Please do post details of concerts, courses and other events into the Calendar
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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Agnes Flanagan Chapel is a 16-sided architectural marvel that seats 650 under stained glass windows depicting the book of Genesis.In the early 1970s, it was also a big, conical quandary. Chapels aren't really chapels unless they have an organ, and the newly minted structure at Portland's Lewis & Clark College was in need.But those 16 sides presented a hitch. How do you fit an ordinary pipe organ into a building that's anything but?You don't. So the college went in search of an organ builder willing to try something different. Several, said organ curator Lee Garrett, backed away. But the world-renowned Larry Phelps took the challenge.Phelps' solution was to build something to fit the chapel, and the idea for the world's only circular pipe organ was born. Unlike a traditional pipe organ — played by someone sitting in front of the instrument as the notes flow through the pipes into the audience — this organ is suspended from the ceiling, allowing the music to reflect off the floor and into the crowd."One of the challenges of playing any organ is that no two are identical," said Garrett, a professor emeritus of music at Lewis & Clark. "Here, it's unusually difficult because the organist plays from the balcony and the organ is suspended from the ceiling."The electro-pneumatic instrument and its 4,000 pipes turned 40 last year. It has played to graduations, memorials and holiday celebrations.Players use three keyboards, called manuals, along with pedals and a series of knobs, to create a range of sound. With a couple of setting changes, the organ can be altered to mimic other instruments, like a trumpet.Now, it serves as a recruiting tool for the college's music school."It's one of the most unusual instruments in the country, if not the world," Garrett said.
HiAs well as being a unique solution this also acts as an argument to any church that would consider a toaster on the grounds of convenience. How easy it would have been to simply stick a few speakers up there!! Proof of what can be achieved with a little imagination.I know what I make of it: Pure genius!!Regards,Matt.
Timothy Tikker Tuning access to the bucket is via a ladder that descends electrically from the bottom of the case! Virgil Fox is said to have wanted to make his grand entrance for his concert that way, but was denied permission. Once an organ tuner fell from the ladder when it malfunctioned, and miraculously only suffered minor injuries.
PORTLAND, Ore. -- For more than four decades a piece of music history has been sitting, not so quietly, in Portland's backyard.Tucked away inside Lewis & Clark Colleges's Agnes Flanagan Chapel, the beauty of Bach pours out of an historic organ that many are hearing for the first time in KOIN's video report. "When you have everything in place and you're doing something really well," said organist Christopher Keady, "it kinda feels like you're flying."Keady plays part conductor and part soloist -- at the keys of the world's only circular pipe organ. It has 5,000 pitch-perfect pipes, orchestrated in a concert of sound that's suspended five stories above the audience."I was just astonished how beautifully this organ fit this room," said Organ Curator Lee Garrett. "Not just visually but tonally, it is a perfectly scaled instrument."However, getting it that way was as delicate as the pipes themselves. The organ needed to fit inside an already round chapel. So the college approached multiple builders, but many shied away -- until renowned organ maker Lawrence Phelps stepped in.The installation was inaugurated in 1972. Forty years later, the organ still showers the chapel with a powerful chorus of sound. It's a massive showpiece that can hush the crowd."It is an astonishingly gentle organ for as loud and bright as it can be," Garrett said. "I also know it to be very very gentle and beautiful."Now this organ is as much of an attraction as it is educational. And those who hear or play it, know the magic of the music -- leaving a legacy as strong as the instrument itself."After you finish playing, before people start clapping, there's this little hush,” Keady said. "That can be really long because people are just absorbing it or listening to the sound die away in the room, and that's kind of a sacred moment almost."