Spire on Saturday was extremely good. First some great beer in KoKo bar (Goodramgate), which used to be a fabulous shop selling a myriad of bottled beers and now a lovely, cosy bar run by the same man. From the window we watched images of the East Window of the Minster projected onto the scaffolding that will continue to cover it for years to come.
The concert itself was a mix of classical, religious organ pieces, some accompanied by piano and tape, some vocal pieces, some individual chants, and solo offerings from Fennesz, Jeck and BJ Nilsen. Fennesz played in the Chapterhouse, with transmission into the Nave. It was interesting to wander from one place to the other, feeling the changing acoustics and feel of the rather subdued (for Fennesz) sounds.
For me, Jeck was the surprising highlight. From listening close to his set-up at the front of the Nave, I wandered to the far end. Here, instead of the intense, personal feel of close quarters, his samples and loops of various organ and church sounds filled the huge space wondrously. It felt like the memories of centuries of ceremonies breathed themselves from the stones to fill the void. Something vaguely familiar, borderline comforting, yet still ethereal and untouchable swirled around, the huge and reverberating space preventing the sounds from coming into anything but the softest of focus.
Nilsen tried his best to send everyone into a coma, and it failed to move me at all. However, a final set of organ and vocal pieces including some Pärt sent me home with a warm glow inside.