Little-known Daniel Fact™: I played the pipe organ for a year or so. Where by ‘played’ I mean managed to keep my feet and my fingers in relative-but-not-at-all perfect sync, much to the absolute joy of the classes being taught in the rooms next to the auditorium. With that disclaimer, you may discount my assertion that the pipe organ is The Best instrument of them all. But really, what instrument is as versatile, as subtle, as grand, as the pipe organ?
I also have a fondness for film music. My interest in both of these streams of music has flared up after some dormancy after stumbling onto this beauty:
Koyaanisqatsi, if you’ve not seen it, is an audio-visual experience. One you might not stay awake through, but worth trying out.
(These tracks are best listened to through headphones or speakers with quality bass – not your tinny laptop speakers.)
Going into the mainstream then, here’s a medley based on the soundtrack to Pirates of the Caribbean. Medleys are usually questionable to me, as they often seem particularly disjointed, but this organist seems to make it work fairly well.
That recording unfortunately doesn’t have quite the omph that I really love about the organ. But this next one delivers a bit better on that aspect, being played on the largest theatre organ in the world (and probably recorded with better microphones.) Just imagine being there and feeling the building reverberate with those deep notes. That’s probably what I loved most about playing the organ, honestly. And this piece is just fun:
And of course I have to include this classic, which strictly speaking didn’t originate in film. This recording utilizes more than just an organ, but that’s probably what I really loved about the original versions of this piece. (Unfortunately the video features shots of the crowd that really work against the mood of the piece.)
These are just some of the Organ arrangements I’ve come across today. Right now the Koyannisqatsi piece is probably my favourite, but the others really show the versatility and grandeur of the instrument.
Photo: Organ in John White Chapel, Geneva College. Credit: Daniel Favand