Timeless Music on a Timeless Instrument

The instrument I am playing here is older than Thyagabrahmam Or Beethoven. Its of the same age as Mozart...
When it was made, British rule was yet to start in India.
Pulithevar, the first chieftain in India to resist the British was ruling back home.
His junior peer Veerapandiya kattabomman was yet to be born and...
Tipu Sultan was a 6 year old boy...

"Orgel van de Grote Kerk in Nijkerk" Or the "Organ of the big church of Nijkerk" is a pipe organ made in the year 1756. Except for the wind mechanism (which was manual back then and has been since made electric) a great deal of its present state is still original and still produces the same divine, pristine sounds.

The Organ console from where the organist sits and plays, the manuals (Also known as a Keyboard nowadays), The stops and registers are all from the 18th century and are in supreme condition.

The "GREAT" section of the organ (also known as the "Hoofdwerk" Or the "main section" of the organ) comprises of the large set of pipes that you see towering sometimes all the way to the ceiling of a church.

The "Swell" section of the work (aka "Rug werk" or the "back work") thats usually visible as an ornamental balcony from the ground floor of the church covers a relatively smaller set pipes.

"Stops" are mechanical levers that can be pulled to control the wind flow into these registers (A set of pipes) and through this process of Registration (i.e., selecting one or more stops simultaneously) an organist can produce wonderful combination of sounds ranging from the timber of flutes to Brass.

Not to mention the pedal section of the Organ, where an organist plays with the foot, usually producing those warm, chamber filling, rich Bass effects that grips your heart.

And there is a mechanism by which its possible to control the manuals that are normally played by hand, by the foot pedal. (i.e., you press the foot pedal and it actually presses the keys on one of the keyboards on top automatically). That's pretty cool !

So apart from playing with both hands simultaneously, often on multiple keyboards AND playing with foot simultaneously (so basically you are on all fours, literally dancing) AND selecting a complex permutation of stops to pull all the time while playing AND not moving your eye away for one second from the notation in front, playing Organ got to be the most physically and intellectually demanding exercise in the planet.

This particular organ is rated among the top 3 best organs in Holland and it is still used for professional recordings.

This is the third time I had an opportunity to play this wonderful organ. But this time, I was also fortunate enough to have a full guided tour behind the scenes to understand how the simple goal of pressing a key with little effort creates music loud enough to fill a complete church hall that is sometimes half as big as a soccer field. So If playing the organ is such a great gift, the jaw dropping mechanical engineering behind the scenes dwarfs all that.

And for the records, //the pipe organ was the most complex man-made device before the industrial revolution, a distinction it retained until it was displaced by the telephone exchange in the late 19th century//

All these was weighing in my mind when I was offered the chance of playing something.. Many choices were shadowing before my head inside. But obviously I had to choose a music that's worthy of played on such an instrument.

Considering the western audience for the day who would appreciate the Indian sounds, I briefly considered 'Anandha Ragam Ketkum Kaalam' Or 'Poova eduthu". Finally I settled for the pentatonic Mohanam of Poovil Vandu.

So here is Maestro Ilaiyaraaja on an organ as timeless as his music !!

With Love