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Six manual Klais inaugurated in Malmo, Sweden


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On 12/06/2019 at 02:22, MusoMusing said:

John Compton would have loved it, for all the wrong reasons, but just because it IS possible using computers, doesn't mean that it has the slightest musical credibility.

My immediate reaction to this was "Here, here!"   No doubt an interesting undertaking in several disciplines but is music to be numbered within them?  I suspected not.

But then I thought of Walter Carlos. Were his contributions less valid because they were not realised on a Blanchet or Taskin?   And Carlo Curley; surely his output was no less musical because it was not produced on a Schnitger or Trost?  Does this Klais, despite having the appearance of some device for the manipulation of keyhole surgery and looking equally clinical, not have any less a capacity to conform to classical Orgelbewegung?  Could such a soul-less machine not be capable of replicating  what we would recognise as "proper music", even if it required the assistance of a first and second officer and probably cabin staff as well?  Of course, one's reaction to this instrument is very much according to personal taste - I dislike it, but I'm an unashamed Luddite.  In any event, it is the sound which defines the principal character of the instrument, and I have no knowledge of this. The bells and whistles are but a means to an end but I think there are better ways of getting there.

However, seeing the picture reminded me of a recital given years ago by Diane Bish which I attended with the express purpose of studying her pedal technique in the F Major (540). Saw almost nothing as she was wearing a voluminous skirt which obscured almost everything!  But it does occur to me that this console - if that is what it is - allows excellent views of the performer's actions.


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Something like this which relies on digital electronics will be at the mercy of everything which afflicts digital electronics, both its hardware and software.  One issue concerns repairs if it goes wrong, at which point a consequential matter often arises concerning obsolescence.  On the hardware side, will the necessary parts such as replacement printed circuit boards or the integrated circuits they contain  still be available?  Will the manufacturers of the system still be around to do the job?  How rapidly will obsolescence take place - in the computer world it is difficult to have one repaired which is more than five years old for example, and even this figure is optimistic.  Replacement rather than repair is the name of the game, and this is extremely expensive.  And what causes the system to go wrong?  In large, tall buildings one cannot rule out lightning strikes.  We see all these factors arising so often in organs today that we are almost inured to it.  I could go on, especially as I haven't even mentioned the software side of things.

These are technological facts of life.  It is entirely possible that they were taken into account before the instrument was designed and procured because they form part of the through-life costs of systems today ranging from washing machines to cars to, well, you name it.  While they work they are great, but when they go wrong it's an entirely different ball game.

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3 hours ago, Choir Man said:

There is some YouTube content so you can form your own opinions on how it sounds...




And taken from a concert that included a first performance - Music for Malmo by Trevor Grahl and Souvenir a work by John Cage written in 1983/4 for the American Guild of Organists.

'Facebook' tells me that by the 6th day of the Malmo Organ Fest 5900 people had visited the Organ festival!

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