Tim Hinck's thoughts on music and life- There is a lady living across the street from me. She is dying of cancer. I have never seen anyone so full of life and energy. She loves to work outside in the flowers and grass of her yard. I can see her savoring every sunny day... the way she stands up from planting a flower bulb with such satisfaction on her face and claps the dirt from her gloves with resolution. I want to be like that lady.

Location: Schalkwijk, Utrecht, Netherlands

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I am a basil

I was sitting here staring at the window where my two basil plants are trying to catch a few rays when I suddenly realized that I had a lot in common with these plants. We're both continually expanding and growing, but we're both sadly over-ambitious. These plants can suddenly shoot up several inches, but then if I forget to water them for just one day they fall, pathetically slumped over the sides of the pots. But I suppose that the most striking parallel between my character and the basil plant is that in some ways we lack identity. Or rather, we have multiple identities. The basil plant is at home in the Italian kitchen, but also sneaks its way into the Asian kitchen and blends right in. Browsing through my photos the other day I noticed that they are a mis-matched collection of rock-climbing pictures and 17th century organ keyboards. I'm not exactly certain that this is a character flaw or even a benefit, but it has made my life somewhat more complicated than necessary. But then again, I've often thought that I wouldn't be half the musician I am today if I wasn't also a mountain man.

(not exactly basil... but the leafy shutters on the organ case in Oosthuizen, 1521)

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Search

Who would have thought it would be so hard to find a good organ in the Netherlands! It is now less than three months away from my final examination/concert at the Conservatory and I just can't find an organ suitable to perform this music. I need it to be:
1. large (with at least two keyboards and a separate pedal division)
2. in old tuning (mean-tone)
3. historical, not just a newly-built organ in the old style
4. and it should have a beautiful sound, but I guess that goes without saying

Here are some possiblities:
...the transept organ in the Oude Kerk Amsterdam is in old tuning, has a beautiful sound, but it's not historic (built in the 60's) and is really too small.

...the organ in Amsterdam's Nieuwe Kerk is huge and really beautiful, and it's also a very historic organ. But it doesn't have the old tuning and it's impossible to get practice time in the church.

...this organ in Dronrijp has the old tuning, and beatiful sounds, but it's too small.

... big enough and beautiful, but not in the old tuning

... this organ is great: very old, very beautiful, very large, . . . but it's in Germany!

... this is, I believe, the ONLY instrument in the whole country which is old, and large, and retains the old tuning, and has such unbelievable beauty in all of its pipes . . . but the church commission just informed me that it's not available.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

the eye inclined, heav'n to see
and spend its gaze on holy vistas
and leisurely
take in the treasures and trappings
of imprudent heav'nly beings
- tim hinck (2004)