After two years of abstinence, time was ripe again for another session at the huge Magdeburg Cathedral main organ.
Unfortunately there was no time to practice any pieces beforehand, so the "private concert with passing public"
somehow turned into a more or less technical experiment:
This album is my first disc completely recorded and mastered using surround sound material, which is available both as a
CD with stereo sound and as a DVD with 5.1 surround sound! That way, a very realistic room impression can be imparted
to the listener — which is definitely recommended to any proud owner of a 5.1 HomeCinema sound system.
Since the audio was recorded live during the regular opening hours, on the one hand there was no chance to cancel any ambient noise.
On the other hand, this "noise" — inquisitive children included — of course adds up to the atmosphere in the building.
So the album is "live and unfiltrated" in a literal meaning (rather than just "unstrained"), including a bunch of flubbed notes...
With the DVD version of the CD album of the same name, the listener has the opportunity to enjoy the original room impression
of the Magdeburg Cathedral main organ with 5.1 surround sound.
On top, the DVD contains four extra "outtake" pieces that could not find their way onto the CD due to the limited storage space.
Nonetheless, these titles are also available as stereo versions, both for download from MEGA cloud storage and for playback in a YouTube playlist.
12Improvisation On "Grand Chœur" By Théodore SaloméCZA4:54
13Katarinasymfonie (Dom MD)CZA10:02
14Master Tallis' Testament / IntroductionCZA7:26
metz-o-mix, Vol. 2
The symphonic character of the 1903 Mutin/Cavaillé-Coll organ (Notre Dame de Metz) was always an inspiration
for further transcriptions of existing pieces as well as new improvisations — which have become so many
meanwhile that they made up a complete CD of its own and thus legitimated a sequel to the "Metz-o-Mix" series.
Vol. 2 takes the full tour from Classical to Modern, from whispering to powerful, from well-known to freely invented,
from secular to sacred, from serious to cheerful — a colorful mixture, just like the title suggests.
The more well-known pieces again were played by ear completely, with some of them being partially improvised. In doing so,
the Toccata on "A Might Fortress Is Our God" —
based on the lyrics and melody by Martin Luther — was created for the 500th anniversary of the
04Improvisation "Collingsienne" (For Peter Collings)CZA10:42
05Star Wars: Impro "Binary Sunset - Force Theme"CZA5:24
07Mario Odyssey: Cascade KingdomCZA4:33
08Grimoaldo Macchia: Trumpet Tune For AscensionCZA3:05
09Martin Mans: Katarinasymfonie voor OrgelCZA9:53
10Hanns Eisler: Auferstanden aus RuinenCZA5:10
11Hans Ernst Krøyer: Danske NationalsangCZA1:20
12Jehan Alain's "Litanies": EssentialsCZA3:53
13Marche de Metz (Tour de Force)CZA3:53
14Improvised Toccata On "A Mighty Fortress"CZA6:35
15A Solemn BugleCZA4:37
A blend of French romantic improvisations and symphonic video game music, reproduced on the 1903 Mutin/Cavaillé-Coll organ (Notre Dame de Metz) sample set.
As a recommendation, it should be emphasized that the improvised piece called "Blind Improvisation Experiment" was played completely blindfolded.
It's both an homage to a young organista who went completely blind meanwhile as well as a challenge to experience and control the organ as an instrument
with only the senses that would remain after loosing eyesight.
08Final Fantasy III/VI: Opening / Terra's ThemeCZA6:35
09Final Fantasy VII: World MapCZA3:33
10Final Fantasy VII: Ending ThemeCZA5:25
11Suite Gothique: Introduction / ChoralMAI2:35
During my 2017 summer vacation, I felt very honored to fulfill the request of Eberhard Reinstadler, carpenter and documentary filmmaker from Solda (South Tyrol, Italy), for a private little concert.
Running a local business, the "Holzecke Sulden" (= Carpenter's Corner), of course he knows a number of other people from Solda, who are very accommodating...
And thus, on a rainy evening in July, a small group of music lovers came together in a homelike atmosphere at the Old Parish Church in Solda,
for whom I had the honor to improvise some gentle serenades, fitting both the weather and the late hour, after hosting a short tour of the organ.
My sincere gratitude for their cooperation goes to the sacristan Mrs. Gapp and Rvd. Hurton, who made this event happen.
04Nobuo Uematsu: Final Fantasy Ending ThemeCZA4:44
05Improvisation: Nachtwanderung im ZirmwaldCZA5:50
06Ocarina of Time Main Theme & ImprovisationCZA5:20
07Improvisation: Der Mond ist aufgegangenCZA5:45
08The Rock: IntroductionCZA3:44
1 day - 2 organists - 4 organs...
