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Music + Art + Technology

9 March - 4 April 2018



  • John Cale with the London Contemporary Orchestra

  • Ben Frost feat. Marcel Weber (A/V performance) + Visionist feat. Pedro Maia (A/V performance)

  • Simian Mobile Disco with Deep Throat Choir + Fatima Al Qadiri: ‘’Ja7eem’’ feat. Emmanuel Baird  (A/V Performance)

  • Charlotte Gainsbourg

  • Kamaal Williams

  • Nonclassical // Rise of the Machines #2

Convergence returns in 2018 for its fifth edition. Held annually in Spring, the event series has entertained and educated over 100,000 attendees across London since its inception. Through concerts, exhibitions and talks, Convergence celebrates the latest technological developments of digital culture, elucidating issues, developments and innovation across art and society.

Convergence 2018 takes place from 9th March - 4th April in venues across London including Barbican, Heaven and Village Underground.  

Artistic Director, Glenn Max says: “In our 5th year, with the support of our partners, we have delivered a line-up that places the deeply personal artistic visionary within the crucible of collaborative work. With its emphasis  on the visual, Convergence presents three  key a/v collaborations, where the visual artist is on equal ground  as  the composer:  Ben Frost + Marcel Weber, Fatima Al-Qadiri + Emmanuel Baird,  Visionist  +  Pedro Maia.  

In other areas of our programme we focus on the orchestra as the greatest collaborative tool: John Cale +  the London Contemporary Orchestra and Nonclassical’s ‘Rise of the Machines’ will explore the orchestra  in context to beat culture and many digital permutations.  The improvisatory collaborative experience  is best represented by Kamaal Williams who's extreme jazz trio experiments with grime and hip-hop to unfurl a new urban tapestry.

And finally the maverick thinking of Simian Mobile Disco has led them into one of the most unpredictable collaborative projects to be heard in 2018 when they go head to head with the Deep Throat Choir. From Ben Frost to Fatima  Al Qadiri - we present musicians as auteurs capable of moving us with their compelling narrative fixations –– as well as their sonic obsessions.

In a world increasingly divisive, where  polarised thinking creates yawning gaps that threaten our sense of  unity, collaborative art forms and creative processes have an added value in that they teach us to think and react empathetically. The musical language we share opens doors for us to see and understand each other.  We learn best when work collaboratively. Stronger together.”

The festival kicks off with a career-spanning set by John Cale and the London Contemporary Orchestra. Marking his 76th birthday, the event spreads over two epic nights at the Barbican Hall and will see Cale revealing tracks from his forthcoming Domino studio album as well as addressing music going back to 1964 that he has rarely, if ever performed live. Audiences can expect to hear selections from the Velvet Underground and Cale’s landmark solo albums recorded in his years with Island Records will feature prominently. The performances will also include material from the classic 1992 live solo album Fragments of a Rainy Season.  A Classical composer and Pop genius; virtuosic violist and vitriolic Rock’n’Roller; moody Drone artist and pastoral Welsh songwriter, John Cale nimbly navigates both the Experimental and Pop worlds.

On the 16th March, Convergence and Rockfeedback present a special A/V performance from Australia-born, Iceland-based composer Ben Frost featuring Marcel Weber at Heaven. The colossal and compelling new live show features material from his highly acclaimed new album, The Centre Cannot Hold on Mute Records. Renowned visual artist Marcel Weber works with imagery, light and space creating cosmos out of textures and distortions, multi-layered experiences of surreal moments and stimuli for the subconscious.

Elusive Big Dada experimentalist Visionist returns with a striking new A/V live show in collaboration with film-maker Pedro Maia that focuses on the themes explored in his new LP Value - strength and vulnerability, machismo and effeminacy and self-deprecation and self-love. Maia is known for his specific interest in working with analog film and addressing image by analysing the beauty of its patina and how it fades away as it’s doubly temporal substrate. The visuals will be achieved in collaboration with Teri Varhol, whose interest in chaos and absurdity results in work that is original, disturbing and surreally beautiful.

On the 22nd March Convergence and Metropolis Music present Kamaal Williams at Village Underground - the latest project led by prolific South London artist Henry Wu. As one of the masterminds behind Yussef Kamaal, Wu released a landmark album for British jazz with 2016’s Black Focus. This latest collective continues the tradition of fusing jazz with the sound of urban London, in a captivatingly raw live show featuring the formidable drummer Josh McKenzie on drums, and Pete Martin on bass.

