John Nagy '00M.A. | October 7, 2015
The shop floor beneath Greg Bahnsen’s sneakered feet is littered with coils of silvery metal barely more substantial than the tinsel on a Christmas tree. With each schwwwwwip of his hand plane, another wispy sliver of metal curls, dangles and falls to the ground.
Bahnsen, smiling, picks one up to display its delicacy, holding it the way a child might hold a butterfly caught by its wing, then lets it drop, shimmering, to the floor. When he breaks for lunch, he’ll sweep up the lot and throw it back into the melting pot. “Precious little,” he says, is wasted in this workshop.
Bahnsen is making languids, a poetic name for the thin, soft, circular pieces of metal partly responsible for some of the most majestic manmade sounds the world has ever heard, the notes played on an elegantly crafted mechanical action pipe organ.
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