This is a sponsored article on behalf of Roundhouse.
London-born winners of a Grammy Award have been fairly thin on the ground in recent years, but Imogen Heap is among their number. The singer-songwriter and composer from Havering has enjoyed success across the water, which led to her picking up an Ivor Novello Award over here for International Achievement back in 2010.
This month Heap will attempt to follow up her excellent Ellipse album of 2009 with Sparks, a new concept album recorded over the last few years in various locations, including a walled garden at Bedfords Park not far from where the singer grew up. And to coincide with the record’s release, Heap will be curating Reverb 2014, the latest outing of a festival born in 2010 at Camden’s Roundhouse, with what’s being described by the lady herself as “an exploration of living contemporary composers who have heavy leanings toward technology”.
The opening installations of the festival are already taking shape, with one of the most intriguing being an exhibition entitled Arboreal Lightning, where a series of LED-strip fibres will burst from the stage and tower above performers, with their colours and shapes reacting to the action on stage.
The live shows at the festival begin on 21 August with Black Box Explorations, an evening of ‘aural and visual sensory madness’, which sounds spot-on for a Thursday night in Camden. Berlin-based composer Simon Steen-Andersen will begin proceedings, and the evening will include unique shows from London duo Plaid and the London Soundpainting Orchestra.
On 22 August a group of musicians hand-picked by Imogen Heap will come together on individual podiums to ‘One Man Band‘ their way through a selection of new instrumental and electronic music, with the highly-respected Tim Exile rounding things off. The following night sees the London Contemporary Orchestra take to the stage, with a performance including a new commission by multi-award-winning composer Nick Ryan developed around the theme of synaesthesia, which the internet tells us is a phenomenon whereby stimulation of one of the body’s senses leads to automatic, involuntary reactions in the others. If it sounds complicated, it’s all the more reason to get yourself to the Roundhouse that night in case you turn out to be a ‘synesthete’ yourself.
Reverb 2014 will be brought to a close by a full performance from Heap herself, wearing her famous mi.mu advanced electronic gloves (which are also explored in a Gloves workshop earlier in the festival). In addition to what’s sure to be an aural and visual extravaganza, the show will also feature images Heap is collating from social media sources to accompany her song Hide And Seek, and it’s not too late to get involved yourself.
Join in with Imogen Heap at the Roundhouse for what is surely set to be a fiesta of sights and sounds this month.
Imogen Heap’s Reverb 2014 takes place at the Roundhouse from 21-24 August and tickets are available via the venue’s website. Heap’s new album, Sparks, is released on 18 August.