Returning for a fourth instalment from 25-29 Oct, the RNCM’s Future Music festival unites creatives ‘at the forefront of developments in new music and technology’, with a series of shows exploring what possibilities await creators of the future. Presented by PRiSM, the RNCM’s Centre for Practice and Research in Science & Music, Future Music offers everything from single-act operas to AI-produced compositions and more.

Performing on Tue 25 Oct at 7.30pm, unique ensemble Distractfold kick off the festival with a show featuring acoustic, mixed and electroacoustic renditions of music both by their peers and by established longstanding collaborators, joining forces with players from BBC Philharmonic and the two PRiSM and Drake Music Artists in Residence, Elle Chante and Luke Moore. Comprising musicians and creators from different continents and backgrounds, Distractfold’s world premiere concert presents ambitious new works from Bofan Ma, Megan Steinberg and Sam Salem.

On Wed 26 Oct at 7pm, BBC Studios hosts the world premiere of Drought, a groundbreaking one-act opera by RNCM student and composer Anna Appleby and poet Niall Campbell, in which ‘a metaphysical tale of retribution and remorse’ is set to an incredible score which juxtaposes nostalgic orchestral pastoralism with the electronic intrigue of radio technology.

On Fri 28 Oct at 7.30pm, renowned soprano Juliet Fraser joins The House of Bedlam to perform Crow rotations, a new and innovative 30-minute song-cycle featuring string installations activated by fishing wire, musical explorations of scientific theories and more.

On Sat 29 Oct at 7.30pm, composers Robert Laidlow and Emily Howard present a pair of revelatory world premieres which combine music, maths, artificial intelligence and spirituality. While Howard meditates on maths, love and deaths with her spellbinding performance of Elliptics, Laidlow’s Silicon investigates ‘the synergies between music and AI’, examining a computer’s ability to both respond to music and develop its own.

Following the festival, PRiSM Composer-in-Residence George Lewis premieres a revolutionary new piece on Fri 25 Nov as ‘the vanguard of music and technology’, collaborating with RNCM staff and students on a jaw-dropping cutting-edge chamber work which augments his Voyager system – the ‘virtual improvising pianist’ he developed to analyse the musical environment in real time – with the latest AI tools system alongside flute, clarinet, trumpet, trombone and tuba. Promising an ‘evening of firsts’, the event is free to attend with a ticket. Later in the evening, the RNCM Wind Orchestra performs Big Shoulders, Sharp Elbows, Lewis’ incredible paean to his hometown of Chicago.

For more information on RNCM events and performances, head to the website.


A Manchester Wire Partnership post
Tue 25 Oct - Sat 29 Oct, RNCM,
124 Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9RD
Wolf McFarlane
Published on:
Fri 14 Oct 2022