Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Spire - Live in Bergen (2014)

Give the peasants wine and they still want dirty water. Or that's what's inscribed within this project's tape release that celebrates exaltation through music, the type of liturgical, high medieval music which teaches humbling. What's praised here the way I see it, is the power of the organ. Not to be mistaken, the Spire is a church organ collective, specialising in drawing drone and ambient music exactly where it should be played, the church.

Behold the track listing:

A1: Charles Matthews plays JS Bach “Komm, Heiliger Geist”
A2: Charles Matthews plays Giacinto Scelsi “In Nomine Lucis”
A3: BJNilsen and John Beaumont “Black Death” 
B1: The Eternal Chord “The Eternal Chord (Live)”
B2: Marcus Davidson “Ananta”
B3: The Spire Ensemble “Live In Bergen”
B4: Charles Matthews plays Arvo Pärt “Pari Interval”

This should give an impression what to expect, but if it fell short, the video below will do the job. I will not lie here, the primary reason I bought the tape is A3: a project featuring John Beaumont's conjuring tenor voice over BJ Nilsen's electronic wizardry. The rest are of powerful meditative/humbling quality (Beaumont doubles on another track too), but the Black Death is... just magnificent.

I shall blabber no more. Take Mike Harding's (courtesy of the collective) word for it:

It is impossible not to be drawn upward, whether towards the spire of the church or cathedral or to the huge and daunting forest of pipes themselves. The organ dwarfs all comers, and unlike other instruments, it is this non-musical element which makes the organ stand apart.

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