Only Connect: A Series of Extraordinary Live Events

"Challenging, genre-trashing, frisky, promiscuous” - Time Out

Tickets available from Barbican Box Office 020 7638 8891 or

"Only Connect!" Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted"        (E.M. Forster)

Only Connect was created in 1999 to provide a clear platform for experimentation, collaboration and the creation of new work. Only Connect’s first extraordinary line- up included Louis Andriessen, Talvin Singh, Youssou N’Dour and Diamanda Galas. This year an even more diverse array of revolutionary artists, musicians and filmmakers have been inspired by the rare opportunity to work beyond the limiting reach of corporate culture. Work is well under way. The results promise to be stunning.

While Karlheinz Stockhausen and The Brothers Quay emerge from the shadows with a creation of coruscating, claustrophobic beauty, fiercely independent Scottish band The Delgados delve into the disturbed visions of fellow outsider artist Joe Coleman. While Asian Dub Foundation commune with La Haine’s uncompromisingly stark urban vision, a 200 piece orchestra and choir prepares to transport us to the widescreen, technicolour landscapes of Ennio Morricone. Add arch experimentalists Tom Zé, Tortoise, Ornette Coleman and a Renaissance composer called Carlo Gesualdo and you have a series of breathtaking proportions"

1.3.2001      Sound On  Film Live - 8.00pm    

£8.50 / 11.00 / 14.00 / 18.50

Hal Hartley / Louis Andriessen
Nicolas Roeg / Adrian Utley of Portishead
Brothers Quay / Karlheinz Stockhausen
Werner Herzog / John Tavener
Electra / Parvin Cox / Westminster Cathedral Choir / BBC Symphony Orchestra
Andy Weatherall – DJ at post-show party

Only Connect presents the live world premiere of Sound on Film, a series of four new short films with specially commissioned soundtracks for BBC television, made in collaboration by filmmakers and composers. The live performance draws on the legacy of days when movies were silent and scores were played live, but this evening’s performance is at today’s creative edge featuring eight artists with wildly different styles, visionaries united by their individuality.

The avant-garde music of Louis Andriessen is paired with the cool and laconic gaze of Hal Hartley; a blindingly poetic evocation of religious fervour is created between Sir John Tavener and director Werner Herzog; the greatest living composer of electronic music meets magical animation with the melding of the creative perspectives of Karlheinz Stockhausen and The Brothers Quay; while finally, the dark tones of Adrian Utley of Portishead combine with Nicolas Roeg’s visually complex, multi-layered film featuring supermodel Claudia Schiffer.

NB: Werner Herzog with John Tavener and Nic Roeg with Adrian Utley of Portishead will each be presenting their new films on the night. The Brothers Quay and Louis Andriessen will be present at the screening of In Absentia.

Clubstage (level -1) 10.30pm - late: Free post-show party with DJ Andy Weatherall

Sound on Film was commissioned by BBC TV and PIPELINE FILMS in association with NPS Television

(Exec. Producers Rodney Wilson and Christian Seidel). Sound on Film Live - Executive Producer Alex Poots.

10/11.3.2001     Ennio Morricone - Sat 7.45pm / Sun 3pm   

£12.50 / 17.00 / 23.00 / 28.00 / 32.00

Ennio Morricone – composer / conductor
Susanna Rigacci – soprano
Dulce Pontes – voice
Fausto Anzelmo – viola
Rome Symphony Orchestra
London chorus (tbc)

Ennio Morricone is arguably the most influential and original figure in film music composition and though his music is known to many through a diverse range of films, these are his first ever live UK performances. Both evocative and epic, Morricone’s musical genius has created soundscapes for the dustbowls of a multitude of Spaghetti Westerns such as the classic Once Upon a Time in the West and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, through to the vast tropics of steaming South American jungle in The Mission.

Two superb performances feature two of Morricone’s concert works followed by a selection of some of his greatest film scores. With over two hundred performers on stage and Morricone conducting, this promises to be a musical event not to be missed.  As part of this unique event the Saturday evening concert will include a late night screening of Once Upon a Time in the West (certificate 15) in the Barbican Hall at 11pm. Free to ticket holders of the evening concert.

FreeStage: Roberto Sironi and Ensemble:

Sat 10 March 6.45 - 7.30pm and 10.15 - 11pm / Sun 11 March 1.30 - 2.45pm

This concert is presented with support from MuSA Associazione Culturale; Roma Sinfonietta Associazione Culturale; Ministero per I Beni Culturali - Instituto Italiano di Cultura di Londra; DFV Musica.

22.3.2001      Outsider Art / Music - 8.00pm    

£9.00 / 11.50 / 15.00 / 18.50

Joe Coleman / The Delgados
Joe Coleman / Carlo Gesualdo
Henry Darger  / Harry Partch
Wesley Willis - Live

Outsider Art is the work of self-taught obsessives, eccentrics and untrained visionaries.  This two-part evening features live music and projected moving images of work by the most extraordinary Outsider Artists. Only Connect steps inside these strange illuminations of the soul to reveal the world of painter Henry Darger, a bizarre, reclusive genius who created an extraordinary body of fantasy material that remained hidden until just before his death. For the first time ever, massive projections of 40 of these monumental works are set to the music of the equally iconoclastic hobo composer Harry Partch, performed live by the US Partch specialists - AFMM Ensemble.

Then witness the freak show obsessions of painter Joe Coleman, who creates icons with a vision darker than Poe’s. His modern saints are the misfits, killers and subversive philosophers lurking at the fringes of society. For the first time Coleman will transform his paintings into two films - the first, set to the dark Renaissance music of Carlo Gesualdo, will be performed by The Clerks’ Group, the second accompanied by a specially commissioned live performance by The Delgados.

