I first learned about Hauptwerk while working on my Master's Thesis, "Concerto for Organ and Orchestra," back in 2012. Much of that piece was sketched while sitting at the 83-rank Aeolian-Skinner Op. 1490 at Second Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis. While no doubt an amazing instrument, it became evident that having an organ at home would certainly be more efficient, so the search began.
Like most Hauptwerk enthusiasts, I quickly cobbled together some MIDI controllers and connected them to my computer and began listening to the incredible sounds that Hauptwerk produces.
This grew into a conglomeration of M-Audio Keystations, a rebuilt OSI pedalboard, and three old Casavant swell shoes - henceforth known as "FrankenOrgan."
Albeit crude, the FrankenOrgan did its job - it awoke me to the incredible power that Hauptwerk affords organists. I suddenly had a four manual facsimile of the Father Willis organ of Salisbury Cathedral at my disposal, anytime I wanted to compose.
This instrument served me well but inevitably I outgrew it and it made its way to a new home near Indianapolis.
The FrankenOrgan was a powerful tool in helping me demonstrate Hauptwerk to other organists in those early days, and also played a vital role in the development of Opus 1, for Greenwood United Methodist Church. After failing to generate much interest in getting a new organ simply by word of mouth, I took it upon myself to drag the FrankenOrgan into the sanctuary for a Sunday service (of course without consent or tipping anyone off to my plan). After the service, suddenly everyone was very keen to know more about the marvel that was the FrankenOrgan and Hauptwerk, followed by unanimous support for the building of a new organ, "Opus 1."