Sunn O))) and experimental organ music at Skanu mezs

Second weekend of Skanu mezs is marked by two extraordinary events – exclusive North European performance of the drone metal cult group Sunn O))) and experimental organ and electronic music by Hildur Gudnadottir (with a light installation by Elin Hansdottir), Santa Ratniece, Philip Jeck, Charles Matthews and Jana Winderen. Tickets can be bought at Ticket Service (Bilesu Serviss) sales points ( or by entrance for LVL 9.99 (Sunn O))) on May 22) and LVL 3.99 and LVL 4.99  (experimental organ music on May 23).

The programme is as follows:

May 22, St.Saviour’s Anglican Church, Anglican street 2A:

21:30: Sunn O)))

May 23, St.Saviour’s Anglican Church, Anglican street 2A (in co-operation with Touch Music/Spire)

18:00 Jana Winderen
19:00 Santa Ratniece (performed by Charles Matthews)
19:45 Philip Jeck
20:45 Charles Matthews & Mike Harding
21:15 Charles Matthews performs various organ music compositions (full programme with notes see below the pictures)
21:35 Hildur Guðnadóttir (performed by Charles Matthews, light installation – Elin Hansdottir)

Jana Winderen
Jana Winderen
Sunn O)))
Sunn O)))
Santa Ratniece
Santa Ratniece
Hildur Gudnadottir
Hildur Gudnadottir

Charles Tournemire                            Prelude for the Introit
on Ascension Day (c. 1928)
Tournemire’s monumental cycle “The Mystical Organ” consists of five
pieces for each week of the Church’s year, incorporating the plainsong
melodies appropriate for each Sunday or feast-day. This little introit
sets the chant “Viri Galilei”.

Liana Alexandra                               Allegro veloce e
caratteristico in honorem J.S. Bach (1985)
Romanian composer Liana Alexandra wrote her Allegro veloce e
caratteristico in 1985, in honour of the 300th anniversary of the birth
of J.S. Bach. It blends the languages of the early 18th and late 20th

From tablature of Adam Ileborgh               Frowe al myn hoffen an
dyr lyed (c.1448)
The tablature of Adam Ileborgh, of German provenance, includes three
settings of this song, which appears in slow notes at the bottom of the
musical texture, whilst the right hand plays a faster, improvisatory
line above it. The distinguishing feature of the setting played today
is that the right hand generally plays six beats for each note of the

J.S. Bach                                     Partita on ‘Ach, was
soll ich Su”nder machen'(c.1710)
This is a set of variations on a German hymn-tune. The last two
variations are somewhat extended: these are nos. 9 and 10, if you count
the opening presentation of the theme as no. 1. Surviving manuscripts
contain instructions implying the use of the organ, although the music
itself at times suggets the more intricate characteristics of some
harpsichord music.

From a manuscript from Groningen University   Empris domoyrs (c.1400)
A 15th century printed book from Groningen, the Netherlands, was found
to contain within its binding fragments of a 14th century musical
treatise, together with a musical manuscript that includes this little
piece. Like the Adam Ileborgh extract heard earlier, a decorative upper
line is added to a pre-existing melody played in slow notes by the left

Stephen Montague                              Behold a pale horse
Stephen Montague is an American composer and performer based in
London, U.K. Beyond a Pale Horse was written in 1990, revised in 1991,
and a further version for organ and brass was made in 1994. The work
describes the following extract from the Book of Revelation:
“And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the
fourth beast say, Come and see.
And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him
was Death, and Hellfire followed with him. And Power was given unto
them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with
hunger, and with death, and with all the beasts of the earth.”

From the Robertsbridge Codex                  Alleluya/ Firmissime/
Benedictus (c.1360)
The Robertsbridge Codex is the oldest known source of keyboard music
in the world. Although it was found in an old register of Robertsbridge
Abbey in Sussex, certain of its characteristics suggest a French
origin; it has been speculated that it may date from the period 1359-
62, when King Jean II of France, a lover of organ music, was imprisoned
in England – though still attended by a substantial retinue of
courtiers, musicians and (other) servants.
Among the contents of the manuscript is this keyboard adaptation of a
motet attributed to Philippe de Vitry; as in many 14th century French
motets, the three voices sang different texts – hence the triple title.

From the Buxheim organ-book                   Annabasanna (c.1460)
At some point during the 19th century, the manuscript now known as the
Buxheim organ-book was found in the library of the Carthusian Monastery
of Buxheim, South Germany. This manuscript contains over 260 keyboard
pieces, some of which are specifically for organ, and represents the
largest known source of 15th century keyboard music.
In common with many of the pieces, Annabasanna is a setting of a pre-
existing melody, which is presented in the lowest notes of the musical

Jehan Alain                                   The hanging garden
The short-lived Alain was one of the most imaginative figures in the
organ world of Paris in the 1930’s. Of The Hanging Garden he wrote that
it represents “the artistic ideal, fleeting and constantly pursued: an
inaccessible and inviolable refuge.”

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