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Guest spottedmetal

Barbara Dennerlein Wants To Perform Pipe-organ

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... it is not impossible to find 1,000+ people for a major recital. I've only ever seen that once in the UK, at Exeter Cathedral many moons ago.

Then you weren't at the recitals at the RFH just before it was ripped apart. Excellent evenings with the likes of Marie-Claire Alain, Thomas Trotter, Olivier Latry, David Sanger. All were well attended, but it's interesting to note that it was a predominantly male audience. In a good venue, with excellent artistes there is no need of razzmatazz, people will and do come.

JC

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Then you weren't at the recitals at the RFH just before it was ripped apart. Excellent evenings with the likes of Marie-Claire Alain, Thomas Trotter, Olivier Latry, David Sanger. All were well attended, but it's interesting to note that it was a predominantly male audience. In a good venue, with excellent artistes there is no need of razzmatazz, people will and do come.

JC

 

 

==========================

 

 

Ah yes! In a capital city with 12,000,000 people?

 

That's a bit different to a town with perhaps 50,000 inhabitants in the Netherlands, mid-week, and the nearest big city being Amsterdam 30 miles away!

 

That's the difference.

 

MM

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Guest spottedmetal
If I were to suggest the biggest problem everyone faces to-day, it is the fact that people are encouraged to be spectators in life, and people who spectate want a spectacle. Had the same people been taught to do things and try things, they would have a better understanding and a greater appreciation.

Dear MM

 

I think that you really have hit the nail on the head in all three statements. Health and Safety nowadays means that for instance even in Chemistry, children have to spectate videos of experiments rather than do them. Unfortunately this precludes them being taught how to do them, and the rest follows. It dulls the character too.

 

The result is that we have to be willing to compete in gaining the interest of the spectator and in doing so the rest might follow. The right balance might not need a great shift, but we should not be satisfied with low turn-outs.

 

Ultimately, the maintaining and making of pipes depends on it. I hope that this thread has been usefully stimulating as a result.

 

Best wishes

 

Spot

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I think that you really have hit the nail on the head in all three statements. Health and Safety nowadays means that for instance even in Chemistry, children have to spectate videos of experiments rather than do them. Unfortunately this precludes them being taught how to do them, and the rest follows. It dulls the character too.

 

Dear Spot,

 

Can you elaborate on this please? I teach Chemistry (from 11-18) and I'm afraid that this is simply another example of half truths being spun willy-nilly with very damaging consequences. If you took the time to investigate fully the issues ( http://www.rsc.org/images/schoolscience050...tcm18-35468.pdf ) then you will find that there is little that is genuinely banned. Those that are banned are banned for very good reasons: children are no longer encouraged to dip their fingers in mercury as mercury attacks the nervous system. Likewise VI formers use toluene as a substitute for benzene as the latter is a carcinogen. The idea that there is less practical work going on in chemistry these days is simply not true: I now do more practical work than ever before- particularly at A level. Those teachers that don't possibly choose to do so as they work in difficult schools where students are difficult to control and focus. Many students in certain schools perceive practical work (not just in science but ICT, Art and Music too) as an opportunity to mess about, consequently teachers of classes with these students have to forego these activities as the net result of the students' behaviour is that their learning outcomes are not met. As a result, end of unit test/summative exam targets are not met and so teacher's backsides are well and truely kicked. Sorry to sound negative, but I know several members of this board will know exactly where I'm coming from.

 

There are many and varied efforts to make the subject spectacular (for one such example: http://www.chemsoc.org/networks/learnnet/classic_exp.htm) and students are genuinely engaged. You only need to type "elephant's toothpast" or "screaming jelly baby" in to youtube to find clips of science lessons that have been uploaded by students themselves.

 

To relate this to the organ: maybe the approach taken by many well meaning bodies including a number of local organists associations offers to much of a passive experience for the participant. At one school I worked at, I took several young pianists from Years 7-10 around some of the local organs. I did a little playing to them but they spent most of the time playing their piano pieces on the organ, trying out the different sounds and pressing lots of pistons. At the end of the two days, two students took up organ lessons with a local music teacher. I can not help but feel however that had I herded an entire year group in to the city hall, put up a very clever video camera and a flash powerpoint and played the music from the starwars movie to the (dare I say complete with fireworks and balloons), the kids would have taken the p*** to begin with and then got bored very quickly BECAUSE THEY WEREN'T ACTIVELY ENGAGED in what is actually an active pursuit rather than a passive one. I am sure that the more low key event would have been more successful.

 

Charles

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Guest spottedmetal
Can you elaborate on this please? I teach Chemistry (from 11-18) and I'm afraid that this is simply another example of half truths being spun willy-nilly with very damaging consequences. If you took the time to investigate fully the issues ( http://www.rsc.org/images/schoolscience050...tcm18-35468.pdf ) then you will find that there is little that is genuinely banned.

 

Dear Charles

 

I'm delighted that this thread is continuing to run, as within are issues that are fundamental to what we all seek to do.

 

It's wonderful to know that some are doing chemistry in the flesh: sadly it's not entirely universal across the board and your post will be excellent to keep in the back pocket when we next tour our offspring's chemistry labs where their teachers tell us otherwise. You might have hit the nail on the head in referring to little being "genuinely banned". So often we are oppressed by the fears of neurotic administrators. I am likely to be cancelling a lecture in Switzerland on account of being prohibited from using a pocket laser in a simple demonstration either there is no danger or appropriate precautions can be taken. The demonstration in which the teenagers would have actively been engaged in preparation is important in relieving the yawn-factor for a group of students who would much rather be skiing than listening to conceptual problems of time. We must all have found problems such as this? Does anyone else want the job?

 

To relate this to the organ: maybe the approach taken by many well meaning bodies including a number of local organists associations offers to much of a passive experience for the participant. . . . I did a little playing to them but they spent most of the time playing their piano pieces on the organ, trying out the different sounds and pressing lots of pistons.

 

This is so obviously such a natural and so very good an approach. However, beyond this, in terms of concert appreciation and getting bums on seats, English Heritage formerly at Kenwood but now at other venues aim for a particular market

http://www.picnicconcerts.com/

which perhaps few of us would consider to be of our taste - just listen to that website!

http://www.viewlondon.co.uk/tickets/kenwoo...eature-747.html

Music on a Summer Evening

Kenwood House will be home to a variety of live performances this summer. Audiences can enjoy open air music in a unique series of London concerts, presented by English Heritage. Highlights include Art Garfunkel, the Buena Vista Social Club, Motown classic hits and a tribute to Dirty Dancing.

 

A grand occasion

Music fans can expect a grand day out with Kenwood House Summer Series tickets, transforming Kenwood House into the ultimate open air concert venue. A number of concerts will end with fireworks displays, promising a spectacular finale to a day of live entertainment.

 

As a commercial organisation, English Heritage are competant and know their market. Apart from incurring their neighbours' negative reaction, http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/server/...ConWebDoc.10929 , they know what they are doing, and it promotes music.

 

Having said this, please don't misinterpret me - I'm not saying that organ recitals should be like this! But they can be more exciting than some of them are; some organists could be a bit more colourful (perhaps colorful :D ) than they are; some organists are too easily satisfied with low audience numbers and are merely pleased that anyone listens to them at all; and the "English Reserve" kicks in with inhibitions which prevent us possibly enjoying life as overtly as we see in other nations.

 

I used the forthcoming celebratory planned performance of the 1812 only as a singular example of being willing to contemplate something wholly outrageous - one cannot do this all the time or everytime as such events must be on the scale of the extraordinary.

 

But each performance in its way should be extraordinary. That's what will make people, potentially of all ages, continue to want to come to hear the instrument, hear its proponents and its repertoire.

 

We need to bring that repertoire into the 21st century: we are only just catching up with the 20th with Messiaen at the moment . . . and, in earlier discussions, Carlo Curley stuck out as the singular solution to popularising the instrument.

