Electronics and organ art by Hans Fidom

by Hans Fidom | Het ORGEL | Year 97 | (2001) | Issue 1

Hans Fidom Electronics and organ art
Het ORGEL 97 (2001), nr. 1, 23-32 [summary]

Organ in the Catholic Church in MaurikElectronicinstruments such as synthesizers have become relatively common in contemporary organ art. hetORGEL interviewed three persons concerned: John Terwal (organist), Willem Tanke(organist/composer), Jan Veldkamp (organ builder).

John Terwal explains how he prepared his improvisational organ part of the piece Threeof a kind, which had its première in October. The electronic part was prepared by ArnoPeeters. Terwal looked, as he does with respect to any improvisation, for a modus first,and developed a scheme after that. With respect to Three of a kind it showed thatfollowing Peeters’s tape exactly affected the musical significance. The pitch a inthe middle part of Peeters’s piece inspired Terwal to build up an A-major chord. Inthe last part, Peeters had provided more opportunities for Terwal to improvise freely, sohe could insert references to previous parts of the piece.

Willem Tanke is enthusiastic about his Yamaha SY 99 synthesizer. He is presentlyinvestigating the question to what extent organ sound and music from loudspeakers fittogether. The works of Ton Bruynèl are stimulating to Tanke, but on the other hand theimpression an African percussion group made on him makes him strive for uncomplicatedmusic; he realizes that synthesizers and organs are very complex instruments.

Henk Hartlief applied a midi-out socket to the organ in the Catholic Church in Maurik.Now the organist can play a synthesizer via the organ manuals; the sound processed by thesynthesizer comes out of two speakers placed in the organ. Veldkamp is convinced thatelectronic instruments can be used in an artistically convincing way. He wishes totrust that artists will use the organ in Maurik that way and is curious about newcompositions.