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It shouldn't happen to an Organist!


S_L

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I played for a funeral on Tuesday. Nothing special in that but it was on a strange instrument in a church I didn’t know and so I thought I had better arrive just that little bit earlier to familiarise myself with the instrument and to see whether it had any strange habits!

 

All looked well, the console was laid out nicely it all seemed as if it did what it was supposed to do and then I sat down to play and felt a very large ‘drip’ which landed on my trouser leg. At first I didn’t realise where it was coming from until the second drip came very shortly afterwards. Looking down the pedals were soaking wet and I could see a pool of water underneath – the roof was leaking right above the console.

 

I went into the sacristy to tell the Parish Priest whose expletive was slightly not what I was expecting but he was very concerned that I wouldn’t get wet and offered to lend me an umbrella!!! I thought about this for a moment and pointed out that it really wasn’t practical – especially as I only had two arms and two feet and really needed all of them to function properly and also that the console was in full view of the congregation. It might look a bit strange balancing an umbrella and playing the organ at the same time!! Eventually he gave me a towel to protect my trousers and all seemed well. During the first hymn the towel slipped off my leg and fell onto the pedalboard. And so I am left playing with two hands and my right foot whilst trying to slide the towel off a concave board with the left.

 

Written down here it, perhaps, doesn’t seem very funny but the very serious offering of an umbrella was hilarious and the sight the congregation must have had of me trying to dodge the rain, play and remove the towel from the pedalboard all at the same time certainly must have livened up the proceedings – perhaps that’s why they didn’t sing!!!

 

When I write my book I might include this. I wonder if we might like to cheer ourselves up prior to the great onslaught of Christmas by telling of our worst/best/funniest nightmares or experiences.

 

Best wishes for Advent.

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I once turned up to play for a wedding in a particularly dark church where there were no lights functioning anywhere near the music desk or on the pedals - no one seemed particularly concerned either!

 

A

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ooooh - can I nab it for my sequel to "Organ-isms: Anecdotes from the World of the King of Instruments"? I can just see that illustrated now - maybe with the choir also holding umbrellas aloft!!

Did you play anything particularly pertinent for the occasion?? :)

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Nothing terribly surprising for an organ-builder, but to turn up for a perfectly standard funeral with most things working well is OK.

However trying to be expressive with several of the hymns, it seemed the louder the playing was, i.e. the greater number of stops in use, the worse the wind supply seemed.

A few days later the Church found that the blower motor (3 Phase) was in reverse due to some internal wiring alterations.

Always a good thing to check

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Nothing terribly surprising for an organ-builder, but to turn up for a perfectly standard funeral with most things working well is OK.

However trying to be expressive with several of the hymns, it seemed the louder the playing was, i.e. the greater number of stops in use, the worse the wind supply seemed.

A few days later the Church found that the blower motor (3 Phase) was in reverse due to some internal wiring alterations.

Always a good thing to check

 

I was feeling mighty relieved for you that nothing else was working in reverse - but then I saw that you were in a church and not a crem.

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