Thursday, May 24, 2012

Time Whacked and More Pipe Organ

I'm up way too early today. It's 4 am and the world is still asleep. That's what happens to me after travelling through five time zones in less than a day. My body's circadian rhythms are trying to catch up with where I actually am.

Today's photos show the Diamond Jubilee window that has been installed at Southwark Cathedral in London. Honoring the Queen's Coronation 60 years ago, this window will be dedicated soon.

The window is located on the right side of the nave, beyond the altar. I read about it on the Cathedral website and in a BBC article.

The window, up close and personal, is a progression of color from deep cobalt blue at the bottom to a burst of yellow gold at the top.

Sparkling prismatic circles of thick glass dot the entire expanse of the window and add texture to the surface of the stained glass.

The inscription reads "Vivat Regina! Defender of the Faith Diamond Jubilee 2012." I like the exclamation point at the end of the Latin. The Queen is certainly deserving of that punctuation mark.

All of these photos were taken on Monday, May 21 which was the last tour day for the Pipedreams group. Anyone who had not been on an organ bench was urged to slide on and have their picture taken.

Here's Ed at St. James Bermondsey at the console of the 1829 Bishop organ which has been restored in 2003 by Goetze and Gwynn.  This organ has a fourth, smaller keyboard to the left of the three manuals. The smaller keyboard allows the pedals to be played from a keyboard.

We heard many, many instruments like this organ. These old instruments speak across centuries. How incredible it is to have these historic instruments in fine form and used on a regular basis.

Great Britain's history has a treasured voice in its pipe organs and the dedicated organists whose talent and skill bring that voice to life on a regular basis. 

I realized on Wednesday that I had not heard a pipe organ on Tuesday, our travel day. After thirteen days of music, I missed the sound.

So yesterday morning I removed the cellphone wrapper from the first of eight new disks of organ and choral music that we brought home from the trip. Our Bose radio/CD player does a pretty good job of bringing the majesty of the pipe organ, king of instruments, into the great room at the lake house.

It is a marvelous contrast to hear the sound of a pipe organ while in the presence of Lake Huron's expansive horizon. Somehow it seems as if the two belong together -- great organs and a great lake --linking unknown places of the soul.  

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

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