What I hear you ask is unusual about an organ in a loft. That’s where you would expect to find the console. In fact I think most organists if asked, would they prefer to be on the floor of the church or tucked away out of sight in the private world of a loft would indeed choose the latter.
What is unusual about this one is that we were requested to deliver the organ to the loft of our customers home, and the access to that space was up a near vertical stair ladder.
Console and Pedal Board
To be fair our customer had come to us well prepared with a very good sketch that set out the delivery challenge. So we knew in advance that the only hope was to provide an organ console split below the console shelf so it could navigate the near vertical stairs to his loft.
What is even more unusual about this situation was the need to build the pedal board in the loft too as a fully assembled 32 note radiating concave board was too wide in all directions to get up the stairs.
The console was split at the factory in Italy and unless I had highlighted ‘the join’ I doubt you would have seen where this had been done. Quite an achievement in a dead flat side panel.
Teamwork does the job
The delivery required a team of four. First the organ internal wiring had to be disconnected to allow the two halves to be taken apart. Then these parts were carried up to a first floor landing where the team was split up. Two going into the loft while two remained below. Then rather like some Keystone Cops movie where firewater buckets are passed along a human chain the team below lent the console into the void and pushed from below while the pair above pulled.
As you see it was a successful venture and all that remains is for our customer to build a protective rail between console bench and staircase lest after hard hours of practice he should stumble backwards and come a bit of a cropper.
As you may know all current Viscount organ models can play themselves. It would be rather amusing, in this clearly old property if our customer were to set the instrument to play in the middle of the night and unsuspecting guests might just be made to think they are staying in a haunted house, especially if the repertoire were well chosen.
Just an idea!