Unique sonic and visual spectacle at Brighton

An image from the show
An image from the show

A concert like no other is the appealing prospect when Scanner and Heritage Orchestra rework Joy Division in Live_Transmission in the Concert Hall, Brighton Dome for the Brighton Festival on Friday, May 18 at 8.30pm.

Britain’s hippest young classical ensemble joins forces with celebrated sound artist Scanner (Robin Rimbaud) and video artist Matt Watkins for an immersive multisensory event inspired by one of the UK’s most influential bands, Joy Division.

Using the latest sound design and other creative technologies (the players perform inside a giant gauze cube, around which the audience moves), the night will offer a unique sonic and visual spectacle turning the tables on the conventional concert experience.

The idea is that it will reflect Joy Division’s own experimental, literary and artistic expression, Robin explains.

As Robin says, for a conventional concert, you go into a room, see a stage on which a band - usually late - will appear and then you watch and listen.

For Brighton, Robin and co are engineering an experience as multi-layered as the music itself. In preparation, Robin has taken Joy Divison apart, with access to the original stems of the music ie just the drums or just the vocals.

The result is an insight into the way the music is layered up into the final product. The aim in Brighton is to offer something similar, but also bringing in the other senses.

“The idea is a way of visualising it and taking it beyond just watching a band on the stage. It’s much more immersive in a way.”

There will be around 30 performers inside the cube, including strings, woodwind, brass, percussion, a live rock band, vocalists, a conductor and Robin himself, on keyboards and also acting as ringmaster.

For the moment, it is an exclusive for Brighton, premiering for the festival: “And that’s great, a massive one-off show, but I would like to think that it will be happening somewhere else as well at some point.”