…the awesome, gigantomongous, french-fry-esque pipe organ at the back of the hall. It’s comprised of more than 6,000 pipes, only a portion of which are visible. Some are conical and made of metal, others are shaped like long, slender boxes and are made of wood. The pipes range in size from ballpoint pens to palm trees.
The organ wasn’t played last night, but I’m told that when it debuted privately to a group of pipe organ professionals earlier this year — they all removed their shoes so they could feel the deep bass vibrations in the floor. A couple friends mentioned that when the LA Phil played Richard Strauss‘s ‘Also Sprach Zarathustra’ (opening theme to 2001: A Space Odyssey) a while back, this thing emitted gut-liquefying bass notes that remind you why that piece of music was selected to open a sci-fi film in the first place. That uber-low opening note doesn’t kick you in the innards on a recording the way it does from a huge pipe organ in an acoustically rich venue.
Note to self… must attend concert with organ at the Disney Hall! The ability to emit those amazing low notes is what makes organs so beloved in church music. Imagine a time before music was over-familiar. You visit the city and attend mass at the big city church. The low notes of the organ would make you feel the presence of God, wouldn’t it?