Tomorrow I have a joint recital at St Casimir's church where 4 of the organists of different Jesuit churches from around Lithuania will play together. I will be improvising a 10 minute piece. I'm debating whether I should go and practice there before the concert to refresh my memory of this instrument or should I make it a musical discovery and adventure...
But my biggest focus this week will be on our duet recital at St John's church for which we begin rehearsals at church starting tomorrow. After Svendborg we decided to repeat this program on the occasion of Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis' birthday.
There should have been an organ demonstration for a group of kindergarten kids at my church tomorrow but they cancelled the event because the university didn't promote it and so there were no signups. Our cultural center will be promoting it for the event in October, I think.
On Wednesday our Unda Maris organ studio is starting their practices at the church after summer vacation so @laputis and I will be leading the first rehearsal. We are moving Unda Maris studio rehearsals to Wednesdays because this is the day when @laputis is free from school. And obviously without her our organ studio just wouldn't be the same... I already received several inquiries from members of Vilnius University community who want to join. Most recent was an email from a lady from China who is studying Lithuanian language here in Vilnius and wants to learn to play the organ. So, we'll see what our new students look like soon enough.
Oh and I shouldn't neglect the fact that from Saturday I'm starting to teach harmony for a group of church organists at Vilnius Cathedral. After Wednesday I will start preparing my notes for them.
What will you be working on this week?
Vidas: So, Jeremy, I'm so delighted that we're finally meeting face to face and being able to talk with you and it's really a pleasure to get to know you better after all those long months that you've been on the team that transcribes fingering and pedaling for us. I'm so grateful to you and welcome to the show!
Jeremy: Thank you for having me!
V: Let's start our conversation, Jeremy about your background - how did you get into organ world and most specifically, how did you first fell in love with the organ? Do you remember the story?
J: Yeah! Well, my dad is a Lutheran minister. The church that he was working at was looking at trying to get me to start taking organ lessons. So they paid for the original organ lessons. That was when I was 14 or 15 - it's a long time ago. Wasn't really into it at the time but when my father moved to another church, it had a really great organ there. And I remember actually what made me fall in love with it. At one postlude, the organist was playing Guilmant's March on a Theme of Handel "Lift Up Your Heads" and when that fugue started, people started coming back into the church and that slowly built over time. And I just fell in love with the piece, I fell in love with the organ. I took lessons when I was in college. I have my doctorate in Music, in Piano Performance and so my first job after I received my doctorate was in a small town called Blue Mountain. There was a church looking for an organist and it was a great extra money so I started playing the organ more extensively and started studying even more at that point. And that's really when it took off. That was about 15 years ago now.
Listen to entire conversation
Check out Jeremy Owen's profile on Facebook
Email: jeremy dot owens at priorcliff dot edu
SOPP487: I am working on the Sight Reading Master Course and I am struggling with the 32nd notes, how do I count them?
Vidas: Hi, guys, this is Vidas.
Ausra: And Ausra
V: Let’s start episode 487, of Secrets Of Organ Playing Podcast. This question was sent by Andrei. He wrote:
I am working on the Sight Reading Master Course and I am struggling with the 32nd notes, how do I count them?
V: Very practical question, right, Ausra?
V: What do you do with 32nd notes? Do you count them?
A: It depends of the piece. If I’m learning a piece by a contemporary composer, then yes, if the smallest note values are 32nd, then yes, I subdivide everything in 32nd—until I learn the text.
V: If the music is not familiar and not easily predictable, right?
V: Like Messiaen. You count in smallest note values.
A: That’s right. There is no other way how to do it.
V: But flourishes in the Art of Fugue that my Sight-Reading Master Course is based on, might be well predictable, quite predictable. And I’m thinking whether Andrei has to even count them or not.
A: Well, I think that whole thing is to know math a little bit—to know how many notes are in another note value.
A: For example, you have to realize that in one eighth note, you have two sixteenth notes…
A: Yes? And in one sixteen note you have two 32nd notes.
