About us

Our organist

The discs were recorded by John Keys at the organs of St. Mary's Church, Nottingham and Nottingham High School. John has diplomas from the Royal College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music in organ playing, was assistant organist at Chester Cathedral and organ scholar at New College, Oxford. He continued his organ studies at the Conservatoire in Geneva under Lionel Rogg. He is director of music at St Mary's Church, Nottingham, Nottingham City Organist, the organist of Nottingham University, and in 2009 was made an Honorary Fellow of the Guild of Church Musicians.

We always welcome suggestions for new tracks or CDs, though we can’t promise to record them. Please drop us an email at info@cul.co.uk with any suggestions you might have.

Contacting us

The best way of getting in touch with us is by email at info@cul.co.uk

Alternatively, you can phone us at 0117-230-7123 or write to us at

Creativity Unleashed Limited
31 Eastbury Way
Swindon
SN25 2EL

Choosing the right media and playing our music

Our accompaniments are available on CD or as computer files (MP3s or equivalent). CDs are best if you don't have access to a computer or iPod/tablet/smartphone. However they can be fiddly to use in a service, switching CDs and finding the right tracks. The huge advantage of using the MP3s is that once they are loaded onto your device and the device is connected to a sound system, you can find any track simply by searching for the hymn or tune name (or A&M number for the Ultimate Set). Best of all, you can put all the tracks for a service into a playlist, which means you see just the tracks you need for that service.

If you decide to go with MP3 you can either download tracks from iTunes or Amazon - individual tracks from our library page or from any of the album pages - or buy sets from us. We provide these on CD-ROM/DVD-ROM discs, on memory sticks or preloaded on iPods. In the first two cases you will simply need to copy the files from the discs or memory stick onto your computer. If you wish to use an iPod/tablet/smartphone in the church, you can the transfer the tracks onto that from the computer using the music software on the computer (iTunes or the Windows equivalents). The pre-loaded iPods are ideal if you don't have access to a computer and just want to be able to play the music straight away (you will need a sound system to plug the iPod into). However, if you already have a computer and a tablet or smartphone, you can probably use that instead with no extra cost for the hardware.

Our MP3s on disc/memory stick/preloaded iPod come in two bit rates - the higher bit rate has better quality sound, but takes up twice as much space. See our bit rate section below for more detail and samples of the different bit rates to try out.

Usually to play the music and sing along you will need some kind of amplification. Many churches/schools already have sound systems with the option of plugging a device into the auxiliary port (AUX in) - if that's the case you can connect the audio socket of a computer, iPod, tablet or phone loaded with our tracks to that socket using an appropriate cable. If you don't already have a sound system, it's worth borrowing a domestic hi-fi system and try plugging the source (computer, iPod etc.) into that in the venue to see if it's loud enough before spending more on a professional sound system.

Don't be surprised, by the way, if the organ can sound a little distorted if turned up high on a computer or phone's speakers. These small speakers struggle to handle the very wide frequency range of an organ - play the music through a decent sound system and the quality will be much better.

If you are happy with which media type to use, take a look at the options below. If you still aren't certain, please do drop us an email at info@cul.co.uk - we are happy to give advice.
  • Download a track or tracks - Every track in our library with the option to download from iTunes or Amazon
  • Buy a hymn album - Choose from our entire range of hymn accompaniment CDs (or download a whole album from iTunes or Amazon)
  • Buy a worship songs album - Choose from our entire range of worship songs accompaniment CDs (or download a whole album from iTunes or Amazon)
  • Buy a set - Ideal to replace an organist - collections of albums including our basic Core Set, and the Ultimate Set with every hymn and song in the new Ancient and Modern hymn book, in order.

See John in action at the organ

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Albinoni Adagio

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Dam Busters and Colonel Bogey

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Lo He Comes with Clouds Descending

Bit rates

The MP3 format used on our MP3 sets and the downloads from iTunes and Amazon is compressed. This means that you get more music in the same amount of space and the download is speeded up, but the sound quality isn’t quite as good as, say, a CD.

