Ore. chapel's circular pipe organ is one-of-a-kind

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Agnes Flanagan Chapel is a 16-sided architectural marvel that seats 650 under stained glass windows depicting the book of Genesis.

In the early 1970s, it was also a big, conical quandary. Chapels aren't really chapels unless they have an organ, and the newly minted structure at Portland's Lewis & Clark College was in need.

But those 16 sides presented a hitch. How do you fit an ordinary pipe organ into a building that's anything but?

You don't. So the college went in search of an organ builder willing to try something different. Several, said organ curator Lee Garrett, backed away. But the world-renowned Larry Phelps took the challenge.

Phelps' solution was to build something to fit the chapel, and the idea for the world's only circular pipe organ was born. Unlike a traditional pipe organ — played by someone sitting in front of the instrument as the notes flow through the pipes into the audience — this organ is suspended from the ceiling, allowing the music to reflect off the floor and into the crowd.

"One of the challenges of playing any organ is that no two are identical," said Garrett, a professor emeritus of music at Lewis & Clark. "Here, it's unusually difficult because the organist plays from the balcony and the organ is suspended from the ceiling."

The electro-pneumatic instrument and its 4,000 pipes turned 40 last year. It has played to graduations, memorials and holiday celebrations.

Players use three keyboards, called manuals, along with pedals and a series of knobs, to create a range of sound. With a couple of setting changes, the organ can be altered to mimic other instruments, like a trumpet.

Now, it serves as a recruiting tool for the college's music school.

"It's one of the most unusual instruments in the country, if not the world," Garrett said.

Follow @YahooMalaysia on LINE for daily entertainment updates.

Loading...
  • Kanak-kanak montel, comel atau berpenyakit?
    Azwa Iela - Tupai
    Kanak-kanak montel, comel atau berpenyakit? 19 hours ago
    Kanak-kanak montel, comel atau berpenyakit?

    Tampak comel namun hakikatnya bayi yang montel berisiko menghidapi penyakit obesiti. …

  • "Wireless key finder", penyelamat anda
    Azwa Iela - Tupai
    "Wireless key finder", penyelamat anda Wed, Apr 23, 2014 4:47 PM MYT
    "Wireless key finder", penyelamat anda

    Adakah anda merupakan seorang yang pelupa dan selalu kehilangan kunci akibat terlupa di mana anda meletakknya? …

  • Gaya Muslimah berjiwa moden
    Azwa Iela - Tupai
    Gaya Muslimah berjiwa moden Tue, Apr 22, 2014 5:31 PM MYT
    Gaya Muslimah berjiwa moden

    Wanita yang berlitup kini tampil dengan pelbagai fesyen terkini dan gaya yang lebih moden disamping mengekalkan ciri-ciri Muslimah. …

  • Netflix makes deals to appear on first U.S. cable boxes
    Netflix makes deals to appear on first U.S. cable boxes

    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Netflix Inc's streaming video service will be integrated into TiVo Inc set-top boxes provided by Atlantic Broadband, Grande Communications and RCN, the cable providers said on Thursday. The deals are the first in the United States to bring Netflix as an app to cable set-top boxes. Netflix has similar arrangements with operators in Europe. (Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Steve Orlofsky) …

  • Five tips to protect your eyes
    Yahoo Newsroom
    Five tips to protect your eyes Mon, Apr 21, 2014 12:50 PM MYT
    Five tips to protect your eyes

    Just like every other part of your body, your eyes need to be protected too. …

Comments on Yahoo pages are subject to our link to Comments Guidelines. You are responsible for any content that you post. Yahoo is not responsible or liable in any way for comments posted by its users. Yahoo does not in any way endorse or support comments made by its users.