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As well as our morning concerts, this year we're also delighted to be hosting three evenings of Contemporary Music at the Edinburgh International Festival. 

Featuring Japanese folk musician Ichiko Aoba, Irish radical folk group Lankum and Maverick musician Matthew Herbert, we're thrilled that our programme is expanded this year - read on for more information on these amazing artists.

Lankum, Matthew Herbert, Ichiko Aoba


Irish radical folk group Lankum reimagines folk songs in an intense, gothic style.

Hypnotising and eerie, Lankum covers new ground with each album they produce. The Dublin-based four-piece band marries horror and gothic darkness with the soft vocals of Radie Peat, who sounds ‘both like an uncompromising everywoman and a mystical instrument of bellows and reeds’ (The Guardian). Lankum blends contemporary apocalyptic music with inspiration from centuries-old folk songs, contrasting ‘exquisite softness’ with intense droning harmonies.

They bring to Edinburgh their recently released fourth album, False Lankum, which takes the listener on a haunting spiritual journey. Described by Pitchfork as taking ‘songs that trace back to lost worlds and make them sound instead like a future built on the ruins of today’, Lankum plunges their captive audience into their world of revitalised and idiosyncratic folk music.

Matthew Herbert

Maverick musician Matthew Herbert brings a relentlessly inventive force to the Festival with his latest album, The Horse.

Matthew Herbert’s experimental new work, The Horse, uses an entire horse’s skeleton to create music – from flutes crafted from thigh bones to bows fashioned out of the hair and strings made from sinew. Partnering with the London Contemporary Orchestra, Herbert has created a piece of work that knows no bounds.

Throughout The Horse, Herbert races through history and draws references to ancient cave paintings from Spain and to Emily Wilding Davidson’s fatal injury at Epsom in 1913. Described by The New York Times as being ‘obsessed with the possibilities of using found sounds’, Herbert’s latest album embodies this description to the fullest.

Ichiko Aoba

Singer-songwriter Ichiko Aoba’s mysterious modern folk music transports her audiences to ethereal dreamscapes they never want to leave.

Throughout her childhood, Japanese folk musician Ichiko Aoba was fascinated by the fantasy worlds created by Studio Ghibli and Disney. Years later, she invites her audiences to follow her down the rabbit hole to listen to her carefully curated and dreamy soundworlds.

With her seventh studio album, Windswept Adan, Aoba creates a ‘hypnotizing shroud that makes you feel like she’s performing for you alone’ (Financial Times). The singer-songwriter takes inspiration from jazz, folk and impressionistic classical music to create her enchanting and unique sound. Ichiko Aoba spirits her audience away with her ‘subtle command of magic’ (New Yorker).