Spire Live at Union Chapel, London | 22nd October 2015
730pm - 1030pm Thursday October 22nd 2015
"The tall peaceful trees would be like the pipes of a great organ…" (Claude Debussy)
Combining organ and electronics, with voice and piano, Spire combines the acoustic with the digital. Starting with a live event at St. Pierre Cathedral, Geneva, (which was built in 1160 and the crucible of the Reformation in 1534) in 2004, 14 further live events in York Minster, Lincoln Cathedral and other sites of special acoustic interest have taken place… Spire is an engrossing treatise on the relevance of an instrument too often forgotten by modern secular music. The music is powerful and free, restrained and reflective…
Spire is one of the most innovative projects around, drawing on the full canon of organ works, from the very first annotation in the Robertsbridge Codex from the 14th Century, to max msp patches and software sampling... With two CD releases and many performances in cathedrals and churches throughout Europe, Spire remains a potent live force in harnessing the sounds of the ages.
Spire: organ works past present & future performed by
Charles Matthews (organ)
Philip Jeck (turntables)
Black Death (Tenor & electronics)
John Beaumont (Tenor)
Claire Singer (Organ & electronics)
The Eternal Chord (Organ) with The Spire Ensemble...
other artists to be added in due course...
Co-curator of Spire and organist, Charles Matthews was born in 1966 and studied at the Royal College of Music, London, and was an organ scholar at Trinity College, Cambridge. His teachers have included Beryl Tichbon, Gwilym Isaac, David Pettit, Patricia Carroll, Nicholas Danby, Charles Spinks and Dr Richard Marlow. Charles has won numerous awards, perhaps most notably first prize in the 1999 Franz Liszt Interpretation Competition in Budapest. His most recent solo recording is of Francis Routh's cycle The Well-Tempered Pianist.
Philip Jeck gives us a kind of archaeology of sounds, from organ, rock, kitsch or scratching. He goes to the source of sound, and promises a beautiful and mesmerising set of turntabilism (using organ vinyl records) which asks questions about time, time which is running, time of artistic creation… Philip Jeck studied visual art at Dartington College of Arts. He started working with record players and electronics in the early '80's and has made soundtracks and toured with many dance and theatre companies as well as his solo concert work.
Claire performs for Spire for the first time, and premiers a new work for organ and electronics
This organ piece explores the outer limits of the instrument, using pedals and stops in an improvised display of experimental organ music…
You can hear an interview with some of the players here
Now available: Live in Bergen | Cassette (The Tapeworm)
Recorded on 1st November 2013 as part of Bergen Kirkeautunnale, Norway
Featuring BJNilsen & John Beaumont’s Black Death, a new project using voice (tenor) and electronics; Charles Matthews’s repertoire includes performances of organ pieces by Arvo Pärt, Giacinto Scelsi and Johan Sebastian Bach; Marcus Davidson’s Ananta is released for the first time, and Spire regulars The Eternal Chord and The Spire Ensemble also perform.
This cassette will be released in July 2014
A1: Charles Matthews plays JS Bach "Komm, Heiliger Geist", A2: Charles Matthews plays Giacinto Scelsi "In Nomine Lucis", A3. BJNilsen and John Beaumont "Black Death"
B1: The Eternal Chord "The Eternal Chord (Live)", B2: Marcus Davidson "Ananta", B3: The Spire Ensemble "Live In Bergen", B4: Charles Matthews plays Arvo Pärt "Pari Intervallo"
Recorded on 1.11.13 as part of Bergen Kirkeautunnale 2013, with thanks to Kjetil Almenning and Møyfrid Fuglestad. Published by Touch Music [MCPS] except – A2: Editions Salabert/G Ricordi & Co.; B4: Universal Edition.
Illustration – Art I Cho.
This cassette is an aspiring product of The Tapeworm – "give the peasants champagne and they still want dirty water" TTW#70, copyright 2014 The Tapeworm. www.tapeworm.org.uk
Spire 5 | Marcus Davidson "The Passing"
2 tracks - FLAC Audio download - 18:31
Track listing and notes:
1. The Passing 9:14
Recorded at St. Stephan's Church, Mautern, Austria as part of Spire live at The Kontraste Festival, Krems, 11th October 2013.
Marcus Davidson - Organ & Electronics
EVP samples by Raymond Cass from "The Ghost Orchid - An Introduction to EVP" [PARC CD1]
NASA recording of the winds of Saturn from The Voyager Spacecraft
Natural VLF Radio Phenomena of the Magnetosphere and space weather recording by S.P. McGreevy
With thanks to Charles Matthews
2. Sacred Space 9:17
Recorded at PassionsKirche, Berlin, Germany as part of CTM12 Festival, 5th February 2012
Marcus Davidson - Electronics
Charles Matthews - Organ
Part one: Notations from the NASA recordings of the Rings of Uranus
Part two: The Sun dawning over the dark rings of Uranus
The 15th Spire took place in on 1st November 2013 in Bergen
The 15th Spire took place in Bergen, Norway on 1st November 2013.
Festival for church art and music
Bergen kirkeautunnale 2013
Continue reading: The 15th Spire took place in on 1st November 2013 in Bergen
The 14th Spire took place on 11th October 2013 in Mautern
The 14th Spire took place in St. Stephan's Church, Mautern, close to Krems, Austria, on 11th October 2013, opening the Kontraste Festival.
Continue reading: The 14th Spire took place on 11th October 2013 in Mautern
The 13th Spire took place on 21st June 2012 in London
Continue reading: The 13th Spire took place on 21st June 2012 in London
The 12th Spire took place on 5th February 2012 in Berlin
CTM 12, Passionskirche, Berlin
The Eternal Chord
Continue reading: The 12th Spire took place on 5th February 2012 in Berlin
The 11th Spire took place on 21st October 2011 in Lincoln Cathedral
Frequency Festival 2011
21st – 29th October
The Spire Ensemble - Organogram
with John Beaumont (Tenor)
Continue reading: The 11th Spire took place on 21st October 2011 in Lincoln Cathedral
Spire Live - Fundamentalis | Autofact 12/Touch Tone 28 - Back in stock
Spire Live - Fundamentalis
Autofact FACT 12/Touch Tone 28
Double LP Vinyl only
Art Direction & Design by Jon Wozencroft
This release is now available again from the TouchShop here
Continue reading: Spire Live - Fundamentalis | Autofact 12/Touch Tone 28 - Back in stock
Spire 4 - Pietro Riparbelli "4 Churches"
320kbps MP3 - 4 tracks - 42:09
Mastered by Giuseppe Verticchio
Continue reading: Spire 4 - Pietro Riparbelli "4 Churches"