Monday, January 30, 2006

The new organ arrives!

After a long weekend, traveling to Michigan and back in three days, Laura and I landed back at the parish in time to welcome the delivery of the new organ. The truck arrived just minutes before we hit the church parking lot.It was a misty and foggy morning. About twenty five people showed up to help unload all the bundles, crates, pieces and packages that made up the elements of the organ. All told, according to the builder, there were over 200,000 individual pieces. Which meant that just about every available inch of the sanctuary was literally knee deep in pipes, lumber, tracker bars and racks and all the attendant parts of what is eventually going to be the new organ, installed.
From the first crate, to the last, it took about two and a half hours. Martin and his crew were great in gathering people up into the task. There was a sense of quiet celebration as people realized that an effort that was nearly a decade old was finally coming to fruit. People have given their energy, prayers and money to make this day come to pass. I count myself as blessed to be with them as they celebrate the completion of a season of hard work.

Martin Pasi, the organ craftsman was great. He directed and hosted the arrangement of the load in, really inviting people to become a part of the process. As people came and went, he maintained a real sense of peace at the center of a proverbial storm. There were a LOT of things to sort out. I admire his ability to see/sense what should go where...And also at the same time give people the opportunity to learn more about what goes into making an organ come to pass.

The wind is sitting in the sacristy, a massive bellows that will go "upstairs" into the loft. It will eventually feed over a thousand pipes with air...Which air will become music.

My favorite sight was getting a glimpse of the empty space becoming full. Only a week ago, all the furniture and even some structural elements of the church were prepared for what would come soon. All we were left with was an empty space. Well, not entirely empty. Plenty of dust, to be sure. Bill spent more than a little while chasing after the leavings of the tie-road techs with his canister vacuum.

Once the tie rods had been reset, and the structure of the church was stable, what was left was a truly empty space. Haven't seen that much air in a long time. I did not realize how much I have come to call Trinity my home, until I saw it without the choir seats, the old organ and a sanctuary denuded of all furniture. Just like moving in day. It gave me a small, slight sense of what it must have been like to see this sanctuary new. Only an echo really, but watching the joy on people's faces as they talked and mused on this new chapter in the life of the parish gave me a brief ability to see into what it was like. It also gave me a chance to appreciate again just what a special place this Church really is to so many people, myself included.After a while, people moved off, and some of us went off to lunch. When we got back, the work began in earnest. Another image: Martin's workers spending what seemed like half an hour setting the first piece of the organ's foundation. A simple frame of wood needed to be squared and leveled and placed just so. From that, the organ would be built. It had to be right, I am sure. You can see them working on the base of the organ in the back of the sanctuary. You can also see the incredible mass that will eventually sit on that small bit of real estate that exists just behind the altar. A comical moment came when, after setting the base of the cabinet a moment came when it was time to install the base of the structure that would hold the pipes. They had a bit of trouble getting it to set right. Not to mention the fact that it was a pretty massive piece of wood for four men to handle. Still, they were able to set it, then lag bolt it into the wall.
As the day wore on, we had the chance to welcome some youth who had come in to the church to see things after they had gotten done with school. The look of awe and delight was a blast.

I won't forget this day. A complete distraction from getting ready for the Annual Meeting. It was worth it.

1 comment:

  1. How wonderful! The pictures capture well the sense of anticipation and excitement.