Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Concert Organist

Archive for the ‘Multi-media organ concert experiences’ Category

Robert Ampt Interview continued

Jeannine:  Your extensive performance career includes solo concerts as well as those with your wife, organist Amy Johansen.  Together you have developed two specialties – the playing of organ duets, and the presentation of children’s ‘Introduction to the Organ’ programs.

What are the challenges/joy of performing duet concerts?  What repertoire is included in these concerts?
Mr. Ampt:  Duet playing is surprisingly different to solo playing.  For a start many, particularly American, consoles are deliberately designed for the convenience of a single player on the middle of the bench.  Any departure from this position makes the pedalboard, in particular, quite uncomfortable to play.  For duet playing a flat/straight pedalboard is definitely the easiest. On the other hand, ample and convenient registration aids together with the presence of fanfare reeds make many American organs well suited to duet playing.  Compared to solo playing registration for duets is significantly more complicated, particularly when playing transcriptions. And of course both players must agree on the choices.  We find that preparation time on an unknown instrument is approximately doubled for duet programs. And there will be no point in being shy about occasional close physical contact.
We perform a mixture of original organ duets (eg Merkel, Beethoven, Hakim, Mozart, Bedard, Ampt), and transcriptions (eg William Tell Overture, Saint Saens III, 1812 Overture, Mid-Summer Night’s Dream overture).
Playing in time together raises an interesting issue.  Playing metronomically accurately is the easiest was to stay together, but it also produces the most heartless and empty performances. So a definite challenge in duet playing is to be able to play together while still allowing rhythmic flexibility to colour and enliven the music, just as with the performance of chamber music.
Jeannine:  Please describe your “Introduction to the Organ” programs.

Mr. Ampt:  The aim of these presentations is to offer approximately 25 unbroken minutes of total fun and enjoyment in a situation where the organ is the centre-piece, followed by all children having a play.  Those who have brought (usually piano) music can play their whole piece while non-players are encouraged to simply “improvise”.
The actual presentations give the impression that Amy (on the organ) and I (writer, arranger and narrator) are just having a good time imparting lots of information.  But in reality the presentations are tightly organized and fully scripted, with most of the narrations delivered by memory to give the impression of spontaneity.  We have often performed Daniel Burton’s Rex, The King of Instruments (with changes appropriate to the local instrument and culture), and frequently use 5 – 10 minute segments using TV, film and football club themes presented in appropriately varied ways, for which I have write narratives.  There may also be an “I spy…” segment and a quiz Yell-a-thon.

 

Jeannine:  I recently learned your delightful yet challenging organ composition, Concert Etude on an Australian Folk-Tune.  Do you often use indigenous Australian melodies in your composition?

 

Mr. Ampt:  My first published music – Australian Christmas Suite for Organ – treats, somewhat as chorale preludes, five of the Australian Christmas Carols (Wheeler/James) which were published in the 1940s.  The texts of these delightful carols mention the heat, dust and fires of Christmas time and allude to Australian flora and fauna. Definitely no snow in the paddocks. In addition to the Concert Etude you mentioned (based on “Pub with no Beer”), there is also a set of concert variations for four feet on Waltzing Matilda.  Audiences seem to find this piece quite entertaining, with several American organ duet teams having it in their repertoires.
  Many seem to think that my most successful solo organ work is “Elijah on the Mountain”, inspired by the passage in Kings II where Elijah recognizes his god in the “still, small voice”. The first in a recently published set of Three Trumpet Pieces is also proving popular. Besides the organ music, there is also music for oboe/organ and piano/organ.
I have also arranged and written a considerable quantity of Christmas music for choir.  Some of this is a capella, but most is with organ accompaniment. All of this music was originally prepared for the annual Christmas at the Sydney Town Hall concert – a very traditional Christmas celebration based on the Nine Lessons and Carols which always sells out. For this event I have also arranged several of the well-known carols with organ/brass fanfares and accompaniments which can be used with large choir and congregation.  I would classify the style as traditional and harmonic. All of this music is published.
Although I have never had formal composition lessons, I do consider my learning in this area to have come from three sources. The first was the playing, in my early years, of countless high quality hymns harmonized by properly trained musicians.   A natural feeling for good and correct harmonisations is now normal for me.  The second was/is the music of the great composers; those whose music exhibits both form and passion.  These composers extend from Bach to Hakim. The third will be mentioned below in regard to my church-playing requirements.