V: Yeah, it always doubles.
A: So you really need to know how much, how many notes is on that certain beat.
V: I’m not good at math, but this I understand.
A: So, and then you just really need to count. Well, what would you suggest? What would be the best note value to count in this particular example?
V: I wrote to Andrei to try counting in eighth notes.
A: I think that’s a good advice.
V: And if it’s still too many unclear notes, it’s means maybe he’s playing not slow enough.
A: Yeah, that could be a problem.
V: Right? So in one eighth note you have two sixteenth notes and four 32nd notes. Four 32nd notes total in one eighth note. Is it possible to play four notes without counting? I would think so, yes—in one eighth note. But then you have to really take it really slow—maybe twice as slow as you are playing right now.
A: That’s right. I think that wrong tempo might be a problem. Then of course later on when you will master hard parts, you might will play in a faster tempo but not at the beginning. Especially if you are struggling with some rhythmic issues.
A: And what do you think? Have you encountered that sometimes you tell your students that you need to count and they are telling you ‘oh yes, I’m counting’ but they can still not master it and still play incorrectly rhythmically.
V: What I do is I ask them to do aloud, aloud.
A: Yes, I think that’s the best…
V: With their voice.
A: that’s the best way to do it.
V: Because if they do this inside of their head, it might seem that they are counting correctly, in a constant tempo, but you never know.
A: That’s also what I’m doing with my students when they are writing dictations...
A: Musical dictations. Especially in one voice, dictations might be quite hard, so if they cannot grasp it and count it, I’m forcing them to count loud.
V: So let’s say, in Sight-Reading Master Course, there is a tempo of cut time, alla breve, maybe 2/2 or two half-notes per measure, right? But at the concert tempo you should count in half-notes. But when you practice you could subdivide it in anyway you want. So you could treat it as a 4/4 meter easily. One, two, three, four. But to tell you the truth you could subdivide it in eighth notes—one and two and three and, and count it slowly enough. If that’s too fast, you could count in sixteenth notes also by adding one-e-and-uh, two-e-and-uh, three-e-and-uh, four-e-and-uh. But I don’t think you could even add the additional syllable for the 32nd. That would be like specially composed poem for counting. Maybe we should Google, you know, how to count in 32nd, or even create a special poem. Maybe I could get creative with this and produce something. Do you have an idea?
A: Well, I don’t know. I need to think about it. But anyway if you would practice slower and count, I think everything should work out quite well. It all comes with experience.
V: Mmm-hmm. One-e-and-uh; it’s like counting in sixteenth notes. So now if you wanted 32nd notes, you should add one additional syllable between each of the sixteen notes; one-e-and-uh, would become, what would be a better syllable to fit here.
A: Could you do the same, just in a faster tempo? And it would work for 32nd.
V: One-e-and-uh, two-e-and-uh. Yeah, you could. But you could do one-beat-e-beat-and-beat-ah-beat, (laughs) for example.
A: I couldn’t do that. It’s too complicated for me.
V: Or you could do really creative. Instead of beat you add some organ term with one syllable. What is your favorite one-syllable organ related term? Like flute, for example? One-flute-e-flute-and-flute-ah-flute, for example?
A: I don’t think I know many one syllable organ terms.
V: You could twist your tongue and go to the doctor afterwards.
A: Maybe no.
V: Tongue doctor. Is there a doctor like that?
A: I don’t think so. I think your tongue is working pretty well so I don’t think you need to worry about it.
V: Alright guys. Get creative and if you really want to count in 32nd notes or 64th notes or 128th notes—I don’t know, get wild. Alright. This was Vidas.
A: And Ausra.
V: Please send us more of your questions. We love helping you grow. And remember, when you practice…
A: Miracles happen!
Vidas: Hi guys! This is Vidas.
Ausra: And Ausra.
