Jamie XX Has Scored a Ballet and it is Trippy as Hell
We feel safe in saying that Jamie XX has had a good year or two in his charmed life, but this one is quickly shaping up to be his year. His debut album In Colour is well on the way to being the record of the year, not to mention the soundtrack to every single dance party at the Milk Made office. Not content with a simple summer tour circuit, Jamie has struck gold yet again with his latest project, an ambitious artistic achievement that is unlike anything he’s done before—a full-scale, tutus-and-all ballet.
Titled Tree of Codes, the ballet premiered in Manchester over the weekend to rave reviews, with upcoming performances scheduled in NYC this fall. It’s based on the novel of the same name by Jonathan Safran Foer, the author of such tearjerkers as Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close and Everything Is Illuminated. Jamie composed the original score, with dance courtesy of Radiohead choreographer Wayne McGregor and visuals created by renowned artist Olafur Eliasson. We know next to nothing of how the book coined ‘a sculptural object’ is translated into jetee-ing with Jamie’s signature ambient funk, but if the videos of the first performance are any indication, it’s trippy as hell.
Ballet aside, Jamie has also brushed up his painterly skills with an installation commissioned by London’s National Gallery. Dubbed the ‘Soundscape Project,’ it revolves around a portrait hand-picked by Jamie from the National Gallery’s vast collection to which he composed an original piece of music. The painting, with Jamie’s accompanying song, will be housed in a soundproof box for the duration of the project, putting viewers in a one of a kind trip through his vibrantly eclectic mind.
How in the hell Jamie has time for these projects amidst a summer tour is well beyond us. Though he started as one member of three-piece outfit The XX, he’s now turning into something more akin to an artistic Swan Prince superhero.
‘Tree of Codes’ comes to America on September 14th at the Park Avenue Armory
Go see his installation at the National Gallery starting tomorrow
Download ‘In Colour’ here
Photo by Matt Cowan