The Southbank Centre, one of the London’s, and, it follows, the world’s, best cultural centres, holds an annual festival called Meltdown. For a month or so, a guest director programmes a series of events.
This year, it’s the turn of Antony Hegarty. It’s a great choice. The fabulous New York singer has been a keen supporter of a range of artists, from his gang of Johnsons to collaborating with Oneohtrix Point Never (below) to his support of the Japanese dance butoh, he’s one of the avant garde’s most immaginative and on-touch supporters.
“I want to create a kind of paradise. I want to walk through that forest and see and hear the hardcore beauty and strength in art and music that makes sense to me. The weather is changing and everybody knows it. I want to participate; What is my relationship and responsibility to the world around me? Frontier expressions of emotion and beauty can be fantastic tools with which to enter that discussion.”
Jude Kelly, Artistic Director at Southbank Centre:
“From the moment we heard his voice, or caught an early glimpse of him stealing the show on jaw-dropping guest spots, there was no doubt that Antony was a major talent. In the decade since, a series of acclaimed recordings and performances, a host of well-selected collaborators and immaculately delivered commissions have confirmed his status as one of the most fascinating artists of our age. Each director takes Meltdown in a different direction. We can’t wait to see where Antony will take the festival and us in August 2012.”
Last year was Ray Davies of the Small Faces, which was fine but a bit “whatever”, but previous curators have been Robert Wyatt, Laurie Anderson, Patti Smith, Jarvis Cocker and David Bowie.