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Pipe organ, control electronics and devices to operate the organ in a non-organ like fashion.

German composer and pianist Nils Frahm asked for an organ for his tour in spring 2015. The organ
should be still portable enough for touring and should fit within Frahms’ elaborate stage setup, which
consists of a custom upright piano, a grand piano, two synthesizers, a Mellotron, a Fender Rhodes,
two tape delays, a drum machine and various effect devices. Therefor the whole layout (3 modules
plus air supply) and electronics (MIDI controlled with external control interface) were developed in a
unusual fashion. This made the organ very versatile and suitable for use on-stage.

The organ is controlled by multiple microcontrollers to treat it more like a synthesizer. For example
the controller features classic synthesizer envelope curves and an arpeggiator. To extend the tonal
characteristics of the single register organ, there are two additional “air dump” valves built into each
pipe module. Those valves can be controlled with variable speed and intensity to fluctuate air pressure
within the system. This results in a tremulating effect.

Pipe Module

Pipe Module

Valve Controllers

Valve Controllers


Pipes and air supply system by Peter Petersohn, Werder an der Havel

Wiring system and interface box production by Matthias H. Franz Hahn, Berlin

Additional software by Terence Goodchild, Berlin

Developed while at FELD

Stage photos by Claudia Gödke