Pay attention all fans of the legendary orchestrator of the bizarre. The Roundhouse will be hosting a weekend this November in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the birthday of Frank Zappa
, one of the most astounding geniuses of music to ever walk the earth.
In association with Gail Zappa
and the Zappa Family Trust
, three days of events will take place from 5th to 7th November
, featuring talks and films all about the work and influences of the man himself. Even better, there will be classical and contemporary performances from Dweezil Zappa
and member's of the original bands from Frank's times â did I hear, Mothers of Invention
?... Oh, and the Mighty Boosh Band
will playing some of his songs too.
Tickets can purchased at www.roundhouse.org.uk
and free events will take place all over the building, including a rave in the foyers on Friday. The 405 has the full lineup on what is bound to be a spectacular weekend, listed below:
Friday, 5th November
Main Space / Doors 7pm (performance 7.30pm) / Â£10 - Â£25
Gail Zappa â On Stage and Off
Gail Zappa makes a rare and much anticipated appearance to introduce this celebration of Frank Zappaâs amazing music and incredible influence on musicians from all genres. Gail will share her observations and talk about the challenges of being married to one of the 20th centuryâs most prolific and influential composers. As a champion of copyright and licensing protection, and guardian of Frank Zappaâs legacy, Gail and The Zappa Family Trust have made possible a weekend which will offer a unique insight into the life of a remarkable artist.
The London Contemporary Orchestra perform the music from The Yellow Shark
The Yellow Shark, the last album to be released before Zappaâs death in 1993, is a collection of compositions written for chamber orchestra, including G-Spot Tornado, Dog Breath Variations, Get Whitey and Be-Bop Tango. This is a unique opportunity to experience a performance of all the available transcribed works in one incredible performance by the London Contemporary Orchestra conducted by Hugh Brunt, under the watchful eye of Ali N Askin, who worked âunder Frank Zappaâs batonâ on the original Yellow Shark concerts performed by the Ensemble Modern in 1992.
The London Contemporary Orchestra & Roundhouse Music Collective
Wild Imaginings: the music that influenced Zappa
The London Contemporary Orchestra, together with the Roundhouse Music Collective, explore the inspirations and influences behind Zappaâs music â from the early 20th-century experimentation of VarÃ¨se and Stravinsky, to fuzz-infused rockânâroll, swinging â50s Doo Wop and the work of Eric Dolphy. The Roundhouse AV Collective will produce accompanying visuals, inspired by early cine Americana.
Friday, 5th November
Studio Theatre / 5.30pm / Â£5
Gail Zappa in conversation with Ali N Askin, Todd Yvega & Frank Filipetti
From 1991-93, Ali N Askin was Zappa's assistant. His responsibilities included some arrangements for The Yellow Shark project with the Ensemble Modern. He continues to work with The Zappa Family Trust, including transcribing The Adventures of Greggery Peccary and Other Persuasions for the Ensemble Modern, and reconstructing the original scores of the orchestral pieces in Zappa's legendary film, 200 MOTELS. From 1989, Todd Yvega was Frankâs musical assistant and computer expert, responsible for synclavier progamming and transcribing synclavier works. He developed customised software to meet Frankâs esoteric needs. Grammy-winning music producer Frank Filipetti is the first engineer to be invited to work on The Zappa Family Trustâs current and future releases. As one of the first engineers to really embrace digital technology and surround sound, he has a hugely impressive list of credits, from Barbra Streisand to Dolly Parton.
Saturday, 6th November
Main Space / 7pm / Â£30 - Â£35
Dweezil Zappa Plays Zappa plus very special guests
This unique performance sees Zappaâs eldest son Dweezil and his band âZappa Plays Zappaâ perform selections from his fatherâs repertoire from the late 60s to early 90s. Dweezil will also be joined on stage by several members of Frankâs incredible backing bands, including Jeff Simmons, Scott Thunes and Ian Underwood. In a final twist, the performance will also feature a section â from grave to stage â in which Frank himself will perform with the band via synchronized audio/video technology.
The Mighty Boosh Band
As huge Zappa fans, Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt will perform their own unique take on several Zappa tracks, as well as performing a dialogue from the legendary âOld Bailey Obscenity Trialâ.
Saturday, 6th November
Main Space / 3.30pm / Â£10
Q&A / Demo session with Gail Zappa, Dweezil Zappa, Joe Travers, Ian Underwood, Jeff Simmons & Scott Thunes
As one of the worldâs finest guitarists, Dweezil Zappa has progressed his technique to the extent that he can play music that was never intended to be played on guitar. This is a rare opportunity to see the incredible Zappa technique up close. Joe Travers has been the official âVaultmeisterâ for The Zappa Family Trust since 1995, holed-up in the legendary Utility Muffin Research Kitchen, fastidiously restoring and cataloging over 30 years worth of master recordings. In some instances, he probably knows more about the Zappa repertoire than Frank Zappa himself. Expect impromptu jamming, spontaneous riffing and the opportunity to get the answer to that Zappa question youâve always wanted to ask.
Sunday, 7th November
Main Space / 7pm / Â£10 - Â£30
London Sinfonietta and special guests perform the UK premiere of The Adventures of Greggery Peccary
The London Sinfonietta promise a very special evening featuring the first ever UK performance of one of Zappa's epic and most popular classical pieces, with perfomers including actor Kwame Kwei-Armah as Greggery. Alongside The Adventures of Greggery Peccary, the London Sinfonietta play Zappa's Revised Music for a Low Budget Orchestra and pieces by two giants of 20th century classical music who inspired his own compositions - Pierre Boulez (Memoriale) and Edgar VarÃ¨se (Octandre). The performance also includes a solo set by multi-instrumentalist and Zappa band stalwart, Jeff Simmons.
Sunday, 7th November
Studio Theatre / 6pm / Â£5
An audience with Scott Thunes & Jeff Simmons moderated by official biographer Alan Clayson
As Frankâs recording and touring bass player 1981-88, Scott Thunes has some impressive stories to tell. With his guitar to hand, Scott will demonstrate his incredible technique and show how his basslines drove tracks on such Zappa albums as Ship Arriving Too Late to Save A Drowning Witch and Does Humor Belong In Music? Jeff Simmons, who famously quit the band on the eve of the shoot of 200 MOTELS is one of only a handful of musicians to share songwriting credits with Frank Zappa. Jeff played with Frank 1969-74, so will cover a different part of the Zappa chronology in music and words.
AAAFNRA: Anything Anytime Anywhere For No Reason At All â FZ
Throughout the building / Fri 5 from 3pm / Sat 6 & Sun 7 from 10am / FREE
In an explosion of all things Zappa, the Roundhouse will be transformed into Zappaâs brain. A range of rooms and studios will broadcast Zappa films and videos; corridors will be adorned with photos, posters and album artwork; Roundhouse Radio will play non-stop Zappa; theatre productions will recreate classic Zappa moments; computers will be linked to Zappa sites; the Roundhouse TV crew will film and interview audience and artists for a live vox-pop of Zappa ideas; and you can create your own live mix of a Zappa track in the Roundhouse recording studio. Each space and place will represent a different facet of Zappaâs imagination: a constantly changing, infinite exhibition of his mind and music.
Zappa Film Festival
Studio Theatre / Sat 6 & Sun 7 / Â£10 day ticket (5 films per day)
Over the course of the weekend, the Roundhouse Studio Theatre will screen all of Frank Zappaâs films, including the infamous 200 MOTELS, and rare and previously unseen footage in full blu-ray/HD and surround sound. See Timetable for details.
Zappa Disco Mash-Up
Foyers / Fri 5- Sun 7, 10.30pm-1am / FREE
Dancinâ Fools DJ Flula (USA) and Dave Gamble (UK) spin back-to-back Zappa classics late into the night, accompanied by live visuals from the Roundhouse AV Collective.
As well this incredible, packed schedule there will also be a performance going on over at the Royal Academy of Music on Saturday, 13th November
, where the Royal Academy of Music Manson Ensemble will be playing their own list of classic Zappa songs. Tickets for this are available at www.ram.ac.uk/events