September 5, 2004 |
It may be the job title of a lifetime, but then, it may be the gig of a lifetime. As the newly appointed organ conservator of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Philip Allen Smith is curator and defender of the spectacular centerpiece of the hall's layout.
July 9, 2004 |
With a show business smile and a striped shirt he might have borrowed from Larry David, John West could be a well-fed Westside screenwriter. Instead he's dedicated, in his own way, to the much more august art of the pipe organ. "Fifty years ago, the organ was the biggest thing going," West said this week. "It could shake the earth and rattle the walls."
July 6, 2004 |
In an abandoned church in Halberstadt, Germany, the world's longest concert moved two notes closer to its end Monday: Three years down, 636 to go. The addition of an E and E-sharp complement the G-sharp, B and G-sharp that have been playing since February 2003 in composer John Cage's "Organ2/ASLSP" ("Organ squared/As slow as possible").
July 27, 2003 |
Even before a note is played on a massive pipe organ, the imagination is stirred by the sight of three, four or more broad keyboards stacked one above one other, panels of 20, 40 or more pullstops alongside to control an amazing variety of sounds, and a row of 30 or more foot pedals at the base of the console.
August 16, 2002 |
Eighty feet above the limestone floor of L.A.'s new cathedral, John Ourensma crouches over a row of organ pipes. Pulling one out of its wooden rack, he narrows its cone-shaped base with a brass tool that looks a little like a candle snuffer. Replacing the pipe, he pulls a walkie-talkie to his mouth. "Try it now," he says. Suddenly a blast of air sends a shatteringly loud middle C into the confines of the narrow workspace.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 30, 2001 |
The organ pipes spill from Mission San Juan Capistrano's Serra Chapel like handkerchiefs out of an old vaudevillian's sleeve, one leading to another and then another until a whole river of fabric tumbles out. In this case, the pipes emerge from a 12-by-8-foot room in the loft at the rear of the high, narrow chapel. There are more than 500 pipes in all, the smallest the size of a pencil and the largest 8 feet tall and 10 inches across. Some of the pipes are made of wood, but most are metal.