Unbound Listening with Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival

In a new online series, hcmf// (Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival) and the British Council join forces to present three events telling stories from across the world of new music entitled Unbound Listening.

Focusing on the global challenges currently facing cultural communities and organisations, you will hear examples of how artists and cultural leaders are responding positively to the situation through their work. The emphasis will be on sharing experiences, collective thinking, and how we may work together collaboratively across borders to create new opportunities for the cultural sector.

Our speakers will be drawn from new music communities across the globe. They will share perspectives from their local musical scene as we look towards the future, in an opportunity to get to know new artists and music. Each event will combine listening, learning and conversation, culminating in a performance, commissioned audio-visual piece or podcast.

This year we continue the spirit of connection by welcoming international voices digitally

Unbound Listening is the latest partnership between the British Council and hcmf//. It builds on a long-term relationship that has enabled international new music producers and programmers to attend the annual festival and forge connections with the UK contemporary music sector. Responding to the challenges of the ongoing pandemic, this year we continue the spirit of connection by welcoming international voices digitally. Unbound Listening offers a window onto new music in different parts of the world, opening up conversations and complementing the festival’s showcase of new UK music.

The first event in the Unbound Listening series will be presented during hcmf// 2020. Look out for two further events in early 2021.


Unbound Listening #1

Friday 20 November, 15:00 GMT, online

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Building on hcmf//’s relationship with Irtijal, Beirut’s foremost experimental music festival, this discussion has been curated by festival founder Sharif Sehnaoui, and brings together a range of musicians working in the region’s iconic underground. Panellists will include engineer Fadi Tabbal, DJ and Frequent Defect organiser Renata Sabella and Rabih Beaini, an experimental musician who also runs Morphine Records.

This roundtable is followed by a showcase of the Lebanese experimental scene, with performances from two local pioneers. Egyptian genre-hopper Aya Metwalli’s recent work has embodied her interest in marrying noise and melody into a new wave of avant-pop, celebrating both the tradition of popular music and a rebellion against it. A composer and improviser known throughout the Lebanese underground scene, Anthony Sahyoun’s recent work includes First Seconds Last Forever, a collaboration with sound artist Jawad Nawfal that echoes the ‘lively and evolving’ Beirut neighbourhood of Gemmayze through recorded and constructed noise.

Unbound Listening is curated by hcmf// in partnership with the British Council