John’s Positive Pipe Organ

My father grew up in the Netherlands, and as a young boy was impressed by the pipe organ he heard in church. That impression never left him. Organs became his hobby, and my childhood was full of organ music.

I remember Dad reading the Diapason magazine, studying it, really, as my brothers played with Lego around his feet.

He taught me to play chess, while pipe organs from Europe played from vinyl records. A lot of times, it was Johann Sebastian Bach.

Apparently, I was the referee before I even learned how to play the game. Dad is on the left. Sunday afternoon was the only time Dad had for chess games, and most likely there was organ music playing.

I would come home from a stressful day in high school, and Dad would be home from work, alone, eating his jam sandwich, with pipe organ music belting out of the stereo. I didn’t necessarily smile, but he sure did. I liked it. It was such a switch from the day-to-day grind of teenage hormones and insecurities. It meant home.

Often times, Dad would wake us up on weekends with his playing.

Along the way, I attended pipe organ concerts along the French  or the South Shores of Nova Scotia.

One of the most remarkable feats was when he acquired a complete pipe organ that was sitting abandoned in someone’s barn. It came to us in thousands of pieces, like a giant 3-D jigsaw puzzle. Dad patiently reconstructed it all, even making way for its soaring soft pipes by cutting into the empty barn loft of our century barn. He eventually sold it, and it is now in someone’s home.

He built a clavichord, a pretty little instrument. Again, a pretty neat accomplishment.

And his latest feat was the building of a small, living-room size pipe organ. It is entirely, painstakingly, built from wood, pipes and all. Some of it recycled wood, and all of it carefully chosen.

The organ is showcased here, in a 10 minute interview, via the link below. Take a look!



What is your New Year’s resolution this year, if you are making one?

I looked up RESOLUTION¬† in my dictionary, and the definition that we associate with this time of year is “firm determination” or “a resolving to do something” . There are 4 other definitions included for this word that I found interesting:

3. A formal statement of a decision, or an expression of opinion adopted by an assembly, legislature, or other organization.

4. A solution or explanation; an answer

5. The musical progression of a dissonant tone or chord to consonant tone or chored, or the tone or chord at which such a progression ends

6. The act or process of separating or reducing something into its smaller parts

RESOLUTION is a packed word! When you think of it all together, you would get a definition that is something like this: Declaration that is firmly determined to answer a problem or tension, even in its smaller parts.

So from me to you, I hope your life in the New Year will be one that is of beautiful music- with determined decision to progress and grow and to find the answers to the tensions of your life, and that you will have peace in the smallest parts.

Happy New Year!