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MMD > Archives > March 1999 > 1999.03.23 > 01Prev  Next

Introduction & Boston Univ. Symphonic Organ
By Bill Kibler

Hello all --  This is Bill Kibler, a.k.a. "the PinWiz", and although
I have been receiving the MMD for some time, and have responded to a
few posts, I have yet to formally introduce myself.

I am a fifty-year-old pinball machine mechanic who majored in classical
music and theory in college (Texas Tech).  During my time there I got
to help rebuild an old Wicks theater organ.  While in school I started
to design and build an electronic music synthesizer, a project that
took me years to complete.  (A picture is on my biography page.)

I used the finished instrument to leverage a job as an electronic
tech for an amusement machine company, and have been working on games
ever since.  My specialty is the older electromechanical machines.
Once I got into computers and MIDI it was only natural that my love
of classical music and pipe organ would lead me to attempt to produce
organ music with MIDI.

I have a web site (link below) where I expound on organ simulation,
and also I have some attempts to perform many classical, Bach organ,
band-organ, and other pieces.  I have not really tried to simulate any
particular organ sound, only to mix up a sound that does justice to
the music.  And also I have some soup recipes, pinball art, web design
links, and coming soon, some original fractal art.

I ran across a link one day that many of the subscribers will surely
find interesting.  It is a site devoted to the Boston University
Symphonic Organ,  the link is:

The instrument is based on a 12-rank 1930 Skinner, and a 23-rank
1930 Aeolian.  Additions from other vintage Skinner and Aeolian organs
enlarged the instrument from 35 to 62 ranks.

The installation was conceived as a grand promenade of organ pipes.
A parquet-floored corridor runs straight through the instrument,
and visitors can look through glass doors into five of the chambers,
the largest of which contains 1,560 pipes.  The blowing plant (33
horsepower in all) is on display -- a plethora of vintage blowers,
reservoirs and shiny new metal ducts, with framed wind gauges showing
the various stages of wind pressure.

The original Skinner and Aeolian consoles are exhibited in an adjacent
room, while another chamber features electro-pneumatically operated
percussions.  Further additions have upped the count to 102 ranks and
6,815 pipes.  When the Fanfare is installed, there will be 7,500 pipes.

The instrument can be controlled by the consoles, or by a roll player,
or by a state of the art computer control system.  This is really
something to see.

Best wishes to all

Bill Kibler - "the PinWiz"

(Message sent Tue 23 Mar 1999, 04:43:36 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Boston, Introduction, Organ, Symphonic, Univ

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