Friday, December 7, 2012

Let's Look at the Show

Seeing a pipe organ in action is almost as much fun as hearing one in person. Same with a Wurlitzer theatre organ.

Where the latter is often designed to give a bit of a show, the former is simply a wonder to behold and even better if you can see the player in action. Aside from a drummer on a trap kit, we can't think of another musical instrument that actively requires all four limbs if the performer wants to make as much sound as possible.

The sheer mechanical spectacle of a "Mighty" Wurlitzer theatre organ still has the power to amaze -- for us, anyway.

Pipe organ virtuoso Cameron Carpenter lays waste to "Sleigh Ride" by Leroy Andreson in this video from his Youtube channel. He plays it almost too fast to keep up with himself, but dang if he doesn't look like a cartoon octopus while covering all the orchestral parts of the winter tune:

Less manic and more hypnotic is David Dunlap playing the same tune on a Wersi Scala organ -- basicaly a Wurlitzer with a motherboard instead of bellows, pipes and levers. Prepare to be mesmerized:

Then enjoy falling down a rabbit hole of organ performance videos, because that's what happens. Either that or you go ice skating.