some hefty numbers from their extensive back catalogue. A truly rare evening and one not to be missed.

Taking place at the prestigious Warwick Arts Centre, this is GY!BEs only Midlands show and seats are limited so get in fast.



Grand Cross Fayre II


We’re delighted to have been invited back to curate and produce a second version of The Grand Cross Fayre. Working with the Hanford Village Residents Association.

The event will be held on Saturday 5th September in Hanford Park, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 4QG and will feature a mix of new music and arts workshops. This a FREE event – open to the public and family friendly.

Doors will open at 12pm, with music starting from 1pm and running till 7.00pm.

Bringing an extraordinary afternoon of outdoor delights to Hanford Park with new music, with a selection of workshops and an array of street food, vintage stalls and more to entertain and delight!


With live performances by aPatT, The Crying Lion, Gum Takes Tooth and Ashtray Navigations and Barefoot Howlers to name but a few.


Come and join our workshops throughout the day and create your own dazzling masks, instruments and shakers to join in the ‘Grande Parade” finale.

Juneau Projects – The Grand Cross Shaker: Build your own tambourine! Use bespoke lasercut wooden parts, designed and produced by artist duo Juneau Projects exclusively for The Grand Cross Fayre, to put together and personalise your own wooden percussion instrument. Play your instrument in the finale parade and then take it home as a souvenir of the day

Elizabeth Still: Here Hare Here: Create your very own Hare on a stick from colorful recycled materials. An enticing ceremonial mascot to carry and shake at the Grand Cross Fayre Procession.

Help celebrate the closing event by joining our stupendous procession of unexplored rhythms, unsung songs, unexplainable creatures and un-mythical beings on a grande parade through the vast estate of Hanford Park.

This year we have gathered an outstanding cast of musicians to help perform our percussive procession.

Local musicians lead our masked “Procession Percussionists” as they weave a primitive, hypnotic cacophony that features the heavily undisguised rhythms of Middle Earth’s Kogumaza, two fugitives from Burslem’s Makakarooma and the sonic spells of Part Wild Horses Mane On Both Sides to build a beguiling and delightful conclusion to the day.

Presiding over events this year will be our mistress of ceremonies the inimitably curious, Hanford Hare.

Full details of the line up will be revealed over the coming weeks.


Supersonic Kids Gig


Ever since Schoenberg and Kandinsky became pen pals back in 1907, avant-garde art and experimental music has been attempting to find some common ground. But, it’s not been easy. Here’s Capsule’s contribution towards a solution: Supersonic Kids Gigs ‘Big Sounds for Little People’. If you couldn’t guess from the snappy title, it’s a gig for kids and  their families, which aims to introduce children to experimental music at an early age. Kids Gigs provide a fantastic opportunity to show children the beauty of live music.

We’re delighted to have been invited to the wonderful Supernormal Festival in Oxfordshire to deliver a Supersonic Kids Gig. Leading the Supersonic Kids Gig are Woven Skull, The trio spent several years experimenting with combinations of instrumentation, household objects, kitchen utensils, seashells, footsteps, chimes, recordings of cats purring and frogs mating while developing a sound that after a recent set was described as ‘a Turkish Velvet Underground.’


Supersonic Kids Gig


Ever since Schoenberg and Kandinsky became pen pals back in 1907, avant-garde art and experimental music has been attempting to find some common ground. But, it’s not been easy. Here’s Capsule’s contribution towards a solution: Supersonic Kids Gigs ‘Big Sounds for Little People’. If you couldn’t guess from the snappy title, it’s a gig for kids and their families, which aims to introduce children to experimental music at an early age. Kids Gigs provide a fantastic opportunity to show children the beauty of live music.
Recommended for kids under 7 – the gig will take place at Symphony Hall on Saturday 13 June 11am – free event

Flamingods 2 Supersonic Website Dimensions
The Supersonic Kids Gig will be led by Flamingods.
This Bahrain-born, Brixton-based troupe take African rhythms, repetitive grooves to form a riot of sound and fury that’s both sonically adventurous and feverishly compelling. With po-faced muso tactics at a minimum and dancefloor frenzy to the fore, they bring a welcome and vibrant splash of day-glo.

Supported by Anorak Magazine
Anorak, the ‘happy mag for kids’, has been a pioneering title in the children’s magazine market since 2006 and is now distributed worldwide.


All Ears


The mechanisation of sound creation began as soon as technology allowed it. In the 19th century, mechanical musical instruments such as barrel organs, symphonions, orchestrions, euterpeons and miniature music boxes proliferated. Equally marvelled at and loathed for their tinny, repetitive reproductions of classical pieces and show-tunes, these programmable machines can be seen as the ancestors of today’s electronic and digital instruments. Birmingham Museums’ collection of ornately decorated mechanical instruments, on display in the All Ears exhibition, reflects on the transition of music from real-time, human generated sound to the myriad ways in which technology shapes how we produce and consume music today.

Optikit  – Owl Project

Owl Project are combining ideas from the Symphonium music boxes in the museum collection, with more experimental techniques of optical sound developed in Russia during the early 20th century, such as the Variaphone and the ANS Synthesiser.

The Symphonium was very fixed in its musical remit. The notes were set to a Western scale and the sequences on metal disks, which were hard to change. In response, we are developing an unfolding music box that can be reconfigured in a multitude of ways. Assembled from a bespoke kit of paper discs, synth modules, motors and fixings, the Optikit will generate endlessly changing beats and rhythms throughout Supersonic Festival.

Owl Project is a collaborative group of artists, Simon Blackmore, Antony Hall and Steve Symons. Drawing on influences such as 70’s synthesiser culture, DIY woodworking and current digital crafts, they work with wood and electronics to create music making machines, interfaces and objects.


New Automatic Party Organ
Sarah Angliss Colin Uttley + Eve Warren

This five-octave pipe organ has been designed as an automatic party instrument. People can call up tunes by placing RFID-tagged request cards on the lid. The pipes come from two scrapped Welsh chapel organs. They’ve been stripped, rewaxed and regilded, then arranged in an asymmetric sweep that’s reflected in the shape of the new windchest (the box of air under the pipes). The paintwork is inspired by an 18th century harpsichord cabinet but uses soundwaves as a decorative motif. The air inlet, for example, is cut in the shape of a wavefront.

Sarah Angliss is an award winning composer, roboticist and historian of sound whose music reflects her fascination with European folklore and long-forgotten machines. In performance, Sarah mixes theremin, saw and ancient instruments with live electronics, with an ensemble of musical automata of her own design and construction.



Amplification is a stereo acoustic amplification system, developed to encourage deep listening to environmental sounds within a space. Users of the system can augment their listening through two large ear trumpets. They will also be able to adjust the stereo field of what they can hear by swivelling each horn.


MortonUnderwood were struck by the developers’ efforts to amplify the sound output of the music machines on display in the museum collection. In a world where we can easily dial in more electronic amplification, many of the innovative approaches seen in the collection are now obsolete. Through Amplification, MortonUnderwood hope to highlight the beauty of passive, acoustic amplification systems.


MortonUnderwood is a musical instrument design and sound art duo made up of equal parts David Morton and Sam Underwood. to amplify the sound output Their work mainly explores acoustic systems and sub-bass.


Oak Apple Orchestra
Paul Gittins

A collection of instruments and objects played by clock motors. Oak apples, attached to the secondhand, hit the strings at two second intervals and then strike and fall back. Each instrument has several clock motors, positioned to select specific notes. This selection then repeats to create an endless rhythm. The structure of intervals between the notes is essentially random, producing an infinite number of variations, and the clock motors can be switched on and off using a bluetooth control, changing the shape of the rhythm. The instruments produce a continual stream of minimal music with a two second beat.

Paul Gittins works with a variety of media, producing interactive shadow shows with screens of paper pixels, in theatres and outdoor festivals. He is currently developing an orchestra of self playing instruments that will be attached to trees in woodland locations.


All Ears is a Millennium Point Trust commission, curated by Capsule and delivered in partnership with Birmingham Museums Trust. The exhibition is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.



Moog Lab


Hosted at Birmingham City University, in partnership with the Supersonic Festival and Moog Music Inc.

Supersonic Festival is delighted to be partnering with the internationally renowned Moog Sound Lab and Birmingham City University to create a four week artist residents programme, which will be based at the Parkside campus. The Moog Sound Lab is focused on organic experimentation and is a unique opportunity for artists to explore analog sound-scaping, synthesis and effects.

‘The butterflies-inducing bassline on Donna Summer’s I Feel Love, the unmistakable melody wiggling through New Order’s Blue Monday, the sound of the Millennium Falcon taking off in Star Wars, the sounds of the guns in the new Star Trek movies, most of Kraftwerk’s seminal 1974 album Autobahn and a pretty much endless list of other game changing songs and records from the last four decades all share one thing. The greatest pioneer of electronic music wasn’t a musician, but an eccentric physicist with a longstanding love of taking things apart and putting them back together again. When Robert Moog (it rhymes with “vogue”) unveiled the Moog synthesiser to the world in 1964, he not only radically changed music, but culture itself.’

The lab moves to different venues and was previously Pioneered at Rough Trade NYC. It becomes a temporary residency space, offering a unique opportunity for artists to explore, experiment and create. A physical manifestation of the intersection of music, art and technology, the lab offers a unique resource to artists to make new work.

Artists include:

Sarah Angliss, an award winning composer, roboticist and historian of sound.

Gazelle Twin, the twisted Cronenberg-inspired persona of producer, composer and artist, Elizabeth Bernholz.

Free School are a Birmingham retro-futurist, mask-donning disco duo, exploring a unique fusion of Electro, House, Balearic and Kosmiche.

Seán Clancy, Lecturer in Composition at Birmingham Conservatoire will work in collaboration with Thomas Parkes to  develop a new composition built from a vocabulary of analogue sources and samples that will explores tensions between found and original material, between narrative and rupture, particularly as these might be seen to correspond to elite and vernacular values.

Balandino Di Donato will be exploring the Moog lab via touch less control and sound spatialisation as part of his  pioneering research into Integra Live technology.

Mike Dring  will produce a new soundscape based on his interdisciplinary interests from architecture to glitch art. He takes inspiration through field recordings or through interpreting the pattern of movement prescribed by the built environment.

Jason Nicholson reworks the principles of The Harmonograph to produce exquisite physical drawings that seek to illustrate the relationship between musical frequencies, mathematics, art, design and new and existing technologies.

Andy Pilsbury will be developing, Helix, a new interactive online platform that allows users to participate in a multifaceted art project combining high-speed photography, moving image and ethereal soundscapes to create surreal flourishing landscapes.

 Steven Chamberlain (Selloptape Cinema), sound artists Tom Tebby and  Justin Wiggan collaborate on Birmingham: Symphony of a Metropolis, an ambitious new soundtrack. The piece, or ‘city film essay’, is a re-working of the 1927 Walter Ruttman film, Berlin: Symphony of a Metropolis


The residency will take place at Birmingham City University’s Parkside campus. A multi-million pound centre of excellence in the heart of Birmingham’s Eastside development.   It will sit alongside the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media Graduate Shows 2015. www.bcu.ac.uk


An English Trip – John Doran

We’re delighted to be partnering with Ideal to host long time friend and supporter of all things Capsule, John Doran the editor of The Quietus. Doran is celebrating the publication of his first book – Jolly Lad – by going on a 31 date reading tour called An English Trip. He is teaming up with other writers, poets, film makers, musicians and DJs over the course of a month and putting on nights in prisons, churches, libraries, record shops, book stores, village halls, warehouses and cinemas and his musical support on every night of the tour is Kjetil Nernes aka Arabrot, the Norwegian noise rock musician.

The night they have planned at Birmingham’s Eastside Projects is a real cracker. Anglo Trinidadian wordsmith Roger Robinson (King Midas Sound, Techno Animal, Attica Blues) is performing dub poetry from his new album Dis Side Ah Town (Jahtari Records). Twisted Leeds party starters Chrononautz are bringing the live techno vibes. John Doran is reading passages from Jolly Lad and also performing various incantations and rituals concerning black holes, the dismemberment of Dapper Laughs, ghosts and Birmingham bus timetables while backed ably by Kjetil Nernes from Arabrot.


Circle + Hey Colossus + Opium Lord

As a pre-Supersonic Festival warm up we’re delighted to host the one and only Circle.
Formed in 1991, Circle is the most visible and prolific name in the Finnish avant-rock underground. Circle have constantly reinvented themselves, weaving hypnotic mantras out of exacting Krautrock beats, heavy riffs, arty noise, dark psychedelia, and soundtrack-like beauty. Hard, chilly repetition has served as the lone unifying theme throughout 20 years of experiments.


As if that wasn’t special enough we also have Hey Colossus performing. Emerging in a haze of demented riff science and booze-addled abandon, Hey Colossus have carved out a notable niche for themselves in the British underground’s murkier quarters. They’ve dished out a formidable array of wax over the last decade, specialising in a primordial barrage of abject noise from overheated ampstacks.

Opium Lord, the band make desolate doom-sludge with a coal black heart. Filthy grooves meet abrasive noise to convey a menacing atmosphere akin to the dodgiest drinking establishments that only a band from Birmingham could make. Made up from the ashes of History of the Hawk and Stinky Wizzleteat, Opium Lord are certainly on a different level from previous ventures. Blending genres into a sonic chokehold, they will make you re-evaluate what doom can be.