SFJAZZ.org | Five Things You Should Know About The International Touring Organ

On The Corner Masthead


December 28, 2015 | by Rusty Aceves

Crossover classical superstar Cameron Carpenter brings his incredible artistry and his International Touring Organ to SFJAZZ in January. Here are five things you should know about this revolutionary instrument. 

  1. Designed by Cameron Carpenter and constructed by master organ builders Marshall & Ogletree of Needham, Massachusetts the ITO is the first digital touring organ to be heard on four continents: a full-scale portable organ sonically tailorable to any acoustic environment. 
  2. The heart of the ITO is a supercomputer that contains samples from 34 great American pipe organs, including three organs from Cameron Carpenter’s childhood. 
  3. The ITO travels in 18 large road cases and is transported in a dedicated truck. Seven cases contain the modular organ console, three hold the computer and amplifier sections, and 10 cases are devoted to the extensive speaker system. Eight wheeled subwoofer units complete the speaker section and provide incredible low-end presence extending to 12Hz. The organ also contains an internal LED lighting system that can be wirelessly controlled by the venue lighting technician. 
  4. Carpenter used the ITO to record his 2014 Sony Classical CD/DVD, If You Could Read My Mind, which contains a diverse repertoire of music ranging from Leonard Bernstein’s Overture to Candide and Marcel Dupré’s virtuosic Variations sur un Noël to the work of iconic Argentine tango composer Astor Piazzolla, the pop songs of Leonard Cohen and Gordon Lightfoot, and Carpenter’s own compositions. 
  5. Cameron Carpenter gave the ITO its world premiere performance at New York’s Alice Tully Hall in March of 2014. A glowing review in The New York Times can be read here:http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/11/arts/music/cameron-carpenter-performs-on-his-touring-instrument.html

Cameron Carpenter performs at the SFJAZZ Center January 28-31/2015

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