Motion captures: William Kentridge at the Royal Academy of Arts, London

As I write, there is just under a fortnight left – including two weekends – to see the Royal Academy’s retrospective of South African artist William Kentridge. I urge you to go if you can. Kentridge also directs and stages opera, and it’s thanks to English National Opera (‘ENO’) that I first encountered his work….

Organised K-os: ‘Hallyu! – The Korean Wave’, V&A, London

‘Hallyu’ – the eye-catching title of this big-ticket exhibition at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum (‘V&A’) – translates as ‘Korean wave’, the phrase used to describe Korean culture’s steady rise to prominence over the last 25 years or so. Informed by a K-pop aesthetic, it’s a heady, day-glo, assault-on-the-senses experience. Throw yourself into it and…

Sound and visions: Sean Shibe, ‘Lost & Found’

The latest album from Sean Shibe is original and rewarding; inspired and inspirational. And the more I play it, the more it also feels like a game-changer, the kind of release that could challenge any preconceptions about the instrument featured and open new avenues of writing and recording for it. * For those unfamiliar, Shibe…

Lightbulb moments: Cornelia Parker at Tate Britain

The exploding shed is probably the image familiar to most. But the joy of seeing so much of Cornelia Parker’s work all in one place shows just how consistently she has sought to reach the heart of the (subject) matter by systematically taking it apart or changing its form – violently or otherwise. * The…

Jollymath: Bill Bailey at the Royal Opera House

There is a huge range of skills at play here. And the way he weaves them all together into something resembling a whole is bewilderingly deft. But that said – you could probably describe Bill Bailey as having the one, key superpower: an ability to make a large group of strangers blissfully, almost deliriously happy…

Get ‘Carta’: Xuefei Yang, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Clark Rundell perform the works of John Brunning

This is an elegant, ravishing album. On first encounter, it might place you firmly in a ‘traditional’ British orchestral soundworld, and lovers of that heritage should investigate this without hesitation. However, there are mysteries and idiosyncrasies waiting to be discovered on further listens – and no wonder, given Xuefei Yang’s distinctive brilliance and composer John…

Apart songs: Carolyn Sampson & Kristian Bezuidenhout, ‘Trennung’

Given the musicians involved, it should come as no surprise to learn that ‘Trennung’ is an immaculately crafted and beautifully performed album. But it’s also an unusual record, turning up at the party dressed as a recital disc, but as time goes on, revealing more and more of its unique character. It’s a considerable sonic…

Spear pressure: ‘Parsifal’, Opera North

‘Here is where time becomes space’: this is one of the most famous – and mysterious – quotes from Wagner’s final opera, ‘Parsifal’, which at its best can make that scientific impossibility seem real. Unhurried, epic storytelling punctuated with moments of overwhelming beauty or horror that somehow transcend a mere auditorium in what feels like…

(P)review: African Concert Series update

A quick look backward and forward: into the recent past, recalling my most recent visit to an African Concert Series event, and ahead, to let you know about theilr upcoming events. * I collected a new venue in mid-May, on my first encounter with the Africa Centre, slightly hidden away (especially at the moment, thanks…