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  • Watch: Unbound Listening with Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival

Watch: Unbound Listening with Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival

Our new series of online events with hcmf// (Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival) continues as we join forces for Unbound Listening #2 - a chance to hear stories from across the world of new music.

Unbound Listening #2 features artists from East Asia, South Asia and Wider Europe. We’ll discuss their environmental and ecological concerns, while also hosting performances from Leafcutter John.


About Unbound Listening #2

Through our online series Unbound Listening, we present stories from across the world of new music, focusing on the global challenges currently facing cultural communities and organisations. Emphasising our shared experiences with the hope of finding collective solutions, Unbound Listening reflects on how we can work together, across borders, to make artistic statements.

Each Unbound Listening event seeks to foster conversation, spotlight artistic communities and instigate further reflection on the goals artists share with regards to our environmentally-threatened world.


About the Speakers

A songwriter and folk musician, Akhu Chingangbam fronts Imphal Talkies and the Howlers, a band whose music has become synonymous with political action in their local Manipur. Frequently opposing the powers granted to the Indian Armed Forces in their region, Chingangbam’s poignantly literal lyrics offer a protest music for peace, their calls for a less militant enforcement of state paired against serene melodies and gorgeously woven guitar lines. 

As well as being a musician, Chingangbam is an organiser, running Where Have All The Flowers Gone, a three-day festival focused on environmentalism and community action. Inspired by musician and activist Pete Seeger, the festival focuses on the change people can make in the face of power, and attempts to bring together ‘rural and urban’ communities under one platform.

A DJ based in Bali, Halim Ardie is a prominent figure in local clubs, an invigorating life force at nights, paying homage to classic dance music while filtering in niche cuts. His mixes coalesce genres seamlessly, moving from bright, chiming house tunes into the darker side of techno and downtempo. 

Ardie is a co-founder of Rainforest Pavilion, an organisation that seeks to raise awareness of environmental issues through direct interaction. Rainforest Pavillion don’t meter out their activism; it’s not just a part of what they do. Instead, they seek to make their art intrinsically political, to directly involve climate change through art installations and DJ sets that incorporate rainforest sounds. 

Ukraine based composer Illia Razumekio co-wrote the opera Chornobyldorf with Roman Grygoriv. Inspired by the impact of nuclear power on our world, the opera was catalysed by the protests held in 1978 by environmentalists against the building of the Zwentendorf power plant. Focusing on the nuclear catastrophe known as Chernobyl, Grygoriv and Razumekio’s piece explores the political transformations the world has undergone post-disaster, reflecting on the man-made nature of climate catastrophe. 

The panel for Unbound Listening #2 will be chaired by Anothai Nitibhon, a composer based in Thailand. Nitibhon is also the former vice-president of the Princess Galyani Institute of Music in Thailand, and appeared as a speaker at the Sounds Now Curating Diversity in Europe Symposium in 2020. 


About the performers

An electronic musician and sound artist, Leafcutter John’s work frequently takes nature as its starting point. On his recent record Yes! Come And Parade With Us, he gathered field recordings from local coastal areas of Norfolk, later reflecting on them with electronic improvisations. His recent piece Lockdown Patchwork, commissioned by hcmf// and Leeds Art Gallery, reflects on our experiences of nature during lockdown, exploring the social inequalities in ‘public’ green spaces while also considering the impact that development has had on our local environments. Leafcutter John will deliver the World Premiere of a special 30 minute edition of Lockdown Patchwork


Unbound Listening Publication

For each Unbound Listening event, we’ll be producing a publication featuring essays and interviews, expanding on the discussions our artists have engaged in while diving deeper into their work as musicians. For Unbound Listening #2, we’re delighted to welcome guest writer Mariah Reodica. An art writer and experimental musician based in the Philippines, Reodica recently won the Ateneo Award for Art Writing for her essay Saltwater Trajectories: Bisan Tubig Di Magbalon, and Viva Excon as Cartographer.


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