Exhibition Road Music Day 2009
21 June is Exhibition Road Music Day in London. The event has, in part, been developed as part of the Fête de la musique, established in France in 1982, and which sees the whole of Paris, much of France, and numerous territories outside the country, given over to music performance for the day.
Rockfort will be at London’s French Institute DJing between 8pm and 9pm in the Bistro, and there will also be performances there from John and Jehn at 9pm and Koko Von Napoo at 10pm.
Read our interview with John and Jehn here
And with Koko Von Napoo here
And below, we ask Paul Cutts, the CEO of the Exhibition Road Cultural Group which organises the day, a few questions.
Rockfort: What is the relationship between Exhibition Road Music Day and Fête de la musique? How did the former grow out of the latter?
PC: Because the Institut francais is a member of the Exhibition Road Cultural Group (ERCG), it brought a London version of Fête de la musique here to South Kensington. The Institut français was the lead organisation for the project for several years but many of the institutions in the ERCG play a part.
Rockfort: What's new this year that we won't have seen last year?
PC: There are lots of new acts this year - from Austrian composer Christoph Dienz's amazing electro-acoustic zither mix to Brit-hop star Akira the Don and classical ensemble Pianocircus. There's also an evening concert called The Evolution of the Piano, which includes a world-premiere piece for piano four hands inspired by robots. Exhibition Road was built as the exchange point for arts, science, manufacturing and technology and that's the sort of programming we plan to encourage and develop in future years.
Rockfort: What plans are there to expand the event in coming years?
PC: From next year, there'll be stronger themed strands of programming – not just looking at the arts and science (such as acoustics, the science of sound, music and the mind etc) but also emphasising our international profile (collectively our members employ around 25,000 people from nearly every country in the world) and our European links (the Institut francais, Goethe-Institut and Austrian Cultural Forum are all members of ERCG). We're hoping to co-commission new work - funded by member institutions and sometimes based on objects in their collections - emphasising the originality and cutting-edge nature of the work of our membership.
Rockfort: On what basis are acts chosen for the day?
PC: Up to this year acts have been programmed by individual members according to their own themes and audience development strategies. From next year, there'll be a stronger curatorial steer from the ERCG executive, to more closely reflect the collaborative nature of the event and to encourage closer cooperation between our members.
Interview by David McKenna