V: Let’s start episode 488 of Secrets of Organ Playing Podcast. This question was sent by Jeremy. And he wrote on Basecamp, when he received a question, What was he working on today? He wrote:
Went to an organ recital tonight. First time I had heard Tournemire played. Will be looking into his work.
V: It’s not a question, but an observation, right? A feedback. What do you think about Tournemire, and it’s interesting how your perception of Tournemire changed over the years
A: Well, let’s say that, to tell the truth, that I encountered Tournemire quite late in my life, as a professional organist.
V: Mm hm.
A: Because you know, now, late, back in our lives when we were very young, not many organists in Lithuania knew Tournemire or played Tournemire. That’s even, we studied at the Academy of Music. Have you encountered Tournemire?
V: Maybe your teacher Balys Vaitkus might have known it.
A: Well, yes, but he never gave me Tournemire’s works to play or said anything about him, so I don’t know.
V: I’m sure some of the teachers might have heard his name, but never really played his music.
A: In general, I would say that Lithuanian understanding of organ repertoire is quite narrow.
V: But it’s changing now…
A: It’s changing…
V: Because of new possibilities to download free scores from the internet.
A: Yes, I guess getting access to the scores was a big problem 20 years ago, but it’s not now.
V: Do you think people in Lithuania are more downloading free scores, or sometimes buying them?
A: Well, I think through downloading. I don’t think people have much money for scores. We don’t understand importance of supporting, you know, the music…
A: And too bad, it’s just too bad.
V: All right. I think I maybe got introduced to Tournemire also later in life, but my first encounter with him was through Dupre’s, I think, memoirs. I also read Tournemire’s memoirs, too. Or at least, an excerpt from it, like a shortened passage. I remember Tournemire being a very great proponent of organ improvisation, and saying an organist who cannot improvise is only a half organist. And that really hurt me. So I started to improvise.
A: So I guess 99% of Lithuanian organists are not real organists, because we can’t improvise.
V: According to Tournemire.
A: Yeah. I guess, you know, it’s a great French tradition of improvisation. But we were raised in a different environment, because somehow in Lithuania, improvisation was always associated with jazz, and jazz was associated with United States of America, and it was an ultimate evil, in those times. So basically, while being professional musician, you didn’t get much chance to learn how to improvise unless you would do it on your own. And even in that case, it was more like jazz improvisation, not like classical improvisation.
V: Do you think jazz was illegal in Soviet Union?
A: Well, I will not speculate about it, because I’m not sure, but of course, it wasn’t supported.
V: Uh huh. Jazz musicians had a much harder time to get attention from concert organizers.
A: And since church music wasn’t developing during the Soviet era, so that you could not learn organ improvisation as well. Even now, I don’t think anybody is teaching seriously.
V: Yeah, just from time to time they have courses. But maybe with time, something will change. Of course now, people are not limited to physical courses that they take in Academy of Music. They can do self-study from textbooks, from videos, studying masterworks of other composers, taking as a model, sightreading. That’s how I learned. And I’m still learning. The learning process never finishes. And I hope to improve, too.
A: So what do you think now about Tournemire’s music? Do you find it very improvisatory, or not?
V: Yeah. At first, it was very difficult to understand what’s going on, because it was so spontaneous, so free and rhapsodic in nature, and it seemed like, besides those Gregorian chant melodies which you could see on the page, anything else was written sort of, a little bit by chance. To me, a little bit at that time, I thought so. And then I understood one thing about genius. That it’s very difficult to analyze genius work. Sometimes genius, simple music is very, is genius too, like simplicity, in Mozart music, you could feel the genius like that in simplicity, elegant, poetic simplicity. But sometimes, it takes genius to analyze a work which is very spontaneous and hard to predict what’s going on. So I think Tournemire is like that.
A: So do you think his music is easily comprehended to amateurs?
V: No, no.
A: What about general audiences? Would you suggest if you know that you are playing an organ recital for a completely uneducated musically people, would you play Tournemire for them, or not?
