Vidas: I'm here with Andreas Spahn from Germany whom I met last Thursday at Vilnius Cathedral during the recital of Lithuanian organist Balys Vaitkus, but before that Andreas contacted be via email asking about the opportunity to hear me play because his son is going to start studying at Vilnius University Medicine Department. So I mentioned him that recital at Vilnius Cathedral and he came - it was a big surprise to me last Thursday. I'm really glad that we're meeting here at Vilnius University St John's church. This is Monday, September 2 and today we have a big celebration at the opening of the academic year at the university and we're going to talk now in depth about what Andreas is doing, what is he practicing, what is he working on at church and things like that. So thank you so much Andreas and welcome to the show!
Andreas: Thank you Vidas! It's a really big pleasure for me to be on your podcast.
V: Andreas before we started this conversation tried out this instrument for a while playing some of popular organ music, modern creative organ music and it sounded sometimes like music from the movies to my ears and it seems like Andreas' congregation is enjoying this music. So Andreas, can you introduce your congregation to us , what you do there, and what's your current environment?
A: OK! You know my name - Andreas Spahn and I've been playing the organ for 35 years, the church organ. I started my organ training first on an electronic organ, I think I was 10 years old and it only had a short pedal - one and a half octave. I was too small to play those pedals. I learned for 4-5 years electronic organ and then I changed to the church organ. After some years I took the C level exam. It's a level for lay persons. I've been training on the service and playing during Mass and at the time I've been studying liturgical singing, choir conducting, singing in the choir, hymnology, organ building, music theory and ear training. It was 3 year training.
V: And now you can play in church, right?
A: I've been playing in church for 35 years. In Catholic and Protestant churches.
V: In which town?
A: In a small town near Stuttgart, in Leutenbach. It's about 20 kilometers away from Stuttgart in Germany. And in Birkmannsweiler. I've been playing 3 small but very interesting organs.
V: It's very interesting to hear you play and you mentioned that your Lutheran congregation stays after the service and listens to your playing while Catholic congregation just walks out after 30 seconds. Do you think it depends on their music education level or mentality or what is causing this difference?
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Here is more information about Andreas Spahn and organ-related activities in Leutenbach and Birkmannsweiler:
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