Ensemble Klang & Kit Downes | Debris
London-based composer, pianist and organist Kit Downes dives into the space between the organised and the disorganised. His work as an organist is as much one of explorer and archaeologist as sparkling improviser and virtuosic interpreter. Studying extended techniques derived from instruments that are sometimes in a state of disrepair, he connects and adapts the improvised tradition of the instrument to explore themes of duration, vibration and mechanics.
‘Debris’ is a modular collection of interlocking works. Kit calls them “an ode to the inanimate – studies of subjectivity and isolation that find meaning in chance.” Dividing the ensemble into two, the majority of the sound-world is rooted in a quartet consisting of organ, piano (Saskia Lankhoorn), percussion (Joey Marijs) and electric guitar (Pete Harden). But that world is also interrupted by short virtuosic interludes from the three horn players of Ensemble Klang. It delivers a contemporary twist on the antiphonal church music that would have surrounded this oldest of instruments for centuries. The project was commissioned by Rewire and Festival Dag in de Branding in 2019.