V: It would be the same rule as with any modern composition, modern organ composition. I would probably need to add some well-known pieces from classical repertoire in between of modern and unfamiliar pieces. So the same goes with Tournemire. If I wanted to add something from his cycle L’Orgue Mystique, which involves organ masses from every Sunday of the liturgical year, I would need to add some classical baroque piece, Bach chorale, before that, or maybe some romantic work afterward, or even some lighthearted scherzo, for the audience to understand and appreciate Tournemire also. But in general, I would say Tournemire sounds sweet enough to my ears, because they are developed, and I think it depends on how much a person is used to the dissonances. And we can surely find many more composers in French tradition who created more dissonant music that Tournemire. Definitely. Vierne’s later symphonies are more dissonant Than Tournemire’s, I would think. But it doesn’t mean that dissonant music cannot be played and appreciated.
A: Yes, I agree with that. Although when talking about Vierne, I think it’s easier to understand him easier than Tournemire, because he has clear forms. Because in terms of compositional, his pieces are very well-shaped. So I guess that makes them easier to comprehend.
V: So anyway, guys, if anybody is interested in the French tradition, or learning improvisation in that model system, you would do very well in researching more about Tournemire’s work. Maybe sight-reading some of his L’Orgue Mystique pieces. You will find a lot of inspiration from there. I know I have. And actually, some of my own organ masses have been created based on his own models. Rhapsodic nature and improvisatory style like that, and based on Gregorian chant. Thank you, guys. This was Vidas,
A: And Ausra.
V: Please send us more of your questions. We love helping you grow. And remember, when you practice…
A: Miracles happen.
Yesterday I had a pleasure playing a private organ concert for a group of French Canadians at the Aula Parva auditorium of Vilnius University.
This organ is a one manual instrument which originally was built by the anonymous builder from the Vilnius organ school in the 18th century for a Franciscan church. It was closed after the 1863 uprising by the regime and in 1864 was transferred to one of the chapels of St John's church. At the end of the 19th century the organ was in a very poor condition - only some portions of the facade were intact. In 1979, when Vilnius University celebrated it's 400th anniversary Vilnius Organ Workshop brought it back to life and built it in the Aula Parva auditorium. Now it is used for various academic celebrations and private organ recitals. Sometimes our Unda Maris studio has their practices there too when St John's church is occupied. Here's the specification of the organ:
I played 10 chorales from the Clavierubung Part I of Johann Ludwig Krebs, who was one of the best students of Johann Sebastian Bach. This collection was published in 1744 and comprises of 13 chorales. Each of the chorale has 3 parts - a praeambulum, a chorale and chorale harmonization written in basso continuo notation (soprano and bass parts along with some numbers above the bass).
I chose these chorales to keep the performance along with my introduction of the organ and the program under one hour:
I asked one of my Unda Maris organ studio students, @drugelis to turn some of the pages for me in places where I couldn't manage myself too easily. Considering this was her first time, she did it quite well. Maybe in the future she can do it with the feeling that fits the character of the piece - slower, when the tempo is slow and faster, when the tempo is fast. But anyway, she was a big help.
After the concert an old lady came up to me and said: "your page turner looks like my 13 year old grand daughter." She even showed me the photo. Another old lady gave me a 50 EUR tip. When I texted about this to @laputis, she wrote: "Yay! It will be for movies." I don't know... I would rather buy some 309 STEEM, but we'll see, haha! Going to movies are important for us too.
@drugelis wanted to have some pieces to prepare for our weekly Secrets of Organ Playing contest but trios with pedal require more time. So I assigned her to play the last parts of Krebs' chorales but without the middle parts, only soprano in the right hand and bass in the left part. I hope she can make a recording before Monday for the contest of the 1st chorale in the collection, Allein Gott.
And now I invite you to listen to my recital. I livestreamed it to Facebook and later uploaded to YouTube for you to enjoy. Let me know what you think.
Vidas: Hi guys, this is Vidas!
