French megastar JAIN and female pro beatboxer Bellatrix join an all-female LCV group on the roof of Peckham’s Bussey Building for a special VEVO X filmed sessionRead More
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New release! LCV features on Imogen Heap’s soundtrack to Harry Potter & The Cursed Child!Read More
On 3rd November we host our first own show at London’s Southbank Centre! We’ll put our own glorious spin on a variety of music, including popular hits, with Orlando Weeks (the Maccabees) and art-pop duo RINNGS. The programme examines the human condition through the lenses of mental health, wellbeing, aging and consciousness. Over 500 tickets for the concert have already been sold and the show is expected to sell out! Get tickets now!
Our first concert at Queen Elizbeth Hall will present alternative, electronic and contemporary classical music alongside alternative versions of songs by artists such as Hozier, Laura Marling and Florence + The Machine. Excitingly, we’ll also share our own original pieces live for the first time – prepared collaboratively by a pool of over 20 emerging writers and composers from LCV.
The evening’s music examines the human condition through the lenses of mental health, wellbeing, aging and consciousness. Contemporary classical works draw on poetry by writers including Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman and Emily Brontë (during the year of her 200th birthday!). We’ll also perform arrangements of new poems and music from the Arts Council-funded Living Words project, created from accounts from people experiencing dementia.
Orlando Weeks, frontman of the Ivor Novello Award-winning band The Maccabees, will join us onstage to perform recent work, including material from his illustrated music-book The Gritterman, which gained widespread critical acclaim in 2017; it’s a bittersweet story about stoicism, dignity and an elderly man leaving behind the work that he loves – themes explored in this concert. Weeks will also perform a new music, prepared especially for the choir and this show.
“We’re thrilled to host our own concert at Southbank Centre for the first time – Queen Elizabeth Hall is one of our favourite venues in London and the new multi-million pound refurbishment means the acoustics are absolutely excellent! We’re very excited!” says London Contemporary Voices co-founder and director Anil Sebastian (himself recently awarded the prestigious PRS Momentum Fund). “This is a serious show, addressing some powerful themes in relation to mental health, wellbeing and the human condition. The Living Words project in particular highlights the absolute fragility of everything we think we know- as part of an Arts Council funded project I have been working in care homes in Kent talking to elderly people who are suffering from a dementia. As part of an established scheme, new poetic works are being written from the accounts of these people and I am working with LCV singers to turn these words into new music. The voices of an underrepresented and potentially isolated group of people will be heard in a new context by a large audience. The working has been challenging and extremely humbling.”
“We are also thrilled to be working with Orlando Weeks again after such a successful show at the Union Chapel last year for The Gritterman Live. Themes of dignity in older age run throughout his book – it’s an important subject and one that the world needs to think about more seriously as the global population ages.”
Over 500 tickets for the concert have already been sold and the show is expected to sell out! Get tickets now!
Read more about the guests
LONDON CONTEMPORARY VOICES
London Contemporary Voices is renowned for its work with pioneering artists - including 17 Grammy winners and nominees - and is regularly seen at festivals across the UK, as well as TV and Radio. The choir has worked with diverse artists including U2 (BBC TV Special Live From Abbey Road), Andrea Bocelli, Alt-J, Basement Jaxx, Laura Mvula, James Bay and Eska. The choir is in high demand after a string of recent successes which include featuring on Elbow’s UK No. 1 album Little Fictions and Deaf Havana’s top ten album Rituals; performing on the Main Stage at Bestival; soundtracking Burberry’s Feb 17 campaign; and releasing a cover “Praise You” by Fatboy Slim, recorded with artist Hannah Grace at Metropolios Studios (as featured on the current filmic TV ad for Lloyds Bank). This year the choir has worked a variety of artists, from the biggest-selling classical singer of all time Andrea Bocelli to rock band Deaf Havana for a live BBC broadcast from Reading Festival’s Radio 1 stage. The choir has also been working with singer-songwriter Roo Panes and producer Chris Bond (Ben Howard) for Panes’ latest album and a show at Shepherd’s Bush Empire.
Orlando Weeks is best known as the lead singer of indie band The Maccabees. At the height of their fame The Maccabees played The O2 Arena, had a top 4 album, won an Ivor Novello and were also nominated for the Mercury Prize. When the band split in 2017 they sold out three dates at Alexandra Palace.
