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By Jacob Street
Dear Cameron Carpenter,
Thanks for reading this. I know that you are very busy. You play more organ concerts in a year than I may give in my entire lifetime! But this brings me to a confession: I’m an organist myself. I know what you think: that I hate you. That I think you’re a fraud and a hack. That I hate your history-be-damned style, your traveling digital organ, and your flamboyant performances. That I must be one of the leading exponents of the organ whose every preconception you challenge, like the Wall Street Journal wrote about you.
But I’m here to tell you the opposite—I don’t hate you. In fact, most organists don’t hate you. And why should they? You’re a great advocate for the instrument. You’re passionate and successful. You work hard, and your technique is impressive. You even show more than a few glimmers of what a “traditional organist” would call “traditional musicality”! I would certainly protest being included as one of your (imagined or otherwise) fervent detractors. This letter is in no way designed to contribute to the martyr-like image the media constructs around you. We organists are a stodgy bunch, but we can still respect your work, just as we respect any product of American dedication to finely processed marketability—like the Twilight novels, or Cheese Whiz. Read the rest of this entry »