One of the wonderful things about control data is that there’s no saying you only have to interface with software and digital worlds: you can connect directly to the real world, too. Digitally-sequenced music can use acoustically-generated sound. 20th Century technology, meet 19th Century technology. CDM reader Gareth Edwards writes to let us know about his current project:

Just wanted to let you know about a wee toy we’ve just finished building here in Edinburgh. We are a group that is part of the dorkbot movement ( and have just finished hacking a robotic MIDI retrofit onto a 1890s Gray and Davison 16′ pipe organ using mainly surplus components.

Video here:

Main page here:

Now, I got this while I was traveling in Berlin and my connection was so slow, I couldn’t even watch the video, so if you’ve seen this item elsewhere, no complaints please, okay? I haven’t dug out of RSS feeds yet. (Hey, the organ is from 1890 — I’m not that late.)

It’s quite brilliant work. We’ve seen organs before — anyone else care to comment on other examples of MIDI-powered organs?

Another video — with a Dueling Banjos cover, no less: