The pipe organ in its way feels like a curious anomaly, an anachronism of effects in the age of amplifiers. Today’s concert halls and churches are constructed from modern materials (think the plywood and brushed aluminum of the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles), yet in every case, much ado is made about the construction of the organ. The pipe organ is a relevant relic. It is anything but contemporary sounding, but its intricacy and expansive sonority are dependent upon the space it is to inhabit. Vibrating the body, the organ makes what might simply be aural into something physical, almost seismic.
Though several remarkable pipe organs can be heard throughout San Francisco—at the Castro Theatre, the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption, and Glide Memorial Church, for example—the organ at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor is so curious because its unique structure is as much a part of the building as a human organ is to the vital functions of a body.
Yet where the Legion of Honor conceals the organ pipes and incorporates them into its structure, the visible presence of the console still makes it clear that the organ cannot operate without a performer. As a working organ in a museum, the sound of the Skinner organ demonstrates the complex relational negotiations between subject, maker, curator, preparator, and viewer that occur within these structures, behind the facade of exhibitions, but that these structures are ultimately intended to obscure.
Its console is located in the A.B. and Alma de Bretteville Spreckels Rodin Gallery... San Francisco, CA...
« Last Edit: January 07, 2011, 04:43:25 PM by KB7DQH »
The objective is to reach human immortality—that is, to create things which are necessary to mankind, necessary to the purpose of the existence of mankind, and which have become the fruit that drives the creation of a higher state of mankind than ever existed before."