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With the London Contemporary Orchestra

Friday 9 & Saturday 10 March 2018 at The Barbican


Convergence returns in 2018 for its fifth edition. Held annually in March, the event series has entertained & 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.


Legendary songwriter, producer and musician, John Cale returns to the Barbican next spring for his first-ever career retrospective. This follows on from a series of original albums for Domino Records and historic re-imagining of the Velvet Underground's 50th Anniversary in two concerts in Paris and Liverpool, as well as his performance of Barbican co-commissioned audio-visual collaboration LOOP>>60Hz: Transmissions From The Drone Orchestra with Liam Young at the Barbican Theatre in autumn 2014. Marking his 76th birthday, the event in March 2018 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.


Convergence Artistic Director, Glenn Max says: Defying categorisation, deploying the techniques of classical music alongside strategies of  experimental music, John Cale as Producer, Songwriter and arranger is emblematic of the inventiveness Convergence seeks to celebrate in its annual series. It is a tremendous honour  to have him agree to a  collaborative concert that will represent his greatest and most experimental works. From The  Dream Syndicate, Music of the Eternal Living and The Velvet Underground through his varied output on Island Records and Domino, Cale’s hard-headed, restless creativity and his historic deployment of drone, noise, feedback has informed some of  today’s most compelling experimental musicians. As one of contemporary music's greatest and most willing collaborators,  Cale has selected the London Contemporary Orchestra to re-imagine his back-catalogue and open the door to a musical future. Surely these are two of the most monumental nights Convergence has yet presented. ''


In recent years, Cale has emphasised collaborative work. While reaching restlessly toward the future on his latest albums, he has also re-examined his past catalogue, including a reconfiguration of his milestone album Music for a New Society on M:Fans, released in 2016. In concerts dedicated to the music of Nico or the Velvet Underground, Cale has sought contemporary and emerging musicians who share his  vision of breathing new life into this beloved back catalogue. For his Barbican concerts in March, Cale will team up with the London Contemporary Orchestra, who since 2007 have mined great experimental works of the 20th century, shedding new light and developing new audiences for avant-garde music. Highly-lauded collaborations with Jonny Greenwood, William Basinski, Matmos, Actress, Foals and Belle & Sebastian have made them the ''go-to'' orchestra for contemporary collaborations.

The programme on both Barbican concert nights will evolve around a core set of repertoire including rarities and old-time favourites, but might differ slightly each night. With the fullness of the orchestra, to the stripped-down minimalism and the layers in-between, John Cale (2018-1964): A Futurespective promises to continue Cale's mantra of 'expect the unexpected'.   

On sale to Barbican members on Thursday 21 September

On general sale on Friday 22 September

Produced by the Barbican in association with Convergence

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John Cale (2018-1964): A Futurespective

Convergence 2018
21 September 2017