Historical organs are the basis of the organ builder's expertise and source of inspiration.
Studying and restoring such instruments therefore plays an important role, and adds spice to the organ builder's life, as it were.
Once an organ builder has understood the way of thinking, the art of constructing and the artistic intention of the old masters, he will be able to perpetuate this knowledge in the conception and realisation of new instruments.
In order to create a particularly soft tone, an organ builder will use a metal with a relatively high lead content. One traditional method of strengthening the freshly cast alloy is to hammer it.
An organ's tone quality and character is determined by the pipework. The art of pipemaking, which necessitates close cooperation with the voicer, plays a decisive role in this.
The tools of the trade are a piece of heated copper, tin, lead, soldering metal, paint and stearin. In his work «L’art du facteur d’orgues» published in 1778, Dom Bedos de Celles describes a metal hammering machine like the one we have built for this purpose.
Once the style of the organ has been defined, the room acoustics have been studied and the arrangement of the organ determined, it is the voicer's job to calculate the scales of the pipes and decide on the alloy and the type of manufacture.
The high art of voicing requires him to have a good ear, a steady hand, strict self-judgement and the skills of an above-average musician.
He must be able to think with the mind of the pipe, as it were, and sense the soul of the sound he intends it to produce.