Ausra: And Ausra!
V: Let’s start episode 478 of Secrets of Organ Playing Podcast. This question was sent by MaryLu, and she writes:
“I’ve been with you for only a few days, but what you say is right-on.
I'm 78 years old, and hold a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education, and advanced degrees in piano performance, organ performance and church music. At the moment I work full time at a large church where I direct 4 choirs and play all English and Latin Masses. I also play several organ recitals a year. Over the last few years I have found that I'm in a rut, replaying organ repertoire that I've been playing for years, so this year I'm breaking out of that rut and preparing new repertoire which I plan to use for the first time this November. And I would VERY MUCH like a bit of guidance.
Rheinberger Organ Sonata #17 in B Major (registration especially, though it seems straight-forward, I can't seem to get it just right.
Bach "Little" Fugue in g minor (Can't believe I'd never played that one!!) which you have already reviewed -- that's how I found you!
I know this doesn't answer your questions, but . . . . .
Thank you for being here!
V: Alright! First, Ausra, let’s congratulate MaryLu, that she is still practicing organ despite her age.
A: Yes, excellent, but that’s what she has to do, because she knows she’s a full time church organist.
V: And she wants to learn new repertoire. This is really exciting!
A: It is. I think it’s never too late to learn new stuff.
V: And as long as you are learning new stuff, you actually postpone the aging process.
A: True! I guess it’s very important in life to stay curious about something, and improve your skills, and learn new things.
V: That’s right, Ausra. And she needs guidance about registration, and to make it less specific to her, but more general to other people, because everybody is playing Rheinberger Organ Sonata #17 and the other pieces that she works on, maybe we should talk about the principles that she could also apply to other pieces of Rheinberger and other pieces of Bach, and other pieces by Alain, and so forth. Right?
A: Well, I would like probably to start to talk a little bit about Alain, because I don’t know which edition she uses, but I think most of Alain’s works are published by Alphonse Leduc, I believe, and they have specific registration marks written in the score, which you can get when you are playing Alain’s music, and if you are not well familiar with it, that some of his registration suggestions are very weird… weird looking. But you shouldn’t be afraid of that, because I guess Jehan Alain had a house organ which was a little bit weird, too. And I guess some of his organ compositions were registered based on that house organ.
V: Right. And we should add that a famous Swiss organist who actually tries to, so to say, protect and develop interest in Jehan Alain’s work….
A: Guy Bovet?
V: Guy Bovet, yes! He was in Lithuania back in 2007, I think, and recently, their association published facsimiles of Jehan Alain’s work. So, anybody who is interested in the original handwriting and orthography can actually have modern facsimiles of Jehan Alain’s work, and compare those things with published editions.
A: But, I guess if you just follow the directions given in the score, you should be just fine.
V: But do you know what a problem with the score… his sister sometimes has said that she edited her work,
A: Marie-Claire Alain.
V: Marie-Claire Alain, right, and she’s a great expert, of course, in his work everything, but she was very young, basically very little, when he died.
A: Yes, and I remember that Olivier Latry talked about it during his master classes when we were in Nebraska, studying at Lincoln University, getting our doctoral degrees, and we played for him. And I remember I played for him the second Fantasie by Jehan Alain, and he taught that I need to be careful about registering his piece, because he told me that these registration marks are not actually original, but made later by his sister, and that’s he said, that she was probably too young to remember it. So I guess that it’s a very good idea to look at the facsimiles.
V: And I would add that, yes, people need to look at the specification of the house organ of Jehan Alain that his father built, and then a lot of indications would fall into place. Obviously, people playing on modern organs and other instruments don’t have such an instrument at all, so they have to do some adjustments.
A: True, you will always have to adjust some things. What about Bach?
V: Bach Fugue, right?
V: It’s relatively simple and straight forward, I would say. The tradition of playing non-choral based works of the Baroque period in Germany indicated Organo Pleno, right?
V: Principal chorus with mixtures.
