The wooden pipes, originally decorated with a graining style of painting, faced down the North aisle of the church. Over the years the painting has been overshadowed by dirt and damaged. Continue reading
On wednesday 18th February, nine students from Westminster Academy (WA) and their music teacher, Julia Reid, came to St. John’s to be introduced to the organ AKA Betty. Recording engineer Orlin Dimitrov made professional quality recordings of sound samples of the organ. WA students have started to work these into their minimalist compositions for organ and string quartet.
All of the students had a tour of the inside of the organ and the opportunity to play the organ. The students were introduced to a range of repertoire for organ spanning a 300 year period demonstrated to them, plus contextual information about the history of the church.
All students handled pipes and demonstrated an awareness of the different materials used to make them, that length affects pitch, and that a sustainable wind source is required, beyond the capacities of human breath.
The Spiral Key Organ has become part of the exhibition relating relating about Betty’s Restoration at St John’s Hyde Park. The Spiral Key Organ was commissioned as part of Southbank Centre’s Pull Out All The Stops Festival 2014, supported by Heritage Lottery Fund. The organ was one of four specially commissioned Wondrous Machines, inspired by the Royal Festival Hall Organ and created by designers, makers and artists who worked collaboratively with Lambeth Families. The artists who made it were Lewis Jones and Harriet Lewars.