Downloads from iTunes and Amazon are at a 256 kbps bit rate. This is difficult to distinguish from a CD. By default our Ultimate, Mixed and Master sets on DVD come with a 128 kbps bit rate. This makes the files significantly smaller so that they take up less room on your computer/MP3 player, but the quality isn’t quite as good. In our experience, most sound systems in churches are not good enough to make the distinction apparent, so 128 kbps is fine, but should you prefer a higher bit rate we can provide enhanced discs at 256 kbps at a small extra charge. (We did experiment with 320 kbps as well, but no one could hear the difference.) Note that the Master set at 256 kbps takes up around 13.7 Gb.

If you are concerned about bit rates, you can download a set of samples at different bit rates by clicking here.

Licensing of our CDs and downloads

We recognise that increasingly there are multiple churches in a parish or benefice, and so a single purchase of our CDs and downloads is licensed for use in up to four churches, as long as they are in the same parish or benefice. If you want a licence to cover more churches, please drop us an email at info@cul.co.uk with the details.

Searching for a specific hymn or tune

If you are looking for a specific hymn, just pop over to our Library page, which lists all tracks in alphabetical order of the name of the hymn.

If you want to see if we have a specific tune, most of them have a name. You can search the Library page for a tune name by using the Find option on your browser, which searches within the current page you are looking at. This can usually be activated by Ctrl-F on the keyboard (Cmd-F on a Mac) or by looking for ‘Find…’ in either the browser’s Edit menu, or its drop down list of controls, usually accessed from a button with three horizontal bars.

Customer comments

I just downloaded God of Our Fathers to use at Mass for our fallen soldiers. You just gave me one of the greatest musical gifts that I could get. The arrangement of this piece is superb and so is the musicianship of the performance. The harmony and execution is so perfect, it made me cry. Thank you so very much for your talent, time, generosity and wonderful sensitivity to the music. Carol Williams, Florida

Many thanks for quick delivery and great communication. Excellent piano accompaniments! I have been listening to them all day today whilst on half term from being a teacher! Alexandra King, Kings Lynn UK

I just wanted to write to say how thrilled we are by your superb organ playing via CD in our church... Since operating the remote controls to play back your music from the organ seat I have several times been congratulated on my superb playing and many others must have been astonished at how my playing has improved! Anthony Clay (St Mary's Longstowe, Cambridgeshire)

I have just received 12 CDs of your organ accompaniments. I am absolutely delighted with my purchase... Your CDs are just the ticket. Now we can have one of the best organists around, to help us give vent "Beltissimo", on occasions when we have no organist. The hymns are wonderfully played. I commend you for what you have done, and I thank you sincerely. John Tait (St Michael & All Angels, Corkbeg, Co. Cork)

I deeply appreciate the Hymn Track that we purchased from you a few months ago. It was absolutely marvelous and, once we played over our system, several people came forward after our worship service somewhat bewildered and said, "I had no idea we had a Pipe Organ here..." Rick Redmond, Chicago

"...a total of 138 favourites, played by John Keys, the organist of Nottingham University. Some are arranged seasonally by festival; others fall under the 'general' category - including marvellous examples like Who Would True Valour See." Times Educational Supplement (TES)

"We have no organist here at St. James House retirement and Nursing Home in Baytown, Texas, a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas...Thank you for making this remarkable contribution for our Chapel Services here in Baytown, Texas. The congregation was very happy and may we say, the Chaplain, responding to the Organ hymns, preached a fine sermon as well. THANK YOU." Reverend and Mrs. Charles H. Brown

Our team

  • John Keys - our organist - John has diplomas from the Royal College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music in organ playing, was assistant organist at Chester Cathedral and organ scholar at New College, Oxford. He continued his organ studies at the Conservatoire in Geneva under Lionel Rogg. He is director of music at St Mary's Church, Nottingham and the organist of Nottingham University. See john-keys.co for more on John.
  • Wendy Williams - our producer - Wendy doubles as recording engineer and production manager. In her day job she is a professional translator, specializing in technical work.
  • Brian Clegg - proprietor of this website, Brian is choirmaster of a village church in Wiltshire. In his day job he is an author of popular science books - see www.brianclegg.net for details of Brian's books.
  • Grahame Whitehead - administrator - head of the German department of a secondary school, Grahame knows his hymns and contributes to all stages of the production process.

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