Saturday, May 14, 2022

The adventures of the rolling reed organ, part 2.

I've been waiting for good weather and the retirement of the neighbor to ask him (and his son) to help me bringing the reed organ to the house. A Sunday morning, they did it. I had some girdles from work to help carrying the instrument, but I didn't think of the furniture at the entrance. We had to disassemble a cabinet, before managing to take the reed organ in the living room. Here it is! It looks even higher and broader now. My father and I placed some wood under the fine wheels and my mom began to decorate the cover with objects (that I ask to remove...).

Finally in a warm room. I started playing and at the third piece, a sudden noise and the right pedal fell down effortless. What?! It took a while to open the instrument and check the damage. One of belts connecting the pedals with the vent mechanism had broken. Adriano, the reed organ guru, suggested how to repair (or better, replace) the broken belt. We tried to repair the broken part, but at bar 10 of the first try, it broke in another place. We had to replace both belts with new ones. After 110 years, it is almost "normal" that the hemp belt got rotten.

Finding suitable material for the belts was not that easy. I went to Vienna, spending four hours in trains, trams, and shops. What I found was a modern and expensive alternative, not what I was looking for. We applied it and is working. Fingers crossed that nothing else will get broken. There are for sure some issues, but I'll wait for an expert for a general cleaning and restoration. In the meantime, a stove has been installed in the room. The reed organ does not like a stranger anymore. The dark old wood has the only disadvantage of attracting dust incredibly fast, but this does not affect the sound.. I can continue experimenting the "inappropriate" repertoire!

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