New developments connected with the organ festival VOOR DE WIND by Henk Kooiker, Sarah Stiles, Pieter Bakker

by Henk Kooiker, Sarah Stiles, Pieter Bakker | Het ORGEL | Year 99 | (2003) | Issue 6

Henk Kooiker, Sarah Stiles, Pieter Bakker New developments connected with the organ festival VOOR DE WIND
Het ORGEL 99 (2003), nr. 6, xx-xx [summary]

Ever more attention is being paid to the development of a new perspective on organ culture. Recent discussions on this topic show a combination of common sense (organ activities are worthless if they aren’t attended by an audience, however interesting they may be in themselves), attention to artistic aspects (what does making music in fact mean?), and striving for an atmosphere in which 20th-century concepts are not just thrown away just because we think we know better now, but can be interpreted as elements of their own time. This article focuses on these aspects in three parts.
Henk Kooiker shows that technique is so advanced these days that it’s no longer tenable to think that good acoustics can’t be designed; also he states that a musician can’t blame the acoustics if he’s playing badly. These two thoughts convince him that the organ should be integrated into the general musical scene: without the audience in concert halls etc., it makes no sense to make high-quality organ music. 
Violinist Sarah Stiles develops ideas about learning improvisation, based – among other things – on experiences with organ improvisations. She suggests that organists should improvise together, listening and reacting to each other; she expects that this will enhance in general the talent for musicmaking itself.
Pieter Bakker, editor of the magazine Kunst & Wetenschap (i.e. Art & Science), draws attention to the significance of the recent tendency to criticise 20th-century theories about numbers and music level-headedly – and urges as well not that they not be thrown away as rubbish. Ideas of people like Thijs Kramer, Kees van Houten and Piet Kee are an important aspect of 20th-century organ art.