Gary Blaise Early Keyboard Instruments
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  The wind system is designed to run on pressures as low as 1ˇ¨ displacement of water with the 23.5 pounds of weight on a 2' x 5' top board. The 8ˇ¦ flute plays well at this soft pressure and the whole effect is more like curling up with your intimate wind instrument than ˇ§playing the organˇ¨ as we have known it. But if it is desired to sound more alert, and to run any of the higher stops, the instrument can run on the still-intimate higher pressure of 1.75ˇ¨ with the addition of up to 14 pounds of attractive objects placed on top of the reservoir. Currently, these are bars of ebony, a wood so dense it does not float! A second set of pedals is provided for an assistant if desired. Air tightness of the system is such that 2 min. 47 sec. are required to completely deflate the reservoir at the lowest pressure and 1 min. 43 sec. at the highest. In other words, with the reservoir fully charged and at the lowest pressure, one can play a mournful four-voiced pavanne on the 8ˇ¦ flute alone for about 2 minutes without any pumping at all. Such low pressures and air tightness insure that the pumping action is never too uncomfortable for players of average health. Though 28 pedal puffs are required to completely fill the reservoir, it can also be filled simply by raising the top board by hand. In either case, due to itˇ¦s capaciousness, the instrument is perfectly winded at the slightest rise of the top board.

Wind raised by hand is wind which has been ˇ§earnedˇ¨, as it were, and should not be wasted in the way electrically-supplied wind is constantly escaping through those tiny holes in the windchest which allow action from the tracker wires to pass through to the pallets, the valves which admit air to the pipes. Therefore, action enters the windchest through little handmade leather pouches, the 'palpitum', in such a way that the action gets in but the pressurized air does not get out and such conservation of 'airnergy' makes one feel good somehow

 

 
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