The mood is going to be electric for the 17th Portsmouth Festivities

THE Portsmouth Festivities return this Friday, opening with a dazzling spectacle of music and light.

Monday, 13th June 2016, 6:29 am
Updated Monday, 13th June 2016, 1:40 pm

And this year’s programme sees the festivities present its biggest ever line-up, with more than 100 events over 10 packed days.

From music to comedy, via street art, theatre and talks the city’s annual celebration of the arts aims to have something for everyone – and many of the events are free.

For the opening concert, Portsmouth Anglican Cathedral will host giants of contemporary classical music, the London Contemporary Orchestra, which will end with a display from illumination artists Luxmuralis.

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Winner of the Ensemble category at the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards 2015, the LCO has established itself as one of the UK’s most innovative and respected ensembles, promoting new music and cross-arts collaborations to a wide audience.

They have collaborated with a distinguished array of composers, artists, and brands, including popstar Goldfrapp and designer Vivienne Westwood.

This year they will be collaborating with young musicians from the Portsmouth Grammar School to perform American composer Pauline Oliveros’ composition Rock Piece, which features the use of rocks as instruments.

Conductor of LCO, Hugh Brunt explained the nature of the piece: ‘We are very pleased to be joined by talented Year 10 musicians from Portsmouth Grammar School for Pauline Oliveros’ Rock Piece, the performance of which will be inspired by the architecture and acoustics of Portsmouth Cathedral.

Rock Piece is a work rooted in the Deep Listening movement that seeks to explore a way of hearing in which we, as performers, are fully engaged with what is happening in that moment without looking to judge or control it.’

Director of Festivities, Erica Smith, said: ‘We are so fortunate to have the likes of the London Contemporary Orchestra at Festivities this year.

‘It’s great for Portsmouth audiences to experience something different within our line-up.

‘The audience are also in for a treat as when they exit the show they will be greeted by the Electric Lumiere visuals, created by Luxmuralis, which will be beamed onto the cathedral.

‘This after show is also free to the public.’

Festivities chairman James Priory said: ‘I am really excited by this year’s Portsmouth Festivities, especially our electric theme which has sparked some brilliant ideas for the programme.

‘We also have a brand new look this year and are hoping to see even more people attending events and getting involved.’

For more information about the festivities go to