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London's Union Chapel hosts third Organ Reframed festival

Organ Reframed returns to London’s Union Chapel for the third edition of the expiermental festival. On Friday, October 12th and Saturday, October 13th, Reframed will provide insights that invigorate the oft-neglected instrument and embed it in the music of the 21st century.

Over the two days there will be nine world premieres of cutting-edge new works from contemporary composers. There will be a mix of film, music and sound art, concluding with a performance of a new work by Éliane Radigue - widely regarded as one of our greatest living composers and a pioneer of experimental music.

The opening night will feature a screening of Visions in Meditation, a collection of short films by the Stan Brakhage. The silent films, described as visual music, will be interwoven with new works from electronic artists whose aesthetics resonate with Brakhage’s work. Philip Jeck, Sarah Davachi and Darkstar will perform their new works alongside James McVinnie on organ and the London Contemporary Orchestra.

Saturday’s programme will open with a new piece from Hollywood film composer Hildur Guðnadóttir - the newly-signed composer for the upcoming film Joker with Joaquin Phoenix making her the first woman to compose a score for a live-action DC Comics film. Hildur will perform her new work live with James McVinnie and the London Contemporary Orchestra Soloists.

The second half of Saturday evening will hear Éliane Radigue’s first work for organ, which will be performed by Frédéric Blondy. After the performance there will be a screening of a short documentary of Éliane working on the commission.

A staple of the Union Chapel calendar, Daylight Music curated by Arctic Circle combines an eclectic programme of music with a magical atmosphere every Saturday from noon. A special edition for Organ Reframed will feature multi-instrumentalist Terry Edwards joined by Seamus Beaghen, plus performances from singer-songwriter Douglas Dare and electropop keyboard player, singer and producer Deerful.

Ahead of both Friday and Saturday evening concerts, festival partners Spitfire Audio will present panel discussions on Composer Insights with Emmy award winner composer Michael Price. Throughout the weekend, attendees to the events will get to enjoy a sound installation by Kathy Hinde, Exhale, inspired by the bellows that provide pressured air for the Union Chapel organ and uses mechanical bellow systems to resonate acoustic sound making devices.

Curator of Organ Reframed, composer Claire M Singer, said: “I’ve been writing and performing with the organ experimentally for over ten years now. Knowing what an incredible instrument it is and the scope of what is possible the idea behind the festival is to commission artists to write new music for it, broadening the current repertoire and pushing the boundaries of experimental music.

“It seems that most people associate the organ with church or classical music and the festival is about showing that it is a hugely versatile instrument, in fact it can be thought of as the world’s first synthesiser and can be incorporated into many different genres of music. To have the opportunity to build on the organ’s rich history and bring it to the attention of a new generation is incredibly exciting.”

For tickets and details go to unionchapel.org.uk.

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