Author Topic: «The Organ in Ecclesiastical Context»  (Read 9267 times)

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«The Organ in Ecclesiastical Context»
« on: September 11, 2011, 01:08:50 AM »

Moderation Prof. Dr. Alois Koch, Vicar General Dr. Josef Annen,
Prof. Dr. Ralph Kunz, Prof. Dr. Andreas Marti,
KMD Dr. Britta Martini,
Church Council President Pastor Michel Müller-Zwygart
acoustic refreshment: Music with
Nadja Räss, Jodel; Heinz della Torre, Hälmi;
Janosch Marini, Beatboxing; Feliciano Ponce, Rapper;
Wolfgang Sieber, Concept & Organ



The organ is still a church fixture and organ music still an integral part
of Christian worship. However, the integrity of this 1000-year old convention
is dwindling – at least in the church setting where other sounds are
increasingly being heard. The podium discussion on the organ in ecclesiastical
context seeks to express this topicality from the perspective of
pastors and church musicians, theologians and church councils. Furthermore,
perspectives of church organ music will be discussed – with the
involvement of questions on the future positioning of Christian worship
in our society.

David Pinnegar

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Re: «The Organ in Ecclesiastical Context»
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2011, 11:55:34 PM »
Notes:

www.organindex.org

Dr Joseph Annen:
The organ is a bridge between heaven and earth: quotation from handbook of Church (?Pedologies?) - Wind, metal and wood become a unity and this is how the sound is being created and is a metaphor for Genesis. The breath of wind into the instrument breathes life into it . . .

The organ supports the parishioners when the parish encounters God. The Organ is more than a beautiful instrument that makes beautiful music - it has a mediating role.

Electronic media have no place in the liturgy: Swiss celebrants are instructed that all music must live be live. There is no place for prerecorded music on CD.

Organ music transcends and satisfies young people's thirst for the eternal.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Theology of music: is God musical? Is God a Sound? Acoustics well appearing (? as the work of God?)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Dr Britta Martini

Organ and Church are like horse and carriage. The celebrate together and suffer together. In Zurich half the churches will have to close.

In saying that the organ has to escape the church ignores the heritage. There is no theology of church music. In many churches there is no organ and no singers and sometimes only 3 parishioners.

David Pinnegar

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Re: «The Organ in Ecclesiastical Context»
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2011, 10:03:08 AM »
The discussion was interspersed with "acoustic refreshment", clearly intended to stimulate thought and debate, possibly as to the extent to which folk idioms can be used in the ecclesiastical context and include organ:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XunetSNzo1A Jodel - Nadja Rass
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRwuDVaSxo4 - Halmi - Heinz della Torre
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrtvQPMAc1U - Salve Regina - Beatboxing Janosch Marini, Rapper Feliciano Ponce, Wolfgang Sieber, Concept and Organ


David Pinnegar

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Re: «The Organ in Ecclesiastical Context»
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2011, 11:34:00 AM »
Comment either here or in the session "The organ as Church employee" or Place of organ in church liturgy:

There are three types of organist.
The professional musician
The amateur
The old lady

The church usually chooses the old lady. Why? She costs nothing.

KB7DQH

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Article in the Wall Street Journal...
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2011, 07:32:25 AM »

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903532804576567571589895368.html

Quote
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—John Bishop leaves the soul-saving to the clergy. He's content to save the pipe organs—and even that isn't easy.

Almost every church once had a pipe organ. But as mainstream churches merge, close, struggle to raise money, and use guitars, drums and "praise bands" to draw younger worshipers, the pipe organ is waning as a fixture in many parishes. Some are showing up in landfills.


Jennifer Levitz/The Wall Street Journal

Organ-rescue expert John Bishop found a new home for this organ owned by Lesley University.

Aficionados like Mr. Bishop are out to locate imperiled organs and match them with buyers. When they can't do that, they personally fetch the organs with tractor-trailers and store them in old mills.

