A Journey Through Time
‘From Sea to Shining Sea‘ recalls the organ’s past in the U.S.’
Time travel may not be possible, but don’t tell that to organist Dr. Jeannine Jordan. Jordan takes music lovers on a journey through 200 years of organ history in a music and multimedia performance. “It’s a complete package of the lives of colonists and lives of musicians and how they interacted.”
Using music, anecdotes and images, Jordan and her media artist husband David Jordan tell the story of the beginnings of organs in the colonies and its progress and impact through the late 1800. After extensive research into the lives of early American organists (1700-1850) in five select American cities, Jordan discovered a wealth of information about the musicians, their instruments and the music those organists played. The historically accurate visual images David Jordan presents in the program reinforce the story graphically.
The history lesson gets set into motion with a quoted diary entry from 1703 describing the playing of a voluntary on the organ in the gallery, by Jonas, the organist. Found in a diary from a member of the Mystics of Wissahickon who worshiped in Philadelphia, it is the first documented evidence in the country of an organist, an organ and organ music.
The program continues by giving a persona to the organists, visuals of places, and life to history in the making. Attendees will see and hear important historical events such as the Battle of Trenton and the long, hard road of bringing the organ around Cape Horn to San Francisco and making that final trip to Oregon via oxcart.
“You’ll hear how the organ came across the Appalachian Mountains and ended up in Indian territory,” said Jordan. “You’ll see what it was like for them to hear an organ for the first time. It’s a beautiful story on how the two cultures came together.”
Images help place the listener in cities, churches and homes, and the music played brings the listener closer to the artistic life of the colonies and fledgling United States. “From Sea to Shining Sea” –a one-of-a-kind event with media and great music for the organ.