Andrew Carter (b. 1939) — Three Pieces for Three Stops (2007) for organ
1. A Cipher
2. Tuning Slides
3. Gremlins on the Great
English composer Andrew Carter (b. 1939) studied at the University of Leeds, and began his musical career as a bass in the choir of York Minster. After a year of conducting in New Zealand, he returned to England in the early 1980s to focus on composition. He has published numerous original choral works and arrangements as well as a number of organ pieces. His choral music has been widely performed and recorded throughout the world, and he travels frequently as a clinician. His "Missa Sancti Pauli" was written in 1997 for the tercentenary celebrations of St. Paul's Cathedral in London.
"Three Pieces for Three Stops" (2007) was written in memory of Arthur Cooper, regional manager of J. W. Walker & Sons organ builders. The title refers to the 1968 Walker organ in the Church of St. Martin-le-Grand, Coney Street, York, England—a distinctive, small instrument with only three stops, which Arthur Cooper installed and maintained. "A Cipher" refers to the term used in the organ world for a stuck note that will not stop playing. In this movement, it is middle C which continues to return throughout the movement, and is finally left hanging alone at the end. "Tuning Slides" refers to the metal adjustment levers used by an organ tuner to adjust the pitch of certain kinds of pipes, and Carter comments that "the shifting tonalities reflect the constant pitching and lurching deck of the North Sea ferry and our yearning for terra firma during an organ study tour I took with Arthur Cooper." "Gremlins on the Great" closes the set with humorous hijnks. The "great" is the term generally used to refer to the main division of an organ.