organ reframed

Union Chapel, 7–9 October

Organ Reframed – three days of film, intimate solo sets, improvisations and larger scale commissions

Based around Union Chapel’s 1877 organ, designed and built for the space, the weekend festival brings an experimental approach to this extraordinary instrument.

With the organ at its centre the festival presents a varied programme that will release it from its traditional roots. Organ Reframed will challenge perceptions of what this instrument is capable of.

James McVinnie, London Contemporary Orchestra, Craig Armstrong, Fennesz, Mark Fell, Philip Jeck, Simon Scott, Irene Buckley, Robert Ames, Laura Moody, Ed Dowie, Laetitia Sadier, Angele David-Guillou, Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch, Charles Matthews, Claire M Singer, John Beaumont, The Eternal Chord, Bill Thompson, Alex Groves, Chaines and Catherine Lamb.


Early-bird Special, available until 1st September: Single Concert – £14.50 (£13 concession) + booking fee
Festival Pass – £37.50 (£36 concession) + booking fee

Tickets after 1st September:

Single concert – £18.50 (£17 concession) + booking fee
Festival pass – £49.50 (£48 concession) + booking fee

Nb: the Daylight Music concert at midday on Saturday is free.

7 october

Nosferatu, film screening – premiere of a new score by Irene Buckley for organ, electronics, viola and cello

Organ: James McVinnie. Electronics: Irene Buckley. Viola: Robert Ames. Cello: Laura Moody.

Commissioned for the opening of Organ Reframed, composer Irene Buckley premieres her new score accompanying the gothic silent film masterpiece Nosferatu.

An iconic film of the German expressionist cinema, and one of the most famous of all silent movies, F. W. Murnau’s Nosferatu (A Symphony of Horror) continues to haunt — and, indeed, terrify — modern audiences with the unshakable power of its images. By teasing a host of occult atmospherics out of dilapidated set-pieces and innocuous real-world locations alike, Murnau captured on celluloid the deeply-rooted elements of a waking nightmare, and launched the signature

Doors – 7pm. Screening/performance – 8pm. 

8 october

Daylight Music, a lazy afternoon with music, tea and cake – free entry

Performers: Lætitia Sadier, Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch, Ed Dowie and Angèle David-Guillouwith more to be announced. 

Please note, this event is free – suggested donation: £5.

This special Organ Reframed edition of Daylight Music will take a stripped down approach focusing on the powerful combination of organ and voice, reflecting the organ’s original role when it was first placed at the heart of the chapel. We’ll be welcoming eight sets of artists and accompanists across different genres and styles. These musicians, singers and composers will explore the very physical relationship between voice and pipes in many cases for the first time.

Doors – 12pm

Spire, featuring Fennesz, Philip Jeck, Simon Scott and more...

Performers: Charles Matthews, Fennesz, Philip Jeck, Simon Scott, Claire M Singer, John Beaumont and The Eternal Chord.

Spire, an experimental music programme for organ and electronic works, pushes the envelope for which this most traditional of instruments is used. The organ has the greatest frequency range of any acoustic instrument, but this is rarely exploited; the unique sound of the mechanical organ has often been limited and controlled and Spire aims to liberate it from its history without denying that history.

Doors – 6pm

9 october

Five New Commissions performed by James McVinnie with the London Contemporary Orchestra

Five new commissions – by Craig Armstrong, Mark Fell, Alex Groves, Chaines and Catherine Lamb.

In celebration of the final night of Organ Reframed James McVinnie and London Contemporary Orchestera will premiere five new works from prolific composers, many of whom are writing for the organ for the first time. These new works will firmly put the organ in the spotlight as an instrument that not only holds a rich history and extensive repertoire but also one which plays a key role in the development of new music today.

7-9 october

A Knowing Space, sound installation for organ pipes and transducers by Bill Thompson

‘...the New does not enter through the obvious door but through some fissure in the walls.’ – Rheinberger.

Specially commissioned for Organ Reframed, A Knowing Space explores the idea of resonance from several different perspectives. Sonically, it features the Henry Willis organ recorded from different vantage points within Union Chapel.

 Accessible 7–9th October at all events