October 4-7, 2018
John Zorn The Hermetic Organ
Sunday, October 7, 10pm
Christ Church, 20 N. American St.
John Zorn – pipe organ
One of the most inventive, prolific, and ground-breaking composers of our time, John Zorn is an artist seemingly without limits. Having staked his territory on the furthest boundaries of modern music, Zorn has reshaped the definitions of contemporary composition through his innovative melding and mutating of countless genres in their most extreme iterations. Although organ was Zorn’s first instrument (he often credits Lon Chaney in the silent classic Phantom of the Opera as a primal influence), in 2011 Zorn surprised even his hardcore fans by initiating a new series of solo organ concerts in churches around the world. Premiering at the historic Christ Church in Philadelphia, word on these concerts spread like wildfire and further events were set up in Belgium, France and New York. A perfect outlet for Zorn’s dramatic sense of color and contrast, we hear the composer’s mind at work in all its bizarre permutations — huge blocks of sound, chords, clusters, counterpoint, drones, ostinatos, lyrical melodies and more — often all at the same time! Drawing upon traditions as varied as Messiaen, Xenakis, Ligeti, Bach, Tournemire, Ives, Korla Pandit and The Phantom of the Opera, Zorn’s organ improvisations are transcendent, inspiring, ecstatic experiences, offering a direct line to the workings of his rich compositional imagination.