Brighton Dome announces earsthetic 2015 programme

earsthetic (27 Nov – 1 Dec) - Brighton Dome’s annual mini-season of interdisciplinary performance - returns to the venue in its new November slot with an array of visual and sonic artists committed to pushing the boundaries of their chosen discipline. The line-up includes a new musical-performance project from CocoRosie’s Bianca Casady, a visually stunning show from cult performers The Tiger Lillies, a multisensory double bill from duo Sculpture and Alex Smoke with visual artist Florence To, immersive audio-visual installation SeaWomen by acclaimed artist Mikhail Karikis and contemporary musical theatre from vocalist and former earsthetic The Works artist Elaine Mitchener.

In a special earsthetic concert, CocoRosie's Bianca Casady (1 Dec) presents her new musical-performance project. Working with long time friends and collaborators The C.i.A., she will perform new music from her upcoming solo record due to release in autumn. Dancer Biño Sauitzvy, with whom she has collaborated on several theatre pieces and many exhibitions, will join her for the performance which marks her debut as a solo artist stepping out of the familiar context of CocoRosie. Having written and recorded songs on her own for many years, the desire to put them together in the form of a record led her down many surprising roads. With a hundred year old un-tunable piano and a collection of dusty typewriters, piles of poems began to become songs – which she followed to Argentina where she finished the recordings and mixing of her upcoming solo album.

The Tiger Lillies’ genre-defying brand of other-worldly vocals and unnerving performance style has carved them a unique niche in the cabaret and music theatre scene. After their sell-out performance of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner at Brighton Festival 2013, the cult creators of the award-winning Shockheaded Peter join forces with Opera North to stage another adaptation of a macabre classic; Lulu – A Murder Ballad (30 Nov). The character of Lulu is one of the great creations of 20th Century fiction… and one of its most disturbing. Lulu’s journey from street prostitute to the toast of Society and back again, is told as a hypnotic and kaleidoscopic dance of death; her unbridled sex appeal, her youth, and her self-destructiveness combine to make her dangerous, unpredictable and tragic. The band’s flamboyant live performance is enhanced by large-scale virtual sets that create an immersive and richly atmospheric environment.

Sculpture will support Alex Smoke and Florence To in an exclusive double bill of extraordinary live audio visual performance (27 Nov). London-based artist Florence To designs and produces spatial light installations using the identity of space then sound, whilst Glaswegian DJ Alex Menzies - who creates under the names Alex Smoke and Wraetlic - welds a knowledge of classical composition and form to a career spent working in electronic music's darker recesses to create a unique sound. Together they aim to explore a deeper visceral sense of visual rhythms and future sounds, incorporating physical design, sound, light and composition. Sculpture is an opto-musical duo made up of Dan Hayhurst (media devices and electronic instruments) and Reuben Sutherland (who plays video zoetrope turntable). Their performances are an amalgam of electronic music, kinetic art, comic strips, abstract animation, audiovisual cut-ups – a mix of analogue and digital practices – tape manipulation, samples, found sounds, aleatoric and algorithmic programming and live improvisation.

SeaWomen (27 Nov – 1 Dec) is an installation work by Mikhail Karikis which focuses on a community of female sea workers living on the North Pacific island of Jeju - a volcanic rock between South Korea, Japan and China. Operating outside the currents of modernisation, this old and fast vanishing community consists of 50-90 year-old women who dive to great depths with no oxygen supply to catch sea-food and find pearls. Karikis’s immersive installation depicts the vocal practices of the women, including the unique sounds of their ancient and transgenerationally-transmitted breathing technique, their work-songs resonating in their camps, the noises of their democratic decision-making and of other communal activities. Mikhail Karikis is a Greek/British and London-based artist. He studied at Slade School (London) and his work has been shown at the Danish Pavilion 54th Venice Biennale, MANIFESTA 9 (Belgium), the Barbican, the 3rd Thessaloniki Biennale (Greece), Tate Britain, Coreana Museum (Seoul) and Galeria Eduardo Fernandes (Sao Paulo).

Having presented an early version of contemporary musical theatre piece Industrialising Intimacy as part of last year’s earsthetic The Works, vocal artist Elaine Mitchener brings the finished performance to the festival for its premiere (29 Nov). Collaborating with award-winning choreographer Dam Van Huynh, pioneer of computer music composer George Lewis and renowned sound artist, and writer and musician David Toop, Industrialising Intimacy uses vocal improvisation, movement and sound to create an original work of contemporary music theatre. Wavering between observer and participant, the audience is invited to share Mitchener's exploration of the many facets of intimacy as she investigates the loss of privacy in our society versus the strength of true intimacy in the search for one's centeredness.

Also returning is The Works (28 Nov) itself, a platform for artists and the public to come together at an early stage of a work in development and engage in dialogue about the creative process. It is an opportunity for artists – aided by dramaturgs – to seek the opinions of the audience they wish to attract, and for people who care about performance, to engage in collective dramaturgy and development, supporting artists to envisage the choices and possibilities available to them.

earsthetic is produced and curated by Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival’s music producer Laura Ducceschi. Her aim is to work with musicians and musical projects in the same way as one would visual art; stepping aside from the typical music industry model and working with artists directly to develop their ideas and concepts, understand their practice, take risks and give full attention to the detail of their presentation.

Laura says, ‘this year, if you look at the programme, it’s representing a whole host of artists who are stepping into new territory. We’re not putting artists into boxes – with earsthetic we’re breaking up boxes because they don’t help with the progression of art. These artists and these shows could be performed in either in a music venue or an art gallery… and that’s what we like about it.’

Now in its third year, the mini-season of work has welcomed the likes of Peaches, Kele and Chicks on Speed to Brighton Dome.

‘We made the word ‘earsthetic’ to accompany this mini-season of work, but I really believe it should be a real term. “Are you a fine artist, a visual artist, a sound artists or a musician? No, I’m an earsthetic artist! I am a sonic and visual artist combined.” By using this word, the more we can find platforms for artists like these and the more people can understand what they’re coming to. Quite often, when people don’t come to something it’s because they’re a little bit fearful of it. Art never moves forward if artists don’t move into new territory… and it is the responsibility of arts organisations to support that. Think about the exciting scene in Brooklyn, Berlin, Paris… we want to add Brighton to that list.’


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Notes To Editors:

• Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival manages a year round programme of arts at Brighton Dome – a three space, Grade 1 listed building made up of the Concert Hall, Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre - and produces the annual Brighton Festival in May.

• It aims to champion the power of the arts, to enrich and change lives, and to inspire and enable artists to be their most creative.

• Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival are a registered arts charity

• Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival are working with the Royal Pavilion & Museums on a joint masterplan to realise a future vision for the Royal Pavilion Estate. For updates and news please visit