I was introduced to the idea of making a pipe organ in a couple ways. Unlike being inspired by one thing, many different inspirations kind of piled on top of one another and pushed me to make a commitment for the project.
Around the summer of last year, I began to follow an engineer-turned-woodworker on youtube named Matthias Wandel. His channel includes a variety of different project and tips that he come up with. As I devoured his hundreds of videos, one stood out to me especially. In college, Matthias created a wooden pipe organ with four octaves of pipes. This interested me partly because its just a cool idea and mostly because I had a musical void that needed filling, as I opted to drop my wind ensemble class to join an engineering one. I began researching more, going onto his website for for information.
After I watched Matthias’s video, I wondered if I could possibly do it myself. I had what I thought was a large amount of tools (a chop saw, two cordless drills, and a skill saw), and a I was expecting a good couple hundred dollars from a summer job I was doing. However, I did not go through the idea that summer.
Other inspirations include Wintergatan’s viral marble machine, which to me was a perfect example of a musical instrument on a budget, and a book called Organ Building for Amateurs by Mark Wicks. This book was written in 1887, a fact that many others and I only discovered after the author made unhappy remarks towards then-created electric actions.
I don’t remember if I committed myself to building the organ, and started by experimenting with pipes, or if I began experimenting with pipes, which spiraled me to commit to the whole organ. Either way, I starting researching and experimenting with organ pipe designs. I will continue with this topic in the next post.