The evening concludes with a live performance by Wesley Willis (on the Clubstage - located outside the Barbican Hall) with special guest DJs: 10.30pm - late. Willis is an ‘Outsider’ street singer from Chicago who has built up a cult following with his seemingly bizarre, yet powerfully revealing songs about everyday life, ‘stuff’, people he knows... He has written over 400 songs and recorded at least 20 albums, at one point recording 4 different albums in 36 days.

Outsider Music/Art was commissioned by the Barbican and Bergen. International Festival (Executive Producer Alex Poots). Paintings by Henry Darger © Kiyoko Lerner. All Rights Reserved

Paintings by Joe Coleman © Joe Coleman. All Rights Reserved

23.3.2001      Ornette Coleman - 7.30pm  

£8.50 / 12.50 / 16.00 / 19.00 / 23.50

Ornette Coleman Trio with Denardo Coleman and Charnett Moffet

Global Expressions featuring the trio plus special guests Badal Roy and Probaker Karaker

It has been a long five years since the jazz legend and musical iconoclast Ornette Coleman has played to London audiences. Now the man who changed forever the way all people, both musicians and music lovers alike, view the art of improvisation, returns to London with his trio, some very special guests and a whole new exploration of music.

Ornette Coleman has long been fascinated by the music of other cultures and in this special concert combines jazz with influences of Indian and Eastern music and song. Coleman is a man consciously dealing with the concept of tomorrow, the future, and the future sound of music. Tonight’s performance is the UK premiere of Global Expressions, an ongoing project first performed to an audience at the Umbria Jazz Festival in 1998 and then at New York’s Bell Atlantic Jazz Festival in June 2000.

26.3.2001      Naked Lunch Live To Projection – 7.30pm        

£8.50 / 14.00 / 17.00 / 20.00

Ornette Coleman Trio / Howard Shore (composer / conductor) / BBC Concert Orchestra

Ornette Coleman had been aware of the ‘Beat poets’ for many years but it wasn’t until 1991, when David Cronenberg brought the dark insect world of William Burrough’s Naked Lunch to the big screen, that film composer Howard Shore invited him to add his own particular musical language to this hallucinogenic Beat vision. The resulting score creates a hip, free flowing jazzscape for one of the strangest cinematic experiences of recent years. Coleman’s liquid alto, the driving rhythms of the Ornette Coleman Trio and the grand gesture of Shore’s orchestral score are not merely an accompaniment to a film, but one of the most totally integrated performances by an improvisational legend and an orchestra that you are ever likely to see. Don’t miss this unique event as the Ornette Coleman Trio and the BBC Concert Orchestra are conducted by Howard Shore (who opens the evening with an introduction to the film and music, accompanied by guests) in this specially subtitled screening of Naked Lunch.

Certificate 18. Naked Lunch was premiered at the Belfast Festival at Queen’s 2000

31.3.2001      Asian Dub Foundation / La Haine - 8.30pm    

£7.50 / 10.00 / 12.50 / 15.00

When unleashed on an unsuspecting cinema-going public in France, La Haine was thought so poignant, a government insider asked the entire cabinet to attend a screening. Part social commentary, part political indictment, this sometime brutal yet humane insight into urban frustration in the Banlieus of Paris has found the perfect partner in rhyme: London’s Asian Dub Foundation. Anyone who has followed their meteoric ascent from their origins as a local community project to global indo-dub agit-punk agent-provocateurs cannot deny that few other bands are better suited to musically accentuate the stark world depicted in Kassovitz’s La Haine. It is a world in which time ticks like a bomb; life is lived on the edge; the pace is relentless, the dialogue sparsely intense. Subject matter spans racism, violence and police harassment. Little wonder then that Chandrasonic and co. view La Haine as one of the most important films of the 1990’s, mirroring the issues faced by many urban minorities in the UK today.

Strengthening their reputation as embodying the antithesis of naval gazing post-rock, nationalistic Brit-pop and misogynistic hip-hop this event should see London’s finest take their sound into uncharted waters. Aided by their close links with the French underground and North-African rap scenes (members of whom will be invited as guest DJ’s and artists for this one-off event) ADF look set to transform the inspiration garnered from Kassovitz’s award winning film and mould it into an unrelenting sonic journey.  

Clubstage (level -1) 11pm - late: Free post-show event featuring guest DJ and live artists from Paris.

9.4.2001       Tom Zé and Tortoise - 8.00pm       

£8.50 / 11.00 / 14.00 / 17.50

In recent years a growing number of artists from the left-field rock spectrum (Stereolab, Pavement and The High Llamas) have sung the praises of the wayward godfather of Tropicalia - Tom Zé. Renowned for his insatiable desire for musical experimentation, Zé took a side road into rock and psychedelia at a time when his Tropicalistan counterparts such as Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil found international fame. Fusing folkloric rhythms and samba beats with the occasional sound of a floor sander thrown in for good measure, he has remained an enigmatic and idiosyncratic innovator, unafraid of straying from convention.

Long-time devotees Tortoise, the revered Chicagan electronic experimentalists, were amongst the first of a new generation of artists to pick up on Zé’s talents. Theirs is a unique sound; creating atmospheric collages with dub, jazz, ambient and classical elements. Last year, Tortoise’s John McEntire remixed tracks on Zé’s Postmodern Platos (Luaka Bop), a coming together that resulted in a couple of rare live shows featuring both Zé and Tortoise, which, according to those fortunate enough to be present, went off like an incendiary device. Tonight Only Connect presents these two acclaimed groups on the same stage in the UK for the first time to perform Tom Zé’s music. Stand back whilst we re-light  the fuse.

Clubstage (level -1) 10.30pm - late: Free post-show event to be announced.