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Mobile Toccata - Improvisation

Mobile Toccata

As part of the Calgary International Organ Festival, finalists compete for the improvisation prize. The 1998 prize was awarded to Aaron David Miller for his interpretation of a rather quirky musical gesture, which we have called Mobile Toccata.

Simon Preston, head of the Jury at the Calgary International Organ Festival, dealt with any musical queries and he gave Aaron David Miller an envelope shortly before his improvisation. A fragment of music was inside, which later became one of the jokes of the festival, as it was a theme taken from Simon Preston’s mobile phone consisting of 13 notes in total. On opening the envelope, Aaron David Miller was given 7 minutes to think about how to treat the theme, which registrations to choose and how to develop it, and he decided to treat it as a French toccata (a common method for improvisation).

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