Brian Eno - ‘Ships’ Performing live together with Baltic Sea Philharmonic

Posted on June 5, 2023 by James


Brian Eno ・Baltic Sea Philharmonic ・Kristjan Järvi
Commissioned by La Biennale di Venezia

Photo credit: Cecily Eno

21st Oct, Venice ~ Biennale Musica 2023, Teatro La Fenice - ticket link

24th Oct, Berlin ~ Philharmonie Berlin -  ticket link

26th Oct, Paris ~ La Seine Musicale - venue pre-sale / ticket link

28th Oct, Utrecht ~ TivoliVredenburg - pre-sale link / ticket link SOLD OUT

30th Oct, London ~ Royal Festival Hall, Southbank (6.30 & 9pm) -  ticket link

‘Ships’, on sale now, features Brian Eno, Baltic Sea Philharmonic with its conductor Kristjan Järvi, and is a new work commissioned by La Biennale di Venezia. ‘Ships’ premieres on October 21st in Teatro la Fenice as the centre piece of the 2023 Venice Biennale Musica. It features an orchestral adaptation of Eno’s acclaimed 2016 album, ‘The Ship’ as well as new and classic Eno compositions. The performance also features a cameo appearance from the actor Peter Serafinowicz as well as support from long-time collaborators, guitarist Leo Abrahams and programmer / keyboardist, Peter Chilvers.

Eno has only ever played a handful of shows, the most recent in 2021 at the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Acropolis in Athens with his brother Roger Eno. That sold out performance received critical acclaim and a standing ovation from an enthusiastic audience who traveled from all over the world. It seems fitting that Eno, alongside the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi, will be performing in some of the most distinguished venues in Europe, starting in Venice’s renowned opera house, Teatro la Fenice and then on to Philharmonie Berlin, La Seine Musicale in Paris, TivoliVredenburg in Utrecht before finishing the series of concerts in the London Royal Festival Hall. Please note, that tickets are no longer available for the Utrecht performance and all other shows are selling quickly.

These performances coincide with his attendance at the 2023 Biennale Musica where he will be honoured with the Golden Lion lifetime achievement award.

The award-winning Baltic Sea Philharmonic is a distinctive ensemble where musicians perform entirely from memory whilst standing, transcending the traditional orchestra experience with this powerful and unique execution. Baltic Sea Philharmonic are led by their charismatic founder, Kristjän Jarvi, known for dynamic interpretations of commissions such as the acclaimed German TV series ‘Babylon Berlin’. A community of musicians from ten Nordic countries, they symbolise unity in this historically divided region and have been praised by Angela Merkel for “embody(ing) international understanding; they use music as a timeless language that can be understood across borders”.

From Brian Eno: “The album ’THE SHIP’ is an unusual piece in that it uses voice but doesn’t particularly rely on the song form. It’s an atmosphere with occasional characters drifting through it, characters lost in the vague space made by the music. There’s a sense of wartime in the background, and a sense of inevitability. There is also a sense of scale which suits an orchestra, and a sense of many people working together.

I wanted an orchestra which played music the way I would like to play music: from the heart rather than just from the score. I wanted the players to be young and fresh and enthusiastic. When I first saw the Baltic Sea Philharmonic I found all that…and then noticed they were named after a sea. That sealed it!”

From Kristjan Järvi: “Brian is a great artist who has been an immense personal inspiration for a good part of my life. Now to be presented with an opportunity where we work on the presentation of a piece that reflects and shapes the world that we live in, is very meaningful and truly an honour.

The freedom of expression is the key element in this presentation. Every person in this performance is just as important as the next. Everyone matters equally as much as the other and is not replaceable or expendable. To have an orchestra that is really a band rather than an orchestra which executes a performance but “is the performance” itself is what Brian and I see as the uniqueness of this collaboration.”

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About Brian Eno:
Brian Eno - musician, producer, visual artist and activist first came to international prominence in the early seventies as a founding member of British band, Roxy Music, followed by a series of solo albums and collaborations. His work as producer includes albums with Talking Heads, Devo, U2, Laurie Anderson, James, Jane Siberry and Coldplay, while his long list of collaborations include recordings with David Bowie, Jon Hassell, Harold Budd, David Byrne, Grace Jones, his brother, Roger, on ‘Mixing Colours’ and recently with Fred Again…. Brian's most recent work, ‘FOREVERANDEVERNOMORE’ released to international critical acclaim, came out in October 2022.

Brian Eno’s visual experiments with light and video continue to parallel his musical career, with exhibitions and installations all over the globe. He has exhibited extensively, as far afield as St. Petersburg’s Marble Palace, Ritan Park in Beijing, Arcos de Lapa in Rio de Janeiro and the sails of the Sydney Opera House. He is a founding member of the Long Now Foundation, a trustee of Client Earth and patron of Videre est Credere. In April 2021, he launched EarthPercent, which raises money from the music industry for some of the most impactful environmental charities working on the climate emergency. Brian will be honoured with the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale Musica in October 2023. A new performance ‘Ships’, will also be premiered here and features Brian Eno, Baltic Sea Philharmonic with its conductor Kristjan Järvi, and is commissioned by La Biennale di Venezia.

About Baltic Sea Philharmonic:
The Baltic Sea Philharmonic takes the orchestral concert experience to a new dimension. Every performance is a voyage of musical discovery, as the musicians perform the entire programme from memory, creating a one-of-a-kind artistic journey. Each concert is a unique spectacle of sound, light, choreography, visual art and technology, and under the electrifying baton of Music Director and Founding Conductor Kristjan Järvi every performance is an electrifying experience that fizzes with infectious energy.

