Dave Knapik “Chicago”


The Eternal Chord | Live in Den Haag

The Eternal Chord makes its second outing at Today’s Art festival in Den Haag on this organ at Den Haag’s Lutherse Church.

The Eternal Chord will this time be performed live by Hildur Gudnadottir & Mike Harding.

Spire 1 | Jon Wozencroft – “The Spire Ensemble – Organology”

A3 print + digital download no longer available from the TouchShop

A3 print

Features an image (depicted to the right) by Jon Wozencroft, output onto high quality heavyweight matte paper.

Digital download
320 kpbs MP3, available only when purchasing the Spire print…

The Spire Ensemble – “Organology” 14:14

Recorded at Norheimsund Church, Norway during the Hardingtonar Festival, 21st June 2008. [2008 was the centenary of the birth of Geirr Tveitt, whose work was celebrated at this festival.]

Featured artists: Marcus Davidson – Grand Piano | Mike Harding – Conductor | Philip Jeck – Casio SK1 Keyboard | Charles Matthews – Organ BJNilsen – Electronics | Jana Winderen – Electronics

Spire Bootleg

Yes we have been bootlegged! Here you can find out more. Its from Ars Electronica 2006…

Tone 28 | Spire Live – “Fundamentalis”


Autofact FACT 12/Touch Tone 28
Double LP Vinyl only [Sold out – download now available on Bandcamp]
Art Direction & Design by Jon Wozencroft
Compiled and edited by Mike Harding October/November 2006
Cut by Jason at Transition, London, on a Neumann VSM 70 March 2007

Track Listing:

Side One
Philip Jeck – Live in St. Michel & St. Gudula Cathedral, Brussels
[as part of Les Nuits Botaniques] 7th May 2006

Side Two
1. Charles Matthews – Live in St. Michel & St. Gudula Cathedral, Brussels
[as part of Les Nuits Botaniques] – plays Giacinto Scelsi: In Nomine Lucis 7th May 2006
2. Marcus Davidson – Live in Masthuggs Church, Göteborg
[as part of the GAS Festival] – Standing Wave 4th October 2005
locked groove

Side Three
BJNilsen – Live in Masthuggs Church, Göteborg
[as part of the GAS Festival] 4th October 2005

Side Four
Fennesz – Live in St. Michel & St. Gudula Cathedral, Brussels
[as part of Les Nuits Botaniques] 7th May 2006

Spire Live – Fundamentalis is a collection of live tracks recorded at various Spire events held throughout 2005 and 2006. Released in association with US label, Autofact, Touch presents a selection of tracks performed by the main performers of Spire: Fennesz | Philip Jeck | BJNilsen | Charles Matthews | Marcus Davidson. Improvised pieces from Fennesz, BJNilsen and Philip Jeck contrast with a performance by Charles Matthews of a scored composition by Italian composer Giacinto Scelsi, ‘In Nomine Lucis’, and Marcus Davidson’s self-penned ‘Standing Wave’, which ends side two with a locked groove. Cut to preserve and enhance the bottom end frequencies, Fundamentalis is not merely a document; the tension between and within the individual pieces is palpable. Fennesz’s set “…evokes the rolling centuries in all their pain and beauty, leaving us at once becalmed and energised, but never oppressed under the weight of time.” Electronics breathe new life not only into the organ, but also into the setting. But successor does not mean replacement. Ultimately, it’s the majestic sound of the organ, so steeped in centuries of tradition, that one remembers above all else.

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 9 performances in cathedrals and churches throughout Europe, Spire remains a potent live force in harnessing the sounds of the ages.


The Wire (UK)

Can be read here

Mojo (UK):

“The Touch label’s Spire project is all about restating the sonic power of the church organ in the modern age, pushing this awesome instrument to its terrifying limits. This majestic collection of live tracks, recorded in churches and cathedrals across Europe, unites organ maestros like Charles Matthews with such Touch-endorsed electronic explorers as BJ Nilsen, Fennesz and Philip Jeck, to create a euphoric drone of power, calm and beauty, that, played loudly enough in a far-away room, will soothe the chattering clamour of the urban brain.”

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.