Björk and Albarn to be chief experimenters at Manchester International Festival

The inimitable Icelandic singer is set to lead the programme for an intriguingly experimental Manchester International Festival this summer.

As reported in the guardian, Björk will be in residence for the entirety of the festival, now in its third year, showcasing her new live show and forthcoming album ‘Biophilia’. And, as if the singer’s very presence wouldn’t be enough to drive punters wild, she will be incorporating specially created instruments, such as a 30 ft pendulum, ‘a hybrid between the celeste and the Indonesian gamelan and a digital pipe organ’ into her live shows just to keep things interesting. Well, would you expect anything less?

Meanwhile, Damon Albarn is working on a piece called ‘Doctor Dee’ about the famous Elizabethan scientist, alchemist and astrologer John Dee. He will not have to conjure up any pendulums for his creation but he will be using some period instruments; according to theatre director, Rufus Norris, who is working alongside Albarn, ‘it will not be pastiche Elizabethan. It will be Damon, and there will be great tunes. It will be accessible, too. It's not going to be 'squeaky-bonk'’.

If all this seems a bit high-brow then festival director Alex Poots’s highly anticipated festival highlight, Snoop Dogg’s live re-creation of ‘Doggystyle’, might be more up your street. 'Eclectic' really is the word.

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