Restoration of the organ of the Cathédrale de La Pocatière

The organ of the Cathédrale de La Pocatière:

Organ builder: Guilbault-Thérien
Inauguration: 1974
Tracker action organ
3 manual keyboards, pedal board
Special feature: inversed console

History of a Problem

From its installation, this organ presented problems of heaviness in regards to the dip of the keys, especially with the Grand Orgue and the Resonance. This heaviness becomes especially laborious when coupling the keyboards, more than twice the norm for a tracker action organ.

On several occasions, requests were made to organ builders to find a solution to this problem. Several tenders were requested, comprising long and costly works that would not bring any noticeable improvement in regards to the harshness of the organ (40 % at best) and no solution could be guaranteed at 100%: “the instrument should be re-made”.

First Opus of a New Technology

NovelOrg has developed a technology that could resolve the heaviness problem of the coupling at 100%. This technology is affordable and, more importantly, it would not change the nature of the tracker action organ. Moreover, the system enables the installation of multiple new couplings to the keyboards for a greater tone of the instrument and new registration possibilities.

The Conseil de Fabrique de La Pocatière has decided to proceed with the renovation based on this new technology and the installation was made in spring 2008 in collaboration with the firm Les Ateliers Guilbault Bellavance Carignan from St-Hyacinthe, Québec, Canada ( The inauguration concert was in May 2008 and was hosted by the organist Vincent Boucher, a rising star of the Québec organ world.

NovelOrg’s technology renders the organ’s mechanism less restricting, allowing organists a more transparent interpretation of their repertoire. By supplying a precisely calibrated electromechanical assistance that is proportional to the dip of the keys, this “perfectly integrated to the tracker action” digital system enables the artist to stay concentrated on the fineness and precision of his or her interpretation since there is no need to fight unwarranted forces. In this sense, the new installation at La Pocatière is a major technological challenge that was met by NovelOrg.

From now on, the organ builders will have access to a new technique in organ renovation. Most importantly, they will have a new way of building organs without having to refer to the costly and complex manners of old-time mechanisms, thus offering flexibility and possibilities that have been rid of mechanical limitations.

© NovelOrg Inc., 2012

NovelOrg Inc.

840 rue de la Rivière-aux-Pins
Boucherville, (Québec), Canada
J4B 3A9
Phone: 514-912-2382