Pioneers of electronic music Tangerine Dream take centre-stage at Barbican exhibition

Tangerine Dream, the German band widely credited as laying the foundations for the Ambient and Trance music styles, will be celebrated by a free exhibition at Barbican Music Library in the New Year.

Tangerine Dream: Zeitraffer, which opens at the City of London Corporation-owned library on 16 January 2020, will use photographs, previously unpublished articles, video clips, and original synthesizers, to take visitors on an immersive journey that tells the band’s extraordinary story.

The first album to be sold at the first Virgin Record shop on Oxford Street was a Tangerine Dream album in 1971. Serving behind the till was Richard Branson, who signed the band to Virgin Records two years later.

BBC Radio 1 DJ, John Peel, introduced the band’s music to a UK audience, frequently playing their 1972 and 1973 tracks, Zeit and Atem, and following global success with the Phaedra album in 1974, the band embarked on a European tour.

Over the course of its 53-year history, the band, which was founded in 1967 by Edgar Froese in West Berlin, has released over 160 albums, starting with Electronic Meditation in 1970 to In Search Of Hades (box set) and Recurring Dreams in 2019.

Tangerine Dream has also composed the scores for over 60 Hollywood films, including William Friedkin’s Sorcerer, Michael Mann’s The Thief, and Risky Business; and Legend by Ridley Scott, both of which starred Tom Cruise; and Firestarter, based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name.

In 2013, they wrote the score for the record-breaking video game, Grand Theft Auto V. Netflix licensed their classics Phaedra and Love on a Real Train for the hugely popular series, Stranger Things, Black Mirror, and Mr. Robot.

Graham Packham, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Culture, Heritage and Libraries Committee, said:

“This exhibition, which is presented exclusively at Barbican Music Library, will celebrate Tangerine Dream’s undeniable contribution to electronic music and its enduring popularity, as well as its hugely prolific output over the last five decades.

“Photographs, video clips from the 1970s, vintage pieces of sound equipment, and even a vinyl listening station will provide a veritable treasure trove for fans of Tangerine Dream, who will find much to enjoy, and reminisce about, in the free show.”

Bianca Froese-Acquaye, widow of the band’s founder, Edgar Froese, said:

“Tangerine Dream was not only the willing tool of a post-war generation that wanted to free itself from dusty social constraints. The band members - captives of their time themselves - created music by using new electronic gear, spacy modular Moogs, wicked sequencers, and synthesizers.

“The band revolutionized the sense for music, sounds and structures, created a new genre of music, changed listening habits, and triggered associations in people’s minds. In other words, the music of Tangerine Dream stands for the beginning of a new consciousness in the 70s and symbolised the zeitgeist of that time.”

The exhibition’s four-month run will feature a reading from Edgar Froese’s autobiography, Tangerine Dream - Force Majeure, by his widow, Bianca Froese-Acquaye, and a screening of the documentary Revolution Of Sound: Tangerine Dream, which includes a talk with director Margarete Kreuzer.

Tangerine Dream: Zeitraffer runs from Thursday 16 January to Saturday 2 May 2020 at Barbican Music Library. FREE admission. A range of merchandise will be available to purchase, including CDs, T-shirts, and Tangerine Dream - Force Majeure.

The City of London Corporation, which owns and manages Barbican Music Library, is the fourth largest funder of heritage and cultural activities in the UK and invests over £100m every year.

In partnership with the Barbican, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London Symphony Orchestra, and Museum of London, the City Corporation is leading the development of Culture Mile between Farringdon and Moorgate, a multi-million-pound initiative to create a new cultural and creative destination for London. As part of this, the City Corporation is providing a £197m investment in the new Museum of London, which will open in West Smithfield in 2024, and £4.9m to support the development of the proposed Centre for Music.


Notes for Editors:

Tangerine Dream: Zeitraffer runs from Thursday 16 January to Saturday 2 May 2020 at Barbican Music Library. FREE admission.

Bianca Froese-Acquaye, widow of the band’s founder, Edgar Froese, and Richard Jones, Music Librarian at Barbican Music Library, are available for media interviews. NB: Bianca will be in London from 13 - 17 January and 24 – 26 January.

Please contact Andrew Buckingham for more details and images from the exhibition.

The exhibition is curated by Bianca Froese-Acquaye, Felix Moser and Melanie Reinisch. Idea and responsibility: Bianca Froese-Acquaye / Eastgate Music & Arts.

Media enquiries (interviews and high resolution images):

Andrew Buckingham, Media Officer, City of London Corporation

Tel: 020 7332 1452 / Mobile: 07795 333 060


About the City of London Corporation:

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK. 

About Barbican Music Library:

Barbican Music Library, which is owned and managed by the City of London Corporation, is a vibrant public library in the heart of the Barbican Centre with books, spoken word recordings, DVDs, CDs and scores available for loan to all visitors. The Library has particular strengths in music (including listening facilities and practice pianos), arts, children's and financial sections, as well as Internet access and self-service photocopying. Membership is available to those who live, work or study in the City of London, and regular visitors to the Barbican.

Barbican Music Library is on Level 2, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS. It is within walking distance of a number of London Underground stations, the closest being Barbican, St Paul’s and Moorgate. The nearest train stations are Liverpool Street and Farringdon. Bus route 153 runs directly past the Barbican. Free bicycle spaces and paid car parking spaces are available.

Opening times are:

Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9.30am – 5.30pm; Tuesday and Thursday 9.30am – 7.30pm; and Saturday 9.30am – 4pm.

Follow Barbican Music Library on Twitter - @barbicanmusic / Facebook - // / Instagram / Pinterest

Tangerine Dream: Zeitraffer