 

Jeannine:  Where can one find your compositions, recordings, other publications?
Mr. Ampt:  The website “Birralee Publishing” has a sadly incomplete list of my works. Best to email direct to robertampt@tpg.com.au  Most of the CD recordings can be found on the Move Records site, including “Joy to the World”, which contains much of the Christmas music already referred to, and “Organ at the Opera” which includes the Waltzing Matilda duet.

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Excerpted from the June 2017 Pro-Motion Music newsletter.

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist with her husband David, media artist, are the creators and performers of Bach and Sons, From Sea to Shining Sea, and Around the World in 80 Minutes — live organ concerts with multi-media.

Godwin Sadoh – ethnomusicologist – Interview continued

Dr. Sadoh:  My extensive researches on African ethnomusicology, intercultural musicology, modern African art music, Nigerian church music, organ building, and composers, have been published in reputable international journals such as The Diapason, The Hymn, The Organ, The Organ Club Journal, Journal of the Royal College of Organists, The Organ: An Encyclopedia, The Musical Times, Africa, Choral Journal, Percussive Notes, MLA Notes, NTAMA, Living Music Journal, and Composer-USA.  In fact, one of my books, Intercultural Dimensions in Ayo Bankole’s Music, topped the bestseller list as No. 1 on Amazon in 2007.  My books have been catalogued in some of the most prestigious archival centers and university libraries around the world, including the Library of Congress, Smithsonian Libraries, Harvard University Library, Yale University Library, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College Music Library–New Hampshire, UCLA Music Library, Duke University Library–North Carolina, Stanford University Library–California, Southern Methodist Libraries, Dallas–Texas, Center for Black Music Research–Chicago, Bayreuth University Library–Germany, Tufts University Library–Massachusetts, University of London, School of Oriental Studies and African Studies–London, Cathedral Church of Christ Library–Lagos, and the Music Libraries of the University of Pretoria, University of South Africa, University of Kwazulu-Natal, University of the Witwatersrand–Johannesburg, all nestled in South Africa.  This is just to mention a few.

I am always excited and grateful to see my published articles and books listed as references in theses and dissertations, and in the syllabi of both undergraduate and graduate courses at colleges and universities around the world.  As regards my compositions, they have been performed all over the world including Birmingham, Cameroon, Canada, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Scotland, Tanzania, South Africa, and of course, the United States, where my music is performed regularly in churches and schools every week.  Since my return to Nigeria in 2013 after several years of sojourn in the United States, I have come across a lot of Masters and PhD students and Music Instructors who informed me of how useful my scholarly publications have being to them when writing their theses or dissertations.  My compositions too have been widely performed at churches, schools, colleges and universities all over Nigeria.  The climax of my creative reward in Nigeria were the mammoth concerts featuring only my compositions that took place in the nation’s capital, Abuja, on April 29, 2016, and on August 6, 2016, at the prestigious Cathedral Church of Christ, Lagos.  The third phase of the concert would feature only my organ compositions at the Cathedral Church later in 2017; while the Grand Finale would take place in my late mother’s home town in summer 2017.  At this Finale, a 100-Mass Choir would perform my choral songs to the glory of God.  To me, these are priceless and quantum experiences in my musical career!
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Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist, and David Jordan, media artist, are the creators and performers of three organ and multi-media concert experiences, Around the World in 80 Minutes, Bach and Sons, and From Sea to Shining Sea.  Contact Dr. Jordan at jeannine@promotionmusic.org for information.

