Bob Drake, “Organ Crickets”

January 5 – February 24, 2024

Opening Reception on Friday, January 5, 6-8 pm

“Organ Crickets” is a sound sculpture and a tribute to these instruments (reclaimed organ pipes, electronics) of worship, and to the rich history of organ making in Cleveland by Bob Drake.

There are a lot of churches in Cleveland (3647 by one recent count), and a lot of those churches have pipe organs.  When the Organ Historical Society held their annual convention here in 2009, the title of their convention publication was lifted from the advertising of Cleveland organ maker Walter Holtcamp: “Cleveland: A Town Of Good Organs, A Profitable Place to Visit”.  

Due to factors including population loss, shrinking congregations, competition from electronic instruments, and the cost and technical challenges of maintaining traditional pipe organs, many of these instruments have fallen into disuse and disrepair.  As churches close, organs are decommissioned, scrapped, or simply thrown in the dumpster.  In too many instances, if you go to a neighborhood church to listen to organ music, and you’ll hear… crickets.   

Bob Drake is a Cleveland sound artist, musician, synthesizer designer, and pipe organ technician.  He is an adjunct faculty member at Cleveland Institute of Art.

“Organ Crickets” will open on January 5 and be on view through February 24.

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