"We think of ourselves, like the curator of a historical site or the park ranger at Paul Revere's house, as being stewards," says Mr. Bishop, the white-bearded, 56-year-old executive director of the Organ Clearing House, a Charlestown, Mass., company and part of a growing community of "organ rescue" operations.

Mr. Bishop gets a finder's fee from the buyer when he makes a match, though he often tries to talk parishes out of getting rid of their organs, churches say. He tells them the organs are worthwhile "because they are real, because they use God's air to make their sound."

And Mr. Bishop, who has a degree in organ performance and was music director of his parish for 30 years, doesn't mince words with churches that want to replace big space-consuming pipe organs with smaller and less costly electronic organs. "The electronic version is a cop out," he says. "It's like putting plastic flowers on the altar."
[ORGAN]

He was summoned on a recent afternoon by Lesley University, a private institution that bought a now-defunct white clapboard Congregational church in Cambridge to turn it into a library. Lesley would keep the stained-glass windows, but one thing needed to go before construction began this month—the 25-foot-tall, 18-foot-wide pipe organ, built in 1947.

"It doesn't have a place in the building's new use, but that doesn't mean it can't be of value to someone," says university spokesman Bill Doncaster.

Mr. Bishop, his sleeves rolled up to his elbows, eased into the mahogany console and tapped the dusty ivory keys, launching into "My Country, 'Tis of Thee."

"Ahhh! This is a fabulous organ," he said.

The pipe organ, sometimes called "the king of instruments," dates back to ancient Greece. It generates sound by pushing wind through wood and metal pipes through knobs called stops—hence the phrase "pulling out all the stops." Despite its rich history, U.S. pipe organ makers reported building only 91 instruments in 2010, down 14% from 2009 and 40% from 2008, according to the Organ Historical Society in Richmond, Va.

While high-end organs are still being crafted for concert halls and larger churches, "a small church in a suburb of Madison that might have bought a small pipe organ now maybe buys an electric organ or a guitar or a base drum,'' says Scot Huntington, president of the historical society. A small pipe organ can cost $200,000 new, though it may last several generations before renovations are needed.

"We've all noticed over the last several years a decline. The economy has affected everyone," says Richard Parsons, president of the Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America, a trade group.

For churches hoping to draw more young people to worship services, the pipe organ sounds out-of-date, says Josh Hunt, a Baptist pastor and national consultant to churches trying to increase membership.

"Young people today don't listen to pipe organ music on their iPods," he says.

That kind of talk makes organ lovers cringe.

"I call it the happy-clappy syndrome," says F. Anthony Thurman, director of development for the American Guild of Organists. "A lot of denominations want to appeal to people on a popular-music level as opposed to a traditional-music level. Does that eliminate jobs for our members? Sure it does."

Last year, three graduates of Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., started a campaign they call Old Worship New. "Liturgical worship has been blasted as being old, out of touch and too 'traditional,'" they wrote on their Facebook page, vowing to try to revive it.

"A whole lot of contemporary music being written right now is just awful, because we don't have the benefit of years of vetting this stuff. It's just bad," says Sean Johnson, 32, part of the trio and music director at North Como Presbyterian in Roseville, Minn., where he "doesn't do a lot" with guitars and drums.

The Organ Clearing House was founded in 1959 amid urban renewal and construction of interstate highways that claimed numerous churches, leaving pipe organs homeless. The company, which also provides relocation of organs, has a listing of more than 300 pipe organs for sale. Mr. Bishop says he might make a $1,500 finder's fee on a $20,000 used organ.

An hour northwest of Boston, the thriving Clinton Spanish Seventh-Day Adventist Church holds services with guitars, an electronic organ, a cappella singers, skits and even a Bible-based quiz modeled on the TV game show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire."

But the oldest instrument in the sanctuary stays silent. That is the 19-foot tall and 12-foot-wide pipe organ, built in 1868. It was here 10 years ago when the Adventists bought the then-vacant church.

"Granted it's a pretty thing to look at, but that's it; it's a pretty thing," says Nelson Guaman, head of the church's building committee. Only a few parishioners know how to play it, and it sits where the church wants to put a new office for its pastor, he says.