Meet David Clark

Jeannine:  Who is David Clark, and how did you find a career in music?

Dr. Clark:  As a child, I was drawn to classical music and especially the organ. From as far back as I can remember, I went to see and hear pipe organs at every opportunity.  I desperately wanted to play them (as I had already started piano at about age eight), but of course was never allowed to touch a pipe organ in those days, so I just looked, longed and listened. So organs and organ music have been a passion for as long as I can remember!

I graduated from Melbourne University, Victoria, Australia, in piano and organ in 1968. Then I did further organ study overseas with Dr Martin Neary at Winchester Cathedral and post graduate study in musicology and organ with Dr Warren Becker at Andrews University, Michigan, including a Summer School in Suzuki Piano at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point. That was my first introduction to Suzuki piano teaching.

I was a Senior Lecturer and Chair of the Music Department (now Avondale Conservatorium) at Avondale College, NSW, for over thirty years. I taught musicology, organ, piano and French over that time. Apart from my day job I am a half-marathon runner, amateur horticulturist (we live on three acres) and love hiking with family and friends.

 

J:  You are well-known in the music world of Australia as a proponent of the Suzuki organ teaching method: What is unique about the Suzuki philosophy?

Dr. Clark:  Dr Shinichi Suzuki (1898-1998) outlines his philosophy in his book “Nurtured by Love.” (Alfred Music; Revised edition, 2013) He realised that all children learn – some well, some badly – depending on their environment. They learn to speak their nativeaa language (or more languages if they are surrounded by them) perfectly well, without any accent: something an adult can only do with great difficulty! Thinking about this natural Mother Tongue environment, he realised that babies and very young children absorb music in the same way, immersed in the language of music by repeated listening – even before birth. Then when they later show an interest in learning to play – sometimes as young as two or three – as our son did with the cello – they learn in small steps suited to their individual development.  From this flows the philosophy of learning with love, the most natural and important way a young child will absorb music as a language from their environment.   This is what is unique about the Suzuki philosophy –all young children can learn to play music well, as a natural part of their lives. Of course this can only be achieved by informed, involved parents and highly skilled teachers.  Teacher training and professional development are at the heart of the Suzuki Triangle – parent – child – teacher.  This is why many teachers from all over the world flocked to Matsumoto, Japan, where Dr Suzuki taught three year olds to play the violin. Teachers observed, listened and played, absorbing the skills needed to teach young children. Many of them graduated and went back to their countries to spread the Suzuki philosophy, which is now global.

For those who want to find out more, there is an excellent account of the Suzuki philosophy here:  http://www.suzukimusic.org.au/suzuki.htm#phil
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Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist, and David Jordan, media artist, are the creators and performers of three organ and multi-media concert experiences, Around the World in 80 Minutes, Bach and Sons, and From Sea to Shining Sea.  Contact Dr. Jordan at jeannine@promotionmusic.org for information.

What is “Around the World in 80 Minutes”?

We just had our northwest introduction Around the World in 80 Minutes. The official world premiere is in Wooster OH at Music on Market on April 26th at 7:00 PM. For those of you in the Ohio-Indiana-Michigan area, the doors open at 6:15.We had a completely full house at the introduction.

What makes Around the World in 80 Minutes so attractive? Our slogan is : “Hear & See the Inspired Sounds of the Globe”

I can’t promise you’ll lose weight, but there are many other personal benefits you’ll enjoy.

Around the World in 80 Minutes – a fast-moving concert that features unique global organ repertoire by native composers, and is as exciting as it sounds.
A great journey around the world that transcends the boundaries of countries, religions, nationalities, time periods and styles. Bringing people together through music, visuals and the grandeur of the organ.  Celebrating the fascinating diversity of the music of the world.

Musically

Performed with Jeannine’s brilliant playing and accompanied by creative registrations unveiling sounds from the organ you may not previously have not made visible their voice.

