ORGAN GRINDER THEATRE ORGAN

Was considered the largest, most complete, and authentic NW Theatre Pipe Organ in NW America.

Theatre Pipe Organ Concert MP3 Music Oregon Triode Society

Recording Session

With Jonas Nordwall at the Keyboard*

Recorded in full bandwidth dimensional stereo by Leonard Lombardo using Sonic Studios patented stereo-surround mic system

Recording Equipment: DSM-6S/M mic, PA-12A Servo Preamplifier, GUY hrtf mic baffle, line level input to Denon DTR-80P DAT portable recording deck

The Organ Grinder Pipe Organ (with "60 Horsepower" compressor!) was a 4/51, which means it had four keyboards and 51 ranks (quite large for a Theatre-style pipe organ), was (but no longer) housed  at "The Organ Grinder "(Pizza House) in Portland, Oregon. This exceptional instrument was played by many organists and enjoyed by the public for at least two decades.

Organ Grinder Pipe Organ photos/info may be found at: http://www.pstos.org/instruments/or/portland/organ-grinder.htm

*Pacific Northwest Theatre Pipe Organ info (past/present) and a comprehensive list of organists including Jonas Nordwall may be found at: http://www.pstos.org

Very special thanks to Chris Anderson (cma@uiuc.edu) for the additional comments, corrections, and resource links.

Introduction: The Theatre Pipe Organ

A "Theatre Pipe Organ" is not like those found in Church or Cathedrals as it was a music instrument WITH A VERY LARGE REPERTOIRE of "sound effects" meant to play for large movie houses before "film with sound" became common.  Used in crowded and often noisy Movie Theatres, it was made far more powerful (read much louder) than the usual church organ and often had a hundred or more different air powered sound effects played by skilled artists working the visual cues of the "film's script."  Some films came with scripts of effects and music while others left all or most of that to the Organist's improvised efforts that usually improved with each viewing.

Many American's of that era had their 1st (and usually ONLY) live music experience from sitting in the movie houses with the Theatre Pipe Organ playing "film music and effects" and was easily considered the most recognized musical instrument in early 1900's industrial American society. But I digress and most of you (especially those over 75 years of age) probably know this already.  

The Organ Grinder owners, were true enthusiasts, taking many years to search out (working or repairable) authentic accessories to expand to nearly the full range of possible Theatre organ sound effects; the EFX categories possible with this instrument list easily exceeded 125 with bells, whistles, sirens, percussion, wind, rain, (you name it!) easily recognized sound effects.

Many recording sessions took place at this location over the years and the Oregon Triode Society used the opportunity to treat the society members + guests to a concert and recording session using several types of microphone systems.  This was an especially enjoyable learning experience as the organist Jonas Nordwall is considered one of most accomplished on this particular instrument and expertly played a dozen styles of pop to classical music, and demonstrated virtually every amazing sound effect possible on the Organ Grinder Organ.  

The performance was recorded using three different microphones systems.  During a break, all three versions of one particular recorded music selection (usually the last piece) was played back over (very large/highly powered) monitor speakers so that the different mic systems and techniques could be heard, compared, and briefly discussed.

RECORDING EQUIPMENT:

DOWNLOAD  Christmas Medley . . . 192 kbps  . . . 44.1K Stereo . . . 20.3 MEG  . . . 14:04 MIN

The "Silent Film" type music selections provided for download below are recognizable as THE standard silent-film-era EFX/music calling on bells, whistles, sirens, and a multitude of other effects meant to enhance the often whimsical but quick changing moods common of films like those made by Charlie Chaplin.

DOWNLOAD  Scott Joplin "Elite Syncopations"  . . . 192 kbps . . . 44.1K Stereo . . . 3.5 MEG . . . 2:23 MIN

DOWNLOAD  E.T. Paull's "The Burning of Rome" Music + EFXs  . . . 192 kbps . . . 44.1K Stereo  . . . 4.4 MEG . . . 3:10 MIN

More information on E. T. Paull may be found at: http://home.earthlink.net/~jfeenstra/ETPaull.htm


"Organ Grinder Theatre Organ" Recording Session Compilation

All selections are very high quality 192 Kbps . . . 44.1K Stereo . . . MP3

DOWNLOAD  #1 "Intro: Organ Grinder/Long Pipes" Discussion/Demo by Owner Dennis Hedberg   . . . 12 MEG . . . 8:19 MIN

DOWNLOAD  #2 "Percussion & EFX Demo" Drums & EFXs    . . . 4.2 MEG . . . 2:55 MIN

DOWNLOAD  #3 "Little Mermaid ... Percussion Demo" Drums & EFXs    . . . 3.2 MEG . . . 2:15 MIN

DOWNLOAD  #4 E.T. Paull's "The Burning of Rome" Music + EFXs . . . 4.4 MEG . . . 3:10 MIN

DOWNLOAD #5 Scott Joplin "Elite Syncopations" Movie House Music  . . . 3.5 MEG . . . 2:23 MIN

DOWNLOAD  #6 Mozart's "For Barrel Organ" Classical Music    . . . 12.4 MEG . . . 9:02 MIN

DOWNLOAD  #7 "Toccata" Very Rousing Classical Music Piece   . . . 3.8 MEG . . . 2:46 MIN

DOWNLOAD  #8 "Sousa March" Rousing March Piece   . . . 4.3 MEG . . . 3:08 MIN

DOWNLOAD  #9 "Memory From CATS" Sensitive Theme Music   . . . 9 MEG . . . 6:30 MIN

DOWNLOAD  #10 "Christmas Medley" Traditional Holiday Music   . . . 20.3 MEG . . . 14:04 MIN

DOWNLOAD  #11 "Take Five" Jazz Piece  . . . 5.2 MEG . . . 3:47 MIN

 


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