Saturday, November 22, 2008

Temperamental Artistes

Like most of you, I have always wanted a pipe organ in my house. And now I have one. It was sitting in the barn for a couple of years while I settled into the parish and now it is in my house. There's just one thing. One solitary note (tenor "A' of the 8" Gedeckt) would not play. I diagnosed a failed pouch (leather disk that opens and closes the valve beneath the pipe). Getting at the peccant part required much dismantling. To fix the one pouch I ended up releathering 30 of them. Due to the demands of my real job, the pouchboard repair had to be accomplished in fits and starts during snippets of borrowed time. I think I started two weeks ago. The photos show the finished pouchboard and the current appearance of the organ, which seems to bear a resentful expression. After testing, the pouchboard will be reinstalled and the pipes put back in the organ. Before I close I ought to mention that the organ was manufactured by the M.P. Möller company of Hagerstown, Maryland, around 1939. That firm called it the "Möller Portable Pipe Organ"; those who have had to move one will smile at this designation. Everyone else calls it an "Artiste" model. This organ has lived in different places including St. Jean Baptiste Church in New York City (I believe it was a practice or choir accompaniment instrument).
P.S. The alert reader will have understood why this message was posted today.

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