The other night we were listening to the television broadcast of Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals while working at home with other tasks.
But we did hear from Tampa the sounds of an organ that sounded more like the old Chicago Stadium than one hears even from Chicago’s United Center these days.
Them, the next day we came across this fascinating article about the organ and organist at Tampa Bay lightning games.
His name is Krystof Srebrakowski, and he has made quite a name for himself and the Lightning.
Writes the New York Times, he helped bring some grandeur to an organiztion that had previously been known for mediocrity.
“We needed something that was grand and bold and captured that feeling of hockey nostalgia,” said John Franzone, the Lightning’s vice president for game entertainment. The Lightning hired Walker Technical Company to create a custom digital pipe organ. It creates and delivers audio that is “the most sophisticated of any organ in existence,” and was designed to look like a Wurlitzer organ replica, for that nostalgic feel.As for the organist, he grew up playing the organ in a Roman Catholic church, in Zary, Poland, near the German border, a town whose music was largely influenced by Georg Philipp Telemann, the Baroque composer. He also grew to love classic rock and jazz. He studied piano at the Berklee College of Music and now plays for Disney. He records background music at his home to accompany the organ like an orchestra. He is said to be as comfortable playing Mozart as he is “All About That Bass.”
We are so glad some others are starting to understand that there is more to the game than what goes on between whistles on the ice.
We hope Krystof Srebrakowski is part of a larger trend back to hockey’s roots.