Vidas: Let’s start Episode 94 of #AskVidasAndAusra podcast. And this question was sent by Ken. He writes:
“Hi Vidas, I purchased the Chord Workshop course. I have been a church organist for many years, and have an online friend now, from the sale of a Roland C190 keyboard to him. I'm in Ontario Canada, he's in Nova Scotia Canada. He wishes to learn to play, and as he is retired and to encourage him to be able to play and enjoy doing it quickly, the use of chording, I believe is the way to go for him. As you know there are "fake books" of every genre of music available, and most hymnals now have chords too. If I decide to, can I purchase the "Chord Workshop" for him, and register it from my computer and give his email address? Also, is there any time limit on using your program on Youtube? I've not yet got into your program, but I wanted this information. Thanks Vidas. Ken.”
So, it’s good that people want to give a present of our trainings and courses!
Ausra: That’s very nice, yes!
Vidas: Do you think, Ausra, that some people could benefit from such a gift?
Ausra: Definitely, yes.
Vidas: So, the question that Ken asks is, can he give his friends the email address when he purchases? Of course!
Ausra: Of course; it’s up to him, actually.
Vidas: There is no limitation. Yeah, and if anyone wishes to give a gift to their friends, one of our trainings or practice courses or programs, and gets into some questionable situation or trouble, just simply send us an email; we will be glad to help you out. But yes, you can send a gift to your friend this way. What about the second part of the question, Ausra? Are our videos available on YouTube for a limited time, or indefinitely?
Ausra: I think you could explain this way better. I would think that they don’t have a limit.
Ausra: It’s unlimited.
Vidas: As long as we’re in business, we keep them online, right? And we don’t intend to quit anytime soon, so hopefully we can offer our videos--not only paid ones, which are part of the courses, but also publicly available videos for unlimited use, too.
Ausra: By the way, what are you practicing, now?
Vidas: Well, I am going to play a recital with you, right, in a few weeks, in our church--an organ duet recital. And as part of this recital, I’m playing the long chorale fantasia by Dietrich Buxtehude, “Nun freut euch lieber Christen g’mein.” This is a fantastic piece to demonstrate the organ because of the various colorful combinations of stops. But it’s tricky, so it’s worth my time, playing very slowly and carefully, and in combinations just like I’m recommending to do in short episodes and multiple repetitions. And also, I’m playing those three arias from Bach cantatas that I have transcribed for our duet: a couple of them are from BWV 80 cantata, “Ein’ feste Burg ist unser Gott.” Remember, it’s a wonderful aria, the first one where you have repeated 16th notes, and it’s very fun to play.
Ausra: Yes, in general it’s one of the nicest cantatas--“A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.”
Vidas: Yeah. And the last aria is from BWV 147, the same cantata that has “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.”
Ausra: Also very beautiful, yes.
Vidas: What about you, Ausra? What are you playing now?
Ausra: I’m playing Fantasia Chromatica by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, yes. And it’s very nice. Very difficult, of course.
Vidas: Why is it called “Chromatica?”
Ausra: Because of its chromaticisms. It has so much, so many of them.
Vidas: Is the theme chromatic, too?
Ausra: Yes, it’s very chromatic.
Vidas: I see. And what else are you playing, then, besides…?
Ausra: Also Andante and Variations in D Major by Mendelssohn.
Vidas: Do you like it?
Ausra: Yes, it’s very beautiful.
Vidas: When did you first hear it?
Ausra: Actually, when Guy Bovet played it in our church.
Vidas: Oh, that was some 8 years ago.
Ausra: Yes. It sounded so good on that instrument, so I wanted to do it, too.
Vidas: Yeah, why does it sound good on our organ?
Ausra: Because our organ has so many 8’ stops. So I will be able to use them all, to demonstrate them. Because the range of dynamic is piano throughout the piece; so I can just alternate all these nice flutes and strings.
Vidas: Great. Do you think that people could benefit from having a score with fingering of these piece?
Ausra: I think it helps every time.
Vidas: Right. And perhaps even lovers of Sweelinck’s music who want to play Fantasia cromatica, too.
Vidas: So we’re planning to prepare those scores in the future. Stay tuned. And I hope you will practice today, right guys? Because when you practice…
Ausra: Miracles happen.
Somebody asked me
where I get my ideas
for my drawings and comic strips.
Are they autobiographical?
Are they taken from the lives of others?
My drawings and comics serve me
as a tool to capture ideas that come to me
in various ways throughout the day
because my biggest regret is
when I forget the idea and don't take action on it.
One only has to keep
one's eyes and ears open and ideas come.
Good or bad.
It doesn't matter.
I don't know the worth of the idea until I share it.
All of us come up with at least
one interesting idea during the day.
The question is then what do we do
with this idea when it pops up in our mind?
Usually, we choose to do nothing,
we let it disappear.
But on a good day we act,
on a good day we share.
[Thanks to Leon]
Ausra's Harmony Exercise:
Modulation from D Major to G Major: I-V65-I=V-V7-vi-IV65+-I64-V-V7-I-IV64-IV64--I
It's amazing how easy it is to think that generosity for organists doesn't pay off. After all, we face so many obstacles along the way from the clergy, from the listeners, and even from our colleagues. Especially from our colleagues.
Clergy doesn't understand and appreciate our good intentions about our art and the quality we seek. Listeners are often unresponsive and want only to be entertained. Our colleagues might be envious, angry and toxic.
And in the face of all this we decide that the best way forward is to hide our art and our ideas. They are not worthy of our efforts, we think. It's not worth banging our head against the wall of mistrust and lack of education.
Lack of education?
But what if we actually turned this around? What if we decided to do something about it. Yes, you have this itch, too. Not in a grandiose way that feeds our resistance helps us hide. But in a way that could be done, something small and doable.
We are education. We don't need a permit for that. And your pastor wouldn't mind.
Sharing is education. Posting a video lecture or two. Overcoming shame, trusting your vulnerability, and putting your work into the world. Spreading an idea that's remarkable.
Great ideas attract other great ideas.
And so the act of generosity is a gift not only to the receiver but to the giver as well.
Like that farmer at the end of the day in a farmer's market. What exactly will he do with all that's left unsold?
No, we don't need to be a genius PhD scholar nor a computer geek to do it.
What we need is to care.
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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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