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Michael Gira founded the seminal NYC band Swans in 1982.

Quickly infamous for their punishing, brutal and repetitive onslaughts of sound, extreme volume levels, and the self-abusing, abject shouts and growls of Gira’s sloganeering vocals, SWANS gradually transformed over 15 years, ultimately venturing into harsh mechanical proto-industrial rock, to sprawling shifts of texture and perspective (see the bucolic atmospheric folk idles and martial stomps of their much heralded Children of God double LP from 1987), to gentle acoustic-based songs, and finally on to their ultimate statement, Soundtracks For The Blind (1997) which somehow incorporated all of these elements at once, across well over 2 hours of music in one album.

At this point, Gira called it quits after 15 years of relentless touring and productivity, and disbanded SWANS. Since 1999 Gira has released his music under the name Angels Of Light. He writes the songs for Angels Of Light on acoustic guitar and orchestrates them using a shifting cadre of musicians, employing a wide variety of instrumentation such as strings, wind, brass, electric guitars, electronics and choral vocals. The songs are often eccentric and extreme, in keeping with Gira’s love of soundtrack music.

Kristof Hahn is best known for his lap-steel guitar playing in  SWANS. He joined the band in 1989 for the Burning World tour and played on the subsequent album White Light from the Mouth of Infinity (1990). He left the band in 1992, joined Gira’s Angels of Light in 1998 and became a constant member of the SWANS relaunch from 2010 until 2017.

Michael Gira (SWANS) + Kristof Hahn

Mon 21 November

ART31

ART31 takes its name from Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of a Child, which states that ‘Children have the right to relax and play, and to join in a wide range of cultural, artistic and other recreational activities’.

ART31 is a vision created with, by, and for young people in Kent, championing the belief that all children and young people have an entitlement to access high quality arts and culture, to empower them to achieve their creative potential, and to genuinely engage young people as equal partners in any decision making that affects them.

The ART31 Youth Board is made up of young people from across Kent aged 13-25 who steer its governance, and influence policy and practice across the county and beyond, challenging the creative sector to examine existing ways of working and integrate young people into the core of their practice.

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