Kuhn Organ Builders Ltd, 2008
South Korea, Sudogwon
Presbyterian College & Theological Seminary
Kuhn Organ Builders Ltd, 2008
The organ as a cultural ambassador
When thinking of Asia, one is hardly likely to consider organ music. But, similar to the way the Asian way of life increasingly finds favour in our western world, organs are winning more and more admirers in Asia. Additionally, South Korea is now around forty percent Christian. For this reason the organ plays an important role as a church instrument.
In the field of cultural development organ building has experienced a varied history. For an instrument which is sent to Asia as an ambassador of European culture, the question presents itself of which era or regional style it should represent. The expectations of the new organ were manifold. Practically everything was to be played on the instrument: from 400-year-old church music up to the concert repertoire of the 19th century, and this from a variety of cultures. Choosing a certain individual style was therefore out of the question. What was required was much more a well balanced synthesis of styles.
The Presbyterian College evaluated very carefully. Having elements of French and German organ culture unified in one instrument was an important criteria. The instrument should also demonstrate its own individual character. The fact that we were awarded the contract for the construction of this organ is not only a great honour, but is also recognition of the fact that our firm, with its 140-year-old tradition, upholds its own style.
Eager anticipation and trust bring obligations. We once again gave our best and carried out this project with much enthusiasm. Fully in keeping with our company ethos: «The instruments we build are meant to give people pleasure». And this all the more since the organ was also financed through payments which organ students had paid into a fund over many years - a level of dedication which impressed us.
The Presbyterian College celebrated the arrival of the organ in Seoul with song. Students carried individual organ parts into the hall. A celebration which moved the hearts of all those present.
Kuhn Coupler Assistance
From a technical point of view we realised a new development with the construction of this organ. We were able to fulfill the request of enabling the organist to play with couplers fully mechanically, as well as having the option of using coupler assistance. Since electric couplers up to now caused an «impurity» of articulation due to slow attack and release, we developed a new type of mechanical contact lever which eliminated this problem. Through this the points of switching on and off can be individually regulated so that the electrically coupled notes can be exactly synchronised with the mechanical action. The coupler chosen first is always mechanically activated. When the coupling aid is switched on all further couplers are controlled by means of the Kuhn Double Switching Point Lever. Through this we achieve a reduction in the peak load when playing with couplers, but without having to dispense with the mechanical feel of the playing action.
Translation: SJR, 2008