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Hurricane Mama's impressive set of pipes
Hurricane Mama's impressive set of pipes

With its jutting wood pipes, the Walt Disney Concert Hall organ is visually king of the king of instruments. It is, in addition, a sonically and palpably present organ tuned for the hall's clear, pure and tactile acoustics. The composer Terry Riley dubbed it Hurricane Mama for a reason. Yet what makes this mighty organ special is how much an ordinary organ it really is. The shape of those striking "French fry" pipes doesn't affect the sound, but it helps focus our attention. Meanwhile, Mama's majesty, vibrant sonic color and incomparable low notes that vibrate the floor are heard, seen and felt in Disney as organ essence, an organ drug that takes control of...

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