June 3, 2014
The day after Memorial Day, I visited the office/shop of the C.B. Fisk organ builders in Gloucester, Massachusetts, to observe the new Plymouth organ taking shape. A short and inspiring visit, I saw the organ partially assembled, and enough of the case is erected to feel its mass and presence.
The artistry of its design and execution were palpable when I stood next to and inside the organ. It is graceful, yet grounded, elegant, yet somehow earthy. Touring the shop with Greg Bover, the project manager, I met artisans who create the wood case work, form the pipes and design and assemble intricate workings of the tracker mechanism that will enable 3000+ pipes, from six inches to 32 feet, to ‘speak’ together at the touch of the keyboards. I realized an organ is a sculpture, engineering feat and a product of incredible team work. As I toured the shop it became obvious that no one person creates an organ; each of a 20-person team works mindfully and thoughtfully, talking with one other and working out problems that arise. They build on the experience of those who came before them and invent new solutions to create an instrument the size of a room that is beautiful and sonorous. And we at Plymouth are a team too, bringing this project to fruition together, with the help of God. –Ruth Williamson