In 2017 Weeks released a self-illustrated book called The Gritterman, with an accompanying audio version and beautiful soundtrack (narrated by comedian Paul Whitehouse, of Harry Enfield fame). A group of LCV singers sang at The Gritterman live show with Orlando at Union Chapel in December 2017 - the show sold out in one day and received glowing reviews from The Telegraph, The Times and Drowned In Sound.
This stylish new art-pop duo are winning support from the likes of Clash Magazine and The 405. The London-based Karl Zine and Nai Jannson started releasing music last year and quickly started to pick up steam with support from Spotify’s coveted New Music Friday playlist, Apple Music’s New Fire playlist and a heap of radio play from BBC Introducing and Soho Radio. Through the handful of singles they’ve released to date the pair have already cultivated a reputation as creators of expressive and enlivening electronic pop music. LCV singers filmed a beautiful session video with RINNGS earlier this year and three singers also joined the band at Abbey Road Studios to record with the band. June saw the release of their debut EP Glorious, a collection of enigmatic and soulful tracks that caught the eye of the BBC once again, including Phil Taggart on Radio 1 and a spree of air-time across BBC 6 Music. RINNGS are currently a featured act in the current M-Magazine, from PRS For Music.
Living Words is an art and literature charity established in Folkestone, Kent, in 2007. The organisation conducts residencies in care and nursing homes, community settings, arts centres, day centres, libraries, theatres and hospitals. Living Words writers and artists receive training which allows them to work co-creatively and one-to-one with people experiencing a dementia and isolated and disempowered people; enabling participants’ ‘in-the-moment’ experience to be heard by others. The charity runs bespoke staff workshops to support their creative expression and embed use of the Living Words books. Living Words has received Arts Council Funding for a group of singers from London Contemporary Voices to be trained in the specialist methodology and turn some of its poems into original choral music under LCV’s Director Anil Sebastian.
LCV has in-house expertise to arrange for choirs, backing vocals and orchestras across a wide variety of styles. We have arranged for many professional releases and campaigns, including two UK Top Ten Albums and major stages. We also undertake Musical Direction for bands. Find out more on our arranging page.Read More
We were thrilled to hear that Deaf Havana’s album Rituals entered the UK charts in the Top Ten, reaching number 8! LCV features on five tracks on the album.
The Guardian said: “Praise, also, for the London Contemporary Voices choir, who contribute gospel singing to five tracks. Their soaring, 40-second Wake and the sections of Sinner and Heaven where they burst into voice are truly lovely.”
Singles from the album have received widespread airplay. “Sinner" was Scott Mills’ Track Of The Week on BBC Radio 1, while songs have also been heard on TV’s Love Island, Made In Chelsea and even on the Eagles vs Falcons Amercian Fotball game in the US! Nice! Check out the music video below.
We brought our YesYesYesParty show to Bestival’s Main Stage, Big Top and Finale Spectacle this summer! The daytime saw us warm up the crowd with fun upbeat singalong sets, while the last evening saw us sing for the festival finale spectacle as incredible performers from Cirque Bijou traversed a high wire high above the crowds!
eFestivals.co.uk gave us a glowing review:
“Flamboyant in a different way, it's hard not to raise a smile and to feel invigorated for the day ahead when the London Contemporary Voices choir pretty much open proceedings on both the Castle Stage and the Big Top (on Friday and Saturday). Theatrical performances of a range of recognisable tunes culminate in an epic, OTT performance of 'holding out for a hero' by a larger than life man scantily wrapped in a caveman's cloak. It's all deliciously backed by exquisite beat-boxing and the effect leaves us all delighted.”
Papped! Our fun costumes caught the attention of the press! LCV tenor Ernie got Pic Of The Day with his flamboyant festival flamingo; and Lauren, Maeve, Chloe, Alex, AJ and Heidi got a colourful double page feature! Meanwhile Greg's stripes and Chloe's sparkles popped up in the Dorset Echo! Thanks too to Emma at Little Bat Box for her makeup services over the weekend!
LCV will be appearing at several festivals and events over the summer, including Bestival (main stage!), Wilderness (with orchestra), and with the English National Ballet.
- 14 June - Underbelly Festival with SK Shlomo
- 21 June - Shepherd's Bush Empire with Roo Panes
- 22 June - Campfire Club, Glengall Wharf Gardens
- 12-15 July - Pete the Monkey Festival, France
- 27-29 July - With English National Ballet, Grosvenor Square
- 3-5 August - Bestival Main Stage, Big Top & Spectacle
- 5 August - Wilderness Festival, Disney with Orchestra
- 24 August - Campfire Club, Glengall Wharf Gardens
- 25 August - Reading Festival with Deaf Havana
Our Union Chapel concert in May was listed in Londonist’s Top Things To Do! The show celebrated female artists and composers, with special guests Charlotte Church, Jasca Hoop, Maya Yuosself, KARYYN and Deepa Nair Rasiya.
As well as performing a stunning cover of Joni Mitchell’s Blue (video coming soon!) Charlotte Church spoke on sexism within the music industry and gave an inspiring speech about the role of women in shaping the future of music. Charlotte has had a career spanning classical, pop and leftfield music; and she is now also well-known for her political activism work. Check out Charlotte's BBC Radio 6 Music John Peel lecture on the theme of women's representation in the music industry (lecture starts at 7.5mins).
Jesca Hoop is well-known for her collaborations with Elbow’s Guy Garvey, and she is currently supporting Jose Gonzalez on his word tour. We were thrilled to welcome Jesca to join us onstage. Check out the beautiful version of her song Pegasi below, arranged by LCV artist Autumnmusic (Rosi Croom).
We were also honoured to perform with Deepa Nair Rasiya, whose past credits include George Harrison (The Beatles) and Ravi Shankar!! Deepa's incredible voice can be heard on countless Indian films and she performed two songs at our show with the choir and cellist Stefan Knapik from London Cello Quartet.
The Qanun has 78 strings and Maya Youssef is one of the leading players! Maya combined this beautiful Middle Eastern instrument with choir and cello and also spoke of the troubles she encountered in her native Syria.
KARYYN has been endorsed by many leading figures of the leftfield arts scene, including Bjork and Marina Ambramavic. We’ve got a video of our all-female performance with KARYYN coming very soon, but before then catch her on tour with mighty band The XX!
In the run-up to the show LCV’s Director Anil Sebastian spoke with BBC 6 Music and BBC Radio London about the show and LCV’s role in providing a platform for female artists and composers. All of the songs in the show were by female artists and the vast majority were also arranged by female arrangers from within the choir’s membership. We also welcomed conductor Leanne Sedin to lead the choir on stage for the first time. Check out this stunning version of Girlfriend by Nao!
Earlier this year we were excited to work with one of our favourite beatboxers, SK Shlomo, for a small feature on his next album! Shlomo needed a choir at the last minute and we were more than happy to step in!Read More
LCV will be joined onstage by special guests including critically acclaimed Syrian Qanun player Maya Youssef, experimental folk artist Jesca Hoop, classical Indian singer Deepa Nair Rasiya (known for her work with George Harrison and Ravi Shankar) and L.A.-based composer KÁRYYN, an Armenian electronic artist who is mentored by Marina Abramović and whose work has been publicly endorsed by Björk in The Guardian.Read More
Last year LCV joined pioneering South African artist Nakhane for a special recording session in Dalston, working alongside Ben Christophers (Bat For Lashes).Read More
Tom Chaplin, the front man of Brit- and Ivor Novello award winning band Keane has been on tour and we were delighted to join him for some big shows recently. Performing songs from Tom’s current album Twelve Tales Of Christmas LCV has appeared on TV shows including BBC One’s The Graham Norton Show and The One Show, BBC Two’s Strictly Come Dancing It Takes Two and Sky One’s It’s Christmas Live from the Royal Albert Hall, where we also sang with pop artist Alexandra Burke.Read More
We were thrilled to work with The Maccabees’ lead singer Orlando Weeks on his latest project – a live performance of The Gritterman at the Union Chapel. LCV singers joined Orlando for a special one-off show which sold out in a matter of hours and received complementary reviews in The Telegraph and also Drowned In Sound.Read More
We kicked off the Summer with our third sold out show at Union Chapel, where we were joined by special guests Amber Run, virtuoso beatboxer Reeps One, producer Guy Sigsworth (Björk, Imogen Heap), experimental singer Martin Grech and LCV superstar Anil Sebastian. The evening featured unique arrangements of songs by pioneering artists, premieres of new work and rare guest appearances, treating audiences to original arrangements of songs by artists including Bon Iver, Woodkid, SOHN, Marika Hackman, Ásgeir, Agnes Obel, RY X and Ólafur Arnalds.Read More