Following stints playing with Beck and Connan Mockasin, Charlotte Gainsbourg takes centre stage at Village Underground on the 29th March. Presented by Convergence and Eat Your Own Ears, this will be Gainsbourg first London concert appearance since her guest performance on Beck’s ‘’Song Reader Live’’ at the Barbican in 2013. From the first steps to the first words, to the first kisses … Life is made of first times that lead to a series of last times, Charlotte Gainsbourg speaks about herself in her latest album Rest. Produced by SebastiAn, from the label Ed Banger, his background in electronic music accorded with Charlotte’s desire for a sound with a disquieting, mechanistic edge which resulted in a compelling self ­portrait.

4th April Convergence returns to Barbican for an audacious double bill of live premieres from Simian Mobile Disco + Deep Throat Choir and Fatima Al Qadiri. In what is surely to  be one  of 2018’s most intriguing album releases,  beloved London electronic duo SMD have teamed up with vocal collective Deep Throat Choir in a brilliant dialogue between human and machine. Performing music  from their forthcoming collaborative album Murmurations, SMD explore new territories in ritualistic, kraut-rock man-machine melodic and protean sci-fi dancefloor. For this brand new show, they return to traditional song-based structures, melding their mastery of their machinery with uproarious vocals of Hackney’s all-female Deep Throat Choir. Something that’s both organic and synthetic, this is SMD as you’ve never heard them before.

Support comes from Berlin-based Kuwaiti conceptual artist and composer Fatima Al Qadiri's brand new project, entitled Ja7eem, meaning 'hell-fire' in Arabic. Fatima’s work touches upon themes of socio-cultural identity, war and memory: this 35-minute live A/V set, with visuals  by Emmanuel Baird, explores the theme of hell-fire using archive footage of burning oil fires during the First Gulf War.

Experimental orchestral club night Rise of the Machines #2 from Nonclassical explores the influence of computers and AI on music, featuring a thirty piece orchestra, live experimental electronics and Nonclassical DJs. It will showcase the world premiere of the first ever Concerto for Drum Machine & Orchestra, a work in five parts which places the drum machine centre stage as solo musical instrument, bringing the sounds of dance music and hip-hop to the classical world.


Praise for Convergence

"The festival celebrating crossovers between music, art and technology" Metro

"Brings together technology, music and art. It is not just a gadget fest but a chance to find out how everything from wearable tech to big data is changing our lives and the way we express ourselves through music, dance, coding and politics" BBC Click

“The forward-thinking spring series packs a seriously good line-up” Time Out

“Convergence is a festival on a constant creative incline. Their contribution to music, art, technology and the notion of electronic music as means of social and cultural growth acts as a reassurance that while we are slowly pilfered of club culture’s heritage, there is certainly a future worth raving for” Crack

"Panels, interactive workshops and film screenings, run alongside the music for the most thrilling five days in March you can imagine. An essential part of our calendar, we really can’t wait." London In Stereo

“An embarrassment of riches...The talent amassed here is so witty and brutal” The Guardian

“An expertly curated festival” DJ Mag

“Triumphant” The Quietus

“Convergence festival brings some of the most forward-thinking electronic artists to London” Monocle


John Cale (2018-1964): A Futurespective With the London Contemporary Orchestra

Fri 9 & Sat 10 March 7.30pm, The Barbican

Ben Frost feat. Marcel Weber (A/V performance) + Visionist

Fri 16 Mar 7.30pm, Heaven

Nonclassical’s Rise of the Machines #2

Sun 18 Mar 7.30pm, Village Underground

Kamaal Williams
Thur 22nd Mar 7.30pm, Village Underground

Charlotte Gainsbourg
Thur 29th Mar 7.30pm, Village Underground


Simian Mobile Disco with Deep Throat Choir + Fatima Al Qadiri presents Ja7eem

Wed 4th April 8pm Barbican

Tickets for all shows are available via



Notes for editors:

* Tickets available from

* Full details of Convergence Sessions - speakers and panelists to be announced
* Fifth year of the multi-venue series of events focusing on art, technology and music

* Promoters involved with the event include: Barbican, Eat Your Own Ears, Metropolis, Nonclassical, Rockfeedback.
* Event Partners: Arts Council, Barbican, British Council, Village Underground

* Media Partners: NTS Radio

Follow Convergence:



Convergence announces latest artists to join the 2018 edition

Convergence 2018
24 January 2018