This past Friday, I attended the midnight Halloween pipe organ concert in Sayles Hall, courtesy of Mark Steinbach. As someone who has spent a fair bit of time in Sayles this semester, I had been waiting to hear the beast come to life for some time. It did not disappoint. Finally, I thought, I understand why the tour guides always mention this thing. It’s an aural Ark of the Covenant, melting the faces off of villains who hear its tones (a presumption, but I’ll take this leap to faith without regret). This newfound appreciation for the organ led to another realization: Brown is wasting its antique pipe organ potential. Here are just a few ways we can right this wrong.
1. Live Soundtrack for Exams
There comes a point in a test that many of you, perhaps even all of you, have experienced. It is the realization of the utter futility of your efforts, the crossing of the threshold of Dante’s Inferno. Abandon all hope, ye who enter here. You then split your remaining exam time between half-heartedly jotting down formulas, and convincing yourself that med school probably wasn’t for you anyhow. Supposing your exam was held in the main hall at Sayles, you could raise your hand (or perhaps put on a black armband) to signal Steinbach. He would then play a funeral dirge for your hypothetical 4.0 GPA. If everyone is starring in the story of their own life, depressing scenes demand myriad minor chords to eulogize your aspirations.
The main hall is large enough for a wrestling ring. This gives us the fantastic opportunity to hear wrestlers’ walkout themes played via the organ. Okay, maybe no one has ever wanted this but me, but I think that a fusion of classical music and HAM acting could be a thing of beauty. Imagine every ridiculous revelation and taunt accompanied by a burst of organ notes. It would be like an action movie trailer extended over several hours. So, an action movie, I guess. Booker Tchaikovsky. Chopin M. Punk. Triple Haydn. The Bach. This stuff writes itself.
The emblem of class and sophistication
3. Airing of Grievances
Had a fight with your roommate? Got a bone to pick with an acquaintance? Former best friend now your most bitter enemy? Hire out the organ for an afternoon and use it to accent all of your complaints. A fight needs some flavor. If your enemy “doesn’t do drama,” then too fucking bad for them. There’s going to be a dramatic score for your almost certainly petty gripes. If they attempt to respond, you can shut their voice out with music and never need to worry about defending your position. It’s like arguing on the internet, but in real life! Revolutionary.
4. Organ Lessons
If these aren’t already a thing, they ought to be. [Ed’s note: They are.] Being able to play a giant pipe organ would be the ultimate conversation stopper, an ace up your sleeve if you’re stuck in boring family banter about your college life. It’s the sort of skill that just sounds impressive, rather like creating a startup or writing silly things on the internet. Sure, you won’t be able to bust out your organ skills (not those ones, exhibitionist) at parties, but do you really want to be that person? I thought not.
These are just the tip of the iceberg, my friends. The Sayles organ is an inspiration to all of us. Hell, its majesty let me get through an article sprinkled with countless uses of the word “organ” with barely one dick joke (I’d never presume that exhibitionism requires certain anatomy.). The possibilities stretching before us are near limitless. If none of them come to pass, can I at least be allowed up on to the balcony? The alarm on the stairs is bumming me out.