The Theatre Organ of the Future is coming!
Posted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:17 am
The Castro Theatre in San Francisco has a beautiful 4/21 Wurlitzer played nightly by chief organist David Hegarty. He is heading a project to transform this organ into one of the largest and most versatile in the world. http://www.sfcoda.org has the full story of the Castro Theatre's new organ in its planning stages, console rendering shown in this picture. They are accepting donations if you feel inclined, but the information on this groundbreaking instrument is worth the read just for a fascinating peek into the future. It'll be a massive 300-plus rank pipe/digital hybrid with full piano keyboard and a full orchestral sound library. Seven manuals will make it the largest (working) console in the world. (sorry, Atlantic City-we know you're getting there) It will be unlike any instrument of its kind, including Cameron Carpenter's current International Touring Organ since it will incorporate over 20 ranks of real pipes and be permanently installed in its permanent home, where the sound will constantly be refined by ear-voicing and expanded with tecnnology as soon as (and sometimes possibly before, if beta-testing is done in-house) it becomes available. In it's present design, this will not be merely 'including some after-market General MIDI modules with a few nice strings'- it'll be the most musically real-time expressive, gigabyte-heavy, instantaneous-response-time live performance orchestra that exists, with its own custom-designed independent sound system. The library is currently used for film scoring projects, as will be others of similar quality for all the other non-organ voices. In short, any musical (or synthesized) sound can emerge and be totally realistic and under multiple layers of control, whether limited to expression pedals for traditional organists or assignable MIDI controllers for those comfortable using them. I think I'm safe to predict that concert artists will be lining up for time on this baby.