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Hi All

Here's a new piece for pipe organ. I used VSL's Konzerthaus Organ and MIRx (Perneg Monastery). There are no contrapuntal passages although I had thought of it.

The word cianalas in Scottish Gaelic means variously homesickness, an acute longing for a person or place (or both).

Enjoy, Colin


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It certainly has a plaintiff charm as a work but I had to try some of it out on the piano from the score because the reverb you've used blurs the theme and even the harmony at some points. Also the registration you've chosen emphasises the left hand and drowns out the tune all too often. When, for instance, the pedal comes in at bar 12 the tune is almost lost. At bar 32 it's just a blur of sound. You seem to have selected a few mutation stops that are probably too complex for the lyricism of this music at this and similar points. Mind you, that's just my view. It may be what you want. 

I liked the pedals taking an independent part in bar 22.

The composition is very nice, solid but gentle. I would have chosen different registrations but that's beside the point. The basic organ sound is superb. But then...VSL...! Are you an organist, may I ask? 

Hi Colin, this is a great sound, and a good composition as well, I enjoyed it.  Dane makes some good points about the wash of sound and since I know little about pipe organ mechanics I'll defer to him on the choice of registration.  But pipe organs in general have a huge sound and large cathedrals reverberate a lot so I'm used to hearing them sound that way I guess. I checked out some Bach on YT and the trills were completely blurred but beautiful nonetheless.

I'm was not familiar with the term cianalas so thanks for the excellent sonic explanation!

Hi Colin, thanks for a very nice piece. VSL is of course outstanding, nothing compare to that lib.

I believe this piece is based on sort of a folklore melody, maybe it could be worth trying to reduce reverb in order for that theme to shine more, just a spontaneous reflection on this beautiful piece.

Thank you.


Writing for pipe organ is probably beyond my capabilities, but I like to listen to the King Of Instruments, especially via Pipe Dreams on Sunday nights. I am not qualified to comment on the technique, since it is beyond my level of experience. I agree the sound would be improved by reducing the reverb, or perhaps better mixing, but how you would do that with a piece for one instrument, is also beyond my knowledge base. It is, nonetheless, a successful effort I believe. It sounds like organ music, no question, and it does capture a somber mood of emptiness or loneliness. I like the textures you have created, and the colors, at times brilliant, at times more restrained. On the whole, a very successful piece. I can imagine hearing it on the next episode of Pipe Dreams. It would definitely sound like it belonged there.

Choice of registration is usually left up to the organist. Why? Because no two organs are alike. Each is in a different kind of room which greatly colors the sound. No two have the same sets of pipes to begin with. So the organist uses the written registration as a starting point to best convey the composer's intent. Much like an orchestra conductor does. 

Normally I would prefer less reverb. But this is a cathedral organ. Totally appropriate. 

Nice piece. 

Hi All

Thanks for your feedback and comments, very much appreciated.

I'm aware of the fuzzy sound when the reed stops come in - the actual preset I used for that particular manual contained 11 stops, two of which were mutations. I'll try changing/removing some and see diffrerence it makes.

In answer to Dane's question, I'm not a trained organist and have never actually played a proper one with stops & pedals and such but I think I could do a half decent job of it if I ever got the opportunity.

Thanks, Colin

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