Hans Fidom Electronics and organ art
Het ORGEL 97 (2001), nr. 1, 23-32 [summary]

Organ in the Catholic Church in MaurikElectronic instruments such as synthesizers have become relatively common in contemporary organ art. het ORGEL interviewed three persons concerned: John Terwal (organist), Willem Tanke (organist/composer), Jan Veldkamp (organ builder).

John Terwal explains how he prepared his improvisational organ part of the piece Three of a kind, which had its première in October. The electronic part was prepared by Arno Peeters. Terwal looked, as he does with respect to any improvisation, for a modus first, and developed a scheme after that. With respect to Three of a kind it showed that following Peeters’s tape exactly affected the musical significance. The pitch a in the middle part of Peeters’s piece inspired Terwal to build up an A-major chord. In the last part, Peeters had provided more opportunities for Terwal to improvise freely, so he could insert references to previous parts of the piece.

Willem Tanke is enthusiastic about his Yamaha SY 99 synthesizer. He is presently investigating the question to what extent organ sound and music from loudspeakers fit together. The works of Ton Bruynèl are stimulating to Tanke, but on the other hand the impression an African percussion group made on him makes him strive for uncomplicated music; he realizes that synthesizers and organs are very complex instruments.

Henk Hartlief applied a midi-out socket to the organ in the Catholic Church in Maurik. Now the organist can play a synthesizer via the organ manuals; the sound processed by the synthesizer comes out of two speakers placed in the organ. Veldkamp is convinced that electronic instruments can be used in an artistically convincing way. He wishes to trust that artists will use the organ in Maurik that way and is curious about new compositions.