|organ: Milena Dukanovic, Aliona Yurtsevich
/ Commissioned by Stichting Vrienden van het Bätzorgel, Schalkwijk /
'Equanimity of Old' is written for the Bätzorgel of the Michaëlkerk in Schalkwijk, built by Johann H. H. Bätz in 1758, and dedicated to its 250th anniversary. http://www.batzvrienden.nl/
The inspiration for the piece was the instrument itself - Bätz's mechanical organ and its unique sonority.
By manually controlling air in the pipes it reveals its beautiful, overtone-rich and fragile micro-tonal language, which goes beyond organ music tradition, exposing 'hidden' sounds and harmonies that are not possible to notate precisely by classical notation.
A special notation was created to depict even the slightest movements of the stops. Due to its fragile micro-tonal world (it is like walking on a thin rope across the ocean, keeping the balance while capturing the breath of the whale), this piece is not meant nor expected to be the same every time the piece is performed. It is an intimate dialog between the player and the instrument, where time does not apply.
The form of the piece illustrates past (history), time (age) and present. The melody of the builder Johann Heinrich Hartmann Bätz, which appears several times through out the composition, was “spontaneously” improvised during the practice session with the instrument, as if the organ revealed its secret, which ended-up coincidentally corresponding to the tones that are encoded in Bätz's name.