 

If a new generation of Carlos is to come along, then we do need to throw a bit of English reserve away and find a little more sheer joy in life. There are many performers who are brilliant, but just need that one ingredient of panache to pull the crowds.

 

Who needs hallucinogens when life itself can be so real?

 

It needn't be sequined jackets, it might be just something in an unexpected place:

http://www.bobrichardson.com/desert_organ_2.html

an organ concert in the desert was a delight to young and old alike, and some Goth guys even characterized it as "hard core."

 

Just as some priests take their services to the local car boot sale, Americans have taken their organs into shopping malls and deserts with success, and we simply need to get the instrument, and it's music out there, in front of people - not necessarily to revere, but to ENJOY, in the fullest sense of the world.

 

Best wishes,

 

Spot

 

PS In relation to "encouraging the nightclub generation" one only has to look up the group "Flaming Lips" exemplified by

JUst a short clip of the absurd craziness that happens when you go see the Flaming Lips. This is from their show in Malkin Bowl in Vancouver.
in the North American continent or

here in the UK to see that perhaps my :blink: much lampooned intention for the 1812 is no mere kids' party and possibly a little more in touch with the popular than it has received credit for. :( I've got the message that no-one will be coming :D but that's not the reason why I mentioned it: :o Pipes :wub: are being melted: organs are being murdered, bulldozed and burned, perhaps even worse, merely emasculated. :angry:

 

Each will choose to promote the pipe organ in a different way: seeing the fire-engine on hand at Staplefield Convent, I have simply rung the alarm bell and ask everyone not to just sit back and let it happen.

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"Firstly I should apologise for, on other threads, suggesting that organists should not overlook you in accompanying bright 2fts on small organs and that you should not be neglected in being called to provide foundation to the beat frequencies of annoying noisy ranks of close harmonics. As one of the latter, I'm with you and understand where you are coming from: together perhaps we can excite the ears."

 

The pseudonym Dulciana, alas, has no special significance, except that I had to pick some sort of pseudonym when joining the board, and seeing that others had used stop names, I just selected the first untaken one that came into my head. In fact, when ordering my Wyvern recently, I had the dulciana replaced with a salicional!

 

Incidentally, I'm delighted to hear that Health and Safety has not yet killed school chemistry. Great days.

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Guest spottedmetal
fact, when ordering my Wyvern recently, I had the dulciana replaced with a salicional!
Good man! Your metal's spotted! :blink:

 

By the way, on looking a little further at the young generation Flaming Lips scene

popped up as close to home as Glastonbury. Amongst all that visual rubbish, notice that the first item is popularising a classical piece? Well as close to classic Carmina Burana is . . .

 

Note the comments:

i can't wait til i get to do something like this with my life!

 

i'm only 14 so the futures bright lol.

 

Our only limit is imagination!

 

What about taking a toaster to Glastonbury? Unless anyone has a temporary pipe organ mounted in a lorry?

 

What about naming a group?

 

Best wishes

 

Spot

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Dear Spot,

 

Can you elaborate on this please? I teach Chemistry (from 11-18) and I'm afraid that this is simply another example of half truths being spun willy-nilly with very damaging consequences. If you took the time to investigate fully the issues ( http://www.rsc.org/images/schoolscience050...tcm18-35468.pdf ) then you will find that there is little that is genuinely banned.

 

 

========================

 

 

I had a very eccentric chemistry-teacher, who would throw wads full of ether into the bin, light his pipe as class ended and throw the lighted match into the bin. The number of times the top of the bin blew off....we lost count!

 

It was inspirational though, because we ended up making a bomb to deter a rival neighbourhood gang from stealing our bonfire.

 

I shall not tell you what we used, but it worked, and left a crater two feet deep. We went home slightly deaf and suffering from gravel-rash.

 

It's a good job I gave all that up for organ-music and saintlier things, or I could have ended up working in demolition or bomb-disposal, twitcing with a nervous blink. :blink:

 

MM

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Guest spottedmetal
========================

We went home slightly deaf . . .

Hi!

