One of the most intriguing aspects of church organ music in performance is that, much of the time, the performer him/herself is unseen. The percussionists in BIG LUNG serve to amplify that part of the music making normally invisible in this situation; the impetus of the sound – the attack.
Because of the mechanics involved in the production of the organ’s sound, it seems to me that the instrument is capable, in theory at least, of producing an unending out-breath. During the composition of the piece I became obsessed with rhythms and structures associated with breathing, inhalation and exhalation. Around half way through the writing process I came across a quote attributed to Karlheinz Stockhausen which he apparently delivered on his death bed:
“A completely new time has come, I have found a new layer of breathing, listen!”
The piece finishes on a kind of ecstatic, terminal out-breath.