SOPP508: Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra on Improvisation, Carillon, Composing, and Impacting Marginalized Voices by Music
Welcome to episode 508 of Secrets of Organ Playing Podcast!
Today's guest is an American organist, carillonneur, improviser and composer Dr. Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra from Ann Arbor, MI. She was a guest on the podcast several times before and in episode 3 she talked about improvisation in the Bach style. In episode 15 she was back on the show and shared her perspectives about creativity and musing with children, and in episode 120 she talked about her Bach style improvisation treatise. Most recently I met her a year ago in Poland, at the Paslek International Organ Music Festival where she performed a splendid recital on the 1719 Hildebrandt organ and gave a lecture about Bach and improvisation for listeners who came to the event. It was amazing for me to reconnect with her, and this event was a pinnacle of the fall of 2018 for me. Today she will be sharing her insights about improvisation as the key of playing any instrument, carillon playing and composing as well as lifting up marginalized voices by music.
Listen to the conversation
You can listen bellow to carillon audio recording of her composition "Our Time: Me Too" and a video of her playing the Yale carillon with my Belonging: A Carillon Call to Care for All.
Find out more about Dr. Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra and her work by visiting her website at https://www.pamelaruiterfeenstra.com
Last week I witnessed an extraordinary carillon recital by Dr. Mark Konewko here in Vilnius. It was part of the Music Composition conference at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theater where he also presented about the aspects of synesthesia in the organ music of Olivier Messiaen.
Mark is not only a carillonneur but an organist and Director of University choirs at Marquette University.
He came back the second time to give a presentation at the conference in Vilnius. Here's our podcast conversation about carillon from last year.
This time he played his own improvisations and the music of Olivier Messiaen and John Cage among the music of other modern composers on the carillon.
After Mark introduced me to the carillon, I can see why some organists fall in love with this amazing instrument and want to pursue a career in it. That's exactly what happened to Mark when he was a student.
Together with me there was one person present at the carillon console. This was a student from the Academy, Joris.
Mark even allowed Joris and me to press the low Bb or A# pedal (Bourdon) to announce the beginning of each of the 10 movements of the Cage cycle. After recital we become experts in Bb/A#!
Below are some photos and two videos from the event.
Let me know what you think.
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
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