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EXCLUSIVE: Watch Cameron Carpenter Play "Alfie" from 'If You Could Read My Mind' on His International Touring Organ [VIDEO]

By Logan K. Young l.young@classicalite.com on Aug 05, 2014 07:08 PM EDT

The Nigel Kennedy of the King's Instrument, American organist Cameron Carpenter (born Taylor Cameron Carpenter) has taken the British violinist's charge to another level, indeed, with his International Touring Organ--ITO, for short.

A student of the late Gerre Hancock and a graduate of the Juilliard School, Carpenter explains his kind of instrument thusly:

"The best of the classical organ--its emotional magnitude, its sonic range, its coloristic drama--but to liberate these from the pipe organ's immobility, its moving parts, its cost, its institutionality."

"I want the American Classic cathedral organ to combine with its counterpart, the cinema organ, in a single instrument," Mr. Carpenter says.

Yes, his ITO has a dual purpose.

"It has to have the cathedral organ's expansiveness and the Wurlitzer's clarity, rapidity and audacity," notes Carpenter. "It will be ethereal and rhythmless at times--and at other times more rhythmically intense than any pipe organ in the world." 

Longtime fans, ourselves, Classicalite is pleased to premiere Cameron Carpenter's video rendition of the great Burt Bacharach/Hal David tune "Alfie" (the 1966 film, not the 2006 Lily Allen song) from his Sony Classical debut.

As per the Gordon Lightfoot song, CC's album is called If You Could Read My Mind.

If You Could Read My Mind includes transcriptions of works by Bach (Cello Suite No. 1, Prelude), Bernstein (Candide Overture), Dupré (Variations sur un Noël), Piazzolla (Oblivion), Rachmaninoff (Vocalise) and Scriabin (Piano Sonata No. 4).

And on the pop side, there's a cycle of inventive paraphrases on songs by Leonard Cohen's "Sisters of Mercy" (and that titular Lightfoot tune, of course).

The album also includes the first recording of Carpenter's own eagerly-anticipated composition for his travelling instrument: Music for an Imaginary Film (2013).

A full release on August 25 from Sony Masterworks will include a DVD with several excerpts from a forthcoming documentary examining CC’s work, his touring organ dream and their dual path from vision to reality.

Here's the DVD tracklisting:
Birth of the International Touring Organ - C. Carpenter
Candide: Overture - Bernstein
Waltz in D-flat Major, Op. 64, No. 1 “Minute Waltz” - Chopin
Grandes études de Paganini, No. 6 G-sharp Minor, “La Campanella” - Liszt
Piano Sonata No. 4 in F-sharp Major, Op. 30 - Scriabin
Cello Suite Elaboration (After Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007: Prelude) - J.S. Bach/Carpenter
Music for an Imaginary Film - C. Carpenter

CC and his ITO, though, are best experienced live and in-person. So, you'd do well to check out those dates on their upcoming American tour...

September 18-21, 2014: Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, CA
*October 23, 2014: Town Hall, New York, NY
*October 26, 2014: Kauffman Center for Perf Arts, Kansas City, MO

October 31, 2014: Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago, IL
*November 6, 2014: Baum Walker Hall, Fayetteville, AR
*November 8, 2014: Stiefel Theatre for Perf Arts, Salina, KS
*November 13, 2014: McCullough Theatre, Austin, TX

November 16, 2014 : San Diego Symphony Orchestra, San Diego, CA
November 20-23, 2014: Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, CA
*January 10, 2015: Denver Performing Arts, Denver, CO
January 14, 2015: Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Edmonton, Canada
January 17, 2015: Morton H. Meyerson Symp Center, Dallas, TX
*January 18, 2015: Kimmel Center, Philadelphia, PA
*January 23, 2015: Majestic Theater, Gettysburg, PA
*January 24, 2015: Purchase College, Purchase, NY
*January 29-Jan 31, 2015: Symphony Hall, Atlanta, GA

February 4, 2015: Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington, DC
*February 6, 2015: McCarter Theatre Center, Princeton, NJ
*February 11, 2015: Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
*February 15, 2015: University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
*February 23, 2015: Detroit Symphony Orch, Detroit, MI
*February 25-27, 2015: Centre College/Norton Center, Danville, KY
*March 5, 2015: Harvard - Sanders Theatre, Cambridge, MA
*March 13, 2015: University of Akron, Akron, OH
*March 19, 2015: University of Illinois, Urbana, IL
*March 20, 2015: Wilson Center - Harris Theater, Brookfield, WI
*March 21, 2015: Overture Center for Arts, Madison, WI
*March 24, 2015: Clemson University, Clemson, SC

Want to hear the mohawked organist talk about the ITO, head over to Clite A.V. Club!

* = International Touring Organ concert  

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TagsEXCLUSIVE, Clite A.V. Club, Cameron Carpenter, Alfie, If You Could Read My Mind, Sony, International Touring Organ