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Bristol New Music: acts announced for UK’s international contemporary music festival

12th February 2020

Categories: Latest News

A host of artists have been announced to perform at the fourth edition of Bristol New Music, the city’s biennial exploration of the city through sound.

From Thursday 23rd to Sunday 26th April, artists from around the world will present newly commissioned works, sonic responses to rarely used spaces, landmark concerts, club night sets, gallery exhibitions and screenings at some of Bristol’s most unique venues.

The much-anticipated weekend will offer audiences the opportunity to take in a bespoke performance in the vaults below the Clifton Suspension Bridge, witness the intricacy of 100 keyboards playing simultaneously across the floor of St George’s and experience the work of musician, mystic and laughter meditation practitioner Laraaji.

Artists featuring at this year’s festival include Japanese conceptualist Asuna, Oscar nominated composer Mica Levi leading a graphic scores workshop and Manchester based sound artist Kelly Jane Jones – whose commission will appear in the suspension bridge vaults. Cutting-edge UK club/electronic alchemists Beatrice Dillon and James Massiah will be appearing, as well as Welsh new music ensemble Uproar, Bristol-based provocateur Miguel Prado and local musician Yas Clarke, who presents The Thicket – a sound piece for four vocalists.

Bristol New Music is a collaboration between five key organisations in the city: Colston Hall, Arnolfini, Spike Island, St George’s Bristol and the University of Bristol. The 2020 edition is produced by Qu Junktions.

Todd Wills, Artistic Director of Colston Hall, said: “Over the last 6 years we have established Bristol New Music as a weekend of adventure and curiosity, presenting a cutting edge programme of contemporary music and visual arts. For 2020 we have some exciting new commissions and are using spaces we’ve never worked in before, such as the Suspension Bridge Vaults and St Mary Redcliffe church.

This festival is a unique event in Bristol’s busy calendar, with collaboration across the five organisations allowing us to curate a really remarkable series of events.”

Tickets to the opening concert, a rare UK performance by the masterful Japanese percussionist and composer Midori Takada, are on sale now, alongside Festival Passes and Day Passes via the newly launched festival website at, with individual event tickets going on sale in the coming weeks.

Selected highlights of the 2020 Bristol New Music programme:

Asuna: 100 Keyboards, St George’s Bristol, Friday 24th April, 8.30 pm
Maverick Japanese conceptualist Asuna presents a sonically and visually arresting site-specific live work featuring over one hundred battery-powered analogue keyboards laid out in formation across the floor of the St George’s Bristol concert hall, each emanating sound waves on the same frequency to create an astonishing moiré pattern of sound interference.

Beatrice Dillon + Klein + Carl Stone + Viridian Ensemble, Arnolfini, Friday 24th April, 9.45pm — 2am
A heavyweight late-night line-up of cutting-edge performances in the Arnolfini theatre, with some of the freshest UK electronic and improv protagonists alongside an American sample culture and sound art auteur.

Kelly Jane Jones: Sedimentary Stone Tape, Clifton Suspension Bridge Vaults, Saturday 25th April, hourly from 12.00 - 6.00 pm
Artist Kelly Jane Jones creates a new, bespoke performance for intimate groups, retrieving deep time resonances from the rock in a vaulted chamber long hidden under Clifton Suspension Bridge.
Note: this event is not included in day or festival passes. Tickets for this event will be available soon

Laraaji, Arnolfini, Sunday 26th April, 8.00 pm
Bringing Bristol New Music to a close is a performance by charismatic cult New York ambient/new age legend Laraaji, who comes to Bristol for the first time in five years. Support from new London collective caroline.

For updates and information on Bristol New Music, please follow @bristolnewmusic across all social media channels. For festival passes and day tickets please visit

Please note that a small number of events will have a limited capacity and are not included in the Festival or Day Pass. Some shows and workshops will need to be purchased separately.

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