Mr. Bishop at first tried to encourage the parish to keep the organ, but has since agreed to try to find it a new home, Mr. Guaman says.

It can take years to place an organ, but sometimes there are matches made in music heaven. Within weeks of visiting Lesley University, Mr. Bishop found a home for its organ in a church in Texas. It was loaded onto a tractor-trailer, and off it went, the victory recorded by Mr. Bishop on Facebook.

"Another one leaves town ahead of the wrecking ball," he wrote.

Eric
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David Pinnegar

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Spectacular new composition for organ - brilliant inspiration
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2011, 01:20:23 AM »
The discussion was interspersed with "acoustic refreshment", clearly intended to stimulate thought and debate, possibly as to the extent to which folk idioms can be used in the ecclesiastical context and include organ:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XunetSNzo1A Jodel - Nadja Rass
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRwuDVaSxo4 - Halmi - Heinz della Torre
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrtvQPMAc1U - Salve Regina - Beatboxing Janosch Marini, Rapper Feliciano Ponce, Wolfgang Sieber, Concept and Organ

Mentioned within this session was a piece commissioned especially to demonstrate the instrument, as the King of Instruments, as an instrument of terror. Entitled ""Figuras y Espejos" - "Pictures and Mirrors", I hated it upon first hearing, possibly not helped by being seated on a hard stone step . . . but rehearing it in recording, personally I love it and think it's great. Composed by German Toro-Pérez I think it will be a piece that many organists will want to play - Ben Scott will be one . . . and, apologies for this recording not set up for the stereo effect intended and with interference of electronic signals, I'm much looking forward to being able to buy a CD featuring it well recorded.

It's around 17 minutes well worth spending with your computer hooked up to headphones or a hi-fi system capable of low frequencies.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywRs__M6l4o

Having heard it again, in my opinion it's a piece that is compulsive listening, like reading a novel which one is unable to put down.

Best wishes

David P
« Last Edit: September 19, 2011, 02:11:07 AM by David Pinnegar »

KB7DQH

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Re: «The Organ in Ecclesiastical Context»
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2011, 07:59:36 AM »
 :o :o :o :o 8) 8) 8) 8)  You were more than welcome to have used my Facebook profile picture preceding certain portions of that piece ;) ;) ;) ;D 8) 8) 8) 8) in the "slideshow".  Now to find a set of headphones that can do it justice:-[   

That being said, this composition deserves to be felt as well as heard ;) ;D

Eric
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The objective is to reach human immortality—that is, to create things which are necessary to mankind, necessary to the purpose of the existence of mankind, and which have become the fruit that drives the creation of a higher state of mankind than ever existed before."

David Pinnegar

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Re: «The Organ in Ecclesiastical Context» - The organ as instrument of Terror
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2011, 01:32:48 PM »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywRs__M6l4o

Dear Eric

Glad you enjoyed it. The piece is so very interesting as demonstrating the extent to which composers could embrace much more than they do the pipe organ in the course of writing music in the idiom which we often hear accompanying films and the like.

At the Symposium the comment was made that the piece had been commissioned to demonstrate the instrument as an instrument of terror and, during the performance I felt that it sounded as though Martians were landing and that it had no place in church.

However, I realised that during the visit to Zurich I had acquired the necessary photographic elements to accompany the piece rather well, and, whether or not the composer had any religious meaning at the heart of the piece, the various sections seemed to fit rather too well to the rather random series of subjects that I had photographed. In the sequencing of the photos and video footage I tried to convey the concepts of journey, nightmare, organ, disjointed thought patterns and hints of finding focus in faith, "the instruction", the warning of what we become without "the instruction" led only by our own robotic mindless creation symbolised by a sight at an exhibition of the Engineering Department of Zurich University and then the release that realisation brings . . . mystery.

By itself it's a piece that is uncompromisingly awkward but I hope that with the visual accompaniment it becomes as interesting as I have come to find it . . .

