ORGAN THING: Concrete Fiction at Hackney’s New Art Projects, Zs guitar player Patrick Higgins does Bach…

Organ thing, Organ things, things of the day, things things things…. Some footage of Zs in New York last week, some Bach flavours from Patrick Higgins


“The incredible composer and Zs guitar player Patrick Higgins arrives on the Telegraph Harp record label with Bachanalia, a record of luminous and cerebral JS Bach arrangements for guitar. Both artist and label have gone to great lengths to present this music in the most beautiful way possible, clearly out of passion for the source material and for progressive music in general”.


Meanwhile down Vyner Street art is over, well in terms of galleries and spaces….



The second exhibition at Fred Mann’s new gallery, you find the space just behind Broadway and right by the Regent’s canal over in Hackney, East London. The space is called New Art Projects. once again the show, Concrete Fictions, is made up of four solo shows in he four interlinking rooms, four contemporary artists (well five), Ricardo Alcaide, Jessie Makinson, Ayo & Oni Oshodi and show curator Kadie Salmon..

Jessie Makinson

Jessie Makinson

Each artist has a different nationality and background. Each has a very different practice; their media include photography, painting, sculpture and performance. However they share an interest in the construction of scenarios that reveal a narrative. Through assembling images, often using different kinds of visual and material collage, each artist generates a concrete fiction”. Four rooms and four very different artists, once again this is a show that words as one flowing whole. The basement gallery is almost perfectly set up for these four way four solo shows format, there’s a great dynamic in here, all still very fresh and new and the place feels like it isn’t quite finished yet, two shows in and a second rather impressively put together contemporary art exhibition. Don’t really want to pick out a favourite, the bold bright paintings of Jessie Makinson are a perfect foil to the dark intimacy of Katie Salmon’s wall based pieces, Ayo and Oni Oshidi bring a mischievous element with their interactive music tent and the need to read music. Venezuelan Ricardo Alcaide might not be an obvious fit, then again, he’s the perfect fit, his “projects engage both poetically and politically within a discourse of multicultural exchange”.  This is a refined show, an uncluttered confident show, it breathes, it smiles, this is a bright show, a subtle show, a colourful show (with a dark edge or two), four rooms and another four (or five) rather rewarding artists waiting to be explored down the very white basement (SW)

Kadie Salmon

Kadie Salmon

Ricardo Alcaide makes deceptively simple models and photography, referencing urban and dystopian living environments and architecture. His work creates a critique about the made environment and our personal place within it.

Jessie Makinson paints multi-layered scenarios, broken up by iconography, figures and perspective to construct works that reveal the stories and textures of our daily lives.

Ayo & Oni Oshodi stage a new parade of games, soundworks, collage and text. They embrace coded, contradictory positions and aesthetics to conjure a sense of multiple-selves.

Kadie Salmon re-constructs romanticised tableaux through photography, made-models and sculpture. Her own image often haunts her work, evoking enigmatic private fantasies.

The show runs until October 4th at New Art Projects, 50 Sheep Lane, london E8


“People have been reinventing Bach for nearly 300 years but there has never been anything quite like Patrick HigginsBachanalia. Equal parts gorgeous and severe, these highly original arrangements of JS Bach prove the endless possibilities contained within the master’s pen. Bachanalia emerges from a dynamic relationship among three main elements: Higgins’ own virtuosic classical guitar playing, stereo electronic processing, and the recording spaces themselves. Truly site-specific, it makes unique use of the extreme and special acoustics of St. Cecilia’s Church in Brooklyn and Future-Past Studios, an upstate New York recording complex housed in a historic Lutheran church. While Bach’s compositions will be familiar to almost everyone, Higgins gives us a mesmerizing glimpse into the future.
Described by The New Yorker as one of the “prime movers of the local avant-garde,” and an “exacting avant-classical guitarist” by Time Out NY, Patrick Higgins is a New York-based composer/performer of experimental music. Higgins has composed works for some of the nation’s leading ensembles, from chamber orchestra works, percussion cycles, and string quartets to smaller ensembles and soloists. He has scored music for television, museum exhibitions, and films both short-form and feature-length. Higgins plays guitar and composes in Zs, hailed by The New York Times as “one of the strongest avant-garde bands in New York.” As a producer and studio owner at Future-Past, Higgins has helped produce records for The National, Josephine Foster, John Zorn and Dither Quartet, Mantra Percussion, Zs, Eric Wubbels and Josh Modney, Ensemble Contemporaneous, Vicky Chow, and many more.
For Bachanalia, Higgins and co-engineer Ben Greenberg worked with a collection of rare vintage Neumann, RCA, and Sennheiser microphones to carefully capture a spatialized natural room reverb. This provided a palate to warp, manipulate, and re-process the sound in precise counterpoint to Bach’s compositions. The end result weaves together live performance and studio composition. The musical arc reaches from light to dark, both in the emotional timbre of the compositions and in the density of the electronic elements. In the final three tracks (“Minuet,” “Chaconne,” “Aria da Capo”), both the experimentation and emotional intensity are pushed to new heights. This is highlighted in the “Chaconne,” Bach’s infamous death mass written after the passing of his first wife, presented here as a 14 minute epic recorded in two continuous takes. While any piece on Bachanalia can stand alone, the album articulates Patrick Higgins’ singular narrative vision from start to finish”.

2 thoughts on “ORGAN THING: Concrete Fiction at Hackney’s New Art Projects, Zs guitar player Patrick Higgins does Bach…

  1. Pingback: ORGAN: On-U drop some Neneh Cherry, more drops are dropped, some painterly colour from Kim Leutwyler, some Tongue Bungle | THE ORGAN

  2. Pingback: ORGAN: On-U drop some Neneh Cherry, more drops are dropped, some painterly colour from Kim Leutwyler, some Tongue Bundle | THE ORGAN

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