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Topics - David Pinnegar

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The Silk Road from China to the west has received a lot of attention recently with the publication of Peter Francopan's book on the subject linking the dots of the routes in the rise of production of and export of silk in the second half of the first millennium BC.

For some time I've been saying that the Gospel of Thomas is Buddhist in its spirit with a sprinkling of Confucius, and others say that John shows origins in Zoroastrianism.

The reason why the Church isn't mainstream any more is that people are seeing that its singular approach to the Divine isn't the whole picture, not relevant to the real world and for many I believe the Cross and the figure of Jesus is an idol.

Only when the Church moves in a more holistic approach to the Divine will it find relevance, and the future of the Organ survive.

We don't give credit to the ancients, their facility for transcontinental trade, communication of goods and communication of thought in any way as different brands of a common currency. It was with this, perhaps that Jesus gave in a reform to Judaism.

"Sacred by thy Name"

In other words - it should not be pronounced. In the Name of Jesus, we replace a name that should not be pronounced by another Name, and it should not be pronounced, uttered.

It's worth contemplating perhaps the similarity with

The Tao that can be trodden is not the enduring and unchanging Tao.
The name that can be named is not the enduring and unchanging name.

"I am the Light. I am the Way" says Jesus. Was he usurping competing religions? Or was he bringing them together? Not to replace but be part?

Those "pagan" religions oh so to be derided . . . In the wisdom of Apollo, again representative of light, the Name was never to be uttered. Light not of the world but of the mind. Holman Hunt's painting is misleading in so far as depicting a light of material form.

Ideas of the ancient world were much more universal perhaps than we give credit for, and now to be shown up as such in the universalism inherent in a World Wide Web. We think that modern technology is so much more effective than that of the ancients but perhaps in the days of old our ideas were bound by the communication spawned by a web of silk.

Best wishes

David P

Perhaps let this joyous day to come be a celebration of the idea of the Creator which can echo in us the power of creation even when others don't understand how to create.

Not the Creator known by Religion.

By Creator I don't mean that person who people ask about external to the cosmos who created the cosmos, but that power of creation within the cosmos of which the cosmos is its own mind, and of which we are part.

Quarks come together to make protons. The ones that haven't aren't here.

Protons come together to make atoms. The ones that haven't aren't here.

Atoms come together to make molecules. The ones that don't aren't here.

Molecules come together to make . . . etc etc etc

That ability to work together to Create is the Creator.

When we understand that then we are part of the work of the Creator creating.

Today, if you're alone perhaps see if you can find other people who celebrate the birth of the idea of the son of the creator, who understand. Those who don't understand cause troubles because they don't know how to create.

They cause the pains of others and most of all themselves - but they don't understand that.

Only when people have discovered pain do they really understand the Creator better. Unfortunately some people cannot get enough pain and so create it themselves. It's best to avoid them and instead find people who understand.

Working together - the cosmos is self fertilising - if it can happen it will happen and what produces produces more than what creates less and what creates less produces more than that which produces nothing at all. So what creates nothing at all isn't here - or it dies. What doesn't work with the rest of creation and doesn't create becomes irrelevant.

There are many who believe time for the human race is short. That's because humans who have only the understanding of animals will be victim of their own uncreation. But if humans understand their part in creation and create in harmony with all else created by the process I've described above, then humans will flourish as part of the mind of the cosmos.

For anyone interested, the little baby whose birth we celebrate was visited by three Magi. It was Hermes Tre-Magistus who taught that the universe, cosmos, was
- eternal
- self fertilising
- itself the mind of God

So today perhaps we may find somewhere to sing praises to the power of creation, working together, love in the real sense. And in doing so, goodness knows who else we might meet who also understands. And we might find transformation.

We're made of the stuff that at every level of sophistication has followed the spirit and power of working together - quarks, protons, atoms, molecules, proteins, DNA, genes, species . . . . but so many people have forgotten what we're made of.

Even though some people might feel having been kicked in the teeth this year, to compost are those who don't understand how to create, mere raw materials to be used by that which understands how to do it. And a rather wise bloke whose birth we celebrate today talked of the mathematics of it all. So in life we don't need to be that compost to feed what creates most, that talent buried in the ground.

Praise to the invisible, all powerful and everywhere, that process of creation of love and working together that brings us about. May we recognise all our part in it.

Today's the day to find the other people who understand. Forget those who haven't understood - go find those who do.

