Some of these sounds have been inspired by listening to the great pipe organs of Aristide Cavaille-Coll. I love the improvisations by Michel Chapuis recorded at Saint Ouen, also the artistry of Gerard Brooks, Vidas Pinkevicius at St. John's Church in Vilnius, Pierre Pincemaille at Saint-Denis, Daniel Roth at Saint-Sulpice, Olivier Latry at Notre-Dame de Paris, Marie-Claire Alain, Ben van Oosten and David Noel-Hudson, among many other notable performers. The recent release of "The Genius of Cavaille-Coll" by Fugue State Films continues to impress me through a comprehensive and thoughtful analysis of the Cavaille-Coll legacy. Many thanks to Will Fraser and Simon Still for their superbly written historical booklet, and for the fabulous recordings, interviews and performances assembled in this remarkable DVD/ CD presentation.
Following are a series of photographs taken by my friend Mike Davault on our hike through an Arizona canyon not far from Tortilla Flat. It was a breathtaking day in November of 1998 and quite a rugged area for our wilderness journey through the rocks. Years later I would record the video entitled "Fanfares & Reveries for Vintage Hohner Accordion" featured above. I wanted to capture some of the impressions gleaned as we explored the boundaries of this area. The canyon walls rise quite majestically from the floor below, where rocks and huge boulders guard the corridors of this vast refuge in the wilderness. The colors exhibit spectacular variety and richness of palette, with textures everywhere indicating an almost untouched garden of plant life amidst the chiseled rock formations. After a period of rain, delicate green-yellow lichen and moss align the rocks along the course of a miniature stream, feeling soft to one's touch and bringing radiant colors to this canyon wonderland. There is a huge boulder which displays a perfectly flat surface toward the middle of the canyon, a neat place for rest, lunch or listening to the quiet. When you finally reach the lower end of this area, you climb tenuously back up to the road and then gratifyingly admire the area you have just traversed with considerable effort. As always, you should dress appropriately to hike this area, wear very good hiking shoes, bring plenty of water, some food and snacks, and tag along with an experienced friend who knows this part of Arizona fairly well. This is some of the background story, in both pictures and music as inspired by the rugged beauty of Arizona, a place of considerable majesty.