This panorama is part of a series of 20 taken of the church sanctuary over a 15month period starting before the COVID pandemic and finishing during the pandemic. This image is the only one taken that didn’t change during the period that the church was extensively refurbished.
Psalm 44:26, For the Director of Music
RISE up and help us; redeem us because of your unfailing love.
Rising above the Sanctuary is the tower, and in the tower is the workings of the Church Organ, normally hidden but today after the renovation the room has been unsealed from the dust and the organ is ready to play. The organ you see dates from 2006 and replaced the 1932 installation of the hand-me-down from Greyfriars Kirk, installed in 1865 by David Hamilton and reputed to have been the first pipe organ in the Church of Scotland.
As it dates from 2006 the organ is a strange mixture of the old ways of air and piping but using electric signals from the console for control.
The basic idea of blowing air over a pipe is very simple but the organ is stupendously complicated. As the panorama opens you are looking out to the church sanctuary, some of the largest/lowest pipes decorate the outside visible face. In the bottom right one of the smallest/highest pipes can be seen.
Go round and face the opposite way, and you can see hundreds more pipes this time inside a soundproof box called the “swell”. Opening and closing the black doors with red edging allows the organist to modulate the volume of the pipes inside.
This is just one part of the mechanism, all in a passageway less that 60 cm clearance. Note the mixture of old and new. Plywood everywhere, plastic piping for cables /control and pipes with bent tops to make them fit in the space available.