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Philip Glass tops Futuresonic line-up

Futuresonic returns with a digital overdose of art, music, and out-there ideas

Published on April 22nd 2009.

Philip Glass tops Futuresonic line-up

Manchester's festival of all things futuristic returns for its 14th year in May with a line-up that includes renowned composer Philip Glass, two mass participation events, and oil prospecting in the city centre.

Philip Glass will be at the Royal Northern College of Music on 16 May performing 'Etudes and Other Works for Solo Piano' and classics from his repertoire. Speaking from the piano bench, Glass will personally introduce the programme and give audiences a rare opportunity to experience his work first-hand.

Other events that'll get music fans excited include an audio-visual performance by Mexican electronica pioneer Murcof, the lo-fi future folk of LA's Ariel Pink, and the NYC hip-hop crew Anti-Pop Consortium. There'll also be performances by doom metal outfit Electric Wizard and Icelandic composer Johann Johannsson.

On the art front, the theme this year is Environment 2.0. This sounds fun, with hanging musical plants which sing when stroked, wheelchair tag rugby in a simulation of Darwin's battle of the species, and an art device for striking it rich by prospecting for oil in the city centre.

An event which doesn't sound quite as lively – but which scores high on the worthiness scale – is a public reading of the thousand-odd page Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. The reading will take place in Market Street and will span over several days with 30 volunteer readers taking part. The aim is to bring this important yet under-read report to the public by using the urban communication medium of yesteryear: the town crier.

There'll also be two participatory mass observation projects which will 'engage the population of Manchester in monitoring climate and biodiversity in new and unexpected ways'. The idea is to enable us 'to develop 'new senses' and help the creation of a world-wide network of 'one billion eyes.'' Full details haven't been released yet, but we know that one will involve using bubble blowing to test air flow and the 'urban heat island' phenomenon across Manchester.

Futuresonic will take place from 13-18 May 2009. To find out more, click here.

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