By Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene (get free updates of new posts here)
What's your worst nightmare as an organist?
Last Saturday was supposed to be a regular organ improvisation recital for Vidas at Vilnius University St. John's church. He's done over 30 of them over the last 3 years. No big deal.
This time he was ready to play improvisations "Circle of Life" based on his dad's paintings with multimedia projector showing the video with the slides on the screen which he prepared as a movie. The night before he showed me some excerpts of the video and I found it beautiful.
Imagine my surprise when I saw him at my parent's place and he told me his recital was being transferred to another place!
You got it right. The representative of the University called him in the morning of the recital and asked him what he suggest they do because by accident they scheduled another event at the church at the similar hour.
I think it was some kind of miscommunication or a simple typo in the scheduling. At any rate they suggested Vidas play the same recital at one of the halls of the University which houses an elegant one-manual organ with pedals.
From a largest pipe-organ in Lithuania to 11 stop instrument! Who cares?
And of course the audience had to be redirected to a new place.
Another option would be to cancel the recital but then they would have to refund some tickets which were sold in advance not to mention the blow to the reputation of the organizers.
So Vidas thought that since he is an improviser and not wanting to cause anyone a problem, he should should be able to play an interesting one-hour-long recital on this elegant little organ.
And he did. In the words of a colleague who attended this event, "he managed to squeeze everything out of this instrument and more."
But of course it all depends on your taste. For me, it took a few pieces of music and paintings to get into this sort trance but once you're there, I guess it works.
I also appreciated the synchrony of music and painting very much but wish the first full picture of each painting would have stayed for a longer period of time.
Here's the video he made afterwards with paintings (click CC for subtitles in English) and without paintings (camera facing him).
What would be the worst nightmare to one organist, was no big deal to Vidas after all.
One more reason to learn to improvise, isn't?
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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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Don't have an organ at home?
Download paper manuals and pedals, print them out, cut the white spaces, tape the sheets together and you'll be ready to practice anywhere where is a desk and floor. Make sure you have a higher chair.