Happy New Year!Read Now
Ah the joys of composing organ music in sub zero temperatures!
I am fortunate to have access to a really very good (albeit electric) organ at the church in my village. The door is open during daylight hours...but the heating is only put on for services and events!
As you can see, my head and neck were lovely and warm...unfortunately I can't play manuals in gloves....or pedals in boots.
I always promise myself in these situations that I "will only stay half an hour", but time flies when you're enjoying yourself....and those crunchy chords in the middle section won't write themselves you know!
Another little challenge is that the lights are on a timer, so go off after about ten minutes. Sometimes running up and down the aisle to reactivate them is quite good fun (and prevents frostbite), but this is not always an option if you've just found the perfect notes and need to write them down before they evaporate back into the musical ether.
This is not new however.
I have been doing this since I was twelve.
I used to let myself in the Chancel door of my (then) parish church, Great St. Mary's in Sawbridgeworth to practise after school in daylight, then, some hours later finish an extended and deeply satisfying absolutely full organ chord (usually from the forbidden fruit of the Widor Toccata - banned by my wonderful teacher Michael Cubbage until I was ready) to find that it had got dark outside. I then had to close the organ, walk all the way across the (quite big ) church, turn ALL THE LIGHTS OFF and then walk in suffocating blackness the entire length of the (quite big) church, past all the memorials with their leering skulls and the past the ancient Leventhorpe tomb to let my poor trembling twelve year old self out of the chancel door.
At least I don't have to do that any more!
Happy New Year to you all. May 2017 bring health, happiness and wonderful music.
12/2/2023 07:38:28 am
Nice blog, thanks for posting
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Alison Willis is a composer and musician based in the East of England.