September 8, 2020

ASSEMBLY at Somerset House

Hosted via a new immersive listening platform developed specially for the series, ASSEMBLY presents five nightly premieres of sound works created by artists Lafawndah, Loraine James, Ben Vince, Zadie Xa and Kelman Duran during Somerset House Studios’ four-month artist residency programme Sonic Terrains, in collaboration with resident spatial sound producers Call & Response.

With each artist exploring the possibilities of spatial composition to create original 360° sound pieces, this year’s programme invites audiences to listen, visualise and navigate sound in new ways through its interactive, three-dimensional online listening platform, as the artists share their creations with the public for the first time.

Ahead of each evening’s performance, each artist will unpack the process and inspirations behind their new work in a programme of live in conversation talks. This year’s series will also be accompanied by online and on-site introductory workshops, exploring the possibilities of spatialised composition.


Zadie Xa: Moon Poetics 4 Courageous Earth Critters and Dangerous Day Dreamers 

23 September, 19.00

Visual artist and performer Zadie Xa presents a new six-part narrative sound piece for ASSEMBLY. Moon Poetics 4 Courageous Earth Critters and Dangerous Day Dreamers tells the story of animal kinship as a survival strategy to save an ailing planet. Loosely based on the Korean shamanic story of Princess Bari, the audience is taken on a guided journey through parallel dimensions, led by a host of creatures.

Xa is joined by writer, artist, and curator Tamar Clarke-Brown in conversation ahead of the evening’s performance.


Kelman Duran: A Last … Cinema

24 September, 19.00

Dominican musician and visual artist Kelman Duran showcases a new three-part audio work, A Last … Cinema. Using sonic collage to map out sound across its three movements, the film score inspired A Last … Cinema embeds references to the politics and history of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota.

One of the largest Native American reservations in the United States, Pine Ridge is a recurring presence in Duran’s work; an area in which he lived and shot documentary film To The North amid the Lakota Tribe, in turn inspiring his 2018 album 13th Month that followed. Continuing to undertake archival work at Pine Ridge, A Last … Cinema embodies another extension and manifestation of Duran’s relationship to the reservation in which he translates the ideas around sound that he has been exposed to whilst spending time within the South Dakota region.

Kelman Duran is joined by curator and Somerset House Studios resident Tabitha Thorlu-Bangura in conversation ahead of the evening’s performance.


Loraine James

25 September, 19.00

North London based electronic producer Loraine James premieres a new long-form audio piece for ASSEMBLY. Comprising of songs that span the last few years, James’ work brings together a variety of musical fragments, ranging from ambient to upbeat dance, to create a long-form audio piece in which original components are rearranged and re-imagined for spatialised immersive listening.

Loraine James is joined by DJ and curator Shannen SP in conversation ahead of the evening’s performance.


Lafawndah: Antimony  

26 September, 19.00

To coincide with the launch of her highly anticipated forthcoming album The Fifth Season, critically acclaimed vocalist and producer Lafawndah premieres a new sound piece, Antinomy.

Taking form as a radiophonic play, Antinomy acts as an extended narrative companion piece to the artist’s upcoming album, which is inspired by N.K. Jemisin’s science fiction novel of the same title. Adopting a composition influenced by audio-essays, radio documentaries and the dramatic tradition of the Greek chorus, Antinomy sees Lafawndah using newly recorded elements with live and improvised takes that make up The Fifth Season to explore sonics as a tool for vivid world-building.

Lafawndah is joined by DJ, producer and critic Christelle Oyiri in conversation ahead of the evening’s performance.


Ben Vince: Falling into Time  

27 September, 19.00

Dynamic saxophonist and composer Ben Vince shares his new work, Falling into Time.

With recent collaborators including Joy Orbison and Mica Levi, Vince’s immersive new work seeks to create a space in which listeners can transcend.

Through a focus on texture and energy, Falling into Time sees Vince experimenting with the intricacies of spatialised audio and the visual elements of sound, using a collage approach to arrangement to create a piece which evokes the concentration of feelings and emotions felt during the current times of global uncertainty and tension.

Drawing upon his interest in time, and our relationship to it, Falling into Time encourages listeners to submit themselves into feeling the energy of the current moment.

Vince is joined by vocalist and musician Coby Sey in conversation ahead of the evening’s performance.