Best wishes

David P

Postscript: The true relevance of this piece might be not merely a matter of composition in harness with ecclesiastical use but actually proof that composers can and arguably should include organ more widely and be more confident be being able to do so in secular music such as film scores . . .
« Last Edit: September 21, 2011, 05:25:24 PM by David Pinnegar »

KB7DQH

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Re: «The Organ in Ecclesiastical Context»
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2011, 12:07:23 PM »
I have to agree your visual presentation "fits like a glove"...

Now for some technical questions... Were the Bass notes REALLY that loud :o in the "live" performance-- or am I experiencing some attempt at overcoming low frequency compression to make those frequencies apparent in lesser reproductive environments?  Hence the comment about stealing my Facebook profile picture ;)  because audio systems such as mine which reproduce frequencies well below 20hz... when the volume is set to make the    treble    pipe organ notes somewhere above "piannismo" will find the bass notes at the point of being nearly objectionably loud 8)   and in my case result in a bit of house cleaning to replace all the stuff which has vibrated off of shelves, etc......

With a High-Definition upload to Youtube you would have a most excellent Home Theater Demo video ;) ;) ;)  I would even leave in the bit of digital noise at the beginning, as this could be considered an "enginneer's artistic interpretation":o of the composer's intention...  It is after all a composition for "electronics" and Pipe Organ :-\   But it certainly is one of if not the best production you have posted to Youtube...

Eric
KB7DQH
The objective is to reach human immortality—that is, to create things which are necessary to mankind, necessary to the purpose of the existence of mankind, and which have become the fruit that drives the creation of a higher state of mankind than ever existed before."

David Pinnegar

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Re: «The Organ in Ecclesiastical Context» - The organ as instrument of Terror
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2011, 01:57:02 PM »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywRs__M6l4o
I have to agree your visual presentation "fits like a glove"...

Now for some technical questions... Were the Bass notes REALLY that loud :o in the "live" performance-- or am I experiencing some attempt at overcoming low frequency compression to make those frequencies apparent in lesser reproductive environments?  Hence . . .  result[ed] in a bit of house cleaning to replace all the stuff which has vibrated off of shelves, etc......

Dear Eric

Many thanks for such compliments - but the compliments really belong to the composer and also the Zurich Symposium ?for commissioning such a piece? . . . Having first thought that such a piece has no place within a church, I hope that the visual accompaniment that manifested itself upon reviewing my photos and videos demonstrate an alternate point of view.

The sound recording is no doubt an inferior representation and I'm looking forward to buying the professionally recorded version on CD . . . without the interference of mobile phone signals for a start (no wonder airlines are so sensitive about people turning their phones off!). However, it was done with a good miniature pair of microphones plugged into a minidisc machine (my digital recorder having expired before the trip), transcribed digitally onto CD and then transcribed into a PCM file for computer. No levels nor equalisation processing was used. The organ really was that instrument of terror that you hear in the recording on the video . . .

For those who might think that electronic imitations of organs are as good as pipe organs, this particular performance, composition, recording might prove the wisdom of your signature line . . .

Best wishes

David P

« Last Edit: September 21, 2011, 02:00:33 PM by David Pinnegar »

KB7DQH

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Re: «The Organ in Ecclesiastical Context»
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2011, 02:32:37 AM »

Although written well before the Zurich symposium, I stumbled across this piece...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUWeqjrnQGc

Quote
Uploaded by Steff2929again on Jul 8, 2011

Is God A Three Letter Word For Love? is the question asked in this piece from Duke Ellington's Third Sacred Concert.

I honestly don't know the answer to that question, but I hope that it is yes. When you look at some of those who call themselves christians, you may however wonder.

Arranged for organ and played by former cathedral organist Ola Höglund, on the organ in the Swerting Chapel in Visby Cathedral, Sweden.

An example of the Organ as an instrument of sheer delight ;D ;) 8) 8) 8)

Eric
KB7DQH
The objective is to reach human immortality—that is, to create things which are necessary to mankind, necessary to the purpose of the existence of mankind, and which have become the fruit that drives the creation of a higher state of mankind than ever existed before."

 


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