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Shifting perspectives with the Royal Albert Hall’s Equinox


Image: Lupini (Heavy Texture), performing at Equinox
 
Spring conjures thoughts of vitality and change - aspects of life many of us are craving more than ever right now.
 
As the challenges of the past few years feel as if they might finally be dissipating, there’s mental space for us to move on with our lives and enjoy socialising, creating and getting stuck back into the arts properly again, hopefully without any more interruptions.
 
With that thought in mind, springtime and the four seasons are the inspiration for an optimistic concert taking place in the Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar Room on April 9, where burgeoning artists will premiere new music and spoken word.
 
The idea is that this year’s spring feels more symbolic than ever of hope and growth. “The desire to move from dark winter into warmer spring is a journey deeply symbolic of people's emotional lives,” says Vivek Gudi of Equinox. Rather than directly respond to the challenges we’ve been living through though, the music and spoken word will inspire audiences by examining “universal themes,” says Vivek. “Like the transition of loneliness to company and the cold to the warm.”
 
A selection of rising performers from across the country will interpret the theme in different ways. One of those is Lupini (Heavy Texture), whose electronic music will respond to ideas about winter. “It’s mainly concerned with isolation and fragility,” Lupini (Heavy Texture) says. “There’s certainly a spartanness and sparseness in sound that reminds me of that [covid] time period - slowness, silences, cavernous yet empty spaces,” adds the DJ, broadcaster, promoter and radio station manager. “So much of the last few years feels like a dream that washed over me.”
 
Lupini (Heavy Texture), who describes her ambient electronic music as “radical” for how it upturns convention, discovered a tension while creating for Equinox. She realised she missed some elements of pandemic life. Even though it was unsettling, it was also for some of us - the lucky ones - an opportunity to explore what a simpler version of our lives could look like. One benefit people took away from the pandemic was feeling more in tune with the seasons themselves. “I noticed the blossom and the timing of the flowers, those rhythms were the rhythms that kept me sane and in check,” says Lupini (Heavy Texture), the creative force music website Resident Advisor calls “the administrator of the Liverpool music scene.”
 
“Now my overriding rhythms are the demands of others - my work place, social commitments, all the accoutrements of normal life,” she adds.
 
There’s more than music - spoken word artist Storm Cecile is performing work responding to the mental health challenges many of us experienced since the beginning of 2020. “I hope my piece can encourage people to know there is hope for them,” the poet and voice over artist tells Run-Riot. “This year we can go out and enjoy life without restrictions. See the flowers, watch them bloom; definitely something to be grateful for.”
 
Also performing as part of the Equinox evening are Maliki whose contemporary jazz set will take us from winter to spring. Finally, but not least you'll experience the vibrant buds of spring in an incredible jazz rap set from Tee Peters and the Working Class.
 
Equinox is commissioned by the Young Producers, the Hall’s annual intake of entry-level show producers and curators, all of whom begin their careers at the venue. So attending Equinox is directly supporting the future of arts programming in the capital.
 
The Royal Albert Hall itself has a singular reputation for staging some of the biggest cultural events in London, not least the latest Bond premiere and the annual Last Night at the Proms. But Equinox will be staged away from the main auditorium, in another more intimate venue which sheds new light on the famous building originally commissioned by Queen Victoria and opened in 1871 as a memoriam to her late husband.
 
The Elgar Room is the Hall’s energetic, more intimate space, centred around new music discovery. Artists play in front of an audience of only around 200 people, so there’s the chance for a more dynamic connection between artist and audience. “It’s the main space for more boundary-pushing and conceptual work,” says Vivek of the venue many Londoners don’t realise exists, tucked away inside the walls of the main Hall itself.
 
The theme of Equinox might feel introspective, but remember the purpose of the evening is a bombastic celebration - of life anew. “It's the first time in over a year we can go outside and 'be with spring!'” exclaims Storm Cecile. “See the flowers, watch them bloom. It’s definitely something I’m grateful for.”
 
Royal Albert Hall Young Producers Present
Equinox
A Musical Odyssey: From Winter to Spring
At The Elgar Room, Royal Albert Hall
Saturday 9 April, 7pm
Tickets and more information: royalalberthall.com

 


Image: Storm Cecile, performing at Equinox
 

Image: Maliki, performing at Equinox
 

Image: Tee Peters and the Working Class, performing at Equinox

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