“The Los Angeles Philharmonic is celebrating the 10th birthday of ‘Hurricane Mama,’ a stunning 6,134-piece pipe organ that has become Walt Disney Concert Hall’s most prized possession,” writes Val Zavala on Wednesday (11/19) at radio station KCET.org (Los Angeles). “The organ was designed by architect Frank Gehry and organ builder Manuel J. Rosales, and presented as a gift to the County of Los Angeles from the Toyota Motor Corporation.… The instrument is typically played during solo recitals or alongside the orchestra. It took approximately 45 different designs before Rosales finally agreed on a prototype that was both practical and aesthetically pleasing.… The organ has a mind of its own. In fact, there’s four floors filled with different pipes of all shapes and sizes, each corresponding to a specific keyboard note.… ‘It is an amazing instrument on all levels,’ says [musician Joanne Pearce]. ‘The sheer size of it. The color palette, the dynamic range. It’s so versatile. You can use it for the smallest, intimate sound to the biggest, grand sound.’ ” The story includes video with a backstage tour of Disney Concert Hall and the Organ Blower Room.
Posted November 24, 2014