A special mention goes out to Carolien, who through an old paternal contact was able to set up a meeting with one of the last torch bearers of an ancient craft; organ building. Who knew that around the corner of where we were staying, the Reil company was still building and refurbishing organs! So we went and received a personal guided tour through the factory. This really brought some long-lost times right back home.
Mr. Reil is currently acting as an adviser while his son runs the company. But the old man had plenty tricks up his sleeve. Nothing he does involves a computer, for example. Everything is by ear, eye, pen and pencil. I had this horrible feeling I was watching an old craft being lost to the ages. Nevertheless, it was amazing. Especially inspecting the refurbished pipes of the Old Church of Amsterdam up close, as Reil is performing it’s grand overhaul of this iconic organ. And learning we both knew many of the same people. It was a once in a lifetime experience.
We’ve been told there’s one of their organs here in Toronto. That deserves a visit, I’d say.