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360-degree organ sound world planned in Augustusburg

View of Augustusburg Castle and the town church / Photo: Sebastian Willnow/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa
View of Augustusburg Castle and the town church / Photo: Sebastian Willnow/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa

Organ building and organ music are part of the intangible cultural heritage. In Augustusburg, a new 360-degree world of sound is now to be created from this heritage.

A special organ installation is set to make the hearts of music lovers beat faster in the town church of St. Petri in Augustusburg. According to those responsible, it is unique in Europe. An investment of around 1.2 million euros is planned for the "360° Klangwelt" project, with the state of Saxony contributing 800,000 euros. This will create a new offering with high cultural, liturgical and tourist significance, "which will attract and retain visitors and musicians from across the region", emphasized Culture Minister Barbara Klepsch (CDU) on Tuesday. Such a system with six partial organs in different places in the city church is unique far beyond Saxony.

The Jehmlich organ from 1896 is to be restored and extended in line with its listed status. In addition, an altar organ and four further so-called Filialwerke will be newly built. They will be played simultaneously from an electric console. Complemented by visual effects, visitors to Augustusburg (in the district of Central Saxony) will be offered a very special spatial sound experience in future, it was said.

"The audience will be able to listen to the spherical sounds of the Filialwerke, physically feel the low frequencies of the bass pipes in the gallery floor and even look into the new altar organ," explained Pascal Kaufmann, Artistic Director of the Augustusburg Music Summer. "We are building a new cultural monument for our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren."

Organ building and organ music are part of Germany's intangible cultural heritage. Klepsch explained that the 360-degree world of sound will preserve and pass on this heritage.

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