Cipher was a collaboration between Matt Stokes, pipe organists Kevin Bowyer and John Riley, and ‘Fimbulvetr’, a Dark Ambient musik (sic) club in Edinburgh, Scotland. The resulting compositions and subsequent...
Cipher was a collaboration between Matt Stokes, pipe organists Kevin Bowyer and John Riley, and ‘Fimbulvetr’, a Dark Ambient musik (sic) club in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The resulting compositions and subsequent film combine the club organisers’ music interests and fascination in Norse mythology, with the improvisational skills and classical training of the organists. Using the name ‘Fimbulvetr’ (which translates as the three winters without a summer preceding ‘Ragnorok’, the rebirth of the world) and its connotations as a starting point, the organists worked closely with the organisers to compose two original and contrasting scores created specifically for the city’s grand concert pipe organ housed in the Usher Hall.
Visually, the film explores the mechanics of the Victorian-styled instrument and physicality of the playing, and shifts from the usually hidden interiors of the blower room and pipe lofts, to the organists and expansive façade of the organ case. Both the hall and instrument are seen under fittingly lowlight and cool colours, whilst the music descends into unusual discordant sounds or drones akin to Dark Ambient or Doom Metal, many of which stretch both the organ and players abilities. Subtly, this combination suggests something of the chaotic history connected to the location (and the instrument itself), which since 1914 has been the scene of political rallies, classical concerts, to riots and rock concerts.
The Gainsborough Packet & c. Project Space 176, London, UK, 26 February - 28 June 2009
Picturehouse Art Space, The Gate Cinema, London, UK, 05 March 2008
Pills to Purge Melancholy, The Collective Gallery, Edinburgh, UK, 24 August 2006