 

Our 1812 explosion performance is not far away . . . and whilst driving today mused whether there are any other pieces that are good excuses for explosions in performance. Is the 1812 really the only one?

 

Are there any other organists apart from Barbara Dennerlein who play jazz or is she unique?

 

Noting a worthy fund raising post elsewhere, I'm very convinced that we have to encourage and capture new audiences, and that despite our collective best efforts to cause household sugar shortages, this thread should not be exploded yet.

 

Indeed part of Raul Prieto Ramirez's brief at the National Concert Hall in Madrid is to do exactly that. Early on in this thread, I might have mentioned him as on the list of organists who need to be invited over to England, and got castigated for seeking talent abroad. The whole point of working with an organist such as Raul with such a brief is that inviting him over to England might make way for exchange concerts with adventurous British organists going to play in Madrid.

 

It is the international element that raises the profile of activities. Just as people rarely visit the tourist attraction nearest their own town, never getting around to it as the opportunity is always there, but will go hundreds of miles to see something special, it's the concept that someone has travelled thousands of miles to do something that make that something extra worthwhile and worth going to hear or see - the concept is that it's not that boring local bloke who one can go to hear anytime.

 

(For the avoidance of doubt, I'm voicing a marketing concept and not intending to insult anyone.)

 

Best wishes

 

Spot

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. . . and whilst driving today mused whether there are any other pieces that are good excuses for explosions in performance. Is the 1812 really the only one?

I feel sure that any of the big Reger and Liszt pieces could only benefit from being drowned out by explosions. You could even enhance the experience by placing your devices under piles of their scores. :)

 

When I was at school a lad blew one of his fingers off with a bomb made out of sugar, weed killer and a bit of drainpipe.

 

Are there any other organists apart from Barbara Dennerlein who play jazz or is she unique?

According to a CD liner note I have, Ulrik Spang-Hanssen is an enthusiastic jazz pianist and Hammond organist. I certainly admire his pipe organ playing...

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Are there any other organists apart from Barbara Dennerlein who play jazz or is she unique?

 

 

========================

 

 

I think that Dan Bellamy in the US is quite well known for his jazz-organ arrangements on theatre-organ, and ony a few years back, we had Bryan Rodwell (a friend of my mother's in her youth) from my home town, who was a very gifted all round musician, and who developed a unique theatre-organ and electronic-organ style, which would certainly have rivalled that of Barbara Dennerlein.

 

The most obvious current exponent of jazz-hammond is that absolute master of the genre (and many others), Jules Holland, whilst a decade or more back, the most exciting player was probably Harry Stoneham, who used to play on the Parkinson show each week.

 

Jazz is actually quite difficult on the organ, because the genre relies on a lot of 9th and 13th chord derivates, (augmented, minor etc etc), and that can sound very cloudy on an organ. With rhythm backing, anything is possible, but solo organ jazz requires very careful manipulation of silences and syncopation.

 

The problem that most organists who play light music face, is knowing what to do with the left-hand and the feet. Most of the "lower end" have left hands which do not a lot other than provide block harmony, with the left foot thumping away in the bottom octave. (This is why theatre organists got a bad reputation).

 

Listen to an expert, and especially one who attempts jazz on the organ, and the left foot (or both feet) have to be extremely mobile, as if filling-in what a string-bass would do in a jazz-trio, for instance. The left-hand meanwhile, has to be used very sparingly; either as fill-in rhythm section, or as counter-melody. This is what defeats most who try it for themselves, and it not an easy thing to do.

 

Just as Trio Sonatas are an excellent training-ground for classical organists, I like to set a challenge for those who sit at a theatre organ, by asking them to use single notes on the pedals, the left hand and the right hand, and to try playing "Wouldn't it be lovely" from "My fair lady" in such a way that it is tuneful, well phrased, rhythmic and interesting, but without long-held notes anywhere.

 

Have a go!

 

You'll soon realise why classical organists struggle with popular music, yet pianists can grasp it quite quickly.

 

It's all about the psychology of silences and rhythm, and in that respect, Barbara Dennerlein has mastered the secret.

 

MM

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