New Website for Charles Matthews

Charles Matthews, curator, pianist and organist for Spire, has a new website here

Spire Music Usage | MTV – Room 401

MTV used tracks from ‘Spire – organ music past present and future’ [Touch # Tone 21], for a show:

BJNilsen – Breathe
Philip Jeck – Stops
Biosphere – Visible Invisible

The name of the show is “Room 401”. The episode number is #104. The Touch tracks appeared in the Bus Crash segment within #104.

Spire Live vinyl cut at Transition | 13.03.07

Fundamentalis [Autofact FACT 12/Touch Tone 28]

Fundamentalis, a double vinyl release due later this year on Autofact, was cut at Transition, London, on 13th March 2007. Tracks from Spire Live in Gothenberg and Brussels by Fennesz, Philip Jeck, BJNilsen, Marcus Davidson & Charles Matthews will appear on the final release, due sometime in the summer. You can see pictures from the cut here

The 3rd Spire took place on 7th May 2006 in Brussels


The 3rd Spire took place on 7th May 2006 at St. Michel & St. Gudula Cathedral as part of Les Nuits Botaniques


Main Organ: Charles Matthews & Xavier Deprez
Portable Organ: Charles Matthews
Philip Jeck
Les Musiques Nouvelles

Full programme:

2000 Charles Matthews, Chamber Organ: Robertsbridge Codex: Estampie (l) [c.1335]
2008 Xavier Deprez, Main Organ & Musiques Nouvelles, Strings: Arvo Pärt, Fratres
2020 Xavier Deprez, Main Organ & Musiques Nouvelles, Strings: Henryk Gorécki: Concerto for Keyboard
2046 Philip Jeck
2103 Charles Matthews, Main Organ: Giacinto Scelsi: In Nomine Lucis
2106 Christian Fennesz
2136 Charles Matthews, Main Organ: Maurice Duruflé: Toccata
2146 Xavier Deprez, Main Organ & Musiques Nouvelles, strings: Jean-Paul Dessy: Drawn by Drones for six hands, three feet and a pencil
2152 Charles Matthews, Chamber Organ: Robertsbridge Codex: Estampie (ll) [c.1335]

Tone 21 | Spire – “Live in Geneva Cathedral”


This release received an Honorary Distinction at Ars Electronica in 2006

DCD – 7 tracks

Track Listing:

CDOne 76:04
On the main organ in the cathedral: Charles Matthews plays tracks 1-4:

1. Marcus Davidson – Opposites Attract [10:05]
2. Marcus Davidson – Psalm for Organ 3 [1:24]
3. André Jolivet – Hymne à l’Universe [11:58]
4. Liana Alexandra – Consonances lll [6:52]
Marcus Davidson plays track 5:
5. Henryk Gorécki – Kantata for organ op. 26 [15:42]
In the side chapel: 6. BJNilsen – Live in La Petite Chapelle [29:59]

CDTwo 69:06

1. In the crypt: Philip Jeck – Live in the Crypt [44:14]
2. In the side chapel: Fennesz – Live in La Petite Chapelle [24:49]

St. Pierre Cathedral, Geneva, was the crucible of the Reformation in 1534…

The second release in the Spire series [cf Spire, organ works past, present & future, Touch # Tone 20, 2004] is more than a document of ‘Spire Live’, which took place as part of La Batie 2004, at St. Pierre Cathedral, Geneva, on 5th September 2004. Curated by Eric Linder, from La Batie, and Mike Harding, the dynamism of the event, where the audience rotated between 3 separate venues within the Cathedral precinct, is reflected in the individual recordings: Philip Jeck goes heavy metal in the crypt: BJNilsen comes over all moody in the side chapel, and Fennesz soothes and seduces in the same place.
All this is set up by Charles Matthews and Marcus Davidson on the main organ [4 manifolds, computer operated] which dominates the time and place. Davidson plays Gorécki’s extraordinary Kantata for organ, [full stops on max employed here] which segués into BJNilsen’s ultra-heavy live organ and electronics next door. This follows Charles Matthews’s excellent renditions of pieces by Jolivet and Alexandra which, as the text by Thierry Charollais says: “The event seemed provoking and iconoclastic in contrast to the severe and austere atmosphere of the cathedral. Though some of the musical pieces were audacious, the music focused mainly on spirituality. It generated a different perception of the organ pieces, thus modifying our perception of the cathedral and making the event truly exceptional.”

And to finish, Fennesz soothed us with sound. His set evoked the rolling centuries in all their pain and beauty, leaving us at once becalmed and energised, but never oppressed under the weight of time.