Press Release – Organ Reframed

Organ Reframed 2017

Friday 13 – Sunday 15 October 2017

Union Chapel, London, N1 2UN

Tickets Free – £20 adv + booking fee

Eight innovators come together to create cutting edge new music for a unique organ at one of London’s most loved venues

Performances by Low, Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie (Stars of the Lid), Claire M Singer, Gordon Monahan, James McVinnie & London Contemporary Orchestra and Choir

With new commissions written by Tim Hecker, Phill Niblock, Mira Calix, Emily Hall & Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith

Releasing the organ from its traditional roots

Organ Reframed will challenge 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


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.

“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:


Artist Bios & Images


Saturday 14 October

Organ Reframed: Daylight Music

With Paul Carter with Charlotte Hatherley + Seamus Fogarty & Ed Dowie + Martin White

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

“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:


Artist Bios & Images


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.

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:


Artist Bios & Images


13-15 October

Organ Reframed: Sound installation by Dawn Scarfe

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

World premiere / Commissioned by Organ Reframed.


Artist Bios & Images


Full Festival Info:


Notes to Editors


Press Information

For any further information, images or to arrange interviews, please contact:


Emma Stell

Union Chapel Marketing

020 3373 6013




AND @Daylight_Music if talking about the Sat lunchtime concert


About Union Chapel’s 1877 Organ
The Organ at Union Chapel is considered to be one of the finest in the world. Designed and built specially for the size and acoustics of the Chapel in 1877, Its position in the heart of a building, allows for a clear, powerful sound with a huge range of textures and tones.

Built by Henry “Father” Willis, who was also responsible for the organs at St Pauls and the Royal Albert Hall, it is the only organ in England with original, functioning hydraulic (water powered) bellows.

Fully restored between 2012 and 2013 The Union Chapel Organ Project and later Organ Reframed have bought it back to life. Finding new and innovative ways for it to be used, introducing new generations of composers to the sheer range of the organ and opening up to new audiences.

In this, its 140th year it continues to surprise gig goers, composers and performers.


About Union Chapel

Union Chapel is an award winning music venue in Islington, North London. But it’s more than that, it’s Victorian Gothic architectural jewel, that’s still a working church, home to an incredible organ and the base for The Margins Project, which works with people facing homelessness and isolation.

Coming to an event at Union Chapel supports the conservation and development of the building. Union Chapel operates as a charity dedicated to looking after the space and opening it to a diverse group of people.  In the past 30 years the Chapel has gone from facing demolition to being Grade 1 listed and from being virtually abandoned to welcoming tens of thousands of visitors a year.  Union Chapel has been voted London’s favourite venue an amazing three times, in 2002, 2012 and 2014.

2017 marks 25 years of our venue and the 140th anniversary of our building.


About the London Contemporary Orchestra

Organ Reframed partners 2017

One of the UK’s most highly sought after interpreters of contemporary repertoire, the London Contemporary Orchestra (LCO) has established an unparalleled reputation within the British classical music scene since they were formed in 2008 by violist and conductor Robert Ames and conductor Hugh Brunt.
Straddling both the classical and commercial music arenas the LCO has worked with a distinguished catalogue of composers and artists including Secret Cinema, United Visual Artists, Biosphere, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Vivienne Westwood, Matmos, Belle & Sebastian, Conrad Shawcross, Nike, Jimmy Page and Foals.

The orchestra has performed at the UK’s most prestigious venues including the Royal Opera House, Roundhouse, The Old Vic Tunnels and Southbank Centre as well as at the Latitude Festival, on BBC Radio 3 and Sky Arts. In 2010 the LCO was recognised by the Royal Philharmonic Society Awards for its work in audience development.


About the Artistic Director – Claire M Singer

The work of Claire M Singer has been widely commissioned, exhibited and performed throughout Europe and North America. This includes acoustic and electronic composition, fixed media, multi-media, installations and live electronics. In recent years her work has focused on a mix of organ, ‘cello and electronics with performances and commissions including Union Chapel; Sound Festival Scotland; Tate Modern London; The Shunt Vaults; Chez Poulet Gallery San Francisco; XMV New York City; Fylkingen Institute Stockholm; Ceremony Hall Austin, TX; Norwich Arts Centre; Kunst-Station Sankt Peter Cologne; Muziekgebouw Aan’ t ij Amsterdam and the Barbican.

In June 2017 she was a recipient of the inaugural Oram Awards from the PRS Foundation and New BBC Radiophonic Workshop for her innovation in sound and music.



Organ Reframed 2016 Image Gallery


Organ Reframed is supported by:

Arts Council England, PRS Foundation, Spitfire Audio, Wire, London Contemporary OrchestraUnion Chapel Members & Friends of Union Chapel.