EFI for MIDI controlled organ
EFI was written over a period of three weeks in May / June in 2019. I was asked to write a short piece for the MIDI controller Klais pipe organ in Hallgrímskirkja at Kirkjulistahátíð. The organ itself is a beautiful construction, built by the Johannes Klais Orgelbau in Bonn and installed in 1992.
The piece is in three movements. The first movement begins with a repeated ostenato of clusters of notes being played, quickly fading to a deep drone intro. On top of that layers of pipe relay sounds start to emerge but what is heard are recordings from the insides of the organ, air flow to the pipes being opened and closed but no air is sent through the pipes. Suddenly the mechanics start to sync in rhythm revealing the mechanical nature of the instrument.
The next movement starts with a hymnic chord progression played by random layers of the organ’s wooden pipes. In the middle of the movement a solemn melody tells us a short, but important story. Dramatic jumps in the bass form the basis of self-doubt but are supported by the well established melody.
The third and last movement starts with a fast ostenato of very short note bursts played with wooden pipes, closely resembling a combination of marimba and a clarinet in timbre. It could maybe be called a ‘clarimba’. The organ’s Orlos regal layers play another type of ostenato in the next section in duet with a syncopal melody from the Doppelflöte, which transforms in to shifted layers of itself, repeating multiple times in succession across other stops creating a delay effect. Nearing the end of the movement an additional 14 note pattern is played with the Flute octav. 4’ reaching a climax where the same ostenato as the piece began with is played and dies slowly and is only played by large wooden pipes in the very end.
Listen to ‘EFI’ on Soundcloud: