KIMA – a multi-sensory immersive project at Union Chapel
In an epochal site-specific performance night, London based art collective Analema Group and the Union Chapel Organ Project transformed Union Chapel’s ornate wooden ceiling into a canvas for real time visual music. KIMA – ‘wave’ in ancient Greek – interprets music as interplay of light and form, an artistic quest for a new reading of sound. KIMA uses mathematical equations of cymatics – sound waves creating patterns on matter to organize sound in visual way.
Evgenia Emets, founder of Analema Group explained how visual music helped to reveal the 1877 Henry Willis Organ, hitherto hidden for the audience behind the screen. The collaboration with the Organ Project and Claire M Singer, Music Director at Union Chapel evolved to inviting some of contemporary music’s foremost talents. With Analema Groups expertise in extending musical and visual experiences led to a spectacular live interpretation of sound as light at Union Chapel.
Audience witnessed a visual rendition of sound waves on the carved ceiling echoing nature, through the art of projection mapping. World-class musicians and a dancer presented three pieces that together questioned the relationship between sound, motion, geometry and colour. A sophisticated spatial sound design by Alain Renaud created a bespoke acoustic in this incredible venue. Analema Group’s Oliver Gingrich explained that this unique collaboration between musicians and visual artists wouldn’t have been possible without Arts Council England, projectors from Hawthorns and the Union Chapel Organ Project.
The night saw three improvisations: In Mare Undarum, Joby Burgess (powerplant) performed percussion improvisation with Claire M Singer – accompanied by the dancer Estela Merlos (previously at Rambert Dance Company). The second piece, Axis Mundi, brought together Robert Ames, London Contemporary Orchestra’s artistic director and Laura Moody (Elysian Quartet) and Claire M Singer on the organ. The evening came to a close with an sublime and elevating performance by Emily Burn (Voice) who created a celestial vocal scape to Claire M Singer’s mesmerising crescendo and KIMA’s visual firework inside the Union Chapel’s architecture.
KIMA concludes an almost two-year development by Analema Group and various collaborations with musicians, dancers and festivals. Enriched by Jackson Tayler (Hexmap) and his projection mapping skills, and the visual developer Marcel Schwittlick, the team broke new ground, translating music into visible light and form. Further developments will see collaborations with large scale orchestras and site-specific spatial experiences in the UK, Europe, Russia and Japan. The collective aims for intuitive experiences of the relationships between sound and vision, elaborate music representation in color, form and motion, and to develop a multi-sensory tool for both audiences and performers to create and experience music.
KIMA was made possible through Arts Council England Funding. The project was supported by partners Incloodu Deaf Arts Festival, the CDE – Center for Digital Entertainment and Bournemouth University.
Analema Group is a London based arts collective, a group of artists, researchers, programmers and sound designers. Analema Group acts as a single voice, on the principle of synergy. Analema Group’s core team consists of Evgenia Emets (Artistic Director), Oliver Gingrich (Producer) and Alain Renaud (Sound Designer). Enriched by Marcel Schwittlick and Jackson Tayler, Analema Group aims to create new experiences on the intersection between art and technology.
Analema Group’s mission is to reflect on the nature of perceptual phenomena, exploring the relationships between sound, colour, light, movement and form. Analema Group presents participatory art and music filling the gap between performers and audiences. Developing an art of the future, Analema Group sends participants on a journey, enabling them to go deeper, questioning our senses, touching the boundaries of perception.
FB: Analema Group
The Henry Willis Organ and the Union Chapel Organ Project
Union Chapel is a Grade I listed building and a stunning example of Victorian Gothic architecture. The unusual octagonally shaped chapel was designed by James Cubitt and dedicated in December 1877. A few weeks later the new organ was inaugurated. Designed and built especially for this space by master organ builder Henry “Father” Willis, the Chapel’s organ is generally recognised as a world-class instrument and its role at the heart of the Chapel was widely celebrated. However over the years it gradually declined and became unreliable. Fortunately, with the support of a generous grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the organ was fully repaired and restored in 2012-13 by Durham organ builders Harrison & Harrison and The Union Chapel Organ Project was launched.
The aim of The Organ Project is to make our Henry Willis Organ more accessible to our local community and beyond – through arts, music and education. Our goal is not only to honour the legacy of this very special instrument by keeping up a regular organ recital diary, but also to programme concerts right across the genre pool, breathing fresh life into the organ by having it performed in styles which have never previously been attempted on a mechanical organ. These concerts continue to demonstrate how versatile the organ can be and that it is not simply a church instrument, but in fact the world’s first synthesizer which can be incorporated into most genres of music. This versatility is also reflected in our education strand for adults and children, which provides an opportunity for people to learn about the organ through their chosen art form.
Music Director – Claire Singer
Project Administrator – Janet Gilbert