AT THE UNION CHAPEL
Photo by Michael Jones
“Shake off that Friday night hangover with this feelgood Saturday daytime event.” – Time Out
The Winter season runs most Saturdays, January 21st to April 1st from midday
£5 donation suggested.
How does a lazy Saturday afternoon with live music, tea and cake sound? That’s the premise of London’s extraordinary Daylight Music. It’s curated by Ben Eshmade, who specialises in finding the world’s most compelling musicians:
“It’s such an exciting season. I can’t believe that, after years of trying, I’ve finally managed to get the London Accordion Orchestra to perform; that’ll be a stunning gig. After the staggering success of Laura Cannell’s first official curation, this season, I’m handing over the reins to some of my favourite artists for three special events, including Adrian Crowley, who’s bringing over three wonderful artists from Dublin. Emily Barker has also put together a beautiful programme of collaboration with guests including Adem, Michele Stodart (The Magic Numbers), Sylvie Lewis and Lukas Drinkwater.
It’s always humbling how far people are prepared to travel to appear at Daylight Music: we’re delighted that Kinbrae and Ben Chatwin are coming down from Scotland, half of ISAN will be travelling from Denmark, and Sophie Hutchings is flying all the way from Sydney to perform!”
The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment Experience return for a third year; it’s an amazing opportunity to see period instruments being played by emerging young talent. There’s also Daylight’s first ever Krautrock performance, plus a themed Fairy Tales and Monsters event that’s guaranteed to enrapture you, and the revival of Robert Saxton’s reworked Night Dance Fantasy after 30 years.
Last year’s Piano Day bought in the largest audience ever at Daylight Music, and this year’s event will be even more spectacular. Expect to see the piano explored in ambitious and surprising ways, bringing a fabulous end to this exciting season.
Each Daylight Music is unique, but every event is linked together with the same spirit of creativity. You could describe Daylight Music as many things—by turns, imaginative, thrilling and unpredictable—in fact, it’s anything but ordinary.
Start your Saturday at London’s most magical gig; Daylight Music returns on January 21st.
OVERVIEW OF THIS SEASON:
January 21st Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment Experience Ensemble, Shards + Strange Boy
January 28th Emily Barker presents Adem, Michele Stodart + Sylvie Lewis
February 11th ISAN + tbc + tbc
February 18th Hangover Lounge presents The Great Electric, eagleowl + Emma Kupa
February 25th Kinbrae + Ben Chatwin + Kate Arnold
March 4th Adrian Crowley presents The Unearthly Song with Brigid Mae Power, Mary and the Pigeons + Radie Peat
March 11th London Accordion Orchestra, Chris T-T + Robert Saxton’s Night Dance Fantasy
March 18th Fairy Tales & Monsters – (artist tbc)
April 1st Piano Day
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment Experience Ensemble, Shards + Strange Boy
Shards is an exciting vocal group who played their debut shows with Nils Frahm at the Barbican last year. Expect to hear stunning harmonies from 12 distinctive singers; many of whom are also composers, instrumentalists and pop musicians.
Strange Boy is a young duo based in London; combining the delicate vocals of singer Kieran Brunt with the eclectic electronics of artist Matt Huxley to produce songs which are both intimate and intricate.
The renowned Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment Experience Ensemble gives opportunities to the next generation of talented musicians with the OAE’s Experience Ensemble. The performers on the scheme will be playing together, by themselves, for the first time at this Daylight, so it’s a particularly exciting opportunity to see fresh talent playing on period instruments, including the harpsichord.
Emily Barker presents Adem, Michele Stodart + Sylvie Lewis
A special show celebrating ten years of Arctic Circle’s various musical adventures, curated by singer-songwriter Emily Barker. Her theme is ‘collaboration’, bringing together a collection of artists that Emily met on various songwriting retreats around the country. Like a blind date of musicians, where people went from being strangers in the morning to close friends by the evening, through collaborations on new songs. So, this afternoon, this musical dialogue will continue and grow with Emily jumping up during their sets to perform some of the songs that they wrote on the retreat, as well as from her own repertoire.
Adem is renowned for his beguiling, evocative and creative music. He’s already promised, on Twitter, that he’s going to make this event extra-special “by using whatever’s to hand on the day (including musicians)”!
Sylvie Lewis quit music in 1998, to become a teacher. But, two years later, she read an article claiming that, of the worst paid jobs in America, being a teacher was #2 and a musician was #1; so, she decided to go straight to the top, and return to being a folk musician.
And Michele Stodart thrilled audiences last season with a wonderful set of songs; acclaimed by everyone from The Guardian, to Uncut and BBC 6Music, this is a must-see performance.
ISAN + tbc + tbc
From minimalism to melody and back again, ISAN have been navigating the aural Autobahn since a chance meeting brought together Robin Saville and Antony Ryan in 1996. With Robin based in England and Antony residing in Denmark, they creatively communicate via email, telephone and postcard. Notes are compared and directions assimilated or abandoned, they prefer to allow their sound to develop on its own.
Also, performing today are The Leaf Library, creating gorgeous soundscapes between the other acts.
Hangover Lounge presents The Great Electric, eagleowl + Emma Kupa
A fabulously eclectic mix this week; with the first outing for a Krautrock band at Daylight Music. The Great Electric is made of alumni from bands as diverse as Hefner, Kenickie, GoKart Mozart & Mum and Dad. They are united by a love of the classic German electronic and progressive acts of the 1970s coupled with the pop music sensibilities, hooks and production of 90s bands such as Stereolab, Quickspace and Electric Sound of Joy.
