Hackney music festival hires an Albarn collaborator to add a bit of fire and zest to Spitalfields

Spit17: New curator André De Ridder launches Spitalfields Music Festival at Calvert 22, Shoreditch, 070917 © David.Altheer [at] gmail.com
Speech break: new curator André De Ridder launches the winter 2017 Spitalfields Music Festival
Spit17©DA: Spitalfields Music Festival Interim chief executive Stephen Newbould with new curator André De Ridder launches Spitalfields Music Festival at Calvert 22, Shoreditch, 070917 © David.Altheer [at] gmail.com
New men: André De Ridder, left, with chief executive Stephen Newbould

THE SPITALFIELDS Music Festival has decided to shake itself up. It has hired a musician who works in indie, rock and pop, as well as classical, to curate its seasons, starting this winter. André De Ridder has collaborated with, for example, Damon Albarn, and EfterklangArcade Fire and These New Puritans.

spit©DA14: Huguenot house off Brick Lane Spitalfield London E1 6LY 260414 © david.altheer@gmail.com
Huguenot house in Spitalfields

The German-born conductor told Loving Dalston: “For this year’s festival we have commissioned and connected with composers who may be better known as members of cutting-edge indie bands such as Dawn of Midi and Factory Floor.

“Lots of these bands’ individual members are composers for their groups, but they also have their own creative voice. With Spitalfields Music Festival we’re supporting them and their individual output. For the generation that follows those bands, it’s about discovering a different side of their musical personalities through their own creative projects.

“I think they’ll create new electro-acoustic works away from the academic spectrum – contemporary classical music for a new generation that is accessible but, crucially, no less complex or multilayered.”

Spitalfields (Sclater St) Tower Hamlets borough E1 260414 © David.Altheer [at] gmail.com
Scatter Street: one of the Spitalfields lanes marketed as Banglatown

The season was launched this week with a party that attracted a swish bunch of people apart from at least one journalist. And he could not help but notice the preponderance of white faces, even though a few hundred metres away is the capital’s biggest population of Sylhetis.

The festival is proud of its continuing work with ethnic minorities. Perhaps one day more Bangladesh migrants will make more effort to join with people outside its community.

Hamish Scott 090917

* Spitalfields Music Festival runs from Saturday 2 December 2017-Sunday 10 December 2017 and bookings open on Monday 18 September 2017. Tickets go on sale on Monday 18 September 2017 at 10am: link

Backstory: Out of Dalston, alt-folkists go for baroque; Reich stuff in Hackney; Prokofiev’s latest Bethnal Green work 

SpitChurch14©DA: Spitalfields market and Christ Church Commercial and Brushfield sts, London E1 6LY 260414 © david.altheer@gmail.com
Spitalfields: Christ Church, designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor (1661-1736)

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