Organ Grindin' (and Accordion Smashin')
October 27, 2010 9:57 AM   Subscribe

"Most people think that Pipe Organs are only capable of producing the classical evil growl from horror movies, but in truth, they are capable of making quite a wide variety of noises that you wouldn't normally expect to come from a Pipe Organ." YouTube user FromTheGang plays covers on the pipe organ at his church and a couple accordions.

Hans von Farfegnugen (not really his name, but that's what you can call him) plays covers of songs that aren't generally considered pipe organ or accordion music, often video game music and movie scores, with some other tunes tossed in for good measure. While he has a pipe organ at home, all the pipe organ songs were recorded at his church.

Pipe Organ tunes - playlist, or individual songs:

* Strange Pipe Organ Sounds , linked above as "quite a wide variety of noises," including The Ballad of the Wind Fish, Robotnik's Theme, Grunty's Lair (Click Clock Woods version), The Jolly Caballero, Carol of the Bells, and a long drawn out note from the biggest pipe on the organ
* Fanfare from "Independence Day", linked above the break as "you wouldn't normally expect"
* Overture to "The Phantom of the Opera"
* Toccata in D Minor, an excerpt from Johann Sebastian Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor"
* The Unbirthday Song, from Alice in Wonderland
* Davy Jones plays his Organ, The song Davy Jones from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest plays on the organ on board The Flying Dutchman
* To Love's End, the love song from "em>InuYasha, also known as "Affections Touching Across Time"
* Bowser's Theme, from Super Mario 64
* Team Rocket's Motto, the background music to the Team Rocket motto from the Pokemon series

Accordion tunes - playlist, or individual songs:

* Songs NOT for the Accordion #1, including We Like to Dance, Der Fuehrer's Face, Mission : Impossible, Tribute, Folsom Prisom Blues, Funeral March of a Marionette, The Great Mighty Poo, InuYasha
* Remember the '90s?, a collection including The Animaniacs, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Dexter's Laboratory, Tale Spin, Sailor Moon, Johnny Bravo, The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, and Gundam Wing
* The Military Medley, playing The Marine's Hymn (US Marine Corp), The Caissons Go Rolling Along (US Army), Semper Paratus (US Coast Guard), Anchors Aweigh (US Navy), Off We Go Into The Wild Blue Yonder (US Air Force)
* Salty Dog, by Flogging Molly
* Tobacco Island, by Flogging Molly
* Choco Mountain (Mario Kart 64) , along with footage of the actual racetrack
* U.N. Owen Was Her?, Flandre Scarlet's theme from the videogame "Touhou 6: Embodiment of the Scarlet Devil"
* You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch, from How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
* Anime Polka, an original recording
posted by filthy light thief (19 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Why is it I can play fast as hell on a piano (not to brag) but it's just astounding and incomprehensible when I watch people do that stuff to an accordion?

This is great. Thanks, flt.
posted by koeselitz at 10:05 AM on October 27, 2010

Have you tried making music on an accordion? It's surprisingly tricky. People who are good make it look easy, but you have to pump the heavy instrument, while pressing the right keys in the right tempo. Lots of fun, but lots more work than a piano.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:16 AM on October 27, 2010

Yeah, I have an accordion - work on it sometimes - but I've always felt like I'm faking it. Even when I'm doing what I do, which is mostly ignore the chords and try to play the keys, the angle is such that it's very difficult. Also, I think there's the problem of resistance; piano keys push back a lot more than accordion buttons. So it's technically possible to play an accordion keyboard much, much faster than a piano keyboard. I'm certainly not capable of it – it's always thrilling to see people do what is done in the accordion links above.