That's what Christmas is about, and all the more to rant about!

Best wishes

David P

Electronic Organs / Viscount CM100
« on: December 15, 2017, 02:06:08 AM »
The local church has been declared redundant . . . but there's still demand for a carol event in the Village Hall. We thought of accompanying carols on a strident Sperrhake harpsichord . . . but perhaps it might not support singing if there are enough people.

So I resurrected a Viscount CM100 expansion unit and found an old Midi keyboard and from the library of stops set up
16 Gamba
8 Gamba
8 Viol D'Amour
8 Principal
8 Stopped Diapason
4 Principal
4 Flute
2 2/3 Twelfth
2 Fifteenth
Sesquialtera II
8 Trompette

Of course the effectiveness is governed by voicing and relative balance between stops but after a little work on this the result of the unit working just with one manual is remarkably impeccable. Much better than ever I expected and actually better than many more complete electronic instruments I've heard.

If anyone's thinking of selling a CM100 I'm possibly a willing buyer!

Best wishes

David P

H J Nelson 1921
East Stanley Methodist Church
Chester Road DH9 0TU
Grid ref: NZ204531
NPOR G01406
Tracker/Mechanical action
Width: c.13 ft
Depth: c.6 ft 8 ins
Height: c.16 ft
Approximate sizes
Front to back wall = 80"
Height above center peak = 105"
Width of peak (lefthand side) = 29.5"
Width of peak (righthand side) = 30.5"
Floor to base of peaks = 89"
Footwell = 105" Wide x 36" High x 15.5" Depth
Keyboard window = 48" Wide x 33 " High
Each side from keyboard window to outer edge = 25.5"
Organ stool = 53" Long x 30" High x 10" Wide
The Church is closed and the organ is immediately available.
Department and Stop list
Pedal Key action Tr  Stop action Me  Compass-low C  Compass-high f1  Keys 30
             1 Bourdon 16
             2 Bass Flute 8
Great Key action Tr  Stop action Me  Compass-low C  Compass-high a3  Keys 58
             3 Open Diapason 8
             4 Hohl Flute 8
             5 Dulciana 8
             6 Principal 4
             7 Gedact Flute 4

Swell Key action Tr  Stop action Me  Compass-low C  Compass-high a3  Keys 58
             8 Lieblich Gedact 8
             9 Voix Celeste 8
             10 Viol D'Orchestre 8
             11 Gemshorn 4
             12 Oboe 8
             13 Tremulant
Console type  Attached   Stop type  Drawstop   Pedalboard  Radiating Concave  
Swell to Pedal
Swell to Great
Swell octave
Great to Pedal
The buyer is responsible for removal.
All enquiries to the contact below please.
Church Contact:
Mr Cyril Robinson
Woodlands,  3 Park Close,  Annfield Plain,  Stanley,   Co Durham,  DH9 7UW
Tel. 01207 234215

I'm wondering if with the new figures showing the dead end of the Church of England with so few children attending church that the organ is now finally a dinosaur . . . ?

Best wishes

David P

I'm wondering how many people have enthusiasm having built their own organs fir home?

Sometimes I hear of people talking about having a spare rank of pipes or a soundboard or two. . . And wonder the extent of home enthusiasms for pipe organs? And how many have built or are building a software virtual organ?

Best wishes

David P

Organ Builders / Awe inspiring video about the Rufatti works in Italy
« on: August 10, 2017, 01:33:56 PM »
A friend directed me to

Best wishes

David P

I'm wondering if the drop-off of interest in organs, expressed in this forum and according to others in Organ groups on Facebook, and the lack of response to Martin Renshaw's call to action is indicative of something else.

When I was growing up, church services rarely touched on the Acts of the Apostles, and focussed more upon Jesus' teachings about God. It was murmured that the Acts of the Apostles were in some way troublesome and not talked about much. Likewise much of the Epistles.

Now wherever I look the Church seems to focus upon the Church and its supremacy and upon worship of its teacher, rather than upon worship of God.

To those not involved in Charismatic nor Evangelical movements I wonder if that is seen by most, and rejected, for what it is.

It is no surprise therefore that demand for organs in Churches in worship of God is declining with the passing of those generations whose focus was upon God rather than the Teacher.

Best wishes

David P

Unwanted organs – what is their future?