Also appearing are eagleowl, who describe themselves as a lethargic pop band from Edinburgh; expect lo-fi, post-folk loveliness.
Emma Kupa stepped into the limelight as the lead singer, bass player and songwriter for much loved (and missed) indie heroes Standard Fare. She’s since been a front woman in Without Feathers, Mammoth Penguins and the Hayman Kupa Band. What she lacks in quality band names, she more than makes up for in intensely personal and irresistibly hummable pop tunes.
Kinbrae + Ben Chatwin + Kate Arnold
Kinbrae is the musical project of twin brothers Andy & Mike Truscott, from Scotland. They play a mixture of brass, electronics, percussion and musique concrete to create a uniquely experimental yet accessible form of ambient, modern classical music.
A new experience for Daylight Music this week as Kate Arnold, of Fear of the Forest, becomes the first artist to play a dulcimer here; her music combines influences from English and French folk, Middle Eastern and classical music to create a sound that’s been described as ‘punk baroque’.
Ben Chatwin is a visionary composer and producer working from his home studio in Scotland. Previously releasing experimental music as Talvihorros, Ben has recently stepped away from this alias to deliver a much more focused and expansive sound, described by Stereogum as “Dark, bare, beautiful soundscapes that mix analogue electronics with classical sensibilities.”
Adrian Crowley presents The Unearthly Song with Brigid Mae Power, Mary and the Pigeons + Radie Peat
Adrian is obsessed with those otherworldly moments when the voice, words, melody seem to carry the performer into another realm, as if there is some secret spell at work. He’s chosen three remarkable artists; follow them to a landscape ultimately rich in rewards.
Mary and the Pigeons is fronted by Mary Barnecutt, whose music has rather wonderfully been described as “Robert Wyatt crossed with Mary Poppins”.
Brigid Mae Power is an Irish singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who paints her songs in dreamily expansive strokes, transporting earthly compositions into universal and exultant realms; the Guardian claims that her music “touches transcendence”.
With work centred around traditional and folk music from Ireland and beyond, Radie Peat is a well-regarded musician. As well as her acclaimed solo work, she came to prominence for her work with traditional folk group Lynched.
London Accordion Orchestra, Chris T-T + Robert Saxton’s Night Dance Fantasy
It wouldn’t be Daylight Music without an unusual orchestra, and The London Accordion Orchestra certainly fits the bill. It came to life in 1999 and now comprises 40 accordionists and 3 percussionists, playing original repertoire and commissioning composers to write new works for the instrument.
Chris T-T makes a triumphant return to Daylight Music; his music blends kitchen-sink heartbreak, psychedelic narrative and radical, rabble-rousing politics and is always rapturously received.
A premiere rounds off this Daylight Music: the exciting reworking of Robert Saxton’s Night Dance Fantasy. Robert started composing when he was six years old, receiving guidance in his early years from Benjamin Britten and going on to write for the BBC and the London Symphony Orchestra. His original Night Dance was first performed thirty years ago; this revised version will be played by guitarist Nick Fowler, with electronic manipulations from Dan Hulme.
Fairy Tales & Monsters (artists tbc)
Leap into story books, reach into your childhood dreams and fears, and spin away into a world of imagination. Fairy Tales & Monsters is the big finale to Arctic Circle’s year of 10th anniversary celebrations. Featuring a generous handful of Daylight Music’s favourite artists, performing songs of fantasy, adventures and memories. Expect to be enchanted, moved and delightfully menaced, in equal measure, with tales of mischief, true love, rogues and guardian angels. This will be a magical afternoon that you’ll dream about for years to come.
For centuries, people have found joy in playing, and listening to, the piano. Nils Frahm thought this beloved instrument should be honoured, and launched Piano Day in 2015. Daylight Music will be joining in the worldwide celebrations with a special concert of piano delights—including a performance from Sophie Hutchings—and surprises. As Nils himself says: “Why does the world need a Piano Day? For many reasons, but mostly, because it doesn’t hurt to celebrate the piano and everything around it: performers, composers, piano builders, tuners, movers and most important, the listener.”
About Daylight Music
Daylight Music has a magical atmosphere that’s quite unlike any other gig. Everyone is invited—from babies through to great-grandparents—and the venue is also accessible for wheelchair users and buggies. Creative music is inspiring, so there’s even a drawing area for everyone to enjoy making their own masterpiece.
Even the intervals sound amazing at Daylight Music; you could be treated from anything from enveloping soundscapes to the Ski Sunday theme tune played on the historic Henry Willis organ.
It all takes place in the award-winning Union Chapel; as well as being famed for its glorious Gothic architecture, it’s frequently voted one of London’s best music venues. You can also enjoy a cup of coffee, a slice of quiche and a slab of homemade cake from the Margins Project café, which supports London’s homeless people.
Daylight Music combines amazing music, the friendliest atmosphere and delicious food in one of London’s greatest music venues. It’s the finest way to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon.
Daylight Music takes place at the Union Chapel, Islington, from Midday, on most Saturdays from January 21st to April 1st.
Daylight Music YouTube channel
Geoff Wilson made a short film about us