A: Could you tell us what stops belong to the principal chorus?
V: Depending on how big the organ is, it may have a 16’ Principal, or not, or even sometimes they don’t have an 8’ Principal. But in general, they have to have several Principals aligned of different pitch levels. So if you have 16’, 8’, 4’, that’s good. Then you continue with 2’, then go 2 2/3’ (this is a fifth) and go to a higher pitched fifth, maybe 1 1/3’ (if it’s a Principal), and basically, you could add a Mixture, and depending on if the Mixture is a lower Mixture, then you definitely need a Principal 16’, if it’s a higher Mixture you don’t necessarily need a 16’.
A: Well, let’s say, what do you do if you don’t have Principal 16’ and Principal 8’, but you have, let’s say, Flute 16’ and Flute 8’? Could you replace the Principals with the Flute instead?
V: You see, I think if you have an organ with 16’ Bourdon in the manual, then you definitely have would have Principal 8’, so….
A: But my question is, for example, okay, you have Principal 8’ but you don’t have Principal 16’. Would you put the Bourdon 16’ instead of the Principal?
A: And let’s say your manuals don’t have 16’ stops at all. Would you then just start registering with 8’?
V: 8’. Mhm!
A: And what if you don’t have a Principal…
V: 8’… I would add the Flute 8’
A: And then Principal 4’, yes?
V: Principal 4’ and work my way upwards. What about you?
A: Yes, I guess I would do the same thing. And what about pedals? What kind of stops would you add to play them…
V: Well, with pedals, sometimes you have to check. Yes, you have 16’ Principal, 8’ Principal, 4’ Principal, and then you have Posaune and Trumpet and Mixture. You could add those things if they’re not too overpowering to the Organo Pleno sound in the manuals. But, in Bach’s day, he had a lot of Organs, especially in Saxony, that Silbermann built with only 3 stops! Sub Bass 16’, Octave Bass 8’ (or maybe it was called Principal Bass) and then Posaune. Those three stops would be enough to play with nice, not too big, Principal chorus in the manuals.
A: Do you think he might have used also the manual couplers to the pedal?
V: If there was one, yes, because lots of organs in his time didn’t have the pedal coupler, only the manual coupler, they call it Schiebekoppel, which is like a device where you mechanically move one keyboard on top of the other.
V: And they coincide, and then both keys of both keyboards can be played together. Alright!
A: What, now, about Rheinberger? How would you…?
V: Rheinberger! Rheinberger, Liszt, and...
V: … Mendelssohn, and what else… Reubke, and to some degree, maybe Karg-Elert and Reger, right? These composers have certain colors similar to German organs. So Rheinberger’s tradition might be possible to do on modern organs following suggestions by Felix Mendelssohn, I think. Right?
V: And Felix Mendelssohn, in the preface of his “Six Organ Sonatas” wrote that you could always have a 16’ stop in the pedals. Right? Always. Unless indicated otherwise by the composer. And then, he has, I think, 5 or 6 dynamic levels: pianissimo, piano, mezzo-piano, mezzo-forte, forte, and fortissimo. So pianissimo means what, Ausra?
A: Well, you need to use the softest organ stops. 8’.
V: 8’ Flute. Right? Or staying just one.
V: The softest of any manual. And then, if you have piano, you could have a couple of those together, but also very soft—Flutes, let’s say. And then mezzo-piano would have maybe Flutes 8’ and 4’. Mezzo-forte might have Principals 8’ and 4’ already, and then forte could have, as he says, all the stops of the great manual, but without some of the loudest stops, which means without, maybe, reeds, and maybe mixtures could work already, I think.
A: It depends on the mixture probably.
V: It depends. You’d have to check.
A: Some mixtures are so prominent, that you will save them for later.
V: And fortissimo means full organ. This is simple. And remember, Ausra, we last played Čiurlionis arrangement of his Symphonic Poem, “In the Forest” in Denmark.
A: And we did, I think, something similar, then,
V: Yes, yes!