So for these reasons and many more, organs are increasingly finding themselves ‘unwanted’. Everyone ‘in the business’ knows about this but must the present decline continue ? Are the systems that exist to advise on organs, set up when organs were not only ‘wanted’ but seen as normal and good in themselves still really capable of protecting them in the new situation we are in ?

The second reason for calling a conference has been the experience of surveying over 800 medieval churches since 2012 for a research project under the general title of ‘soundsmedieval’. While doing this work, to look for – and find – the surviving physical infrastructure of extensive daily musical activity in medieval churches, we met many people who are responsible for their upkeep. They see their congregations diminish every year, but are determined to try to keep their churches open. We did see and hear some well-loved and cared-for organs, but we also saw instruments, some very good ones, that were not used, and we were often told that finding an organist had become a serious problem. It was clear that maintaining these instruments was a cost whose position in the order of priorities in overstretched budgets was slipping or even non-existent.

Meanwhile, the Church of England has commissioned a number of reports in recent years which show that in most places further decline seems to be inevitable. Last year the Department of Culture, Media and Sport launched an enquiry-review into the Sustainability of Churches. This asked if local communities - whether they attend their local Church of England church or not – might have a ‘responsibility’ for the preservation or upkeep of church buildings. It also asked for suggestions over what churches need to offer in order to be attractive as venues for wider events and ventures. The results of this review, which closed for submissions early this year, were originally supposed to be reported by the receiving committee before Easter, then by early July, but now are due to be revealed ‘in the autumn’. By all accounts, the DCMS was overwhelmed with ideas and reactions.

For organs, though, unless a well-thought- out new approach to the problem is found, the picture could be bleak. One recent suggestion has been to designate many rural churches as ‘festival churches’. This sounds good until you realise that this means they will not be used for worship more than a few times a year, just at major festivals or for funerals. No doubt many churches in small or remote communities may go that way, but it doesn’t need much imagination to see that organs in such places will deteriorate to the extent that they cannot be rescued at affordable cost. To ask an organ to perform perfectly after a long silence is obviously unreasonable, as it would also be to ask an organist to play an organ which might inevitably have become unreliable. If churches themselves become community assets, will the maintenace of organs be shouldered by the community as well, unless they see that it has a useful cultural or educational role ?

So a conference that will consider these things does seem like a necessary and timely idea.,2162.msg9849/

Contact : Martin Renshaw
email :

Theme :
Unwanted Organs - what is their future ?

Venue : St Stephen’s church, Rosslyn Hill, Hampstead, 5 minutes’ walk from
either Belsize Park Underground station (Northern Line, Edgware branch) or
from Hampstead Heath Overground station (Richmond-Stratford section)

Date : Saturday 23 September 2017, doors open at 10 a.m.

Aims of conference :

- To see what systems are currently in place in the various ‘exempt
denominations’ to safeguard organs, and how well these systems are

- To share good and bad experiences,
- and to see if, in the new era of Sustainability, organs can be better protected.

- To discuss how they might be maintained in playing condition
- and to see how they might be used more widely for cultural purposes and teaching.

- To explore what might be done with good organs that need to be moved – do they really have to go abroad ? What organs need to be kept in the UK ‘at all costs’, and what systems are in place to achieve this aim ?

Chair : Peter Burman

Special guest : Judith Weir

Composer-in- residence : David Loxley-Blount ; a new piece by him will be premièred

Organ players : Timothy Roberts, Paul Nicholson

Films about ‘unwanted organs’ specially made by James Dawson

There is no charge for the conference, but conference registration and tickets for the ‘Pipes and Strings’ concert will need to be booked via the link on the web-site. (See below for more details.)

Proposed programme for the day :

Open 10 am ;  tea & coffee

1st session starts at 10.30 with introductions from the Chair and Martin Renshaw. We then will hear up to 8 representatives, including those from the five English exempt denominations, the Churches ConservationTrust and the

Church Commissioners. They will speak about their advisory systems and their engagement with the safeguarding of organs for about 10 minutes each.

Lunch from 1 – 2.30 (sandwiches, soup, cake, fruit, tea/coffee) with live music and films, posters, power point shows etc

2nd session 2.30 – 4 : round-table and open discussion : Where do we go from here ?  How can systems be improved and will denominations work together ? What impact will there be from ‘sustainability’ issues?

4-4.30 : tea and entry of those coming just for the concert

4.30-6 : ‘Pipes and Strings’ : a concert to include music by Purcell and Bach, with organ concertos by Mozart, John Stanley, JohnWorgan and others, and the première of a new composition by David Loxley-Blount.

Organ player : Tim Roberts

String players : Conor James Gricmanis, James Orrell, Hatty Haynes and Bill Hunt

Organs : formerly unwanted organs of 1750, c1790 and 1829

The concert ticket will include a choice wine reception at 6 pm, the wine coming from places where English organs have gone to, or soft drinks.

Booking will need to be made through the soundsmedieval web-site for the conference (10 am to 4 pm) and concert (4 to 6). Please register in advance through this site, even though entry to the conference itself (10 am – 4 pm) is free. We are asking for a £10 donation on the day towards conference tea, coffee and lunch. Concert entry (and drinks) will be £10 if booked in advance through the web-site, or £12 on the door. Full-time student concert advance tickets are £8 ; the concert will be free for children who are 12 and under if accompanied by a responsible adult (maximum 2 children per adult).

Miscellaneous & Suggestions / Is nothing going on in Organdom?
« on: July 11, 2017, 06:50:08 PM »
Has social media made this forum wholly redundant?

Best wishes

David P

Inspirational instruments / The Metzler at Trinity College Cambridge
« on: June 08, 2017, 08:39:06 PM »
It's a real pleasure to hear Radio 3 devoting time to an organ recital - and with David Goode playing Bach on the Metzler at Trinity there's real inspiration.

The history of the instrument is on

I saw reference to its "idiosyncratic" tuning and this was music to my ears. Bach really comes alive on the Metzler and relates that it's tuned to Werkmeister. If only more instruments were tuned to systems with perfect fifths . . .

Best wishes

David P

RCO Academy invites you to
join us in Worcester
in the Georgian tranquillity of St Swithun’s Church for
cantantibus organis
exploring the unique musical landscape of the late mediaeval organ
FRIDAY 16 JUNE at 2.30pm
St Swithun’s Church, Worcester WR1 2RH
Goldman Professor in Organ, Arizona State University
Kimberly will coach organists of all ages in repertoire of the English pre-Reformation:
apply to play in Kimberly’s masterclass (five places available for organists of all ages)
apply to observe
(concessions for RCO Members)

It was a great pleasure a few weeks ago to be the guest of Robert Buhagiar, the organ builder on Malta and Gozo. I'd imagine that few can have curatorship of more historic instruments than he and the two islands are a gem in the organ world.

On I recorded the sound of one of the ancient instruments of 1769, at Hal Ghaxaq.

We went to see another instrument at Qrendi and this was extraordinary, the sound becoming more grand and more profound as more of the upper Ripieno was added. I imagine that the Ripieno harmonics produce beat frequencies as sub-harmonics, creating a very grand sound.

Best wishes

David P

It's amazing how in England the pipe organ seems to be losing relevance whilst in France there are mouth-watering instruments from top to bottom of the country.

In Cannes

Notre Dame de Bon-Voyage

and up north

and nearby a Cavaillé Coll

an English instrument by Alfred Oldknow

At Pleurtuit

and a Nicholson and Lord at St Briac

What do we need to breathe such life into organs in England?

Best wishes

David P

Miscellaneous & Suggestions / Is this forum dead? Is the organ dead?
« on: February 14, 2017, 08:21:12 PM »
Is there any point in the existence of this forum?



Forster & Andrews, Hull (1877)
Re-built by Hill & Sons, London (1906)
Hailsham Parish Church (St Mary’s)
East Sussex
BN27 1BL

NPOR N15407
Three manual and pedals
30 speaking stops
Action: Tubular pneumatic throughout

En-fenêtre front: Width (overall) 14’7”
Height (top of pipes) 19’8”
The organ now has no side casework as it is built
into the base of the tower. It occupies a floor area
approximately 12’9” wide x 14’9” deep.

Originally with tracker action, it was built in 1877
for the concert hall at the Royal Normal College for
the Blind at Upper Norwood in South London. In
1906 it was completely rebuilt by Hill & Sons and
converted to tubular pneumatic action. At this time
the console was replaced. It was extensively
refurbished again by Hill & Sons in 1921.

The college was evacuated soon after the outbreak
of war, and sometime between 1939 and 1944 the
organ was placed into storage by Willis & Sons. It
was installed at Hailsham in 1955 by Hill, Norman
and Beard of Lewes. This installation necessitated
major alterations, and the side casework shown in
early photographs is no longer in existence.

