A video with a (large) excerpt of “Towards Truth” from the organ improvisation album “Like a Flame”
I have just finished writing a new in depth article about the organ I have been involved in designing: The New Pipe Organ in Jørlunde Church. In the article I talk about the history of the project, as well as the thoughts behind every voice in the organ. It also includes a detailed stop-list, pictures, videos, and music samples.
Yesterday, on October 25th 2009, the new pipe organ in Jørlunde Kirke (Jørlunde Church) was finally inaugurated at a festive mass, celebrated by the parish priest Peter Nejsum who arrived in procession with the Bishop of Helsingør. Organist Gunnar Svensson and I took turns playing the organ. The church was packed to the last seat and beyond (more than 50 extra chairs had to be put in). Aside from the relatively small sized church being packed like that, causing the acoustics to suffer a little, everything went well and the organ itself was very well received.
All the stops of the organ were ready for the inauguration, but there is still some “fine tuning” to do over the next week. It will, however, be fully ready for the first concert which takes place on November 8th at 16.00 (4 PM) where I will play some of my own works as well as music by Bach, Franck, Widor, and others.
One of the works I will perform is my new Fantasia for organ “To become”, commissioned by the church for the inauguration and given a “preview”-performance at the inauguration mass. It was recorded and you can download an MP3 excerpt from the ending here where you hear the full power of the organ.
One of my goals with the organ’s tonal design was for it to sound like a full and complete organ, capable of producing a somewhat larger sound than one would normally expect from “only” 21 voices. Not in regard to sound pressure but rather in the richness and “greatness” of its tone, and I think the organ builders Frobenius and their chief voicer Ole Høyer has succeeded in realizing that as well as my other visions for the organ in the best way. They’ve built a great pipe organ, perhaps not so much in size but certainly in sound.
I’ve posted an “essay” with a detailed description of the tonal design and the thoughts behind every voice. I will be working on an English translation, but in the meantime you can find the Danish version, which was the basis for the organ project here.
I’ve just returned home from a visit to the construction site of a new pipe organ being build in Jørlunde Kirke (Jørlunde Church) near Copenhagen (Denmark).
I’ve been visiting several times a week recently, and will continue to do so until the organ is inaugurated on October 25th. The reason for this is my involvement in the project as organ consultant (along with the organist Gunnar Svensson) since 2004, and creator of the disposition and tonal design. This organ is my “baby” and to see it come to life after 5 years of work is simply an amazing experience.
It is being build by the outstanding organ builders “Frobenius” and the intonation – “shaping” of the sound of the pipes – is done by their chief intonator Ole Høyer. He works from my guidelines for the voices (UPDATE, October 2009: Read the detailed description of the voices in Danish (English translation in the works)), and I’m involved in the intonation work myself in that once or twice every week I carefully go through the newly finished voices (intonating all 1304 pipes takes about 2-3 months of work) and discuss them with Ole, sometimes having changes made. I think we have a great cooperation with mutual understanding and respect. And we share the common goal of making this an absolutely outstanding musical instrument, a world class pipe organ in a relatively small but beautiful church.
For the technical minded, the disposition is:
Hovedværk (Great Organ), Manual I
Mixtur IV (1 1/3′ + 1′ + 2/3′ + 1/2′)
Svelleværk (Swell Organ), Manual II
Vox Angelica 8′ (from c)
Nasat 1 1/3′
Aetheria-Cornet IV (4′ + 2 2/3′ + 2′ + 1 3/5′)
Pedalværk (Pedal Organ)
Basun 16′ (full length – 5 meter long pipes!)
Mechanical (“tracker”) key action, mechanical action couplers, electric registration
So far about half of the pipes have been installed and 5 voices fully intonated. Four voices in the organ (Tectus 8′, Fugara 8′, Oktav 4′, and Fløjte 4′) are created as tonal “copies” of voices from a Demant organ from 1876 with an extraordinarily beautiful sound, and the rest of the organ is being build and intonated to match those stops. The result will be a organ with a delicacy and richness of tone rarely heard.
I will post more information, and pictures, on the progress of the organ in the coming weeks and months.
I have just returned from a visit to the island of Fyn where I have tried out a so called “electro-acoustic” organ. An advanced and unique digital organ build by Flemming Fald of Scandinavian Organ Center using the state of the art electronics. I wrote a post about the organ a while ago. I created the disposition and partly also the exterior design characteristics. But it was too expensive for me to buy back then, so it was instead bought by a virtuoso organist and organ professor at the conservatory. He’s owned it for some years but is now ready to “upgrade” to an even bigger organ and thus looking to sell the “old” organ. How can I resist? It’s “my” organ 🙂
Flûte harmonique 8′
Flûte octaviante 4′
Cornet V 8′
Fourniture IV 1 1/3′
Flûte traversière 8′
Viole de gambe 8′
Voix Céleste 8′
Cor de nuit 8′
Flûte douce 4′
Plein Jeu III 2′
Trompette harmonique 8′
Voix Humaine 8′
Clairon harmonique 4′
The organ has been envisioned with a double function; part home/studio organ, part tour/concert organ capable of playing together with various ensembles, including symphony orchestra, with proper amplification of course. This is the reason for the rich and powerful reed batteries, and not least the two 32-feet voices! (well, that and I’m just a sucker for romantic-symphonic organs).
One thing is the disposition, but more importantly: how does it sound? Well, I only heard it through the build-in speakers (useful for “home-use”), but with that in mind I must say it sounds really well. Whenever possible I still prefer a “real” pipe organ, and I probably always will. But for home and tour-use outside churches and large concert halls with organs, where a pipe organ would be almost impossible (at least impossibly expensive) this is as good as it gets. And that’s actually not bad.
I will need to think about this for a couple of days before I decide whether I buy it or not. One of the important things to consider is economy. I have to take the organ out and play public concerts on it, or rent it out to others, at least a couple of times a year in order to be able to afford it. Even though I get to buy the instrument at a significantly reduced price compared to when it was new, it’s still very expensive to me. So, will it be possible for me to take the organ on tour (or maybe just a few individual concerts outside churches)? I’ll have to consider that as well.
I’ll let you know what I decide soon…