Organ Reframed challenges artists and audiences to rethink the organ. It will invigorate this remarkable instrument and embed it in the music of the 21st century.  The 3 day international festival features 8 new commissions and rare performances from musicians/artists from the UK, US and Canada.

The festival programme is curated by composer Claire M Singer:

“Curating Organ Reframed 2017 has been an incredibly exciting process. To have the opportunity to build on the organ’s rich history and bring it to the attention of a new generation of artists feels important.  It may not be the most portable of instruments, but like any other it deserves a life.  It deserves that life to be continued and its music to be developed, and that’s what I’m trying to do over three days with Organ Reframed.”- Claire M Singer


Sunday 15 October

Organ Reframed Cinema: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari with new score by Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie (Stars of the Lid & A Winged Victory for the Sullen)

Plus James McVinnie, LCO Soloists and the LCO choir

Organ Reframed 2017 closes with a night of classic silent film accompanied by a new score from the ambient drone mastermind Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie.

Wiltzie is best known for his work as founder of seminal ambient classical projects Starts of the Lid, The Dead Texan, Aix Em Klemm and A Winged Victory for the Sullen. He has written the original scores of several films and TV productions including Salero, The Yellow Birds and Iris, along with working on pieces for Hollywood blockbuster movies Arrival, The Theory of Everything and Lion.

With The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari being considered the quintessential work of German Expressionist cinema, prepare for a spine-tingling experience in the grand Victorian Gothic setting of Union Chapel.

World premiere / Commissioned by Organ Reframed.
In partnership with the London Contemporary Orchestra.

Tickets £12.50 | £10 UC members adv + bf
Ticket link:

13-15 October5 – 6pm

Spitfire Audio presents

Organ Reframed: Composer Insight Series

Friday 13 – A special insight into the work of Mira Calix, Emily Hall, James McVinnie and Gordon Monahan. Moderated by BBC Radio 3 presenter Elizabeth Alker.

Saturday 14 – A unique look into the work of Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury (Ex Machina, Free Fire, Black Mirror). Moderated by Pascal Wyse

Sunday 15 – A fascinating exploration of the work of Hildur Guðnadóttir (The Revenant, Arrival, Sicario and Prisoners). Moderated by Pascal Wyse.

Tickets £4 adv + bf

Ticket link:


Friday 13 October

Organ Reframed: Six new works

Composed by Mira Calix, Emily Hall, Tim Hecker, Gordon Monahan, Phill Niblock and Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith.

Performed by James McVinnie, London Contemporary Orchestra plus special guest Gordon Monahan

The opening night of Organ Reframed features six world premieres from composers at the forefront of new music. Each with their own unique voice, from the legendary avant-garde pioneer Phill Niblock to the classical/electronic composer Emily Hall, these works show just how versatile the organ is.

Mira Calix reflects on the current British political climate in her Brexit-inspired piece, entitled #DeHfo (the department of how to fuck ourselves). Emily Hall’s nostalgic work sees her looking back to her grandfather’s own organ, which was later turned into a bar by the new owner after he died. She ponders on how we don’t really own anything, we’re all just passing through. Gordon Monahan investigates the resonant aspects of the organ, the chapel, and the musical instruments of the ensemble, while Phill Niblock combines drones and microtones to challenge the audience’s expectations.

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith has written a piece about the feeling you get before you do an activity that requires you to launch yourself fully into the experience, like sky diving.  Speaking of the opportunity to take part in the festival she said:

“I’ve always wanted to compose for a pipe organ and am honoured to have been given the opportunity to do so.  When I was studying composition in college, I remember reading that Stravinsky would always say that one’s composition isn’t complete until they’ve heard it on a pipe organ. It’s where you can truly hear how the harmonics play with each other. ” – Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith

World Premiere / Commissioned by Organ Reframed.
In partnership with the London Contemporary Orchestra.

Tickets £12.50 | £10 UC members adv + bf
Ticket & listing link:


Saturday 14 October

Organ Reframed: Daylight Music

Paul Carter with Charlotte Hatherley, Seamus Fogarty & Ed Dowie, Martin White, Yazz Ahmed, James Brady & Alcyona Mick

After the transformative opening night of Organ Reframed settle down for a lazy afternoon of music, tea and cakeExpect remarkable organ music curated by Arctic Circle, plus the warm welcome and touch of fun the Daylight Music series is famed for.

The programme for Daylight Music is designed to appeal to people young and old. This session brings together incredible song writers Paul Carter, Charlotte Hatherley, Seamus Fogarty (whose new album Carlow Town is released on 6 October) and Ed Dowie, musician and comedian Martin White, trumpeters the jazz Yazz Ahmed and James Brady, and jazz pianist Alcyona Mick.

“The incredible quality of the music is foremost. When you couple that with the welcoming, almost homely, atmosphere and the stunning venue, it’s impossible to not fall in love with Daylight Music.” – A gig goer

Pay-What-You-Can. Suggested ticket price £5.
Listing link:


Saturday 14 October 

Organ Reframed: Low

with support by Claire M Singer

For the second night of Organ Reframed we are proud to present a new organ work, written and performed by Low. In their 25 year career to date, Low have garnered an array of praise from critics and artists alike.  Their exploration of minimalist soundscapes and harmonies have inspired covers from the likes of Robert Plant and Mavis Staples, and their most recent album ‘Ones and Sixes’ was heralded as “one of the most impressive albums of their career” by MOJO.

As their first commissioned work for organ this is a new departure and further step forward for the band.

“As a band, we are currently writing and recording, experimenting with new voices and extremes. We are very excited about the chance to compose something new – something that will challenge us and allow us to further explore Union Chapel which we have loved for so long.” – Alan Sparhawk

World premiere / Commissioned by Organ Reframed.

Support on the night comes from Claire M Singer who will be performing works from her debut album Solas.

‘..each piece is timeless and genuinely magical’ – The Quietus

Tickets £20 | £17.50 UC members adv + bf
Ticket link:


13-15 October

Organ Reframed: Sound installation by Dawn Scarfe

Throughout the festival artist Dawn Scarfe’s site-specific installation entitled ‘Swell Engine’ will be in place exploring sensitivity and resonance – Accessible at all Organ Reframed events.

‘Swell Engine’ consists of a range of boxes that release sound into the stairwell of Union Chapel as the lids open and close according to a concealed mechanism. The action of raising and lowering the lid changes the volume and character of the sound inside each box.

It is inspired by the ‘swell boxes’ that were added to organs to perform an expressive function. Organ pipes were enclosed in a cabinet with shutters, and gradually opening or closing the shutters either ‘swelled’ or attenuated the sound. Master organ maker of the 17th & 18th centuries, Renatus Harris, said that their operation should be as smooth as ‘as if inspired by the human breath’.