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MxCM – Alex Ho with Héloïse Werner

Alex Ho is a British-Chinese composer based in London whose work explores narratives of diasporic identity. Alex Ho wrote a piece for solo soprano a capella, interpreted by French-born and London-based soprano Héloïse Werner.

For Musicity x Culture Mile, Alex created a piece in response to the space of Barbican Lakeside.

Here, he shares his insights:


There seems to exist a beautiful bizarreness about the Barbican Lakeside. The structures of brick and concrete are here juxtaposed with elements of nature: a flowing body of water, the sound of fountains, greenery lining the walkway, ducks paddling to their nests... It makes for a peaceful spot to escape one’s daily toils and the hyper-urban setting of the Barbican and London. Yet we are still surrounded by brick and concrete, brick and concrete, brick and concrete...

Upon brick is interested in capturing the spirit of the Barbican Lakeside and exploring the listening experience accommodated by the nature of a site-specific work. I was thus interested in writing a piece that is able to inhabit and enhance the feeling of being in the location, specifically looking to blur the boundary between the track and the sounds of the Lakeside. Indeed, it is this idea that informs the trajectory of the piece, and consequently one through which I hope listeners can engage more deeply with the space.



Upon Brick’ by Alex Ho releases May 18 as part of Sound Unbound 2019.

To listen to ‘Upon Brick’, open the Musicity x Culture Mile Web App and go to Barbican Lakeside!


Composition by Alex Ho

Solo Soprano: Héloïse Werner


Musicity x Culture Mile is commissioned by Culture Mile in association with the Barbican.

Photo credit: Alex Ho.