After other organ tributes went viral online, another “breathtaking” performance took place to honor the late David Bowie at Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park.
City Organist Carol Williams, with the sun setting to the west, highlighted Bowie’s proclivity to the universal, and the spiritual, in a tribute for “the people of San Diego,” and “the people of the world.” The ornate Italian-Renaissance design of the semi-circular pavilion made for a fitting setting at a tribute to a modern-day renaissance man.
Original arrangements of “All The Young Dudes,” “Life On Mars,” “Starman,” and “Space Odyssey” brought a large crowd closer together on a chilly yet clear afternoon. Dogs and humans, enraptured before the organ, were humbled by the depth of the Bowie arrangements provided by Williams and drummer Kerry Bell.
An easterly breeze grew throughout the performance, and the sound of commercial aircraft in landing patterns were no match for “Space Odyssey” on the organ’s 4518 pipes. Even Williams seemed a bit shook up at times by the emotion and power of the organ and Bowie’s songwriting. “Starman” gave one the feeling that Bowie was watching over the performance, curious himself about the 101-year-old organ’s sound.
- Concert: Carol Williams
- Date: January 17
- Venue: Spreckels Organ Pavilion
- Seats: GA