Also: I bought a Hammond church organ – with pedals and everything! – for $25 on Sunday. So this is really neat, because I really want to try some of the great stuff he does here. He says at one point that he doesn't know how to play organ, that he's just an accordionist, but that's ridiculous. He's not bad at all.
posted by koeselitz at 10:22 AM on October 27, 2010

I caught Cameron Carpenter a few months ago. Truly astonishing.
posted by No Robots at 10:26 AM on October 27, 2010

I love this earthquake-generating organ.
posted by Faze at 10:29 AM on October 27, 2010 [2 favorites]

We had an electronic organ in the house growing up, and I remember trying to pick out theme songs to shows as a kid. This brings back fond memories. Thanks, Filthy!
posted by KGMoney at 10:39 AM on October 27, 2010

If you go to the National Cathedral for Christmas Eve services, you can sit in the choir, behind the altar, next to (or across from) the organ, and beneath massive arrays of organ pipes. We discovered this last December.
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:39 AM on October 27, 2010

I read this and flashed back to the classic Simpson's episode where Bart swaps out the organ music at church and replaces the hymn with In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (aka, "'In the Garden of Eden' by, 'I. Ron Butterfly'").
posted by mosk at 10:47 AM on October 27, 2010

I've recently been exposed to Mie Miki and her classical accordion playing Grieg. Very nice stuff, I would have guessed organ and not accordion had I not known beforehand.
posted by drowsy at 10:50 AM on October 27, 2010

I like the cut of your jib, Sir, and I thank thee kindly for your sad sad songs of the sea.
posted by Ahab at 10:51 AM on October 27, 2010

koeselitz: Yeah, I have an accordion - work on it sometimes - but I've always felt like I'm faking it.

You're leagues better than I am. I played piano in my teenage years, and I recently tried to play an accordion. At best, I was like a kid banging on the keys, amused by the noises I was making (and intrigued by the potential).

drowsy: I've recently been exposed to Mie Miki and her classical accordion playing Grieg. Very nice stuff, I would have guessed organ and not accordion had I not known beforehand.

Accordions are surprising instruments (and I'd say so is the pipe organ - if you listen to no other clip, check Strange Pipe Organ Sounds). There are many types of accordions, and they cover a range of sounds. I attended a fantastic accordion performance by someone in a university music undergrad or graduate track, and she played a few different models, mimicking other instruments wonderfully.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:03 AM on October 27, 2010

So an organ makes all sorts of noises depending on what you do with it?

There's so many possible things to say here.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:15 AM on October 27, 2010

See, now, that is not a pipe organ. That is a cheese-ball digital organ with some pipes grafted on. Pipe organs are old school. Pipe organs have a kid who stands behind you and does nothing but pull stops. THIS is a pipe organ. (Skip to 5:30 and watch the feet.)
posted by The Bellman at 11:45 AM on October 27, 2010 [3 favorites]

So if I want to get a wicked organ, I also need to get a besuited German teenager named Igor? That's just setting the bar too high..
posted by Ahab at 12:04 PM on October 27, 2010

Ethel Smith is more correctly a goddess of the Hammond tonewheel organs, but I would suspect E Power Biggs never hit the pedals with a pair of lavender mules (forgive the weird Spanish dubbed version of this scene--I couldn't find a better one).

And boy, what that lady could do when she was on fire.
posted by sonascope at 12:05 PM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Ahab - with the high costs of True Pipe Organmanshipshiredom, comes the benefits. Which are primarily the fact that you have a truly badass pipe organ, not some paltry attempt to mimic the grandeur that is a True Pipe Organ. (At least, that's what I've come to understand.)
posted by filthy light thief at 1:13 PM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

From the player:

It's half digital, half acoustic.

The pipes are real and produce noise, but there are speakers inside the case that make the theatre organ sounds as well. Ther are also trumpets up above in the balcony and a speaker on the far left side of the´╗┐ auditorium. The chimes are also real.

I really enjoyed the Banjo Kazooie throwback!
posted by zephyr_words at 1:49 PM on October 27, 2010

Best use of a pipe organ in pop music.
posted by mike3k at 8:54 PM on October 27, 2010

Ah, this makes me miss our local "Pizza and Pipes" franchise. My understanding was that at one time there were three or four of them scattered about California: they served horrid pizza but quite reasonably-priced beer. The anchor was a mammoth pipe orgran butressed with such oddments as a remotely-controlled drum kit and other bits arrayed around the inside of the restaurant. You could put in requests, though nearly all our top-40 picks (including, sadly, Metallica) were usually ignored. A sure-fire way to get something played would be to ask for "Happy Birthday" for one's friends. Honestly, it was more like a happy hour gone amok for us: bad greasy food, cheap drinks, deranged entertainment and even a contest: could we -all- really get birthday wishes in the course of our stay?
posted by Ogre Lawless at 8:07 AM on October 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

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