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Sounds Like Catastrophes


Sounds Like Catastrophes is a collaboration between Eva Meyer-Keller, Sybille Müller, Kay Grothusen and Rico Repotente together with 5 children from Birmingham between the age of 10-12. Over the summer holidays they have worked together to work on the piece which will be performed during Fierce.

The piece is a performance with children for adults where the audience, together with the children, look into disasters. A series of catastrophes, chosen by the children are orchestrated with simple everyday objects, e.g. matches, sugar cubes, salt, water, beans, a hairdryer and paper. All are played by the children and amplified with microphones.

During the workshop sessions, the team discussed the idea of catastrophes in depth. The conversations that have come from these have been made into a text that discusses what the children think of catastrophes and how they imagine their future to be.



What interests us is the gap that the viewer finds between his or her own pre-conceptions about the devastating nature of catastrophes, and the gentle play with everyday objects by the children. We hope that the children’s play will trigger an array of violent emotions and memories in the viewer despite this play being very beautiful.

Furthermore, the impossibility of capturing the gigantic dimensions and forces at play in a real catastrophe and translating them into sound pieces made with mainly food is also critical to the work.

~ Eva Meyer-Keller


After the performance of ‘Sounds like Catastrophes’ the film Von Menschen Gemacht / Made by Humans will be shown. Filmed during the performance project ‘Building After Catastrophes’, 2009 in Berlin, the children that participated made everything themselves –  filmed, lighting, built models and talked about their future.

Sounds Like Catastrophes takes place at Birmingham Town Hall on Saturday 5 October. There will be two performances. One at 2pm for those who have a See-Everything or a Saturday festival pass, and at 5pm for all others.


Less than 6 weeks…

Fierce Festival takes place in just under 6 weeks. For the first time we have festival, day and individual tickets. The festival and day tickets are very limited in numbers so get them while you can! We do expect them to sell out in the next few weeks:


See Everything Festival Ticket

Fierce Saturday Ticket

Fierce Sunday Ticket


Tickets are also now available for single events during the festival:



Blanch & Shock Blood Moon Feast + Wolf In The Winter – our opening night with a sumptuous vegetarian feast from the radical food designers and performances. With food and drink, it’s an absolute snip at £15/£12.



Sounds Like Catastrophes 
This summer Eva Meyer-Keller has been working with Birmingham children aged 10-12 to create this work. The children have learnt a series of foley techniques  to recreate the sounds of imagined apocalyptic scenarios. More info.

Knights of the Invisible – Frenetic, visceral dance evoking images of hysteria, fits and contortionism from Iona Kewney with a live sound score  heavy with electronic noise by Joseph Quimby.

Monster Body – A graphically direct and intense dance-theatre piece drawing from strong and haunting connections between local and global images that shape the female identity in contemporary culture.

Becoming An Image – A performance designed for the camera, specifically the act of being photographed. Taking place in a blacked out room, the only elements in the space are the audience, a photographer, the performer and a block of clay weighing 2000 pounds.

Club Fierce: Eat My Noise – Cork based music collective Eat My Noise perform ‘Moeity Remixed’ an intense immersive event featuring two live drummers, a percussive electro-acoustic score, specially made projections and light effects + performances from The Wolf in The Winter, Bob Parks and Sarah-Jane Norman.

Club Fierce : XXX – A night of live music. A rush of alternative hip-hop, grimey beats and electro-glitchy-pop, DJs and short films. Featuring Cakes Da Killa, RoxXxan and Quilla Constance.

Buy tickets for both Club Fierce parties here.



Four Stages of Conversation – Christer Lundahl and Martina Seitl, create immersive, participatory environments, often involving intimate binaural recording, touch and prolonged darkness.

Because of Love – Multiple elements (including live presence, original music, animation, video projection, lighting and scenography) are brought together to weave a loose, non-linear narrative, guiding the audience through a dynamic journey that unfolds over an hour. The centrepiece of the work is a choreographed duet with Franko B and a life-sized animatronic polar bear.

Fierce Closing Concert – Nicolas Jaar + Joshua Light Show – Rising electronica star Nicolas Jaar appears with New York’s legendary Joshua Light Show, noted for creating the hallucinatory visuals behind mythic rock acts of the late 1960s, including The Doors, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin.  This is one of only three performances in the UK and a rare European outing for the Joshua Light Show.


Don’t forget that there are plenty of free events and installations to come across throughout the festival… Denis Tricot‘s beautifully delicate looping structures fashioned from balsa wood, Slap Talk from Action Hero, Fun With Cancer Patients exhibition, Fierce archive and much more.

Fierce Festival 2013: Saturday 5 October

Sounds Like Catastrophes
Eva Meyer-Keller / Sybille Müller  (DE)
2pm, Birmingham Town Hall

This summer Eva Meyer-Keller worked with children aged 10 – 12 to create this stage work. The children have learnt a series of foley techniques to recreate the sounds of imagined apocalyptic scenarios. These will be performed live alongside a specially narrated text; exploring how young people process the news and perceive the dangers of our world.



