Photo: Sven Andersson
THE NORTH GERMAN BAROQUE ORGAN IN ÖRGRYTE
AS A SOUND LAB FOR NEW MUSIC
Hans-Ola Ericson, Carl Johan Bergsten, Academy of Music and Drama organ and composition students
The third instrument in this project is celebrating its 20th birthday in 2020. The North German Baroque organ was inaugurated in Örgryte New Church, not only with Baroque music but also with an avante garde Mass for organ and tape by the organist and composer Hans Ola Ericsson (2000). The organ was always intended to serve as a platform for artistic research in a broader meaning than only traditional performance practice research. It is still the largest meantone organ with microtonal keys in the world and the possibilities it offers to new performers have still not been explored in a formal artistic research inquiry. The organ is a wind instrument and the wind system dynamic behaviour or “the breathing” of the organ is an instrument quality, contributing to the musical expression. The documentation methodology to describe the dynamic wind behaviour (developed in the Organ as a Memory Bank) describes in a scientific way what we experience as good or bad wind dynamics.
Using the Örgryte organ where the wind system can be configured in a number of ways in order to achieve different dynamic behaviors, listening tests can be performed to create knowledge about how the listening experience is connected to the physical dynamic properties of the system. Selecting different wind system layouts will make it possible to influence the amplitude, the damping and/or the oscillation frequency of the underdamped oscillating wind system and any of these affordances could be exploited by creative musicians in performance. The 2016 Göteborg International Organ Academy, coinciding with the national Church Music conference in Göteborg will create important platforms for experimentation.