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What Is Colin McIntyre Building In That Shipping Container?

Austin Chronicle, FEB. 28, 2017

Metal man. Music man. McIntyre.

It’s been almost a year since the opening of Dimension Gallery, the city’s only venue dedicated exclusively to exhibiting and promoting contemporary sculpture and three-dimensional art, and now there’s this … this giant lung that’s getting ready to exhale nearby.

Note: It’s not literally a lung, no. It’s a pipe organ. A seven-octave pipe organ. An antique seven-octave pipe organ, rescued from a state of material decrepitude, now newly rebuilt and installed inside a climate-controlled shipping container by Dimension’s co-founder Colin McIntyre.

“The organ came out of a church in Detroit,” says the sculptor. “It went into disuse in the Eighties and much of the instrument was lost over the years before it came to me. It was originally built in the mid-1930s by a company that’s one of the few remaining American manufacturers of pipe organs: Wicks Organ Company. I’ve rebuilt wind chests for it and implemented the electronic controls for modern interface – been working with a well-known acoustician and the premiere provider of electronic pipe organ controls in the country – but everything else is original equipment. And I’ll be adding more ranks as I find them.”

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