Winner! The Anywhere Organ

Awarded $500 grant at FEAST #10, February 26, 2011

Pipe organs are astounding instruments. So much of their personality is shaped by the space around them, tempering their sound and reverberations, allowing room for an infinite variety of instruments. Unfortunately nearly every pipe organ in is bolted into a wall staring longingly at architecture all day. This is why I’m creating the Anywhere Organ.

I’ve designed a system where each note, each pipe of an organ is attached to a central air supply through a flexible hose. The air to each organ pipe is computer controlled with an electronic valve. It can be interfaced with in a thousand different ways. The pipes can be arranged in batches and distributed across any space to capture its unique sound. This means the instrument can be installed anywhere; a park, a fire escape, or a secret underwater cave. It also means that anyone can participate in the project. I’d like to get people playing with the Anywhere Organ so they can see the effect space has on music and sound.

Churches are switching over to digital music, getting rid of their pipe organs. It’s sad to see such a cool instrument phased out. However, this means that there are entire registers of pipes available for a song. I’m also reaching out to the awesome music and hacking scene in Brooklyn, finding collaborators who want to help create new music with the system and finding amazing venues to install the project in.