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Topic: Interesting Dept: The Überorgan

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Orcas Island

    Interesting Dept: The Überorgan

    This organ looks like it's out of Woody Allen's "Sleeper".
    "This tubey balloon monster that’s taken over the atrium of the Getty Museum in Los Angeles is a sculpture/industrial waste depository/musical instrument designed by artist Tim Hawkinson. Called Überorgan, it’s air powered and can play hymns and pop music."
    You can see the YOUTUBE VIDEO here
    "The Überorgan uses an array of photosensors to read dashes of black paint as they move past on a 250 foot long roll of laminated paper. Each dash activates a valve, channeling pressurized air through a sort of trumpet thing, which sounds until the dash ends (much like a player piano). Although it definitely doesn’t sound any less, um, atonal in person, it’s quite impressive to see. The Getty is free and there’s a bunch of other, you know, arty stuff in there, so check it out if you’re in the LA area. The Überorgan will be on display until September 9."

    Now that's an organ!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    West Seneca, NY

    Re: Interesting Dept: The Überorgan

    Wow! Now if that organ ever fails they'd be hard pressed finding a donor.

  3. #3

    Re: Interesting Dept: The Überorgan

    That's pretty cool!

    It reminds me of another "organ" I saw a few years back, the Stalacpipe Organ. It's located in the Luray Caverns in Luray, Virginia. Basically it taps stalactites and stalagmites with mallets to produce the pitches which are then amplified a bit and played back in the cavern. I remember the guide mentioning that more than a few people have had their weddings in the Cavern, with the organ playing along.


  4. #4
    Member CBK780's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Princeton Junction, NJ

    Re: Interesting Dept: The Überorgan

    That about the ugliest sounding thing I ever heard. Worse than my Aunt Sophie trying to sing Mahler!


    (day job)
    CEO, Cognetics Corporation

    (night job)

  5. #5

    Re: Interesting Dept: The Überorgan

    I saw this organ when it was in new york at ACE Gallery. It's quite a thing. It took up about 10,000 sq.ft. of space (roughly). It was interesting to be able to walk around and see how it worked. it had a piano roll type of sequencer that was printed on transarent plastic. it rolled over light sensors to create the triggers for each of the pipes.
    I laso worked on a documentary about Tim Hawkinson, ART21 on PBS (I'm a sound editor) and if you're into this kind of thing, you should check out his other works.

  6. #6

    Re: Interesting Dept: The Überorgan

    I was hoping an everlasting gobstopper was going to come out...
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

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