The organ retains its original stencilled display
pipes, and some other original Forster & Andrews
ranks. Other ranks are by Hill & Sons.

The Swell and Great are in reasonable playing order
and the organ is regularly used. Some minor repairs
have been carried out recently, although the last
major overhaul took place in 1981.

Organ for Possible Relocation

Department and Stop List

Pedal Key action TP Stop action TP Compass-low C Compass-high f1 Keys 30
1 Open Diapason 16
2 Bourdon 16
3 Quint 12
4 Flute 8
5 Trombone 16

Great Key action TP Stop action TP Compass-low C Compass-high a3 Keys 58
6 Contra Geigen 16
7 Open Diapason 8
8 Hohl Flute 8
9 Gamba 8
10 Harmonic Flute 4
11 Principal 4
12 Fifteenth 2
13 Mixture
14 Harmonic Tromba 8

Swell Key action TP Stop action TP Compass-low C Compass-high a3 Keys 58
24 Violoncello 8
25 Dulciana 8
26 Lieblich Gedeckt 8
27 Flauto Traverso 4
28 Flautina 2
29 Orchestral Oboe 8
30 Harmonic Tromba (from Great) 8
31 Corno di Bassetto 8

Choir Key action TP Stop action TP Compass-low C Compass-high a3 Keys 58
15 Bourdon 16
16 Open Diapason 8
17 Rohr Flute 8
18 Salicional 8
19 Voix Celeste 8
20 Principal 4
21 Harmonic Piccolo 2
22 Horn 8
23 Oboe 8

Other details
Console type: En-fenêtre
Stop type: Drawstop
Pedalboard: Concave Radiating

Swell to Pedal
Swell to Great
Swell to Choir
Swell octave
Choir to Great
Choir to Pedal
Choir suboctave
Great to Pedal
Balanced swell pedal for Swell
Balance swell pedal for Choir
4 thumb pistons to Great (also on toe studs)
4 thumb pistons to Swell (also on toe studs)
4 thumb pistons to Choir

Blowing: Electric (3-phase)

Location and access
The organ is located at ground level at the
base of the tower immediately behind the
west doors as shown in the photograph.

There is therefore good level access directly
from the outside of the building, although
the space within the tower is very cramped.

The alterations made to the organ when it
was installed included mounting some of
the ranks and some larger isolated pipes
directly onto the walls of the tower.

The blower is located within the bellringing
chamber directly above the organ,
and suitable lifting equipment will be
required to remove it.
Background and timescales

In its current location, in the base of the tower, the organ prevents the historic west doors and
foyer (prior to 1955, a main entrance to the church) from being used. Consequently, the south
door, which is accessed via steps and is therefore far from satisfactory, has to be used as the
main entrance. Furthermore, the west doors, which are on the main approach path and are visible
from the High Street, present a gaunt and unwelcoming prospect, giving the appearance that
church itself may be redundant.

The Parochial Church Council is in discussion with the Chichester Diocesan Advisory
Committee about reordering works that would bring the west doors back into use as the main
entrance, and which due to levels, can provide full access for disabled people. The relocation of
the organ to a new home will be a necessary consequence if approval is granted for these works.

Expressions of interest will therefore be welcome, although the organ’s availability is subject to
faculty permission being obtained from the Chancellor of the Diocese. An application is
currently being prepared.

Please contact us for more information about the organ and its fascinating history, including its
early years at the Royal Normal College for the Blind. Proposals to re-use the remaining
substantial “en fenêtre” casework may also be considered.

While no charge will be made for the organ, the recipient will be responsible for all costs
involved in dismantling and removal.

Enquiries please to:
Ken Thomas
Telephone: 01323 849699 / 07817 560077

Organs in danger / Slow death
« on: January 31, 2017, 07:17:41 PM »
Is it the Organ as an instrument, Churches in which organs are kept or this forum which is dead?

Slow death is painful.

Best wishes

David P

Inspirational instruments / Portable pipe organ
« on: January 25, 2017, 11:43:16 AM » might be one of the most extraordinary creations in the organ world.

Best wishes

David P

The local Association sent around an appeal for a midnight organist. I don't know if the church found one but I wonder how many churches missed having the organ as part of Christmas?

Best wishes

David P

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