Friday, June 22, 2007

The Las Pinas Bamboo Organ -- 22 June

Today we visited the Las Pinas Bamboo Organ. A dusty, smoggy trip across Las Pinas to St Joseph's Church.

We were taken on a tour, the organ was played for us, and the history of the church and organ related to us. The church was built of Adobe in 1795. The Organ was built in between about 1817 and 1830. Bamboo was buried in sand before the pipes were constructed. Our guide told us the treatment in sand leached sweet materials out that would attract termites. Some of the pipes are still the originals.

The organ was discovered in a state of disrepair in 1970, when a German organ company was contracted to repair and rebuilt it. A room was built in Germany with humidity and temperatures controlled to those of the PI. After two years, the refurbished organ was shipped back to the PI.

Every year is a Bamboo Organ Festival, with notable organists from around the world performing. I bought a copy of the CD of a recent festival to give to my Mother, an organist herself.

So, even though we were unable to visit the Lumanog guitar factory in Pampanga, we at least have a little musical side trip on our agenda. I now hope to visit the Alegre guitar factory on Mactan Island, Cebu.

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