Ed’s Little Organ

Street Busker Organ

This is my labour-of-love that I’ve been dabbling with on and off for years, and the 2020 lock-downs gave me a little more time to make progress. I’ve built a 64 pipe mini fairground busker organ with hand cranked bellows and MIDI controlled electric pallet magnets within two sealed wind chests. It’s based on the Topsy 3 design by John Smith. Phase 1 is now pretty much complete and I’ve started composing musical arrangements for the instrument. I store these musical arrangements as MIDI files (i.e. sets of numbers) on an old iPhone, then decode and play them back through the organ pipes whilst cranking the bellows. At the moment I’m playing additional percussion by hand, but Phase 2 will be to integrate these percussion instruments into the main organ to play automatically. So it’s now pretty much time to get dressed up and wheel it into the streets with a monkey on my shoulder. My kids, probably rather predictably, are absolutely mortified by this image.