Kevin Kissinger at the Pipe Organ -- Kansas City, Mo.

Posted: 10/9/2008 4:00:59 PM

From: Kansas City, Mo.

Joined: 8/23/2005

Besides being called, "The King of Instruments" the pipe organ is sometimes called the original "additive synthesizer".

Sorry, no theremin playing on this concert, though. Maybe next time ;)

Holy Cross Lutheran Church
2003 NE Englewood Road
Kansas City, Mo. 64118

October 26, 2008 3:30pm

Holy Cross Lutheran Church is one of the best-known landmarks in the Kansas City Northland. The pipe organ recital showcases the church's McManis instrument and is part of the church's 50th anniversary celebration.
Posted: 10/9/2008 10:56:34 PM
Brian R

From: Somerville, MA

Joined: 10/7/2005

Okay, so I can see that it's impractical to try to play a theremin while seated at the console...

...but maybe you could install a simple ribbon controller across the top of the pedalboard? Think of how much more expressive the standard repertoire could be with bass lines played portamento!
Posted: 10/10/2008 6:27:40 PM

From: Kingston, NY

Joined: 2/13/2005

They could have fitted antennas on either side of the console, coming out of the stop jams, and he could use his elbows. Organists have been known to do stranger things.

I'd just love to see the instrumement with a toe piston for Aether On.

dent-a-pipe Kevin!

(shame on them though, they don't have a web page for the organ)
Posted: 10/13/2008 11:18:54 AM

From: Kansas City, Mo.

Joined: 8/23/2005

The pipe organ at Holy Cross has an old (pre-solid state) combination action and switching.

Interestingly, modern pipe organ consoles feature MIDI In/Out and, occasionally, have touch-sensitive keyboards.

At the church where I play, we acquired a digital organ and each of its three keyboards is touch sensitive. The organ also has a MIDI sound module that is playable from the keyboards and pedal.

The sound module actually has a patch (sound) that is a monophonic sine-wave with vibrato -- and, when one plays legato, the pitch glides from one note to the next. Not a theremin sound, but an expressive sound, none-the-less. As long as I avoid large intervals, the gliding sounds expressive without bringing attention to itself.

I use the midi-module a lot although most folks in the congregation would be unaware of it.

Personally, I find the pipe organ and the theremin to be polar opposites. The pipe organ is inherently mechanical and one must work very hard to achieve a spontaneous and expressive result. Pipe organ tremolos tend to be ugly and mechanical (though schwimmer tremolos and Dom Bedos tremolos can be very nice.) Still, an organist has no control over the tremolo other than "off" or "on".

The theremin not only invites expression, it demands it. The theremin is very sensitive to the performer and, as such, sounds spontaneous -- even for a highly-rehearsed performance.

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