PipeChat Digest #2679 - Thursday, January 31, 2002
 
Midi Systems....
  by <Pologaptommy@aol.com>
CRITIQUING OURSELVES AS ARTISTS
  by <ScottFop@aol.com>
Re:Suitable Easter/Lent organ music
  by <l2nn@juno.com>
 

(back) Subject: Midi Systems.... From: <Pologaptommy@aol.com> Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2002 02:49:52 EST   The organ at FUMC is equipped with a midi system...Nothing fancy = really...But it contains a disk drive that enables me to save what I play onto a disk, making it possible to go out into the sanctuary, push a button on a remote =   control, and the organ will play back exactly what I just played. = Needless to say, this provides a wealth of opportunities. I can listen to my mistakes, volume of swell shades, registrations themeselves, etc...I think = we can all agree that is it amazing what we miss out on by sitting at the console itself. I have had other organists tell me that they seldom ever hear their organ played by anyone but themselves, if any at all... Besides, there are no known disadvantages of a midi system are there? But truthfully, there isnt any reason that a midi system would be = required, I guess it's just be a luxury... Just my thoughts Josh  
(back) Subject: CRITIQUING OURSELVES AS ARTISTS From: <ScottFop@aol.com> Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2002 03:14:04 EST   Hi All.   Before this email even gets started, please forgive the "I's" throughout = as it sounds VERY "me me me" oriented. It is being written from my own standpoint, in the first person, and therefore has a hefty quantity of = direct personal opinions and commentary. Thanks!   Sweet Pea and I just returned from our nightly walk. For those of you who =   don't know, Sweet Pea is my new family member who, I adopted in December. =   She is a beautiful Cockerpoo mixed with Schnauzer and Scottish Terrier. = Her name is very descriptive of her personality and that's why I kept it when = I got her. She has added much joy and happiness and I am lucky to have her! = (If anyone wants to see a picture of her email me privately and I will = send it).   Back to the topic. I started playing my computer Solitaire game and, as = is my custom, popped in a CD to listen to while playing the card game. I had =   been listening to various theatre organ artists through the Christmas = season and afterward and happened to pull out one of my own CDs. In fact it is still playing as I write this email. I will add that this particular session was done live and in real time, = with no MIDI record/playback device. The "Wonder" Morton in the Arlington = Theatre in Santa Barbara was the only CD I have made thus far which had such a = unit, all the others were done live and in real time.   I am curious if any of you other artists ever take out recordings you have =   made in years past and listen to yourselves. This CD, interestingly, was never released publicly but was to have been a demo CD. I remember making = it vividly on a very cold, snowy winter day several years ago. As the tracks =   play I say to myself such things as "take more time with that phrase", = "that one was sure sloppy, Foppiano!", "nice registration or piston change", "a little lighter there would have been nice", "more legato please!", "I = would certainly do that different now", "I don't remember THAT", "OOPS! Watch = the second touch!", and "SLOW DOWN!!!!" to name a few.   I honestly think that listening to and honestly critiquing ourselves is probably the most important step of improving our own musicianship. At = least I will very readily say that about myself.   Then comes the question: "As an organist, would I rather play to a live audience or to a recording microphone?" Hands down I would prefer a live audience. If you think about it, a slip of the hand or a wrong piston = change in a live concert is one of the pitfalls that happens to artists on = occasion. Once it is recorded, it is there for all eternity for everyone to hear = over and over and over again, world without end, AMEN!   I hear things in this recording that I would never dream of doing again, = or would certainly do differently. There are things I like and will continue = to use and there are certainly, ALWAYS, things to improve upon and move ahead =   with in the future.   I will admit that I have done my share of "critiquing" other artists, we = all have (and any one of us who denies this probably has a growing nose right about now!) I will even admit to staying in the lobby of one theatre = during a n ATOS convention because I was engrossed in some very interesting and beneficial business conversation but still, through it all, had one ear on =   the conversation and the other ear on the music emanating from the auditorium.   I learn about styling, technique and registration from watching and = listening to other artists. I also love taking a new piece or song to an instrument =   and working on it from scratch. Registration, key relations and changes, phrases, effects, intros, endings, bridges etc etc etc. That is when the music really comes alive. It is also during that process of playing over = and over in repetition that I memorize. It is very helpful to be able to hear =   back what one is doing, and improve upon it.   There are some players I hear in concert and think to myself "Gee- I could =   never do THAT!" or "how did he do THAT?" or "I WOULDN'T do THAT" or "My gosh it seems so effortless!" And in the back of my own mind I know that at = some point, in some place, that artists too sat at an organ in a home, practice =   room or darkened theatre or church working out notes, phrases, = registrations, tempos and keys (and, in some cases, choir cues!). I would be most = curious as to what some of the other players on the list feel about critiquing = their own work. For me it will continue to be a major part of my own = development as a performing musician.   Scott Foppiano  
(back) Subject: Re:Suitable Easter/Lent organ music From: <l2nn@juno.com> Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2002 00:25:49 -0800   Can anyone recommend Easter or Lent music for organ?   I've played the Prelude and Fugue on Victimae Paschales Laudes by Benoit and I have the same tune in variations by Jiri Ropek, but that's all.   Due to a mild case of tendonitis, I can play organ fine but I shy away from fast, perpetual motion toccatas unless the fast notes are short in duration overall (3 pages) or sporadic throughout the piece. (The 16th notes in the Benoit above do not bother me since they don't go fast.)   I keep asking my director of music who is also the main organist and he has no suggestions. He usually improvises, which he does well but I hear complaints from the congregation that they'd like some other composers from the past to be played also now & then. My director's improvised postludes are fine but variety is nice especially on big feast days. When I play a 'dead' composer's postlude, members from the congregation stand around and listen. This director is my organ teacher... He is also the choir director so I think he's also preoccupied with his 3 choirs re: not suggesting music to me.   I need a Lenten piece or two or three for a gorgeous 4 manual Austin organ (with Pedal to Swell, and Pedal to Great, and Great to Swell, and Great to Choir couplers!!!!!) in an Episcopal church with good acoustics for an evensong service.   And Easter music for 3 services: Prelude, Offertory, Postlude in a dry church with a 2 manual Moeller.   I am waiting for the February issue of TAO to see what Lent/Easter music they mention for service music.   I appreciate any feedback!   An organist at a big music store said he used to play Franck's a minor chorale and a Widor Toccata on Easter...I cannot tackle the Widor for the reason mentioned above...   Lynn