The organ and Midi, Midi the devil or midi opening new horizons
Midi has entered organ playing. Not just in Hauptwerk. A playing table sits by itself on the podium of the new Philharmonie of Paris. It is linked to a large organ behind by only a small cable. Midi has been implemented in an increasing number of church organs. Professionals practice during day time, make a recording by Midi and the result is played for a CD recording at night when there is little outside noise. One only needs to save the memory stick to replay the recording at any time!
So where is the place for the organist? Sure, guiding the worshippers in singing requires interaction between them and the organist. Improvising brings a gathering to live. But we could simply run a complete service putting the USB stick in the organ. Midi the devil?
However, recently I have been playing with a sequencer connected to Hauptwerk. Certainly, we all know that playing notes keyed into the computer yields robot music, lacking what music should do, transmit emotions. But in principle, the sequencer offers the opportunity to produce notes of any length at any moment. It is not easy to make music that way but much practice, like practicing to play music with the fingers, can do the job. Moreover, one can replay what one has composed, listen and subsequently improve one’s registration until one hears what one wants to hear. This has stimulated me to spend much time on a (in my ears) perfect performance. In addition, if one likes to compose, one can make music which exceeds what one can do with fingers and feet. This might start a complete trend in organ playing. I think this could be very important because organ music is becoming less appreciated as something being old fashioned. In other words: Midi opening new horizons!