Flatpack Festival
Film for all the senses

Live Music at Flatpack Festival

Tuesday 30th April, 2024

Audiovisual performances with dreamy soundscapes, Ukrainian nu-jazz, communal singing and live scores alongside archival treasures. Here's a round up of live music on offer at Flatpack 2024.


Promising to be a very special evening, this event is brought to Flatpack by Ahfiwe Cinema, a 'live archive' focused on Black women’s cinematic contributions.

The event celebrates rarely seen work from two pioneering Black filmmakers from decades past. Julie Dash's acclaimed short Diary of An African Nun explores Black spiritual expression and cultural heritage, following a nun in Uganda consumed by doubt as she prepares to take vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

1930s silent gem Hellbound Train by Eloyce Gist offers a glimpse into the 'cultural excesses' of the Jazz Age, accompanied by a new, live composition by swaampcat with jazz-inspired tracks, singing and clarinet.

Book now for Praise Train

R21: aka Restoring Solidarity + Bint Mbareh

The film R21: aka Restoring Solidarity is not easy to categorise. Part documentary, part fiction and part archive, the film reflects on a communal resistance shared across geographies. You can read more about the powerful film, its background and director Mohanad Yaqubi in this interview with Filmmaker Magazine.

Following the film will be an audio performance by Bint Mbareh, a sound artist and researcher curious about the superpowers of communal singing. Her initiation into music came through her research on rain-summoning in Palestine. She conducted research initially to combat the myth of water scarcity pushed by Israeli settler colonialism and learned that the songs that helped communities summon and harness rain also helped them build a relationship with their environment and communally determine how to share resources fairly. She discovered that when used today, these uses could still be evoked, rather than simply remembered.

Book now for R21: aka Restoring Solidarity

Graham Reynolds: Music for Prophet (Parts 1-4)

“You know you've discovered something exceptional for your listening pleasure when you disappear down the rabbit hole of Graham Reynolds' musical accomplishments" - KUTX

We're very excited to see Linklater composer and sonic adventurer Graham Reynolds at Kings Heath's own Hare & Hounds - performing his first solo EP!

If you're not familiar with Reynolds' work, watch a few snippets from his recent live shows viathis Instagram post.

Book now for Graham Reynolds

Katja Ogrin

An Ode to Viking: Absolute Film + Live Scores

We've teamed up with the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire numerous times throughout Flatpack's history, and the results are always a treat for the ears.

This year a talented cohort of composers will take to the stage to present a selection of the very best Swedish experimental films from the last hundred years with brand new live scores. All in an Ode to Viking - Eggeling that is, an avant-garde artist and filmmaker connected to Dada, Constructivism and Abstract art and one of the pioneers in 'absolute film' and visual music.

Book now for An Ode to Viking

Resonance of Time: Ukrainian Classics Reimagined with Potreba Group

New live scores are something we get really excited about at Flatpack, and this is unlike any short film/live score programme we've seen or shown before. Ukrainian experimental band Potreba Group will accompany four short Ukrainian classic animations with a mixture of improvisational nu-jazz and electronics. Expect a few surprises.

Book now for Resonance of Time

Usaginingen: Black Kite - Pulsation of Souls

Known for a completely unique approach to both sound and visuals, Japanese performance duo Usaginingen blew minds and knocked socks off back at Flatpack 2015. (To quote Head of Programme Sam, "it was bloody brilliant. Beyond brilliant in fact.") Making their long awaited return to the festival, their performance will this time include a brief cameo from their five year old son Minagu.

Book now for Usaginingen

Movie Mahal

We’ve been working with Shree Ram Mandir in Sparkbrook for a couple of years now, exploring the buildings former life as a cinema, and we can’t wait to share Sima and Joe’s new film about the family who used to run it. The afternoon will include a very special live performance by The Te3nagers, a trio made up of Chirag Pehchaan, Apna Sangeet and Amarjit Sidhu who will sing a selection of Hindi, Punjabi and Gujarati music.

Book now for Movie Mahal

Kinna Whitehead: Wave

An exploration of the intersection between the man-made and natural world, ‘Wave’ showcases three short films that draw on the interaction of humanity with natural bodies, or living beings, of water, including her award-winning Lights. If you managed to catch Kinna's solo exhibition at T Street Gallery, you may have already gotten lost in the mesmerising Lights, a film showing two harbour lights blinking, slightly out of sync, a sight which inspired a two-part minimalistic composition. We can't wait to see this beautiful film with the scores performed live!

Book now for Kinna Whitehead: Wave

Rubbish Music: Long May They Recycle

Rubbish Music (aka Iain Chambers and Kate Carr) use discarded objects, worn out treasures and broken devices as their instruments, using sound to explore the worlds we make and destroy via our rubbish. Playful, yet introspective, this unique musical performance makes for a great Sunday afternoon.

Book now for Rubbish Music: Long May They Recycle

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