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Taking a break: Part 1 – Organ Recital

One thing I’ll recommend to anyone going to a new place to live for a time is to go to a church. Even if you’re not religious, I can guarantee you that you’ll find at least one new friend! And some instant coffee and homemade cookies :) And maybe you’ll find something more, too.

Besides the amazing family I’ve found at my church here, I found a free organ concert thanks to my friend, Shane! We took a break from studying for midterms a few weeks back to go check it out. It was part of Sydney Town Hall’s FREE lunchtime concert series. Inside the town hall is a magnificent pipe organ, whose sound reverberated through the benches and made us FEEL the music the organist was playing. It was incredible!

The concert was performed by just one organist – Robert Ampt. You can read a little bit more about him here, but I can sum it up pretty quick: he is a darn good organist. It was a very dramatic set up as well – there were lots of large steps surrounding the organ bench, where you could imagine a large choir standing, but of course there was no choir. So it was just a giant decorated organ towering over a single man, who was certainly getting his work-out for the day with all the keys he had to simultaneously press with his fingers and feet and different switches he’d flip up and down. It was really impressive to watch (and obviously really impressive to listen to).

The program included six different pieces, two of which had multiple movements. That made for about an hour long concert, which was a perfect break from studying. My favorite one was the second movement of a piece that Ampt composed himself, called O Sacred Head, Dance – Moto Perpetuoso. It was probably the happiest sounding song I’ve ever hear played on an organ. Of course all the minor key eerie stuff was awesome as well :)

Sitting in the town hall was like being transported back in time, taking a break from the present. That organ was constructed in 1890! When we emerged from the town hall out into the sunlight and crowded streets, it was a surprise to see iPhones and cars instead of hats and horses. But, for that hour, it was very refreshing to take a break from the present. Although in that world I wouldn’t have been able to type this up and send it out for you all to read! So I had to come back :)

Your turn to dive into history! Just come back to tell us about it! We could all use a little inspiration :)



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