STREAM: Organist Cameron Carpenter's New Sony Classical Album, 'If You Could Read My Mind,' via NPR's 'First Listen'

By Ian Holubiak on Aug 21, 2014 02:51 PM EDT

We've premiered him before, of course. Namely, the video for Cameron Carpenter's "Alfie" from his Sony Classical debut If You Could Read My Mind.

Not that we didn't know, but here on the full stream of CC's International Touring Organ disc is a burnished, almost neo-classical approach to the King's Instrument.

So, ya know, don't let his idiosyncrasies of style dissuade you, dear Classicalites.

No, this modern-day throwback is not some musty church organist. With the aid of the ITO, Cameron's own invention, Carpenter is able to harness the sonic aptitude of the organ...without any pipes or levers. 

It's a great kind of digi-registration, indeed.

(With a price tag of some $1 million, it better be!)

As NPR's Tom Huizenga writes, "One of Carpenter's greatest gifts is his quirky, kaleidoscopic registration--the technique of pulling combinations of organ stops (levers) to achieve particular colors and sounds. (It's where the phrase "pulling out all the stops" comes from.) Carpenter now has the world, it seems, at his fingertips."

"The multicolored chirps, burps and bells deployed in Bernstein's Candide overture would be welcome in Willy Wonka's factory, while Carpenter's arrangement of the song "Pure Imagination," from the first Wonka film, conjures vats of bubbling chocolate through jazzy pedaling deep in the bass," Huizenga's 'First Listen' feature continued.

Head over to NPR Music to hear the whole record.

With CC's foot quite light on bass synchronization, here's a truly imaginative deconstruction of a semi-classical tune, all swathed in a sultry, synthesized new kind of "classical" organ.

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TagsCameron Carpenter, Bernstein, If You Could Read My Mind, NPR, International Touring Organ

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