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Messages - James Dawson

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Dear organ fans,

I talked to David several years ago about making a film about the crisis facing provincial pipe organs in the UK. I'm sure he must have wondered what happened to it. Well, finally, the film is finished and available to view. So far it's been warmly received at film festivals in the United States is now available here.  I hope you find it interesting. 

Here's a link to the documentary's trailer:

and to the film itself:


Organs in danger / Re: ORGAN STOPS - saving the King of Instruments
« on: June 15, 2021, 09:17:24 AM »
Hi Alex,

Thanks you for your interest. The film is showing at film festivals at the moment and then will be realised probably on a streaming website site for purchase - e.g. Amazon.

For the Autumn and Spring (hopefully once Covid is not a concern) we are trying to arrange screenings alongside organ recitals in various locations (churches/town halls etc)  - if you'd like to do that please let me know and we can arrange.  It's going to do a sort of country-wide Road-Show with key contributors coming along to the Q & A. 

Hammerwood would be a great location so I am talking to David about this possibility!

Best wishes

Organs in danger / Organ Tuning
« on: September 28, 2016, 05:20:49 PM »
 Documentary director would like to make contact with organ tuners who are passionate about their work and music. If you look after an old pipe organ that's under threat, please contact my researcher Samina Baig on 07968 807086.

Miscellaneous & Suggestions / Organ tuners film
« on: September 28, 2016, 04:33:13 PM »
Documentary director would like to make contact with organ tuners who are passionate about their work and music. If you look after an old pipe organ that's under threat, please contact my researcher Samina Baig on 07968 807086.

Dear Members,

Thanks you all so much for your suggestions and comments - all gratefully received.

My starting premise when researching this film was that it should aim to explore the organ from a variety of standpoints and that its fundamentally about showing how much pleasure and joy enthusiasts get from it. Music unlocks so much in us all. For me this is the key to making an interesting film. So thanks again for your thoughts, keep them coming.

Best wishes


Thank you all for your suggestions. In truth, my instinct is that following international organ recitalists in their work is not the right film to be trying to make.

As I said in the previous post I suspect most people have a latent prejudice against the organ - a secular suspicion.   In order to overcome this prejudice I want find a truly eccentric organist who lives to play, loves what they do beyond all else: someone who's passion will infect an audience and allow them to see and hear the music afresh through their eyes. International recitalists' may very well have this (I am talking to several) but I suspect a film might be stronger if I found a 'diamond in the rough':  a genuine offbeat, eccentric talent who just loves what they do at a local level.

I note what Voix Cynique says about the vast majority of church organs - worrying. Do you have a list of those I should watch out for!

Any suggestions welcome.




I'm researching a film about the joys of the pipe organ and want to enlist your help.

I normally work for the BBC and C4 making factual films for them, but at the moment I'm pursuing a personal project about the organ as I have become fascinated with its mechanics, sound and its players.

In order to overcome what I see as a prejudice among the wider lay community I've come to the conclusion, after talking to organists and organ builders, that I need to focus on a special person. Organs and organ music are often perceived as irrelevant, boring, religious even dull. So I'm looking for a genuine organ eccentric who's passionate love of the instrument and its music will help an audience overcome these preconceptions. Someone who doesn't care about what other people think, but who's love of what they do is so infectious that an audience will willingly be led into this musical world.

if you know someone who might fit this bill I would be grateful if you would drop me a line or ring me. My contact details are or 07970 536676.

Many thanks.

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