Fascination is the key to quality

Rens Swart Orgelbouw: quality by fascination for engineering English text Nederlandse tekst


Rens Swart Orgelbouw has been commissioned to restore the sagging front pipes of the organ of the Sint-Rombouts Cathedral in Mechelen (Belgium) … continue reading …

Services of Rens Swart Orgelbouw

Rens Swart Orgelbouw offers the following services:

  • Maintenance on pipe organs in The Netherlands and Belgium, in particular at technically complex instruments with pneumatic or electropneumatic action.
  • Tuning of organs or tuning of reeds stops only.
  • Problem solving on organs, in particular on electropneumatic actions.
  • Conversion to digital action (all signals via 1 instead of 200 cables), installation of electronic setters and combination action and MIDI.
  • Moving and dismantling of organs (and … demolition if all other options are exhausted).
  • Technical and/or historical research on organs.
  • Thorough, well readable and nicely illustrated reports on organs.
  • Advice on maintenance, overhaul or restoration of organs.
  • Advice on moving or redevelopment of organs, for example on the occasion of the closing of a church.

Rens Swart Orgelbouw

In 2011 I established the Rens Swart Orgelbouw company. Under this umbrella activities are undertaken in The Netherlands and Flandres (Belgium) on organ building and organ consulting, based on an experience of more than 35 year as an organist and a thorough technical and historical knowledge of organs.

My main interest is in organs built between, say, 1880 en 1960. These organs fascinate me, both because of their technical design and their artistic identity. Many organ lovers, consultants and organ builders regard this type or organ (whether or not secretly) as second-rate: not artistically valuable, not musical, not a product of craftmanschip, uninteresting, unreliable, susceptible to faults and a factory product. I am happy to disprove these judgments. Not only does this type of organ belong to the history of both organ culture and ecclesiastical culture, and generations of organists are familiar with it, most instruments have been created as a result of an artistic vision, they have been conceived thoughtfully and have been made with attention. Until recently, the website of the Association of Organ builders in the Netherlands stated: "The work of the Dutch organ builder is: building and maintaining the mechanical organ." Excuse me?! It is good for organists and church councils to know that an organ builder regards your organ as inferior, so do not let him mess around with it!

My motto is: fascination is the key to quality. I work on these organs because they fascinate me and because of that, and because I have a thourough technical insight, quality is almost guaranteed.

I work on the maintenance of several organs and give advice. Furthermore, I do research into the technical status quo and historical development of several organs, resulting in the same kind of thorough reports as you are used to from Swartvast. Sometimes the closure of a church is the occasion.

In fact I do not build organs, but as the profession is called 'organ building', I called my company Rens Swart Organ building. A friendly consultant suggested that 'Rens Swart Organ technique' could be more appropriate and that's a proper idea.

Look around on this website. And contact me!

May and December 2016, February 2018

De uitdagende techniek van een elektropneumatische speeltafel

The console of this large three-manual organ containts fascinating engineering, it is a challenge to work on it.

Een balgjeslade van binnen

One of the incarnations of the stop channel chest it the so-called bellow chest, as built by Jos Stevens. If one understands the inner workings of this windchest, a possible defect can be traced.

Rens is bij Jos Stevens bezig met het intoneren van een Voix Humaine tongwerk

At Jos Stevens I worked on the cleaning and voicing of a 'French' reed stop: the Voix Humaine. A good hearing but above all a good physical insight and a kind of scientific attitude to keep asking what is caused by what make it a lot easier.

Een van de rapporten van Rens Swart Orgelbouw

One of the reports of Rens Swart Orgelbouw.

De conventionele elektrische schakelingen in dit elektropneumatische orgel zijn vervangen door digitale elektronica

The conventional electric circuits in this electropneumatic organ have been replaced (not by me, by the way) by digital electronics. It is handy to understand how these work.

Kind regards,
Rens Swart