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A Meditation on the Organ

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Did you know? According to ABC Classic, the organ transmits a very low bass sound called infra-bass, which is too low for the human ear to hear. While you might wonder why this is useful, it actually seems to have a higher purpose in stimulating deep resonant feelings in the listener – which could help to explain the spine-tingling effect of organ music.

Award winning organist, Ben Sheen is coming to Perth this Friday for the very first time, and it got me thinking about the organ and what it means for a lot of people and maybe what it can mean for those who've yet to experience this somewhat enigmatic and majestic instrument. It almost brings to mind the idea of meditation - sitting in a live space like the Cathedral, immersing yourself in the low hum of the organ and maybe even having an existential moment. Sounds like the right way to wipe away the hustle and bustle of a busy week.  

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In New York City, where Ben is currently the Associate Organist and Assistant Director of Music at the St Thomas' Cathedral on 5th Avenue he says that he is sensing a growing excitement about organ concerts in the US. Ben believes there's an open mindedness that is bringing more classical music lovers into sacred spaces to experience new sounds. This gives cathedrals the chance to become stunning concert halls, where, he says, "beautiful music can be heard, sacred and secular ... music that appeals to the widest audience". 

On Friday night, Ben will take us on a trip through many types of musical ideas, including Impressionism by way of Debussy. Ben will play his Op. 10, a highly transcendent piece that contains beautiful themes that take us away from the rules of classic harmony. Debussy was a genius at this! Among the pieces in this varied program, he'll also play A Prelude and Fugue in A Minor by Bach and a gorgeous Andante from Mozart, finishing off the night with a unique and virtuosic arrangement of a Gershwin piece titled Concert Fantasy on Themes. 


Ben Sheen joins us at Saint Georges Cathedral on Friday 9 August, 7:30pm.
Tickets are available at or call our Box Office on (08) 9231 9999.