Advent 2021

27 July 2006
Rhymes, Sinful

It's deputy blogging time!

Today I was working with some recordings of mine. One of them was an arrangement of 'Come, Christians Join to Sing'. However, there seemed to be a character limit in the filename, and so one possibility for the name was 'come christians join to sin.wav'

Naturally, this mistake was promptly corrected, but I began to wonder about the rhyme. The hymn goes:

Come, Christians, join to sing
Alleluia, amen

Actually, 'Come, Christians, join to sin' is a much better rhyme! Compare, sin-amen, sing-amen. I have to wonder if the hymnodists noticed this. I bet they did, but sometimes one just has to compromise on word choice to stay theologically consistent.

Deputy blogger out!


15 July 2006
Organist, Davy Jones

More Deputy Blogging excitement!

Well, I saw Pirates of the Caribbean II: Dead Man's Chest today. I was completely unprepared for the principal villain, Davy Jones, to be an organist. This might be considered a spoiler by some, but Davy Jones has an octopus for a face. A scene shows him playing the organ with his face, which must have been necessary because his hands were crab claws.

A later scene features organ music blasting in the background, which abruptly stops when Jones is summoned to the deck of the ship. Clearly, this guy spends a lot of his spare time playing the organ.

Why this association of organs with villainy, and especially villainy of the undersea variety? The scene of Jones playing a fearsome tune with a toccata like accompaniment on an organ deep in the hold of his ship was nothing if not reminiscent of a similar scene in the original Disney version of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea. Being a typically illiterate moviegoer who has not read the novel, I have to wonder whether the association began with Jules Verne.

Wherever it started, it has certainly become archetypal. What is it about the organ that evokes this image of an evil, monomaniac performer? Sure, it's big, loud, and essentially a solo instrument, but is that really why we see a character who is a representation of the Devil incarnate playing it? I don't even want to think about the theological implications of this. Perhaps the misplaced context is supposed to be frightening.

Perhaps the answer is something different. Being evil is one thing, essentially an emotional state. Possessing a strong rational faculty in service of evil motivations is something else. This is what makes a genuine villain more than a mere scoundrel or brigand. The organ, the machine that produces emotionally moving music, and the technique of playing it, are together a physical representation of both the fearsome lucidity and accuracy of execution of the evil purpose of the villain who plays.

Provided the player is a villain, naturally.

A charming detail to watch and listen for in this film is that the theme Davy Jones initially introduces on the organ, to a swelling orchestral accompaniment as we cut to see his crew, later returns as the theme the music box gently plays as he sleeps at the console. This is a very cute example of thematic transformation. I thought it was a nice touch.

Deputy Blogger Parks signing off, wishing all you villainous organists happy villainy.

07 July 2006
Music Hall, Methuen

Deputy Blogger Lieutenant Parks tuning in!

Recently I was privileged to visit the Methuen Memorial Music Hall. This is really a fascinating place. The organ inside was built by Walcker, which initially made me think it was the find of a lifetime. Yes, I would be approximately that excited to find an original instrument built by this great German Romantic builder here in the United States. However, it was restored and tonally altered to a great degree by the E.M. Skinner company. Traces of its heritage are still audible in the darker tone of the principals, which the photographs on the site will show have a noticeably small cutup. I am left with a strong desire to try some Liszt on it.

Despite not being the find of a lifetime, this instrument is pretty neat, and the hall that contains it is positively gorgeous inside. Outside, next to a river that runs right by the parking lot, several castle-like outbuildings were visible, along the lines of miniature towers and parapets. When I asked a member of the foundation that runs the hall about them, he explained that it "was all Searles doing".

Edward F. Searles (pronounced SEE - ruhls) was responsible for building the hall, the organ, and countless other things around the area and region which I did not get to see. He was an independently wealthy architect and interior designer, who happened to marry enough money to become fabulously wealthy. I cannot begrudge a man of such taste any wealth. I wish there were people like him around today building organs, even if he did originally intend the music hall for his own private use.

All of this was courtesy of the invitation of Brandon Santini, who played Eugene Thayer's Sonata II. This piece was constructed out of national themes, highly appropriate for a concert on the 4th of July. I played a minor role in this performance, turning the pages. Of special note is that Eugene Thayer, an American organist and composer, actually played the same instrument at the inaugural concert when it was installed in the Boston Music Hall. I know this because they have a framed original copy of the program.

All in all, a pretty cool place, to which I plan to return.

Deputy Blogger out!

04 July 2006
Blogger - Deputy

Good morning, fans of! As you well know, is the long-running blog of David Sinden, updated regularly with only the very best of content. Unfortunately, during this month, David will be returning to his longtime summer camp, where he has been assigned the rank of Captain and plays the organ for a service each day. During this time, he will be unable to post. His camp is provided with a pipe organ, but not internet access.

Captain Sinden has deputized me, Will Parks, to blog on his behalf. Because I clearly rank below him, I am assigning myself the rank of Lieutenant. As a longtime reader of, I am fully aware of the format and content you have come to expect from this blog. I hope my posts will be up to the high standards set by Captain Sinden.

Currently, I am spending the 4th of July in perhaps the most appropriate location in America: Lexington, Massachusetts. I have been assured by my hosts that this is where the Revolutionary War started, and wikipedia confirms that the Battle of Lexington was indeed the first engagement of the American Revolution. They had fireworks on July 3rd, in an apparent pre-4th of July celebration, keeping with their tradition of doing patriotic things first.

