TEMC “Organ Tweet” for Sun 18 January – The Solo Organ

The Solo Organ

Solo organ

Stop knobs on the Solo organ

In the early 20th century when TEMC’s organ was built a well-established preoccupation of organ builders was the emulation of symphonic sounds. Our organ bears many marks of this interest from its early life, but none so obvious as in its Solo division, sporting stops like “Viole d’orchestre”, “Orchestral Flute”, “Cor anglais” and “Orchestral Oboe” – even an interesting “Jeu de Clochettes” (‘ring of bells’ – although it is not) and a Harp (which, strangely, IS a ring of bells!!) The division’s main use is the playing of solo melodies, either intentionally resembling the instruments they imitate, or blending colours with the overall harmonic palette. The Solo organ plays from the 4th manual on the TEMC console, which it shares with the Echo Division in the east corner of the church’s rear gallery, but the intention in our 2015 console revision is for the Echo division to move up to the 5th manual where it will reside with our exciting new Antiphonal organ, while the Bombarde (our other ‘orchestral’ style division) joins the Solo on manual IV.

TEMC “Organ Tweet” for Sun 11 Jan/2015

Organ Quotes III

“Miss no opportunity to practice on the organ; there is no instrument that takes such immediate revenge on the impure and the careless, in composition as well as in the playing, as the organ.”
– Robert Schumann

“If we complain about the tune, there is no reason to attack the monkey when the organ grinder is present.” 
-Aneurin Bevan

“Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room.”
– Winston Churchill

“Bring me a bowl of coffee before I turn into a goat.”
-Johann Sebastian Bach

Genre Implosion revisited – Episode 3, “Rhythm” 23 Nov 2005

Genre Implosion Revisit, Episode III – RHYTHM

GI rhythm episodeGI was the name of a graduate research project I completed as part of the requirements for my M.A in Music Criticism, in the always unique and unfortunately now-defunct program founded by Allan Walker at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and offered from 1981 to 2007. The project, which consisted of a major research paper, a 21-episode weekly radio show and a survey that sought to understand how we classify music into genres and how we are in turn influenced by that system of classification is chronicled on an area of my own main website… genreimplosion.orgalt.com.

IAM is hosting my re-visit, and perhaps your first visit, to this project as it aired Wednesday mornings from November 2005 to April 2006 on CFMU, the student radio station at McMaster University that kindly agreed to support my work. I’ll say only briefly that every 30-minute episode chose a simple musical premise that could be applied broadly across genre lines, and offered selections drawing attention to how this premise appeared in widely divergent styles.

Episode III, in classic GI “not even scratching the surface” tradition, dealt with rhythm.

 

Wed 23 November 2005 – SHOW III: RHYTHM

Central to a piece of music’s life, rhythm is both a founding principle, a pervasive pattern of structure and a flexible parameter at the disposal of musicians and composers to make musical points, imbue energy, and finesse the mental connection between a piece and the body of the listener.

J.S. BACH: Prelude, BWV 846 from ‘Das Wohltemperierte Klavier’ (2:07)
(Ton Koopman, harpsichord)

AASHID HIMONS: Little Red Rooster (5:09)
(The Mountain Soul Band, from ‘West Virginia Hills’)

CHRISTÒBAL MORALES (c1500-1553): Sanctus (4:44)
(Hilliard Ensemble, Jan Garbarek, Saxophone)

DAN LOCKLAIR: Caput Serpentis from ‘Constellations’ (1:15)
(George Ritchie, organ; Albert Rometo, percussion)

FATALA (Guinean drumming ensemble: Yoky (2:03)

MAURiCE RAVEL: Daphnis et Chloe: Opening to Scene I (excerpt 2:30)
(Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal / Charles Dutoit)
JOHN STAFFORD SMITH: Star Spangled Banner (excerpt 4:50)
(Jimmi Hendrix, recorded live at Woodstock)
—– Music 22:08

Genre Implosion revisited Episode 2 (endings) – 16 Nov 2005

Genre Implosion Revisit, Episode II – ENDINGS

musicGI was the name of a graduate research project I completed as part of the requirements for my M.A in Music Criticism, in the always unique and unfortunately now-defunct program founded by Allan Walker at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and offered from 1981 to 2007. The project, which consisted of a major research paper, a 21-episode weekly radio show and a survey that sought to understand how we classify music into genres and how we are in turn influenced by that system of classification is chronicled on an area of my own main website… genreimplosion.orgalt.com.

IAM is hosting my re-visit, and perhaps your first visit, to this project as it aired Wednesday mornings from November 2005 to April 2006 on CFMU, the student radio station at McMaster University that kindly agreed to support my work. I’ll say only briefly that every 30-minute episode chose a simple musical premise that could be applied broadly across genre lines, and offered selections drawing attention to how this premise appeared in widely divergent styles.

Episode II, in answer to Episode I’s “Introductions”, dealt with musical endings.

Endings have presented challenges to composers and performers, who frequently resort to formulae and clichés – even non-endings like the ubiquitous fade of pop music just to ‘make it stop.’ Yet, scanning history, we see just as many examples that echo their beginnings and even make radical departures in their closing seconds.

