On 11 January we held our annual Battle of the Bands competition to find the latest cutting-edge sounds of contemporary music today. We packed out The Victoria in Dalston, and - pint in hand - watched the following amazing acts:

  • A humorous performance of John Cage’s Aria by soprano Heidi Heidelberg, performed from a colourful graphic score

  • Rhythmic music by What Guitar Trio, performed with an array with intriguing props… (composers: Bryn Harrison and Piyawat Louilarpprasert)

  • The melodic sounds of the brand-new AJAR Ensemble, with music composed by the founder, clarinettist Jonathan Russell

  • 10 instrumentalists in new collective Echoshed performing ambient, drone-based music by founder David Denyer, accompanied by beautiful visuals created with coloured oils and an overhead projector

  • A fun performance on toy piano (and ‘real’ piano) from Brazilian pianist Késia Decoté (composers: Yfat Soul Zisso and Marisa Rezende)

  • La Tache Ensemble, with an eclectic line-up of flute, saxophone, piano and bass, formed at the Royal College of Music (composers: Markus Zierhofer and Piyawat Louilarpprasert)

  • A virtuosic performance by violin/electronics duo OUREYES Collective, with music composed by the performers Benjamin Heim and Courtenay Cleary

Fabulous singer Heidi Heidelberg was picked as the winner by judges Gabriel Prokofiev (our Founder & Artistic Director), Eleanor Ward (our Executive Director) and Tina Speed (Music Relationship Manager at Arts Council England): an impressive performance showcasing (at least) 10 different vocal styles and making John Cage up-to-date and relevant in the 21st century. Special mention also went to Piyawat Louilarpprasert’s innovative piece Ungezogenes Kind performed by What Guitar Trio with the help of balloons and credit cards as props.

Heidi Heidelberg. Photo credit: Sam Hoppen

Heidi Heidelberg. Photo credit: Sam Hoppen

What a fantastic night! We were very impressed with the high standard of all the performers and composers. Battle of the Bands will be back in 2018, but make sure you buy tickets for our next event on 8 February, which showcases recorder quartet BLOCK4 (runners up of Battle of the Bands in 2016) and Shadanga Duo (flute/clarinet).

Well done to all the performers and thanks to everyone who came to support them!