As a community of musicians from ten Nordic countries, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic transcends boundaries and has become a movement for bringing people together. Embodying all that is innovative and progressive about the Nordic region, this visionary ensemble is taking the traditional orchestral model further than ever before.

Bringing together musicians from Norway to Russia, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic started life in 2008, initiated by the Usedom Music Festival. Immediately acclaimed for its performances and its powerful message of unity in a historically divided region, it was soon playing at renowned festivals and in the most prestigious concert halls in Europe and abroad, including the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and the Dubai Opera. In 2015 the European Culture Foundation ‘Pro Europe’ honoured the orchestra’s achievements with the prestigious European Culture Prize. The world’s finest artists, including Julia Fischer, the late Kurt Masur, Gidon Kremer and Max Richter, as well as British indie pop band Bastille, all performed with the orchestra. Concerts of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic are broadcast globally. The orchestra’s albums for Sony include Wagner – The Ring, An Orchestral Adventure, Sleeping Beauty and a collaboration with Swiss violinist David Nebel.
The Baltic Sea Philharmonic is passionate about innovation in the digital landscape. Amid the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic the orchestra and Kristjan Järvi started ‘Musical Chain’, an ongoing series of original music remix videos giving classical gems a contemporary twist. Through this innovative project, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic is evolving from an orchestra into a band, with the musicians becoming producers as well as creators.

About Kristjan Järvi:
Kristjan Järvi lives and breathes music, using its power to create spaces in which anything is possible. Kristjan Järvi pursues his pioneering ideas as a conductor, producer, composer and arranger. Embracing everything with creative entrepreneurship. he runs his own production company Sunbeam Productions.

‘Kristjan Järvi has earned a reputation as one of the canniest, and most innovative, programmers on the classical scene’ (Reuters). As a conductor, he is at home on the big international stages, directing great classics from Wagner to Tchaikovsky and from Steve Reich to Radiohead as well as his original productions without any genre boundaries.

Kristjan Järvi developed his own unique sound with his New York based, classical-hip-hop- jazz group Absolute Ensemble, Baltic Sea Philharmonic, and Sunbeam ́s in-house Band ‘Nordic Pulse’. Kristjan shapes his artistic life and takes expression to the next level with his team of ’Sunbeam Productions ́’, with whom he creates a new paradigm for multi-sensory performance Xperiences. At the end of 2020 Kristjan founded a new record label: “nEscapes”. Besides online music distribution it offers its own unique “nEscapes Lounges” to artists as a new listening format.

Besides his own productions, Kristjan Järvi collaborates internationally with outstanding artists like director Tom Tykwer (for the soundtrack of Babylon Berlin) and recording artists like MUM, Bryce Dessner (The National), Hauschka, Robot Koch and Max Richter and is staring in the “Bastille Re-Orchestrated” Documentary on Amazon Prime at the moment.

Kristjan is exclusively signed as a composer and producer with BMG Music under its label “Modern recordings”. His latest album is called: Nordic Escapes.

Peter Serafinowicz:
Peter Serafinowicz is an award-winning English actor, comedian, screenwriter and director. He is best known for his roles in various comedy series in the UK and US and had his own comedy series on BBC2’s ‘The Peter Serafinowicz show’ where he won the Best Entertainer award at the 2008 Rose D’Or ceremony. He is also known for film roles such as Pete in Shaun of the Dead (2004), the voice of Darth Maul in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999) and The Sommelier in John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017). He was the title character in The Tick (2016), the live-action series and received attention for political satire videos in which he dubbed over videos of Donald Trump with various comedic voices. He has directed music videos for acts such as Hot Chip and appeared on albums including Brian Eno’s ‘The Ship’.

Leo Abrahams:

Leo Abrahams is a London-based guitarist, producer and composer. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music before joining Imogen Heap’s band. His production credits include Regina Spektor, Paolo Nutini and Ghostpoet; as a guitarist he has recorded for Paul Simon, Jon Hopkins, Adele and David Holmes and his playing can be heard on film soundtracks including ‘Hunger’, ‘Oceans 8’ and ‘Don’t Look Up’. His work with Brian Eno stemmed from a meeting in a guitar shop in 2001, and since then they have worked together extensively, both in the studio (‘Another Day On Earth’, ‘Small Craft On a Milk Sea’, ‘Foreverandevernomore’) and on stage (Drawn From Life, Pure Scenius, Live At The Acropolis).

Leo has also released a number of solo records and collaborations, mostly in experimental and improvisational styles.

Peter Chilvers:
Peter Chilvers is a musician and software designer, best known for collaborating with Brian Eno on the iOS applications Bloom, Trope, Scape and Reflection, and touring with Underworld’s Karl Hyde. He has recorded multiple instrumental albums as well as collaborations with vocalist Tim Bowness. Many of these were released through Burning Shed, the online label he co-founded in 2001 with Bowness and Pete Morgan.

Since 2006 he has worked as a musical and technical assistant to Brian Eno on projects including the soundtracks to The Lovely Bones and Spore, album collaborations with David Byrne and the Warp releases Small Craft on a Milk Sea, Drums Between the Bells and Lux. He worked as Assistant Producer on Eno’s 2016 release “The Ship” for which he also helped develop the multi-speaker installation which has been shown in many countries. He recently performed live with Brian and Roger Eno at the Acropolis.’