There was a lot to discover and to try out on this day for my buddy Max and me:
Declining the invitation of a befriended reverend to get in touch with multiple organs of different epochs and
"health states" in one go would have been insane, so we simply had to take that chance!
Most of the individual pieces are more or less an "experiment" to determine which organ is the best choice for which style — that's the reason why several tracks reappear multiple times.
All the tracks have been recorded on the following organs:
As a result, this CD popped out almost automatically as a "thank you" gift for Rvd. Gilg from Diesenbach/Regenstauf.
And, of course, a certain musical request (Track 24) should not be left unfulfilled...
14Lord Of The Rings: Requiem For Minas TirithCZA15:00
15Sonata For Organ And ThunderstormCZA6:12
16Nearer, My God, To TheeCZA2:14
Melodies From Hyrule
"Melodies From Hyrule" takes the listener on a synthesized musical journey through the "Legend of Zelda" universe.
Many scenes and fragments are based on "Ocarina of Time", which still is one of the most significant parts of the franchise.
Though the individual tracks were already improvised in 2009, I didn't rediscover them before 2016, when I finally decided to produce a CD compilation for my friends and family.
In addition, MFH is my first CD with a booklet consisting of 12 pages to illustrate each title with an in-game scene.
The "Yellowstone National Park Organ Suite" is a completely improvised work and birthday present dedicated to my dear friend Richard from the U.S., who celebrated his 70th birthday in 2016.
After retiring from his job as a music teacher, he now uses his time to a explore the Yellowstone National Park and to guide other people in an adventure of their lifetime.
Also, he's still active in educating young students from all over the world via the "Skype in the classroom" project and introduces them to the wonders of nature that can be observed at Yellowstone.
With a bit of luck, Richard will decide to use some of the music from this album in his presentations.
For that reason, the "Yellowstone National Park Organ Suite" had been improvised in the style of a movie sound track.
On the inside, the cover contains a selection of his most beautiful photos, where each of them shows the characteristics and great diversity of Yellowstone.
A full-length CD compilation, played as a tribute to the film music composer Hans Zimmer.
Beside some pieces that are based on his "Interstellar" OST, it contains a number of tracks that are only loosely associated with it, but belong to the same topic (space and terrestrial nature).
Being amazed by his soundtrack, I decided to re-record some (more or less improvised) excerpts on the big Magdeburg Cathedral main organ.
Some pieces were played multiple times in different versions, outlining the experimental character of the compilation.
Excerpt from another impro/training session at the Magdeburg Cathedral, played on Feb 18, 2016. Since the air inside the cathedral was pretty cold and I had to struggle with quite a number of detuned pipe ranks, I decided for "Blue Pipes" as the CD title.
Made as a musical greeting for the more "contemplative" advent, Christmas and New Year's time. The tracks from 7 to 10 were recorded directly on Christmas Eve.
As the name suggests, "Stummfilmmusik zur Weihnachtsgeschichte" (Engl. "Narrating the Nativity Story") was created as a silent movie soundtrack while the nativity story was being read.
Being a part of the playlist, this video is available on my YouTube channel.
"Mayday!" — meant as a pun to associate travelling the sea with May 1st. And that's for a reason:
Until its end in the year 1990, the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) was isolated to a great extent from any western foreign countries.
The freedom to travel elsewhere, an implicitness of today, was just a dream for most citizens in those days.
Nevertheless, the Republic was celebrated on every May 1st, the day of action of the laboring classes, also known as "May Day".
It is the intention of this compilation to recall the memory of these events and the past situation, since it was recorded on the main organ
of the Magdeburg Cathedral exactly 25 years later, on May 1st 2015.
This compilation associates the topic of travel, indicated by the diversified use of pieces from abroad, with the history of the GDR, of which some specific national anthems should remind.
The red carnation, which is depicted on the cover in Link's hand, is most probably a symbol being stuck in the memory of many former GDR citizens.
Apropos travelling: Whoever is familiar with the video game title "The Legend of Zelda — The Wind Waker" will be excited to make the trip...
18Game Over & Bonus: Ganon's Tower & Chill-OutCZA8:00
The Organic Planets Suite
In the middle of the year 2015, Hauptwerk enthusiast and video game revolutionist Leo Christopherson ("Android Nim") arranged the first three movements
of the orchestral suite "The Planets" by Gustav Holst for pipe organ and additional instruments.
When he published these on the international pipe organ music forum "ContreBombarde ConcertHall" and the results were very appreciated,
I encouraged him to transcribe the remaining movements as well — while being completely unaware that it would mark his grand and final legacy before he died in spring 2016.
But his highly authentic-sounding transcription, which was brought to life on a virtual pipe organ specifically designed for that purpose, will live on at the forum and on this CD.
For him I designed the CD artwork, which is available for free in German and English language.