Welcome to our new site! It’s been months in the making, with our wonderful designer Antony working closely with the BEAST team to bring these pages to life. We spent a lot of time talking to him about what BEAST is, and what it means to us and all of you. We felt the ideas of exploration, openness, innovation, and creativity were the most important things to the BEAST community, and he’s tried to create a site which reflects those values.
As many of you know the past year has seen a lot of changes for us, with our founder Jonty Harrison retiring from work with BEAST after more than three decades. On the technical side Kevin Busby also left us to pursue other goals. Of course I would never suggest that they could be replaced, but it’s certainly been very exciting to have Annie Mahtani and James Carpenter on the team for these last 12 months, each of them bringing amazing new ideas, skills and energy.
Over the past year we’ve tried to maintain the tradition of excellence which BEAST has established since its beginning. That said, BEAST is not a ‘traditional’ music organisation, and as such we’ve launched a number of exciting and innovative initiatives. These included collaborations with SOUNDkitchen (the first of our new Pantry Sessions series), Tasawar Bashir’s Qawwali Research Unit, and the Ikon Gallery; presenting BEAST music at the Musica Electronica Nova Festival in Wroclaw, Poland; and holding the first BEAST FEaST, our new annual festival of electronic music and ideas.
“…not a ‘traditional’ music organisation…”
This coming season we’ll be keeping that going with a variety of exciting events. You can find out about these on the Expeditions page, which includes everything from our main series to our MiniBEAST events on the BEASTdome system, which are almost weekly throughout much of the year.
As part of this we will be bringing a number of exciting guests to work with us, including John Richards in December (of dirty electronics fame); live coder David Ogborn, cellist Ellen Fallowfield and sound artist Justin Wiggan as part of the University’s New Music Festival in February; and stochastic synthesis genius Sergio Luque paired with soundscape guru/granular sound pioneer Barry Truax in the 2016 BEAST FEaST in late April, with the theme ‘Real/Unreal’. Keep watching these pages as we put up more details of these events.
But for now just to say welcome once again, and that I hope you enjoy the new site and all it has to offer. BEAST has one of the best audiences of any music organisation I’ve known. Some of you have been on this journey with us for a long time, others have just joined, but I hope that you all will continue to explore with us all the possibilities that this music has to offer.