St.John the Baptist Parish Church, Xewkija, Gozo

The organ in Xewkija Rotunda was installed in the Autumn of 2016 and blessed on Advent Sunday, 27th November and inaugurated on the 6th of May, 2017. The study and planning works for the new organ started in 2012 when the electronic organ became troublesome, prompting the Church administration to explore possibilities of providing a new pipe organ.  Mr. Noel Gallo, a Maltese internationally-renowned Organ Architect, was entrusted to design and co-ordinate the building of the instrument which was built by Michael Farley, Organ Builders from Budleigh Salterton, Devon. U.K.

 

A pipe organ in this building had to be custom designed in order to blend in with the architectural appearance whilst also taking into account the musical considerations, with these relating to the design of the internal parts and their location.

 

In fact, despite the spacious building, finding a position for an organ, which would be suitable both architecturally and tonally, was not easy. Early designs included two suspended organ lofts on either side of the Altar, together with the present central position, which although magnificent in appearance, would have been prohibitive cost wise and would have also posed difficulties for maintenance access.

 

After much discussion, thought and many drawings, the present site was chosen. Because space was so limited, it was agreed that the room and corridor beneath could be utilised to house ancillary equipment- blowers, bellows, wind trunking, etc. As a result, the glass doors now enable visitors to see this equipment. Allowing access to the underside of the main wind-chests from underneath enabled maximum room for pipework above, but more importantly the height could be reduced and the case was carefully designed around the painting of Christ.

 

Cherry wood finished with Danish oil has been used for the case and the display pipes of polished and lacquered zinc. Some parts which are normally pre-fabricated were custom-made for this organ, these include the buttons, the accessories control panel which is located in a side drawer of the main console, information display, desk light, etc. The organ has two consoles which are also made of cherry wood with white maple interiors. The smaller secondary console has one manual but no pedals which is equipped with a device for musicians who may be proficient in playing a keyboard but not pedals, which will enable the user to re-create the bass foundation sound of the pedals easily. It has 12 pre-sets of selected stops from the main organ and can be portable when the need arises.

 

All the sounds are produced from traditional organ pipes made from lead, tin,

zinc and wood – 1204 in all, including 101 display pipes, 50 of which speak. There are also a set of 25 tubular bells.

 

The instrument contains the latest technology for the player and also a recording device enabling music to be captured and played back via a tablet. This will be especially useful if organists are not available as music can be pre-recorded and used whenever required.

S p e c i f i c a t i o n

MAIN CONSOLE- Three Manual 

Double Diapason 16’     

Open Diapason 8’    

Claribel 8’ Viola 8’    

Principal 4’    

Wald Flute 4’    

Nazard 2 2/3’    

Fifteenth    2’

Tierce t.c. 1  3/5’      

Mixture III    

Trompette 8’    

 

Great Octave

Great

Swell

Salicional 8’        

Voix Celeste t.c. 8’

Gedact 8’  

Rohr Flute 4’

Flautino 2’    

Quartane II    

Contra Oboe 16’    

Oboe 8’

Schalmei 4’

Tremulant

Swell Octave

Swell Sub Octave

Positive

Stopped Diapason 8’

Flute 4’

Principal 2’

Larigot 1 1/3’

Cymbal II    

Oboe 8’ (Sw)

Trompette 8’ (Gt)  

Tubular Bells 8’ G 20   -  G 44  

Positive Octave

Positive Sub Octave

Pedal

Acoustic Bass 32’

Subbass 16’    

Principal 8’    

Open Bass 8’  

Bass Flute 8’  

Quint 5 1/3’     

Fifteenth 4’

Choral Bass 4’

Mixture II    

Trombone 16’

Contra Oboe 16’ (Sw)

Clarion 8’ (Gt)

Harmonics of 32’

Great and Pedal Combs Coupled  

Toe Pistons

8 Pedal Dept. Pistons

8 (Dupl) Swell Dept. Pistons

Trombone

Gt – Ped

Sw - Ped

32 (Harmonics)    

Stepper Advanced  

Stepper Retard

Thumb Pistons

8 General Pistons

8 Swell Dept. Pistons

8 Great Dept. Pistons

8 Positive Dept. Pistons

Thumb Reversers

Sw – Ped

Gt – Ped

Pos – Ped

Pos – Gt

Sw – Gt

Sw – Pos

Trombone

Stepper Advance

Stepper Retard

Set

General Cancel

Accessories

Transposer 8 Semi-Tones Sharper,  8 Semi-Tones Flatter

Melodic Bass (Notes 1 – 24) 

999 Levels 

Stepper

Crescendo ON/OFF

Generals on Pedal toe pistons 

Generals on Swell toe pistons

5 volume settings for Bells

Tremulant - For Oboe and / or Sw Flues interchangeable for either one or both

Swell to Great

Positive to Great

Swell to Positive

Great to Positive  

Swell to Pedal 4’

Swell to Pedal

Great to Pedal

Positive to Pedal

Compass:

Manuals CC - c 61 notes  Pedals CCC - g 32 notes

Pitch A = 440 @ 21°C

Wind pressure:

