(Click on the image thumbnails for full sized images)
Undergraduate Performance and Technology double major Brennan Ebeling leads the Möller Artiste Opus 10736 restoration. Out of the three Artistes, Opus 10736 was in the worst condition riddled with dead notes and sticking keys. Rather than simply fix its problems however, the American Organ Institute wanted to redesign the instrument to be a tracker-action instrument which imitates the layout of the C. B. Fisk Opus 111 in Kerr Gothic Hall.
The rationale for this decision was that the Fisk had a non-standard keyboard layout with shorter and wider keys, as well as a parallel and flat rather than radiated and concave pedalboard, and is currently the only tracker instrument available to students at OU. This meant that many students were having difficulties transitioning from practicing on the electric action instruments with AGO-standard keyboards and radiated pedalboards to the Fisk.
It was up to Brennan to make all the inspections and determine what needed to be fixed. He also researched different options for new custom keyboards, as well as finding a BDO-standard pedalboard, and a new relay for the organ. He also performed the important task of taking inventory the design and build of the Möller Artistes, which will assist in the expediency of future work on this instrument.
In addition to basic restoration work such as washing and repairing the pipes and releathering the reservoir, the console had to be prepared for a new layout with new keyboards and a new pedalboard. The entire case was disassembled and sanded, and will be refinished once the new pedalboard and keyboards arrive later this spring. Although the current instrument does not include a combination action system, dummy advancers pistons and toestuds will be included to facilitate practicing with piston-pushes. In case the pedalboard proves to be too wide for the current bench, there are plans to build a new bench within the AOI shop.
The original switch stack, which made the connection from each of the keys to the pipes will be replaced with a Peterson relay. The change is mostly because the switch stack is unreliable and required a lot of maintenance. The Peterson relay would be much easier to repair if anything were to go wrong. The other reason is pedagogical, allowing technology students to have access to different types of relays.
Brennan, along with his mentors agreed that a BDO standard pedalboard would provide a smooth transition between the AGO standard radiated, concave pedalboard, and the Fisk flat, parallel pedalboard, because while the pedals on the BDO board are concave, they are also parallel. BDO stands for Bund Deutscher Orgelbaumeister, or the Federation of German Master Organbuilders. They have standardized two kinds of pedalboards for German organs, a parallel and a radiated one. The radiated pedalboard is similar to the AGO design, except both the concavity and angle of radiation are both slightly shallower. The BDO standard parallel pedalboard is pictured to the right.
The restored Möller Opus 10736 will feature a slightly altered selection of stops, most importantly having an 8' Principal on Manual I. Because the current principal starts at the 4' octave, and no pipes are being added, the bottom octave of the principal will be borrowed from the Gedeckt. The 2-rank mixture also was switched out for a quint, when it was decided that a mixture was unneccesary for a 3-rank organ.
Because the DC Rectifier took up a lot of space, and wasted a lot of electricity, a new modern power supply will be installed. As can be seen between the picture to the right, and the picture of the rectifier at the bottom of the archival photos, the new power supply will be much smaller, and also much more energy efficient.
Currently the project is waiting for the keyboards to arrive to continue.
To view some of the archival photographs, click on the thumbnails below.