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Classical and Jazz: Preview- Spitalfields Festival starts June 10

Mica Levi and a homemade musical instrument

Published: 02 June 2011
by SEBASTIAN TAYLOR

THERE is no surprise that Mica Levi has got some surprises up her sleeve as associate artist at the two-week Spitalfields Festival starting next Friday, June 10.

Although famed for her pop band Micachu and the Shapes, she’s also a rising in contemp­orary classical music. Her distinctive sound comes from the use unorthodox instruments, many homemade, including a modified guitar with a hammer action, called a “chu”, a bowed instrument made from a CD rack, rows of bottles tuned to particular notes and a Hoover.

She’s got three events at the festival. The first is a four-hour free event at Bishops Square, off Bishopsgate, on Sunday June 12, starting at noon. There’ll be a performance of Luciano Berio’s Cries of London together and other experimental classical music together with perform­an­ces by her band Cakes and Micachu and rapper-singers Kwes and Cadence Weapon. 

She has also curated a programme of music on Tuesday June 14 that explores the Song of the Bell in all its shapes and forms to be experienced in some of Spitalfields historic gems.

On Thursday June 23, in “Quotidian Secret” she’s exploring the music of a so far unnamed UK composer whose work is variously described as minimal, absurd, self-mocking and typically British. In what’s promised as “the most (and least) unusual of settings,” – the venue has yet to be declared – there will be performances by cellist Oliver Coates and inter-disciplinary artist Mikhail Karikis.

Other festival highlights include Purcell’s King Arthur performed by I Fagiolini and the English Consort; Vivaldi and Teleman played by Swedish recorder virtuoso Dan Laurin and Arte dei Suonatori; and experimental jazz bands Polar Bear and the Neil Cowley Trio.

l Spitalfields Festival runs from June 10-25 at various venues. 020 7377 1362 or visit www.spitalfieldsmusic.org.uk

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