Great - 98mm

Swell - 95mm

Positive - 98mm

Pedal - 85mm

Oboe - 115mm

Trompette - 155mm

12 Preset Tutti Pistons 1 pp graduating to 12 ff

Transposer 8 Semi-Tones Sharper, 8 Semi-Tones Flatter

Melodic Bass (Notes 1 – 24)

General Cancel

SECONDARY CONSOLE- One manual (Without Pedalboard) Portable

PLAYBACK SYSTEM

Operated from an Android tablet via Wi-Fi

Couplers

Drawings

Photos

Upper level plan
Upper level plan
Lower level plan
Lower level plan
Front Elevation
Front Elevation
Transverse section
Transverse section
Longitudinal section
Longitudinal section
Planning of the church structural alterations
Planning of the church structural alterations
3D view of the organ chamber
3D view of the organ chamber
3D view of organ in church
3D view of organ in church
3D view of the Main console
3D view of the Main console
3D view of the Main console right side
3D view of the Main console right side
3D view of the Accessories drawer panel
3D view of the Accessories drawer panel
3D view of the Secondary console
3D view of the Secondary console
3D view of the organ casework
3D view of the organ casework

Construction

Planning of openings in church floor to accomodate organ chamber
Planning of openings in church floor to accomodate organ chamber
Masonsry works for organ chamber formation
Masonsry works for organ chamber formation
Floor slot formed
Floor slot formed
Floor slots formed
Floor slots formed
Finishing of organ chamber
Finishing of organ chamber
Setting up organ footprint in workshop
Setting up organ footprint in workshop
Formation of casework bottom rail
Formation of casework bottom rail
Doinery detail of case bottom rail
Doinery detail of case bottom rail
Casework boat shell construction detail
Casework boat shell construction detail
Towers bottom funnel before formation
Towers bottom funnel before formation
Towers bottom funnel formed
Towers bottom funnel formed
Detail of case bottom of towers
Detail of case bottom of towers
Tower bottoms with incorporated windchest
Tower bottoms with incorporated windchest
Middle part of case being formed on CNC machine
Middle part of case being formed on CNC machine
Detail view of display pipe rests
Detail view of display pipe rests
Part rear view of side casework
Part rear view of side casework
Formation of display pipes belts
Formation of display pipes belts
Casework formed
Casework formed
Display pipes metal sheets
Display pipes metal sheets
Pipe feets during works
Pipe feets during works
Oboe rank being made
Oboe rank being made
Semi-finished display pipes
Semi-finished display pipes
Formation of body of a display pipe
Formation of body of a display pipe
Detail view of Salicional pipes
Detail view of Salicional pipes
Forming up of windchests top parts
Forming up of windchests top parts
Top boards of some bass pipes
Top boards of some bass pipes
Swell top board formed
Swell top board formed
Finishing windchests top boards
Finishing windchests top boards
Planning of pipe layout on windchests
Planning of pipe layout on windchests
Part of Great pipe racks formed
Part of Great pipe racks formed
Conveyances for Trombone pipes
Conveyances for Trombone pipes
Part of the casework windchests
Part of the casework windchests
Console top sides being formed
Console top sides being formed
Console bottom sides
Console bottom sides
Inner view of console side
Inner view of console side
Manual ready made
Manual ready made
Pedals finished
Pedals finished
Forming up of the console display all custom made
Forming up of the console display all custom made
Rear view of pedalboard switches
Rear view of pedalboard switches
Keybaord jamb formed with a sandwich of two woods and acrylic sheet
Keybaord jamb formed with a sandwich of two woods and acrylic sheet

Installation

Organ being planned for installation
Organ being planned for installation
Setting up the internal passage ways
Setting up the internal passage ways
Preperation for the installation of the internal pipework
Preperation for the installation of the internal pipework
Rear view of side case pipes connected with incorporated windchests
Rear view of side case pipes connected with incorporated windchests
View of the detailed design corner - every space used to fit the organ components
View of the detailed design corner - every space used to fit the organ components
Sorting of Salicional bass pipes before installation
Sorting of Salicional bass pipes before installation
Assembling of the casewrork
Assembling of the casewrork
Part casework assembled
Part casework assembled
Midway of installation progress
Midway of installation progress
Setting up tubular bells before installation
Setting up tubular bells before installation
Swell pipework
Swell pipework
Swell pipework being installed
Swell pipework being installed
Oboe 8' pipework
Oboe 8' pipework
Part view of Great pipework
Part view of Great pipework
Part view of Great and Postive pipework
Part view of Great and Postive pipework
Part view of Trombones
Part view of Trombones
Playback system via Wifi tablet
Playback system via Wifi tablet
Accessories drawer
Accessories drawer
Great Viola 8' bass left side pipes
Great Viola 8' bass left side pipes
Detail view of side tower
Detail view of side tower
Main console with opened rear
Main console with opened rear
Borrom view on main console
Borrom view on main console
Detail of central part of case
Detail of central part of case
Console detail
Console detail
Main console installed
Main console installed
Secondary console installed
Secondary console installed
Finished organ
Finished organ
Cascade switching system with UPS
Cascade switching system with UPS