Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Organs' Silent Growth

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Organs' Silent Growth

Article excerpt

Byline: HAMISH BROOME hamish.broome@northernstar.com.au

THE golden era of silent films accompanied by live organ players was resurrected yesterday at the Bexhill Uniting Church.

At 33, Brisbane organist David Bailey is too young to remember that age, but he's one of the most accomplished silent film organists in Australia.

As resident organist at the Australian CinA[c]mathA[umlaut]que in the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, Mr Bailey has access to a Wurlitzer organ purpose-built for Brisbane's 2000-seat Regent Theatre.

The giant organ, probably four or five times as big as Bexhill's pipe organ, was engineered to rise up dramatically out of the Regent's stage in its heyday.

It contains an orchestra of instruments including a marimba, xylophone, saxophone, drums and sound effects such as a train whistle.

"It was built specifically to accompany silent pictures," Mr Bailey said.

"It sounds more like a huge orchestra than a pipe organ. …

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