Saturday, August 13, 2011

Monday, June 29, 2009

Restoration Work - June 2009

Organ Pipe Restoration

To reach and fix the dents on the pipes, the foot has to be separated from the body.

The dents on the pipe foot are the most difficult to repair

There are various sets and sizes of mandrels where the foot and pipe body are repaired

Restoration of the console

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Restoration Work - May 2009

Pipe Organ Restoration

Refurbished magnets

Tone Chest Magnets installed back inside the windchest

New Puffers

New puffers under production

Old puffers

Re-leathered cone valves careflly fitted again inside the cone chest

Re-leathering of the cone valves

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Proposed Pipe Organ Design

Proposed New Pipe Organ Case

Monday, March 9, 2009

Pipe Organ Disassembly

The disassembly of the pipe organ of Espiritu Santo Parish for its full restoration has been started today March 9, 2009. The pipe organ will be completely disassembled and transported to Las Pinas City where it will be professionally restored in the shop of Europe-trained Diego Cera Organbuilders, Inc.
First to be put in crates are the delicate metal pipes and the bellows. The biggest challenge though is to bring down the biggest pipes from the choir loft and transport it to Las Pinas. The longest pipe is about 18 feet long with a diameter of more than 1 foot. The pipe organ of Espiritu Santo is one of the few pipe organs in the country that has these big pipes which is quite valuable.
Another challenge is to bring down the heavy chests of the organ. There are two big chests each weighing about 400-500 kilos.
The disassembly of the organ took about 4 days. Friday, March 13, the whole organ now in smaller parts (relatively speaking) was loaded onto two trucks, a 20 footer truck and another 16 footer truck and transported to Las Pinas where Diego Cera has its shop.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Pipe Organ of Espiritu Santo


The majestic pipe organ of Espiritu Santo was completed in 1968 by Father Herman Schablitzki, SVD. It was Father Antonio Albrecht, SVD, who commissioned the work after he was assigned again as Parish priest of Espiritu Santo in 1958. Parts of the organ were imported from the factory of Laukhuff in Weikersheim, Germany.
It was said that the pipe organ was one of the best sounding organ in Manila presumably because of the great acoustic of the church. Repairs on the organ was made during the time of Monsignor Emmanuel Sunga during the 80's. The work was done by Marciano Jacela. Unfortunately, the condition of the organ was already in a bad state. It suffered during a minor earthquake in the 90's with some big pipes crushing onto the smaller pipes. When Diego Cera Organbuilders of Las Pinas took over the servicing of the organ in mid 90's. only 2/3 of the pipes were functioning. They tried to repair at least the horizontal trumpets and the chimes.
By the year 2002, problems on the pipe organ was just too much for the organist. Minor epairs will just be costly and would only be temporary. The choir transferred downstairs using an electronic organ.
The pipe organ finally got some hopes of sounding again by the year 2007 when Msgr. Alberto Salonga Jr. was appointed as Parish Priest. Plans were started for a complete Rehabilitation of the Pipe Organ. By January 31, 2009, a contract was signed between Msgr. Salonga and Cealwyn Tagle, head of Diego Cera Organbuilders for a complete overhaul of the pipe organ.

Present Condition

The pipe organ of Espiritu Santo was one of the best sounding pipe organs of the country. It once filled the church with various sound from the soft flutes to thunderous plenum. Unfortunately, old age and neglect has left the organ unusable. The last attempt to repair on the said organ was about 8 years ago and at that time a need of a complete overhaul was suggested. Since then, the instrument had already deteriorated much.

A pipe organ ha
s lots of leather parts and lifespan of imported leather is greatly shortened in this country because of our harsh climate coupled with our polluted air. These same conditions also affected the thousands of electro-mechanical switches inside the organ console. A pipe organ like all other musical instruments, when not played regularly, will develop various problems and faults internally. First, dust will settle in the windway of each pipe making it sound out of tune or worst prevent the pipe from sounding. Another problem that will happen is that all axis and linkages in the organ will develop some stiffness causing some mechanical problems. Since the pipe organ has an electro-pneumatic system, the magnets and the electrical contacts in the keyboard will start to corrode. The deterioration dramatically accelerates the moment the organist stops using the organ.

The rubber cloth of the bellows have been patched a couple of times and are finally in their last years. It is now impossible to do minor repairs on the bellows. Without a steady wind pressure from the bellows, it will be very hard to tune the pipe organ.

The electric wirings to the magnets that run from the console to the different windchests inside the organ case are now very brittle and are easily broken. It has become very difficult to move inside the organ during servicing because of this.

The organ console on the other hand has its own sets of problems. Since the old organ system used in the organ is actually not suitable for our harsh tropical climate, problems were very common until the organ became unusable. All contact points have high levels of oxidation compromising the speed the pipe starts to sound when a key is pressed. The key travel is very deep because the key-depth adjustment is not functioning. All wirings within the console are also very brittle rendering any repair inside the console quite impossible in the near future as it can lead to more damage as wires may break and short circuits may occur when servicing the console.

Generally, the instrument was not well made based on present construction standards.
Damages to the pipes were primarily due to poor pipe supports and racks. The absence of a good casework is also at fault since all pipes and various parts are more exposed to dust and birds. The interior of the church has also undergone a complete redesign and paintwork. Expectedly, the pipes now are full of dust and paint splatters since there is no casework at all to protect it.