The Perils of Public Improvisation

June 17, 2012

… in summer on a pipe organ without air conditioning. It’s the end of Communion this morning, and I’m doing one of those intentionally uneventful, merely atmospheric moments, when I find that coupling two Stopped Diapasons together and playing up high makes a very appealing glass-harmonica-like sound. But, all of a sudden, I hit a B-natural for which one of the pipes was way out of tune. It sounds exactly as though the pipe is gargling. Mortified as I was, I just had to play that note one more time to make sure I’d heard aright. It’s kind of like the way you can’t resist touching your tongue to that loose tooth. You can hear this novel effect by clicking here.

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