MICHAEL BUBLE: Fever (3:52)
JOSSY ABRAMOVITCH: Turkish Circus (4:41) (Quartetto Gelato)
SAMUEL HONG/ANNA GUO: Autumn Moon on a Calm Lake (4:50) (Toronto Dunhuang Chamber Ensemble)
CLAIRE LYNCH: Children of Abraham (2:56)
MYCHAEL and JEFF DANNA: The Blood of Cu Chulainn (4:07)
BUCK 65: Wicked and Weird (3:12)
—– Music 20:26

TEMC “Organ Tweet” for Sunday December 7

The Bombarde Organ

BombardeThe notion of bright, brassy, high-wind-pressure trumpet-like stops on pipe organs is centuries old – Spanish organs in particular were famous for this feature in the Renaissance and Baroque eras – but dedicating an entire pipe division to these and related stops was a late 19th-20th century trend driven by technological advancement, and by players, composers and builders interested in orchestral sonorities, and in particular with mimicking the effect of a complete orchestral brass section. It is no coincidence that Bombarde stops and divisions are named by the same root as military ‘bombardment’ – they are frequently used in connection with fanfares on royal and military occasions – but historically there is a closer connection to a bright and powerful Breton folk instrument related to the oboe and its ancestor the shawm.

As the photo shows the TEMC Bombarde division, currently playing from Manual V and mounted at the front of the west chancel chamber, is based on two ‘Tuba’ stops (‘tuba’ is the Latin word for ‘trumpet’), but also includes three other stops, Violoncello, Flute and Principal – used either to colour and complete the trumpet effects or as bright, prominent solo stops in their own right.

Our ‘Organ Century’ plans for the TEMC organ call for the combination of the Bombarde and Solo (see next week’s “Tweet”) divisions onto Manual IV, and the creation of a new Antiphonal division above the south balcony joining the current Echo division on Manual V. The crowning glory of this new division is to be a Trumpet ‘en chamade’ (another military reference) projecting out horizontally from the south wall. This new division would be our organ’s new, and best-ever connection with the space in our nave, and God willing, with our hearts as we gather there.

More on this in 2015…

TEMC “Organ Tweet for Nov 30 2014

The Choir Organ

Choir Organ

TEMC Choir Stopknobs

The Organ in church music dates from the Middle Ages: the Choir as we know it, a group of singers in a local church offering or supporting God’s song among the faithful is a more recent idea (although there is a wonderful ‘first account of a choir’ you can find in 2 Chronicles 20-22, where the king Jehoshaphat sent singing men ahead of the army to great effect!).

In Christianity the idea of the choir began in religious communities of monks and nuns, moving quickly to the chapels of royalty, to cathedrals and churches welcoming and supporting their congregations in the Protestant and Reforming traditions. But the introduction of the choir to Christian worship, particularly in England, had the effect of establishing a new standard division for some organs – the Choir organ, which features gentle, colourful and from the overall organ-concept mostly independent sounds with the particular job of accompanying voices.

Genre Implosion revisited Episode 1, “Introductions” – 9 Nov 2005

Genre Implosion Episode 1

f_gholipour20130223113425497GI was the name of a graduate research project I completed as part of the requirements for my M.A in Music Criticism, in the always unique and unfortunately now-defunct program founded by Allan Walker at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and offered from 1981 to 2007.  The project, which consisted of a major research paper, a 20-episode weekly radio show and a survey that sought to understand how we classify music into genres and how we are in turn influenced by that system of classification is chronicled on a website that used to reside at http://www.genreimplosion.ca, but has since moved to a more gentrified retirement address on my main website… genreimplosion.orgalt.com.

IAM now begins my re-visit, and perhaps your first visit, to this project as it aired Wednesday mornings from November 2005 to April 2006 on CFMU, the student radio station at McMaster University, that kindly agreed to support my work. I’ll say only briefly that every 30-minute episode chose a simple musical premise that could be applied broadly across genre lines, and offered selections drawing attention to how this premise appeared in widely divergent styles.  The first episode, appropriately, dealt with musical introductions.

Wed 9 November 2005 – SHOW I: INTRODUCTIONS

Introductions often sound very different than the main body of a piece, and yet they’ve been crucial to attracting listeners into pieces of music since long before the sound byte made us just tend to change the channel. Throughout history they have tended to privilege this role, rather than immediately revealing the piece’s main content.

trad. arr RAWLINS CROSS: MacPherson’s Lament (3:59) (from ‘Celtic Instrumentals’)
MIKE EVIN: Stay Gritty – 3:30 (from ‘I’ll bring the Stereo’)
FELIX MENDELSSOHN-BARTHOLDY: Grave-Allegro from String Symphony #2, op.36 (5:16) (Gewaundhaus Orchester Leipzig/Kurt Masur)
RICHARD & ROBERT SHERMAN/HOLLY COLE (Trust in me) (the Holly Cole Collection, Vol.1)
BUGGLES: Video killed the radio star (4:09)
—– Music 21:54