Music for the Augmented Pipe Organ is a series of experimental compositions created by Geroge Rahi which merge the vibrant material and ethereal space of the pipe organ and the techniques of electronic and post-digital music forms. The project follows a year of collaborative development with George Rahi and interface designer Johnty Wang to augment Vancouver’s largest pipe organ with custom digital controls, allowing for real-time manipulation of all pipes and stops. With a reflexive attention to the organ’s spatial context and unique embodiment of the harmonic series, the project incorporates site-specific elements such as the church’s architecture and interior acoustics, using controlled feedback systems, algorithmic listening, and projection mapping to consider the resonant relationships between the instrument and its surrounding space as generative elements interwoven into the works. Through this process of hybridizing acoustic and digital sonic imaginations, the project explores new sonic terrains that emerge through a digital approach to the world’s oldest mechanical synthesizer.
Hfour collaborated with George to create an immersive light experience to bring the church and music alive. Pipe organs are unique instruments in that the entire building is designed to be the resonance chamber. Hfour accentuated this by highlighting the organ with projection mapped visuals and the sides with DMX lights; both controlled by midi. The result was an unique experience; the first of it’s kind in Vancouver.
Supported by the School for Contemporary Arts (SFU) and the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music, Media, and Technology (CIRMMT)
Pacific Spirit United Church, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada