Of Ancient Days

Francesca Ajossa, Trevor Grahl

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Composed in 2018 for the newly completed hyperorgan of the Orgelpark, Amsterdam, Trevor Grahl’s Of Ancient Days employs its unfamiliar resources to tell a familiar story. The piece ‘Of Ancient Days’ is a musical creation story, illustrating the birth of the world through sound in a unique composition for hyperorgan. For this creation Trevor had a special companion, the composer Johan Sebastian Bach, whose partita Sei Gegrüsset, Jesu Gütig runs through the piece like a silver thread, performed on the Utopa Baroque Organ by organist Francesca Ajossa.

Trevor Grahl is a tireless advocate of the hyperorgan and has introduced countless composers and makers to its myriad creative possibilities. Played on one of the few hyperorgans in the world this will be the first time a specially-composed piece for this instrument will be released. 

The term ‘hyperorgan’ describes a complex, flexible interlinking of instruments and playing mechanisms. Key to its functioning is a digital console which was first installed in the Orgelpark in 2011 as an enhancement to the venue’s 1922 Sauer organ. On the installation of the Utopa Baroque Organ in 2018 this console additionally became one of the two modes of access to this new instrument. The addition of a digital console enables both organs to be played from a single source forming a hyperorgan capable of blending both German Baroque and Romantic sound.

The hard and software offers both instruments a host of new possibilities; new ways of controlling both organ’s airflow and many other parameters are possible enabling the organs to sound very differently, producing as John Cage would have said, “glorious and shocking” sounds. And all this is acoustic, without loudspeakers! In ‘Of Ancient Days’, Trevor Grahl shows both sides of the organ – the new and the old, which are both important, beautiful and exiting. Each movement is based on a different day of the Genesis creation narrative where elements stack on top of one another until the climax, the arrival of humans on the sixth day. Bach’s partita Sei Gegrüsset Jesu Gütig serves as the nights, offering a steadfast moment of pensive meditation amongst the creative action of the days.


Blog Post – Meet Cobra Records’ New Producer & Engineer Ernst Coutinho


Trevor Grahl – Hyperorgan
Francesca Ajossa – Utopa Baroque Organ, Mechanical Console

Tracklist

Please note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
1.
Prelude: In the Beginning (Unda Maris)
05:21
2.
The First Night: Chorale, Variation I (Sei gegrüset, Jesu gütig)
04:22
3.
The First Day: Filament
04:11
4.
The Second Night: Variations II, III, IV (Sei gegrüset, Jesu gütig)
03:32
5.
The Second Day: Echo Sphere
03:45
6.
The Third Night: Variations V, VI, VII (Sei gegrüset, Jesu gütig)
04:15
7.
The Third Day: The Prolific Tale of Callithamnion Roseum (a Primordial Alga)
04:06
8.
The Fourth Night: Variations VIII, IX (Sei gegrüset, Jesu gütig)
02:47
9.
The Fourth Day: Tourbillon des Etoiles
03:51
10.
The Fifth Night: Variation X (Sei gegrüset, Jesu gütig)
05:28
11.
The Fifth Day: Au Fond des Bois...
03:48
12.
The Sixth Night: Variation XI (Sei gegrüset, Jesu gütig)
01:38
13.
The Sixth Day: Ecce Homo
07:01

Total time: 00:54:05

Additional information

Label

SKU

COBRA0089

Qualities

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Channels

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Artists

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Composers

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Genres

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A/D Convertor

Merging – HAPI

Mastering Engineer

Tom Peeters

Microphones & Cables

Mics: Brüel & Kjaer 4003, Neumann modified by Rens Heijnis Cables: Acoustic Revive

Instruments

,

Original Recording Format

Recording Engineer

Ernst Coutinho

Recording Location

Orgelpark, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Release DateSeptember 12, 2023

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