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Robert Wyatt at Sounds New Festival, at University of Kent, Canterbury

By KentOnline reporter

A celebration of Canterbury scene legend Robert Wyatt will take centre stage at this year’s Sounds New Festival.

Robert Wyatt
Robert Wyatt

The week-long event, which starts on Friday, May 2, sets out to win new audiences to contemporary music.

This year’s headline event sees several musicians collaborate on a recomposition of Wyatt’s Cuckooland album.

While the 69-year-old former Soft Machine drummer and singer himself will not appear at the festival, with his permission the acclaimed Brodsky Quartet and vocalist Elaine Mitchener will work alongside arranger Tony Hymas, with live laptop sampling from Matt Wright.

Soft Machine, along with Pink Floyd, transformed the late 1960s psychedelic scene in the UK into something more lasting. From the mid-1970s onwards, Wyatt concentrated on solo recordings. He enjoyed two chart hits with I’m a Believer in 1974, and Falklands War indictment Shipbuilding in 1983, written by Elvis Costello.

Wyatt has agreed for Matt Wright, guest artistic director of Sounds New, to have access to studio recordings of previous albums, which will be featured in the concert with the Brodsky Quartet at Canterbury’s Colyer Fergusson Concert Hall on the University of Kent campus, on Thursday, May 8, at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £16. Call 01227 769075.

The music of Robert Wyatt – who was a former pupil at Canterbury’s Simon Langton school – will also be celebrated in an exhibition by sound artist Janek Schaefer at the Sidney Cooper Gallery as part of the festival.

Visit soundsnew.org.uk for full listings

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