My latest article, featured in The Huffington Post, doesn’t really fit with the vein of American Dirt, but it won’t be foreign to those who follow me closely, particularly in regards to coverage of the culture of pipe organs. In contrast with an article series on classical organs from a few months ago, this time around, I’m looking at theatre organs, the pop-culture counter part to the classical organ–viewed through the lens of the particularly strong chapter of the American Society of Theatre Organists (ATOS) in Indianapolis. I interviewed some of the most talented musicians and organ devotees in the region.
Of particular interest (and where it becomes most akin to an American Dirt article) are the historical and cultural shifts that explain why so many of the theatre organs, after peaking in the late 1920s, fell into complete neglect and serious disrepair. Aficionados across the country are trying not just to restore physically some of the best examples of these once-treasured instruments, but they are trying to build a base of cultural support that will ensure their survivability into the distant future. The second half of this two-part article will arrive sometime in early 2015.
Comments are welcome here or at Huffington Post; I will do my best to respond!