Knights of the Invisible
Iona Kewney & Joseph Quimby (UK)
4pm, DanceXchange

Iona Kewney is a dance-theatre artist whose frenetic, visceral movement evokes images of hysteria, fits and contortionism. This extreme physicality jousts with a live sound score heavy with electronic noise by Joseph Quimby. Iona Kewney memorably performed Self-Interrupted Exhibition at Ikon Eastside, Birmingham in the the British Dance Edition 2010.



Monster Body
Atlanta Eke (AU)
5.30pm, DanceXchange at Birmingham Ormiston Academy. Suitable for 16+

A graphically direct and intense dance-theatre piece, Monster Body is a saturation of textures, tones, noises, rhythm and shapes created through a number of imaginative situations drawing from strong and haunting connections between local and global images that shape the female identity in contemporary culture. Atlanta is an young emerging voice in contemporary dance theatre. Monster Body was first seen at our partner festival, Next Wave, in Melbourne.



Becoming an Image
Heather Cassils (CA)
7.30pm, Birmingham City Centre

Becoming An Image is a performance designed for the camera, specifically the act of being photographed. Taking place in a blacked out room, the only elements in the space are the audience, a photographer, the performer and a block of clay weighing 2000 pounds.

This work is one of Fierce’s selected highlights from SPILL London/Ipswich as part of our partnership with them and IBT Festival, Bristol for a ‘Year of Live Art 2013’.


Club Fierce
Doors open 8pm – late
Birmingham City Centre

Join us for a mix of live music, club performance, short films and DJ sets. Including performance from Bob Parks, immersive experimental percussion from Cork based outfit Eat My Noise (IE), solo turns from Wolf In The Winter and electro-punk Quilla Constance. More names to be announced.

£15 (£12 in advance)

* * *

To buy the Fierce Saturday 5th October Day Ticket £40/£35 click here.

To buy the Fierce See-Everything-Ticket Fri 4 – Sun 6 October £75/£65 click here.

To buy tickets for Heather Cassils, Becoming an Image click here.

Call for young performers/musicians

Know any young minds ready to compose a catastrophe?

We are looking for seven children aged 10-12 from Birmingham eager to build and perform their own scores and stories for Sounds Like Catastrophes, a special performance by German artist Eva Meyer-Keller during the festival.

Over the summer the group will take part in a series of workshops. The group will be taught the art of foley (the creation of sound effects using assorted props typically for film or radio) to create the sounds of their imagined apocalyptic scenarios.

The resulting sinister soundscapes will be performed live at Birmingham Town Hall on Saturday 5 October. Alongside the performance, a specially narrated text will be presented exploring how young people process the news and perceive the dangers of our world.

Participating children must be able to attend all workshop sessions (detailed below).

If interested please email Nicole Schuchardt nicole[at] by Friday 9 August.



10am-3pm (with a lunch break) Monday 12 – Friday 16 August. There will be a public workshop performance on the afternoon of Friday 16 August.

10am-3pm (with a lunch break) Saturday 21 September and Sunday 22 September.
Refreshing the project. There will be a public workshop performance Sunday afternoon.

Final performance at Fierce Festival, Birmingham Town Hall.
2 – 2.30pm, Saturday 5 October.

Workshop space tbc. Central Birmingham location.

Confirmed Fierce Festival 2013 artists / projects announced. . . more names to follow. . .

These are the latest confirmed Fierce Festival 2013 artists and/ or projects. We’ll be updating this list as we progress over the summer so look out for future announcements. . . You can also read our latest press release here.

photo: Sam Ackroyd

Atlanta Eke / Monster Body (Australia)

Atlanta is an emerging dance-theatre artist we came across in Melbourne last year at Next Wave Festival. We were challenged and intrigued by the piece she directed and performed: Monster Body. Fierce continues to build its partnership with Next Wave Festival, through an additional series of residencies bringing Australian artists to Birmingham as well as future co-commissions and productions.

Brian Lobel / Fun With Cancer Patients (UK)

Brian Lobel draws on his own experience of cancer treatment as a young adult to facilitate a series of ‘actions’ by Birmingham teenaged cancer patients. These actions are self-authored, designed to be of value to the teenagers themselves in processing their experience of cancer. These actions will take place over the summer, the documentation of these actions will form the basis of an exhibition at MAC autumn 2013.

Denis Tricot (France)

Denis Tricot creates intricate looping structures from balsa wood. His delicate interventions create new, but temporary spatial dialogues with their site. In the past these structures have been used as instruments with wire strung between them, stage sets for dancers to interact with and even set on fire. An integral aspect of constructing these works in public space is the theatre of their own making, witnessed daily by passersby as the sculpture emerges.

Franko B / Because of Love (UK)

photo: Hugo Glendinning

Franko B presents his new multi-disciplinary performance for stage, Because of Love volume 1. Central to the work is the idea of the sentimentality of memory – the emotional charge and romanticism often applied to our experience of remembering culture. The piece represents a departure in Franko’s practice, moving away from the tableaux vivants of his previous work.

Iona Kewney

Iona Kewney will stage a new work combining a visceral, frenetic and exhaustive routine, with elements of contortionism, soundscaped by the electronic drone score from long-term collaborator Joseph Quimby.

Lundahl & Seitl (Sweden/UK)

Christer Lundahl and Martina Seitl, create immersive, participatory environments, often involving intimate binaural recording and the touch of a disembodied hand. You may remember their work, Symphony of a Missing Room at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, from Fierce Festival 2011. This year they are developing a new work; part of the research has involved Sue Fox, a hypnotist who worked on Ron Athey’s Gift’s of the Spirit that featured in Fierce last year.

Sorcha Kenny / Walking We Ask Questions (Ireland)

We came across this project in the Dublin Fringe Festival 2012, this first iteration involved a seven hour walk with thinkers from a variety of disciplines, the discoveries and traces of interactions were brought together in a performance lecture. This project has been initiated by Sorcha Kenny, a Dublin based artist interested in ‘social choreography and simple acts of public intervention’.

The Authentic Boys (trans-Europe collective)

Authentic Boys is an international collective of artists: the performers Gregory Stauffer and Johannes Dullin (Geneva/Berlin) and the filmmakers Boris van Hoof and Aaike Stuart (Rotterdam/Berlin). We met Gregory at the brilliant Belluard Bollwerk festival in Switzerland. The collective will be developing a project with 13 – 18 year olds in Birmingham (and later across Europe), playfully ‘testing’ their revolutionary potential. One outcome will result in a publication with photographs of the participants.

Wolf in the Winter (trans-Europe collective)

We became more aware of Wolf in the Winter, through Brian Catling, who featured in our Holy Mountain Party (co-curated with Harminder Judge last year). The ‘wolves’ are a collective of six international performance artists from across Europe, who come together to form make a ‘pack’. They additionally include Kirsten Norrie, Aaron Williamson, Denys Blacker, Anet van de Elzen and Ralf Wendt. The wolves will open Fierce 2013 at Edible Eastside, a community garden in Digbeth.

Edible Eastside (Digbeth, UK)

‘Edible Eastside is a visionary initiative to transform a derelict brownfield site into a vibrant and contemporary urban garden for people to learn to grow plants and food. The garden covers a quarter of an acre of canal-side land, a former distribution depot, which we are converting into a ‘pop-up’ edible park using temporary containers and raised beds.’ Edible Eastside are currently exploring the question – what would be the ideal content of a Digbeth Pie?

Eva Meyer-Keller (Germany)

In a joint project with Sybille Müller and with children aged 10 – 12, Eva Meyer-Keller reconstructed disasters in the performance Building after catastrophes and recorded them on video. We are now searching for a Birmingham based school or individuals in the right age bracket to take part in a sound-focused version of the project!

Blanch and Shock (UK)

Radical food designers Blanch and Shock, will be creating an autumnal feast in collaboration with Edible Eastside. Liaising with those working on the garden, seeds will be planted over the coming weeks that will form the heart of an autumnal harvest feast to launch Fierce Festival 2013.

Action Hero (UK)

Action Hero is the collaboration between Gemma Paintin and James Stenhouse. The duo performed the work Frontman at local pub, The Rainbow, in 2011. They are currently developing a new work, Slaptalk, inspired by pre-bout trash talking between boxers and the rhetoric of party politics. In work-in-progress performances of the piece Gemma and James ritualistically insult one another via a scrolling auto-cue text.

Paper Stages (Forest Fringe – UK and elsewhere)

‘This publication can be seen as a festival contained in the pages of a book co-authored by over 20 Forest Fringe artists, each page of which is a different instruction-based performance for you to perform. Some you’ll need to do on your own, some as part of a group; some may take place in your own home, others out on the streets of the city.’ We will be commissioning two Birmingham-based artists to contribute to a new edition of the publication alongside artists from other UK cities. The loose ‘small events’ cards (authored by Andy Field, editor of Paper Stages) have been specially made with the immediate vicinity of Digbeth in mind.

Fierce Archive Project

This year we have begun cataloguing fifteen years worth of papers, props, photos, newspaper clippings and more. Including a canvass splattered with the blood of Franko B, who will perform a new work for the stage, Because of Love, at this year’s festival. During the festival we will exhibit selected content from the archive, alongside this material we are interested in gathering oral testimonies from our audience over the years. The audio work, conceived by Sarah Farmer, is a recitation of various newspaper headlines responding to Fierce over the years.