Engines Orchestra | The Sunday Sessions – Union Chapel.
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The Sunday Sessions – Union Chapel.

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Over the past six months cellist/composer Gregor Riddell and producer Chloe Booker have been busy curating the Revolve events at Islington’s iconic Union Chapel. Revolve runs alongside various fortnightly afternoon events hosted by Sunday Sessions with a focus on presenting contemporary music in all sizes and guises. The idea is simple: a warm room, a glowing atmosphere and a host of creative music put together by a team of people who care how the audience hears their music.


We had a chat with Gregor to find out more about the sessions and how they bring it all together:


‘Chloe and I are aiming to present high quality contemporary music that is inviting to an audience – whilst not necessarily aficionados of a specific genre – that is open-minded and curious. Ultimately, we aim for the music we’re presenting to be entertaining to everyone involved. We’re attracted to art that evokes narrative: mystery, magic, drama, fun and essentially a canon of emotions. With our approach to programming, we also hope to create unexpected links between various styles of music.


In November, I performed in a concert featuring my cello ensemble Tre Voci playing transcriptions of renaissance choral music in collaboration with pianist and composer Kit Downes and featuring arrangements of his original music. Despite some doubts during the rehearsal period, we developed a structure that we felt highlighted the contrasting qualities of these different musical styles, but also drew attention to aspects that are more similar that we might have otherwise considered. Both styles of music have moments of still, sparse, clean sustained harmony and yet Kit’s intricate polyrhythmic piano writing also highlights the turbulence of the still sustained renaissance choral material alongside it. I would argue that through this method of cross-genre programming, the experience of placing these musical styles together could enhance the overall listening fulfilment. With open ears and a sense of narrative, this is how Chloe and I aim to approach our curating at Revolve.’


Upcoming performances include the Phil Meadows Group, Texture, London Contemporary Orchestra Soloists and we’re currently scheming on an idea for a concert in which a chamber orchestra unexpectedly sits amongst the audience… more to follow!’


For more information on the Revolve Sunday Sessions you can follow them on Facebook or Twitter (@UCSundaySession). Alternatively you could head down to one of their sessions throughout March-May, all kicking off at 2:30pm!


Upcoming Revolve presents – at The Sunday Sessions:

15th March – Phil Meadows Group

12th April – Texture

31st May – London Contemporary Orchestra

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