A: ...because how many...
A: ...we had like 6 dynamic levels.
V: Exactly 6 combinations.
V: And we followed those…
A: Of course in spite of having only 6 dynamic levels, we worked pretty hard, because we change between these levels a lot.
V: Yes. Composers like to write those waves; louder and softer, so we always had to press pistons to adjust.
A: So, do you think it would be possible to play Rheinberger’s “Organ Sonata” by using the Crescendo pedal?
V: It should be, on a decent organ, yes. But you have to check, always, and if it’s not, if it’s not programmable, you have to then do it with pistons, I think; program by hand. And then you can be sure that these dynamic levels would work for your piece, I think. Agree?
V: So, this is our advice to MaryLu and anybody else who’s playing Bach’s music, and Alain’s music, and German romantic music. Right? Maybe you have to adjust things, but these are general suggestions. Alright? Please send us more of your questions; we love helping you grow, and remember: When you practice…
A: Miracles happen.
Would you like to learn Andantino in Eb Minor from L'Organiste by Cesar Franck?
I hope you'll enjoy playing this piece yourself from my PDF score.
Thanks to Jeremy Owens for his meticulous transcription from the slow motion video.
What will you get?
PDF score with complete fingering written in which will save you many hours of work. Basic Level. 1 page.
Let me know how your practice goes.
This score is free for Total Organist students.
Check it out here
Have you ever wanted to start to practice on the organ but found yourself sidetracked after a few days? Apparently your inner motivation wasn't enough.
I know how you feel. I also was stuck many times. What helped me was to find some external motivation as well.
In order for you to advance your organ playing skills and help you motivate to practice, my wife Ausra - @laputis and I invite you to join in a contest to submit your organ music and win some Steem.
Are you an experienced organist? You can participate easily. Are you a beginner? No problem. This contest is open to every organ music loving Steemian.
Here are the rules
Thank you everyone for participating! You all made us very happy with your entries. We have selected the following winners.
Vidas: Welcome James, to episode 484 of Secrets of Organ Playing Podcast! I'm very excited to be able to talk with you and we talked for another episode in the past about your 12 recitals in 12 months. That was a big adventure you were sharing at that time. And I know many things have changed since that time over the couple of years. So can you tell us a little bit more about what you are doing and what is your current situation?
James: Yes, so after those 12 recitals I was pretty tired so then the following year I didn't sign myself up for that many recitals but I staged the recital series. They picked up with interest and other performers wanted to play as well so that took a lot of pressure of it. I've always been a subscriber to your email list and I like to read about podcasts, I follow you on Facebook, all those social things and for some reason about 6 months ago I stopped seeing your posts on Facebook. And I was concerned where have you gone, what happened? Anyway, during one week I saw an email about Secrets of Organ Playing Contest and thought, "That's interesting..." I followed you for the first several weeks to see what the standard was like and whether it was doable or appropriate for me to enter. I think it was Week 7 when I joined and since then I've been hooked and you led me into this social blockchain called Steem and I can't stop recording myself. And that's where I am today.
V. Yeah, I should've introduced you more formally probably. James Flores is our guest today and he is a man of many things now, not only an organist in Albury, New South Wales, Australia. But he is also an IT magician as I can testify myself and also very interested in all kinds of technological developments, new technologies which can revolutionize the world potentially and make many changes for musicians, for example, for organists. So since that last time we've been chatting with James over social media platform called Steem and I have this opportunity to do these Secrets of Organ Playing Contests every week. And James has been a constant, diligent and faithful participant every week, week after week and has been recording even more than it is required. He publishes a lot of his other posts and creative ideas online and also shares his other videos not related to the contest itself. So I've seen his work over this year and a half so much on Steem that he's become like a team member to me, really. We've been chatting every day about all kinds of things, about organ-related things, about Steem-related things so it's wonderful. Thank you so much, James for being a part of this community, I'm really grateful to you!
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
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.