From music made by robots to a spectacular tribute to an unsung heroine, we’re delighted to announce The Hexagon Experiment – six ‘Friday night experiments’ bringing together women at the forefront of music, art and science.
Taking place across six Friday evenings in Newcastle and Gateshead this summer as part of the Great Exhibition of the North, The Hexagon Experiment will feature live music, conversations and original commissions from some of the North’s most exciting musicians and scientists including Jane Weaver, Anna Meredith, Stealing Sheep and Haiku Salut, with a special guest appearance from Lauren Laverne.
Presented in partnership with the National Graphene Institute at The University of Manchester, The Hexagon Experiment takes inspiration from their ‘Friday night experiments’, after-hours lab sessions in which Professor Andre Geim and Professor Kostya Novoselov would test out less conventional ideas. One particular Friday night in 2004 led them to a scientific breakthrough – isolating graphene for the very first time. In that spirit The Hexagon Experiment will bring together musicians, artists and scientists in a celebration of creative discovery, and provide a vehicle for discussion on gender equality in their respective fields.
The six events are:
#1: Sounds Of The Cosmos
Fri 3 Aug / 6-9pm
Cluny 2, Newcastle
Cosmic psych artist Jane Weaver opens The Hexagon Experiment with an exclusive performance in an intimate setting – delving deeper into the science of the stars that have inspired her latest album ‘Modern Kosmology’ and the 2014 critically acclaimed ‘The Silver Globe’.
Jane will be joined in conversation by space scientists, including Sophie Allan (National Space Academy) and Megan Argo (University of Central Lancashire).
#2: We Are The Robots
Fri 10 Aug / 6-9pm
Centre for Life, Newcastle
Self-playing instruments take centre stage as electronic dream-pop trio Haiku Salut explore creativity in the age of robotics and artificial intelligence. In collaboration with the Robot Orchestra. Includes free entry to Robots: Then And Now (normally £15).
Speakers will include the Robot Orchestra’s creator, Professor Danielle George MBE, and algorithmic musician Joanne Armitage. Hosted by Katie Steckles.
#3: Adventures in Flatland
Fri 17 Aug / 6-9pm
Great North Museum, Newcastle
Lauren Laverne is joined by composer Sara Lowes and visual artist Mary Griffiths to discuss their experiments with music, art and science. Followed by a performance of Lowes’ graphene-inspired composition, and the unveiling of new graphene art by Griffiths.
#4: Making Waves
Fri 24 Aug / 6-9pm
An audio adventure created by the next generation of young female composers, sound artists and musical innovators, featuring cutting-edge music tech and found sounds. Led by four of the North’s most exciting electronic artists (Afrodeutsche, Caro C, Mandy Wigby, Vicky Clarke).
The four women will be joined in conversation by acclaimed musician Nadine Shah, former engineer and MP for Newcastle Central Chi Onwurah, and Professor Danielle George MBE.
#5: Wow Machine
Fri 31 Aug / 6-9pm
Boiler Shop, Newcastle
Liverpool art-pop trio Stealing Sheep present a theatrical-musical-dance-art spectacular, in tribute to the electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire. With technical wizardry from experimental performance producers The Kazimier. Expect a hexagonal stage, sci-fi sunglasses and sparkly leotards.
Stealing Sheep will be joined in conversation by comedian (and Delia Derbyshire fan) Helen Keen.
#6: Works in Progress
Fri 7 Sep / 6-9pm
Genre-defying composer, producer and performer Anna Meredith explores the common language between musical and scientific composition in brand new work created with some of the best emerging female artists from the North East. In partnership with Generator.
Anna will discuss her process of mixing classical, pop and electronic elements in her work, while scientists from the National Graphene Institute reveal their latest developments, from super-flexible graphene running shoes, to super-strong graphene condoms!
The Hexagon Experiment is part of Both Sides Now – our three-year initiative to support, inspire and showcase women in music across the North of England, supported through Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence fund.