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Neil Cockburn, pipe organ

30 Jan Posted by in Schedule | Comments
Neil Cockburn, pipe organ

International prize-winning organist Neil Cockburn  has been a central figure in the development of a musical culture of the pipe organ in Calgary and Western Canada since 2000, when he became Head of Organ Studies at Mount Royal Conservatory.

photo-1In today’s performance Mr. Cockburn will be performing not only for the enjoyment of those assembled; but also as an inspiration for a visual artist – who will be creating a spontaneous painting on an adjacent stage to the organist.

The visual artist’s creation will be inspired by the “colours” imagined while hearing the music of the pipe organ.

It was composer Olivier Messiaen that is credited with this theory of imagining colour when hearing music. Messiaen actually wrote descriptions of the colours of certain musical chords. His descriptions range from the simple (“gold and brown”) to the highly detailed (“blue-violet rocks, speckled with little grey cubes, cobalt blue, deep Prussian blue, highlighted by a bit of violet-purple etc.

Other theorists refer to Synaesthesia as a truly fascinating condition. In its simplest form it is best described as a “union of the senses” whereby two or more of the five senses that are normally experienced separately are involuntarily and automatically joined together. Some synaesthetes experience colour when they hear sounds or read words. Others experience tastes, smells, shapes or touches in almost any combination.

This improvisational painting in spontaneous response to a simultaneous organ concert should be a fascinating experience to enjoy during the lunch hour, wouldn’t you agree?

This concert is presented in co operation with the 2013 High Performance Rodeo – Calgary’s International Festival of the Arts!

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