19-27.05.2017, Wrocław
Narodowe Forum Muzyki

, Friday
, 11:59 PM
Evangelical-Augsburg Church of Divine Providence
ul. Kazimierza Wielkiego 29, Wrocław
John Zorn & Organ // special concert

John Zorn – organ
Ikue Mori – electronics


Hermetic organ


John Zorn has been famous for the mystical spirit he contributes to the world of avant-garde and jazz. The Divine Providence Church will provide a scenery for a concert whose central point will be organ in connection with electronics. As Zorn himself said many times, organ was his „gate to music”; he was fascinated with it since he was a child. The sound of the organ allowed him for imaginary travels into other worlds and for experiencing special emotions. The mystical and magical sound of this instrument, traditionally  associated with religious music, will be complemented by electronics by Ikue Mori – percussionist and improviser with roots in the New York Now Wave scene, collaborator of e.g. Sonic Youth and Mike Patton.

The organ was one of my first entryways into music. In 1961, at the age of 8 or 9 I was very much into horror films, and Lon Chaney's intense and poignant performance as The Phantom of the Opera led me first to Bach, then to The Doors, Mauricio Kagel, Xenakis, Ligeti, Ives, Messiaen, Tournemiere, Korla Pandit, Terry Riley and more. Although my parents refused to buy me an organ, there was always one in close proximity—several friends had electric organs at their homes, and I drew a keyboard on the back of my notebooks in school and used to practice on it during particularly boring classes and on the subway going to and from school. Eventually I began hanging out after services at the Lutheran church near my parent's house in Queens, where a not too imaginative organist (that I dubbed E. Power Smalls) would let me improvise on the huge pipe organ they had, albeit when no one was around. The awesome sound of the thing was mind blowing—the orchestrational variety, sonic colours and huge dynamic range—this was an instrument of immense power. In the mid 60s there was something psychedelic about it all—a sound that was truly out of this world, inspiring a world of fantasy and the imagination, of magic and mysticism. What it must have been like for churchgoers in the 17th century to hear such sounds—truly the sonic equivalent of a gothic cathedral! For years I devoured organ recordings and fantasized of someday doing organ concerts of my own.

The Hermetic Organ performances began in 2011 and since then i have performed 15 solo recitals at organs around the world. The concert in Wroclaw will be a special duet improvisation with electronic music master Ikue Mori on laptop electronics [John Zorn]


John Zorn | Hermetic Organ