Smyth, Marty: Synchronous

Marty Smyth: Synchronous
Title: Synchronous
Label: CD Baby

Some information about 'Synchronous'. It has been a significant challenge for me to come to grips with the fact that I have spent a lot of time learning an instrument that most of the world hardly knows still even exists.  The organ's somewhat miserable state in the world must be partially due to uncontrollable circumstances, but I think it's mostly due to organists themselves.  Playing the music of the greats (Bach being the best example) is a noble pursuit, but an exclusive mindset, specifically, the performance of only classical music performed in according to certain guidelines, often on instruments designed to perform extremely specific vintages of music, has greatly harmed both the instrument's evolution and it's public reception. History's value may very well be equal to the present's, but it isn't everything.   Modernization and cultural integration are among my greatest motivations for playing and recording the likes of Zeppelin and Zappa on the pipe organ.  The other significant reason is simply personal taste. I don't have much pipe organ music in my laptop, mp3 player or car. I grew up being sometimes inspired by Bach, but much more often by Oscar Peterson, John Coltrane, Jaco Pastorious, Dr. John, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Yes, Rush, Primus, Led Zeppelin... and by drums!   The percussion family is the oldest of musical instruments- other than the voice, of course.  They're way older than the pipe organ.  Yet, if you compare in the course of the average (non-organist's) day how many times a day you hear drums to how many times you hear the organ- well, there's really no comparison.  The age of the pipe organ, therefore, can't be blamed for it's ever-deceasing presence. The problem is it's usage.  The problem is with the players. Drummers had Buddy Rich- organists had Virgil Fox: modern drummers revere Rich, while Fox is disparaged by so many of today's organists.  Fox played to thousands, bringing the organ to halls and auditoriums, adding smoke effects and strobe lights. He worked with popular culture, rather than against it.  He cared enough to put in that effort- not for himself, but for the instrument he loved.  In the past few decades the pipe organ has appeared here and there on the popular music scene, but it has only been played as a curiosity (by the likes of Yes, and more recently by The Arcade Fire) not by those who have made serious study of the instrument.   I am no Virgil Fox, but I am trying to update. I'm thrilled to be given the opportunity to do so: playing material such as this feels appropriate to who I am and where I'm at.  I'm exploring, challenging and progressing.  Synchronizing. And to perform music with friends- well, that's the most rewarding part. So to them for playing, and to you for listening, thank you very much! I hope you're up to the challenge, and I hope you enjoy it.

1.1 Blue Rondo a la Turk
1.2 Kashmir
1.3 House of the Rising Sun
1.4 Nights in White Satin
1.5 A Whiter Shade of Pale
1.6 Bolero
1.7 Peaches en Regalia
1.8 Jam Hot

Smyth, Marty: Synchronous

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