Historic Restorations

Our restoration philosophy is to conserve the original fabric and character of the instrument as far as possible and reconstruct missing, worn-out or modified parts in facsimile style and materials except where this is no longer practicable. In most cases, we aim to restore the organ as a working instrument rather than a museum exhibit and to recreate the original sound and feel of the organ where this has been lost or compromised.

In some cases, we remove accretions and modifications and in others, we retain or increase them if it is important to the continued artistic use of the organ and does not compromise its construction or future maintenance in any permanent way. We are committed to research unknown areas of construction technique, musical style, and architectural detail before embarking on a restoration project, and are particularly attentive to what the organ can teach us and wary of what assumptions we try to impose on it.

Pipe-Organ-Our-Services-Restoration-St-Paul-TP-pipe-organ

Organ Rebuilds

Our rebuilding philosophy has been to minimise the revealed weaknesses and maximise the potential strengths of the core instrument, to transform it into the most appropriate, enduring and artistic organ for its intended building and associated music-making.

This may involve alteration or enlargement of the specification, modification or renewal of the action, reconfiguration of the console, internal layout and/or casework, and transplantation of the organ to a new position or building. Increasingly over the years the disciplines of conservation and restoration have been applied to our rebuilding work, especially in regard to romantic style organs that were tonally altered in response to the fashionable 'neo-baroque' style of the 1960's and 70's.

SIOC has rebuilt many organs, ranging from classic rebuilds to virtually new instruments. Some examples are Nelson Cathedral and St Paul's Cathedral Dunedin, Christchurch Cathedral, St Mary's Catholic Nelson, St Patrick's Basilica Fremantle, Sydney Conservatorium, Scotch College Melbourne St Mary's Perth and the list can continue.

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More than a Pipe Dream

More Than a Pipe Dream pays homage to the highly skilled individuals in the South Island Organ Company who have dedicated so much of their lives to designing, building and restoring pipe organs, highly complex musical instruments as they are. In these pages you find the story of how this unique company first came to be formed. An impressive amount of detail will be unveiled of its development, achievements and adventures, including secrets of the instruments construction and the art of restoration, all of which is presented in a highly readable manner so that you will never feel overwhelmed by technical jargon.

This book is the work of multi-award-winning writer Jill Worrall.

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