Spire Live at The Unitarian Church, Cambridge

Your email receipt is your ticket, so please bring with you to the concert...

This concert will be recorded and the entry fee guarantees you a free copy of some of the recordings [wav files]. Which tracks we make available will depend on the quality and suitability of the recordings, of course...

The Unitarian Church, Cambridge
5pm Friday 26th February 2016

"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

John Beaumont (tenor)
Marcus Davidson (organ & electronics)
Philip Jeck (turntables)
Charles Matthews (organ)
Simon Scott (field recordings & electronics)
Claire M Singer (organ & electronics)
The Eternal Chord (organ) with The Spire Ensemble...

The Players

John Beaumont - www.thestorytenor.com

...Beyond working with the three choral foundations at St Pauls Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral, I was singing on film soundtracks, TV advertisements, working latterly with the BBC Singers in the Proms and exploring a more diverse repertoire...

Marcus Davidson - www.marcusdavidson.net

Marcus is a composer, producer and keyboard player. He currently focuses on music which reflects sounds from nature, often working with live recordings incorporated into his compositions.

Charles Matthews - www.charlesmatthews.co.uk

"I guess that every performing musician seeks to reach and maintain a point of contact in the common ground between themselves, the listener and the piece of music in question. So I try to give out, or open up, whatever I can of myself. At the same time I hope to provide a historically and analytically informed re-creation of each piece."

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 - www.philipjeck.com

Philip Jeck gives us a kind of archeology 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.

Simon Scott - simon-scott.blogspot.co.uk

Simon is a sound ecologist and drummer from Cambridge. His work explores the creative process of active listening.

Claire M Singer - www.clairemsinger.com

Claire was until recently Music Director of the Organ Project at Union Chapel and regularly composes/performs her own works for organ and electronics at the Chapel and throughout Europe. Recent concerts and commissions include Union Chapel; SPNM; Sound Festival; Ladyfest; Tate Modern London; The Shunt Vaults; Chez Poulet Gallery San Francisco; XMV New York City; PRSF; Fylkingen Institute Stockholm; Ceremony Hall Austin, TX; Soundfjord; Norwich Arts Centre and no.w.here.

The Eternal Chord - www.touch33.net/theeternalcohord

This organ piece explores the outer limits of the instrument, using pedals and stops in an improvised display of experimental organ music…

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Spire Live at The Unitarian Church, Cambridge

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