CODA Festival 2024

CODA Festival 2024

Inspired Festival

Date and time
10 - 11 Jun 2024 (12:00pm - 10:45pm)

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

Map and Directions


Free entry. No ticket required

Please note that some performance spaces have a limited capacity.

Stage performer doing headstand next to skateboard

CODA 2024 is back with a bang

CODA is the annual new music festival dedicated to showcasing the current work of RBC's composition and experimental performance departments.

This year we have an eclectic mixture of cross-genre devised music from Burning Swan, contemporary organ music from Kat Farn, a unique spin on tiny desk concerts from James McIlwrath, jazz/metal/fusion band with SocialezSperrWesen, reimaginings of famous canonical repertoire from The Hadit Collective, new contemporary wind repertoire courtesy of a continuing collaboration between RBC's Wind and Composition departments, and ambient synths from Open Union to close out the festival.

All of this and more will be performed across the Conservatoire so mark the date in your diaries and come hear the sounds of tomorrow across two packed days of new music.

Monday 10 June

Burning Swan Showcase – Workshop 1
12:00 - 12:30pm
Burning Swan is the annual new music devising project between staff and students of Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and the Orchestra of the Swan. Over three days, students from the Composition, Performance, Music Tech, and Jazz departments will devise new cross-genre music with David Le Page and David Gordon of The Orchestra of The Swan and the Visiting Chair of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Ustad Johar Ali. Combining Carnatic Classical, Contemporary Classical, Baroque, Metal, Alt-Pop, Noise, Folk Music, and Jazz, Burning Swan is a celebration of the musical future of cross-genre music.

Mike Gibbs Composition and Arranging Prize*  - Eastside Jazz Club
6.30pm - 8.30pm
More details. *Please note that there is a charge for this event.

Her Revelation – The Lab
9pm - 10pm
Her Revelation returns to Royal Birmingham Conservatoire’s CODA festival with new songs to immerse you in a surreal and emotive world! Featuring Vato Klemera on keys and synths, Peter Bell on modular synth, and Kinna on vocals and bass, the alternative electronic group were formed in late 2022 and have performed across Birmingham. Combining vocal and synth improvisation, Her Revelation creates an emotive landscape of moving electronic worlds that will draw you in.

Tuesday 11June

Vini’s Final Recital – Vinicius Motta - Recital Hall
10:00 - 10:45
Vinicius Motta plays a range of his own works across piano and guitar, featuring: Whispers, I’m standing still, Fractured Mirrors, Real candle girl and more.

Contemporary Music for Chamber Organ - Kat Farn - The Lab
11:00 - 11:45
Kat Farn performs a range of new contemporary compositions for chamber organ from a wide array of living composers.

Mason Siu Ma: Piano Recital – Mason Siu Ma - Recital Hall
12:00 - 12:30
Since the start of his journey as a composer, Mason Ma has been actively composing piano music. Come see the fruitions of his dedication to solo piano music, alongside some pieces for violin solo as well.

Finding Jaell – Chloe Knibbs - Boult's Bar
Finding Jaell is a sonic tapestry of ethereal and granular soundscapes, layers of recorded text and reworked material by the 19th century French composer Marie Jaell. Exploring the experience of self-doubt and artistic frustration, the work holds space for vulnerability, angst and chaos.

Music for Pairs – Jamie Knowles - The Lab
13:30 -14:15
From the people that brought you Music for Stairs comes Music for Pairs. Six musicians and three dancers lock together in intimate pair-based dialogue. With music by Jamie Knowles, devised choreography led by Alexander Kaniewski, and brand new pieces by the fabulous Zahrah Hutton, James Mcllwrath and Vato Klemera.

Creative Ensemble - The Recital Hall
14:30 - 15:30
Creative Ensemble performs music commissioned by composers at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire including music about Spain, what we do in one day and way way way way more.

Medium Desk Concert – James McIlwrath - The Lab
15:45 - 16:30
Following from last year where James presented some Bit Pieces at his tiny desk concert, the desk has upgraded in size and length and friendship. Featuring band arrangements of some classic Bit Pieces and some new ones with performers Zahrah Hutton, Jamie Knowles, and Vato Klemera, come along to hear a small set of cosy, silly, and fun tunes.

Fragments and Rememberings – Chloe Knibbs and Lou Barnell - Boult's Bar
An ongoing collaboration, Chloe Knibbs and Lou Barnell have collided their composition practices to explore the multilayered frequencies and voices that have been alienated and dampened within creative spaces. Using vocal improvisations and granular synthesis techniques to tune into the feminine and the unheard, the process has generated fragment scores, redactive poetry, rememberings/dreamings and has culminated in the composition of the electroacoustic work Fragments and Rememberings.

SocialesSperrWesen – Eastside Jazz Club
17:30 - 18:15
SozialesSperrWesen will be presenting a ca. 45min set of original material in the style of jazz/metal/fusion. The music is inspired by bands such as Meshuggah, Car Bomb, Frank Zappa and Avishai Cohen and includes comedic and illusive elements both in the title and in the music. The songs have been composed by Lukas Ohlemacher, who will perform them alongside Wilfred Mckenzie, Oren Velasquez Hirtenstein and Maarten Benshop.

Checkers might be a simple game but my emotions are complex and I'm too depressed to play – Si Paton - The Lab
18:30 - 19:00
To be honest, this piece is not my best work. It was lazily thrown together, and I’m capable of doing so much better.

The Hadit Collective Play The Canon – Recital Hall
19:00 - 20:00
The musical wonder-darlings of the modern age, The Hadit Collective, cast off all that depressing contemporary shit to bring you The Hits with "The Hadit Collective Play The Canon"! Beethoven? Yep! Bolero? You betcha! Come along for all those Classic FM money-makers played by the Hadit Collective with all the seriousness and scholarly inquisition they so deserve. This is a concert not to miss so expect the expected but not as you intended through a sensory extravaganza combining music, theatre, film, and more in a playful questioning of the canon and the corrupting influence of fame.

New Airs for Woodwind 2024 – The Lab
20:30 - 21:30
New Airs for Woodwind is back! This exciting collaboration between the composition and woodwind departments of Royal Birmingham Conservatoire premiered in the 2022 CODA festival and we’ve come back for more! Four composers have been matched with woodwind groups to produce exciting new pieces to be especially played for this event. We hope you enjoy the results.

Open Union: Familiar Spaces – Recital Hall

22:00 - 22:45
Open Union is an electric guitar and modular synth duo made up of composer-performers Peter Bell and Patrick Ellis.

Described by treasured composer Howard Skempton as being, ‘sometimes subtle and unstable; sometimes rich and dense’, the duo aims to build up strong collaborative relationships to create new verbal and text based works. Their current collaborators are Christine Cornwell, Wilson Leywantono, May Chi and Paolo Griffin.

The duo has performed at UK events Ealing Extranormal, AMOK, Birmingham Modular Organisation and CODA Festival, and in 2023, undertook a mini-tour of The Netherlands, as part of the Sounding Here concert series at Splendor in Amsterdam and Batavierhuis in Rotterdam.

Inspired Festival

Join us to experience the talent, creativity and ingenuity of our final-year students as they leave the university and launch their careers.

Find out more about Inspired Festival

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