Featuring evocative soundscapes inspired by rail travel, orchestral accompaniments to classic horror movies and ice instruments carved out of frozen natural lake water, the RNCM’s upcoming programme of innovative live performances continues to lead the way in sonic experimentation and shatter the upper limits of musical possibility.

Manchester Collective: Different Trains | Wed 20 Sep | 8pm | £10-£19

Returning to the RNCM as Artists-in-Residence for the 23/24 season, the world-renowned Manchester Collective launch their latest in-house series with Different Trains — an ‘exhilarating journey through time and memory’ inspired by the childhood recollections of minimalist composer Steve Reich.

Through a fascinating union of field recordings, spoken word and a soaring live score, Different Trains conjures vivid sonic images across the broad spectrum of destinies faced by train travellers – from leisurely day-trippers to those caught in the horrors of the Holocaust.

Scottish Ensemble Presents: Jasdeep Singh Degun | Sun 8 Oct | 4pm | £10-£19

With a slate of contemporary compositional techniques to complement the ancient tradition of raags, Leeds-born sitarist Jasdeep Singh Degun weaves a groundbreaking musical tale of hypnotic melody and thrilling spontaneity in collaboration with the Scottish Ensemble.

Jasdeep Singh Degun and the Scottish Ensemble

Featuring a Manchester premiere of a new work by Jasdeep, music from his Anomaly album and arrangements from the Western classical string repertoire, the one-off performance acts as the commencement of a two-year relationship between the RNCM and Jasdeep, who joins as a brand new Artist-in-Residence working with staff and students to explore the synthesis of various music traditions.

Guests are encouraged to arrive at 3pm for a pre-concert performance by the K’in Ensemble, a fusion collective whose enervating sound explores the captivating idiosyncrasies and inflections of non-Western forms.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari | Wed 25 Oct | 7.30pm | £8.50-£16

Popularly known as silent cinema’s ‘original horror film’, the 1920 German Expressionist masterpiece is shown live on a big screen while organist Darius Battiwalla performs a fully improvised soundtrack, bringing a fresh and visceral depth to the classic, unsettling tale of a deranged hypnotist and his homicidal sleepwalking minion.

Terje Isungset Ice Quartet | Fri 10 Nov | 8pm | £21

Hailed as the founding father of ‘ice music’ – and its pre-eminent practitioner to this day – Terje Isungset returns to the UK with a glacial paean to nature featuring a range of entirely unique instruments including ice horn, ice bass, ice percussion and even an ‘iceophone’, all hand-crafted from natural frozen lake water by award-winning ice carver, Bill Covitz, during Isungset’s annual Ice Music Festival in Norway.

Based on music from his original albums Winter Songs and Beauty of Winter, accompanied by brand new material, the ethereal concert promises ‘a chiming, intimate and utterly beautiful world of sound’ (BBC Music).

Click below to see the full programme.

RNCM ArkEnsemble | Fri 1 Dec | 6pm | £5-£9

On Fri 1 Dec, the RNCM’s trailblazing ArkEnsemble returns with another ingenious programme which promises to ‘push the boundaries of what you thought was possible in a concert hall’, led by the RNCM Head of Saxophone Rob Buckland.

Conceived around a singular ethos – to transcend musical convention – the pioneering group of wind and brass players envelops audiences in a whirlwind of sound, set against an entrancing stage backdrop.

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Wolf McFarlane
Published on:
Fri 1 Sep 2023