New info and repost

Today it’s crunch time for me because a week from now, I will be leaving for Palm Springs to be part of a four-day organ festival being held at the Hilton Hotel there.  I’ve decided to include in my program a few new arrangements in addition to some of the regulars I play.  One song that has captured my attention is from the musical “Victor, Victoria” and is called “Le Jazz Hot”.  Julie Andrews originally starred in the show and sang this particular number.  Frankly, I find it quite helpful to browse U-Tube sites for ideas, which is where I discovered this tune.  It always helps me to have a visual as well as audio input when learning songs and creating arrangements of them.  After spotting Ms. Andrews in her full sequin costume surrounded by a chorus line of terrific dancers, I knew I had to include this piece in my performance.  I love it!

This is the reason for the crunch time and a repost of my previous blog.

Here’s an annual event that is one of my favorites.  The Home Organist Adventure is sponsored by our local Roland dealer in southern California, Desi’s Music.  The owner (and a long-time friend of mine) Desi Nelson, holds this three-day festival being held at the Hilton Resort in beautiful Palm Springs, California.  This year we’ll convene on Sunday, April 4th through Thursday, April 7th.    I plan on enjoying the excitement of the show and its participants.  Various artists representing today’s organ industry will be on hand to answer questions about the instruments being played plus to conduct informal seminars directed towards the hobbyist musician.  Evening activities include dinner followed by concertizing from some of the greatest professional organists in the world. 

We all have a great time at this event.  For more information log onto  I’d love to see you there!


More information about me is located at

posted by Ric Overton of via


New Experiments and Challenges

Lately, it has come to mind that restricting myself to conventional playing might become old after while.  We live in a time when most industries and activities are in constant movement.  In the music business this is portrayed most vividly by contemporary electronic devices integrated into the Atelier organ.  I’m referring to features like the CD burner, flash drive, digiscore. etc, etc., all of which appear on the upper-end Roland models.  At a certain point of exploration of the instrument, the musician is confronted with a decision…whether to adhere to conventional registrations and playing styles or whether to explore the usage of more contemporary technology, only adding to the opportunities of creating more interesting performance.  To totally ignore the latter is somewhat foolish in my opinion.

Step one, of course, is to learn the song without any apprehension.  In other words, if you decide to avail yourself of the modern features on the organ, the last thing the player wants to worry about is knowing the notes, chords and timing of the number.   


posted by Ric Overton of via 




Just some random info I thought you would enjoy

Many times in my playing style, I will call upon the enhancement of “the band” to provide a comprehensive background to the melody line.  Quite frankly, I have a secondary motive in utilizing features like auto-accompaniment and rhythm in my playing.  You may agree that the one single component that separates the formative musician from those who have reached a credible playing standard is their ability to conform to the set tempo.  In other words, let’s not have twice as many measures of rhythm in a piece than what is used on the manuals!  Utilizing automatic rhythm/accompaniment helps us along in this area by structuring the tempo and keeping us on track.  The professionalism comes forth as one listens to a performer who is ever-mindful of the fact that music is an art form involving rules regarding note values, etc.

HOWEVER…the fun part kicks in when each organist develops a song in their own way.  This can be accomplished through various means:

  • adding nuances to the melody line
  • chord substitution
  • tempo changes


But one of the most effective ways in today’s world of technical opportunities is for the player to learn to navigate the instrument.  In other words, to take advantage of the engineering options of the Atelier.  As we musicians pursue the vast diversity of tone, accompaniment and rhythms available on our Ateliers, one can’t help but create their own style.  This is where your particular preferences make up a comprehensive audio portrait of your indivual taste in audio sound.  Thank heavens we are able to capture this data on the floppy disk to be retrieved for each song as we play!  Plus, it’s truly great fun to explore various sound combinations on the Atelier. 

One of the Roland Atelier features I enjoy using in my arrangements is the Style Orchestrator which has been dramatically improved on the AT 900 series.  Now, not only are the arranged music backgrounds set up in a graduated fashion…..adding more and more instruments as we travel through the eight patterns…..but also, distinct new orchestrations appear.  These are downright inspirational to me as I develop my arrangements.  Frankly, some of them on their own have ultimately provoked an idea for a major arrangement.  Strangely enough, using the Style Orchestrator doesn’t get in the way of my playing, it just seems to fill-out the presence of the song… if I had a private symphony orchestra or Big Band at my finger tips.  Actually, I do!

Some examples of the more sophisticated edition of Style Orchestrator in the AT 900 series are the Cha Cha 2, Austrian Polka, Holiday 1, and many more.  In each case, listen to “the electronic musicians” perform in an additive manner by joining in with the others as we progress through the I-IV original and I-IV advanced modes.  In the first case, the rhythm is dominant at the beginning but as one gets to the IV setting, we hear the brass section as well as a trendy saxophone joining in.  Can’t you just picture this group?  I can.

Another audio picture is contained in the new Holiday I style.  As we begin with, of course, sleigh bells on all four beats, the player goes to a more advanced array of percussive effects.  Horses hooves abound as well!  Wow, I love the technology in the Atelier.  The Austrian Polka is another example of musically logical embellishment to your performance.  Here comes the tuba player in mode IV of both the original and advanced versions.  He waits until then to join the group, rounding out the intensity often heard in live polka bands as they reach the end of a rousing, fun-filled song.  Perhaps the most dynamic departure from its previous modes is version “full” in the original mode of the Rhythm 5-Beat.  Try it if you dare!  I defy you not to think of a certain movie theme involving espionage and intrigue.

I hope some of these concepts will enhance, or perhaps open your mind to the possibilities that await you as you get to know your Atelier.  You will find yourself discovering a treasure chest of specials features just waiting for you to welcome them into your performance.  Enjoy the ride.   


posted by Ric Overton of via