Meanwhile, the race is on to find my lodgings for next year. I have discovered the T, the Boston transit system. It works remarkably well, and has completely changed my thinking about transportation. I hope to find a room to rent within range of the subway, and so far, it looks like that will be possible.

appeal - annual

Dear Friends,

It's that time of year again. The time when I ask that you send

I leave you now to resume my quasi-militaristic status as Capt. Sinden of Lake Delaware Boys' Camp (LDBC) in Delhi, New York.

Please send correspondence to:

Capt. David L. Sinden, LDBC
Lake Delaware Boys' Camp
Delhi, New York 13753

It will be fun for me, but boring for you if you're planning on hanging out on You might find that this is a good time to peruse the archives and maybe let me know what needs fixin'.

Or you might enjoy my previous articles about LDBC:

2004: going to camp, daily schedule

2005: going back to camp, organ specs, organ pics, McDonald's



©MMXVII a site for fun and prophet

Organ and church music, esoteric liturgics, and a site that changes color with the liturgical year.


Looking for Carol Spreadsheets?

Hungry? Try the Liturgical Guide to Altoids Consumption

Thirsty? Try the Tibia Liquida

The Eric Harding Thiman Fan Page: The greatest composer you've never even heard of.

Infrequently Asked Questions

picture of a chicken

Questions? Problems? email the sexton.


The author of this website is an organist whom the New York Times calls “repeatedly, insisting that he pay for his subscription”. He likes to read parking meters, music, Indianapolis Monthly, and weather forecasts in Celsius, particularly whilst wearing cassock and surplice. He serves lasagna, overhand, as an example to many, and on ecclesiastical juries. He mixes salads, drinks, and metaphors. He takes photos, lots of dinner mints, and a little bit of time to get to know.




Anglicans Online
Alex Ross: The Rest is Noise
Book of Common Prayer
Brain Pickings
The Daily Office
The Lectionary Page
Sed Angli
Ship of Fools
The Sub-Dean's Stall
Vested Interest - Trinity Church in the City of Boston


Andrew Kotylo - Concert Organist
Anne Timberlake
Bonnie Whiting, percussion
conjectural navel gazing: jesus in lint form
Friday Night Organ Pump
Halbert Gober Organs, Inc.
in time of daffodils
Joby Bell, organist
Musical Perceptions
Musings of a Synesthete
My Life as Style, Condition, Commodity.
Nathan Medley, Countertenor
Notes on Music & Liturgy
The Parker Quartet
Roof Crashers & Hem Grabbers
Steven Rickards
That Which We Have Heard & Known
This Side of Lost
Wayward Sisters
Zachary Wadsworth | composer

Archenemies Aviary



Advent (Medfield MA)
All Saints, Ashmont (Boston MA)
All Saints (Indianapolis IN)
Atonement (Bronx NY)
Broadway UMC (Indianapolis IN)
Cathedral of All Saints (Albany NY)
Christ Church (Bronxville NY)
Christ Church (Madison IN)
Christ Church (New Haven CT)
Christ Church Cathedral (Indianapolis IN)
Christ's Church (Rye NY)
Church of St. Stephen (Hamden CT)
Congregational (Belmont CA)
Coventry Cathedral (UK)
First UMC (Lancaster SC)
Gloria Dei ELCA (Iowa City IA)
Immanuel Lutheran (St Paul MN)
Immanuel Lutheran (Webster NY)
John Knox PCUSA (Houston TX)
St Andrew (Marblehead MA)
St Andrew's, Oregon Hill (Richmond VA)
St Bartholomew the Great, (London, England)
St James's (Lake Delaware NY)
St James's (Richmond VA)
St James Cathedral (Chicago IL)
St Mary's Cathedral (Memphis TN)
St Matthew and St Timothy (NYC)
St Paul's (Cleveland Heights OH)
St Paul's (Indianapolis IN)
St Paul's Cathedral (Buffalo NY)
St Paul's, K Street (Washington DC)
St Peter's (Lakewood OH)
St Peter's ELCA (NYC)
St Stephen's (Richmond VA
St Thomas (New Haven CT)
St Thomas ELCA (Bloomington IN)
Second PCUSA (Indianapolis IN)
Towson Presbyterian Church (MD)
Tremont Temple Baptist (Boston MA)
Trinity (Indianapolis IN)
Trinity on the purple (New Haven CT)


BBC Radio 3 Choral Evensong
New College (Oxford, England)
St John's College (Cambridge, England)
St Thomas (New York NY)


Like the site? Buy the shirt.

Areyou . . .

selling diphthongs?
Yes, but they're not the kind you buy on Wheel of Fortune.

the owner of a bower at Bucklesfordberry?
Full daintily it is dight.

interested in touch lamps?
And fountain pens.

this site used to be better:

March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2009
August 2009
September 2009
October 2009
November 2009
December 2009
January 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 2011
October 2011
November 2011
December 2011
January 2012
February 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
August 2012
September 2012
October 2012
December 2012
January 2013
March 2013
April 2013
May 2013
June 2013
July 2013
August 2013
September 2013
October 2013
November 2013
December 2013
January 2014
February 2014
March 2014
April 2014
May 2014
June 2014
August 2014
September 2014
October 2014
November 2014
December 2014
January 2015
February 2015
April 2015
May 2015
June 2015
July 2015
August 2015
September 2015
October 2015
November 2015
December 2015
January 2016
February 2016
March 2016
April 2016
June 2016
July 2016
August 2016
September 2016
October 2016
November 2016
December 2016
January 2017
February 2017
March 2017
April 2017
May 2017
June 2017
July 2017
August 2017
September 2017
October 2017
November 2017
December 2017
January 2018
February 2018
March 2018
April 2018
May 2018
June 2018
August 2018
September 2018
October 2018
December 2018
February 2019
March 2019
October 2019
December 2019
September 2020
December 2020
January 2021
September 2021
October 2021
December 2021