Visuals

Visually, there are animations of animals, dancers, music, vids of Jeannine in a fly-suit?, travel, inside of a cathedral,  world recognized landmarks, live cameras on Jeannine’s hands (left and right), feet (left and right), and as narrator.

Stories

Since Jeannine visited all of the six continents and most of the countries represented there are great anecdotes about her visits

Travel

From a travel stand-point you’ll cross over some of the highest mountains, and driest deserts. Visit sheep in New Zealand, parrots in the Brazilian rainforest and 4th of July in the USA.

Humor

I can’t seem to function without humor, so there is a good sprinkling of that too. Who’s in the Queens carriage?

80 Minutes

Yes, This all happens in 80 minutes. As we quote one Southwest flight attendant: ‘Fasten your seats belts because we are going to go REALLY fast.”

Check out our coming events page to find a concert in your area.

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist, and David Jordan, media artist, are the creators and performers of three organ and multi-media concert experiences, Around the World in 80 Minutes, Bach and Sons, and From Sea to Shining Sea.  Contact Dr. Jordan at jeannine@promotionmusic.org for information.

A Grand Time Was Had By All

What a splendid afternoon!  We so enjoyed sharing our newest organ and multi-media concert experience, Around the World in 80 Minutes, with a full house at our West Coast Introduction on Sunday, January 29th at Nestucca Valley Presbyterian Church in Pacific City, Oregon.  The audience was fascinated with the wide diversity of the music of the world enhanced with stunning visuals and live camera feeds.  The official World-Premiere of this concert will take place in Wooster, Ohio as part of the fifth anniversary of the Music on Market Concert Series.  We invite you to visit our website, www.aroundtheworldin80minutes.org to catch the excitement of this new concert.

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist, and David Jordan, media artist, are the creators and performers of three organ and multi-media concert experiences, Around the World in 80 Minutes, Bach and Sons, and From Sea to Shining Sea.  Contact Dr. Jordan at jeannine@promotionmusic.org for information.

 

Introduction of Around the World in 80 Minutes

We will be presenting our newest organ and multi-media concert experience, Around the World in 80 Minutes at our West Coast Introduction on Sunday, January 29th in Pacific City, Oregon.  It is such a thrill to share our newest creative endeavor celebrating the fascinating diversity of the music of the world (prior to the April World-Premiere concert in Wooster, Ohio) with our Oregon Coast friends and communities.  Check out the Coming Events Sidebar for details and visit our website, www.aroundtheworldin80minutes.org to catch the excitement of this new concert.

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist, and David Jordan, media artist, are the creators and performers of three organ and multi-media concert experiences, Around the World in 80 Minutes, Bach and Sons, and From Sea to Shining Sea.  Contact Dr. Jordan at jeannine@promotionmusic.org for information.

 

V7 – I

I.  Life is a series of dissonance (V7) and consonance (I).  The goal, though, is that the dissonance directs us to the solid footing of the tonic, the starting point, the landing place of our lives.

  • Dissonance is what causes us to want to go to the consonance.
  • We don’t have to be taught what dissonance is. It’s what we call most of our life experiences. So dissonance is a reality, but it’s one that needs to be followed through to get back to the Tonic.

 

Some people are so “dissonancy” that they end up just flitting from one dissonance to another. There have been composers over time that thought that was a great idea. Can’t name one, can you? Right, they and their “dissonancy music” are gone. (again)

  • Some lives are mostly consonance and are, how shall we say, boring. Some are oblivious to the fact that there actually can be resolution to the dissonance in their lives — that there is a great tonic out there calling their name.
  • Consonance is our resting place, that really nice feeling of equilibrium where we want to be after a hard day’s work. For example, after a staff meeting or finance meeting.

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Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist, and David Jordan, media artist, are the creators and performers of three organ and multi-media concert experiences, Around the World in 80 Minutes, Bach and Sons, and From Sea to Shining Sea.  Contact Dr. Jordan at jeannine@promotionmusic.org for information.

 

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