Music The former organ of Suomenlinna got new life: the organ played in the former machine shelter of a farm in a village of 50 people in Kauhajoki

The trio who bought the organ tacted at the auction and got the historical organ shouted to themselves shortly before the end of the auction.


Suomenlinna the church played the organ for the last time in January, which was made by hand at the Kangasala organ factory in 1963–64. Now the organ with 936 whistles is in the Uuronkylä of Kauhajoki, which is more than 300 kilometers from the center of Helsinki.

In a village of 50 people in southern Ostrobothnia, the organ was inaugurated by the cantor of the Isojoki parish Niina Nikola. The organ came into use immediately when the free festival Uurock was held in the last weekend of July in Uuronkylä. Cantor Nikola played at festivals, among other things Erkki Melartinin Party march.

Organ was sold at an online auction.

“For example, employees of a Helsinki conservatory had visited them several times. It later became clear to us that they had misunderstood the deadline of three days. We let others bid and we didn’t heat up the situation, but made our own bid three minutes before the end of the auction, ”says Petteri Saari.

Before the end of the tender, Saarikin visited Suomenlinna with his friends. They contacted the organ builder To Tom Stenman, who works as a carpenter at Urkurakentamo Veikko Virtanen Oy. Stenman has maintained the organ in Suomenlinna.

Organ are now in the former machine shelter of the farm. The main building of the farm, surrounded by forests, was completed in 1896. Saari, who works as a teacher at the Tampere co-educational high school, lives in the family’s old home with his family, mainly in summer.

“Tom Stenman made us believe we would succeed in this project. There are many low-occupancy churches in Finland that are not heated. Stenman said the mechanical organ can withstand these conditions. This kind of organ is made with hundreds of years old technology, ”says Petteri Saari.

In addition to the island, about 20 people took part in the project, taking into account demolition and installation work as well as transportation. They feel they have done important cultural work.

“To my knowledge, most organs are scrapped and organ pipes can be bought from scrap shops at a price per kilo,” said the project’s workmen Ville Ranki.

The new location of the organ is in the former machine shelter of the Petteri Saari (left) family farm in Tampere. Ville Ranki from Tampere (center) and Joonas Tikkanen from Helsinki have also participated in the organ project.

The organ demolition work was done in the winter.

“The help of the Suomenlinna church was a great help to us Juho Pajari. We did careful accounting work on how we marked the locations of the whistles and other parts. We took a very large number of pictures and videos during the demolition phase, ”says Petteri Saari.

Those involved in the project did not have the opportunity to make transports during the holidays but on weekends, when it was not possible to drive a large truck on the ferry. As a result, there were several trips to transport organ parts.

Before assembly work had to be done in the machine shelter of the farm, among other things, for casting work.

“There used to be a wooden floor here. Excavation, drainage and concrete work was done by my father Antti Saare with.”

Petteri Saari estimates that about 10,000 parts had to be placed in the right places during the assembly phase. There are 936 whistles alone.

“We found the right place for each of them. Not all parts had to be removed during the disassembly phase. Probably ordered by Suomenlinna, the size of the organ is quite compact. The organ is about three meters wide and just over five meters high. There are more than ten different types of whistles. ”

The longest wooden slats in the back are about 2.5 meters.

“The slats are only 0.8 millimeters in strength, making playing quick and easy. Many assume that these organs would have electrical relays and solenoids. There are no electrical components. Everyone moves mechanically, conveyed by wood and metal parts. The fan motor is a separate device. We have built lights and smoke machines around the organ, ”say Ville Ranki and Petteri Saari.

The former machine shelter is wooden.

“Churches are usually pretty echoed halls. We modeled the echo of Suomenlinna Church and here there are four mics around the organ and an effects device that artificially creates the echo. The organ has 13 voices. We had time to tune 10 of them in the two weeks before Uurock with the meter and three by ear, ”Ranki and Saari mentioned.

It was the nineteenth Uurock. More than a dozen subcultural bands and artists performed at the small-scale festivals.



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