Please do post details of concerts, courses and other events into the Calendar
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Hi,The inagural concert on the Wurlitzer at the East Sussex National Hotel and Golf Club will be given by Richard Hills and Michael Wooldridge on Saturday, 21st April, 2011 at 7pm. Contact 01825 880088 for bookings.Regards,Richard
HiFor what it's worth, Ubuntu isn't Linux-based, it's one of a number of different versions of Linux!Tony
To me, having to open a Terminal and type "killall sep" to stop the Sound Engine and to type "./ase" to restart it, is like living back in the dark ages of DOS!Believe me, as an Assembler programmer, I like nothing better than delving into code at bit level, but to have to do almost that to get round a GUI based OS is crude in the extreme.
The instrument you will be hearing this afternoon represents a most important chapter of my career as a concert organist. I had closely observed the tours performed by my teacher, the pre-eminent virtuoso, Dr. Virgil Fox and while he performed on many of the world’s finest in situ pipe-organs, when I became acquainted with him, a major portion of his work consisted of going to organ-less venues and performing in both solo and orchestral context with a comprehensive 3-manual electronic instrument. Therefore I soon came to realise the importance of having a mobile organ that would allow organ music to be presented virtually anywhere.In 19711 played the very first digital computer organ built by Allen Organ Company in conjunction with North American Rockwell. I was joined by many of my colleagues in being mightily impressed that Allen’s effort was indeed the first commercially available musical instrument which generated sound via digital means.Therefore in late 1974 I commissioned a large 4-manual ‘road organ’ from Allen thanks to the generosity of my patron, Mrs. Florence Candler of the Atlanta Coca-Cola family. Florence had been a close friend of Virgil Fox for many years and it was through her connection that I came to meet and play for him. (She loved organ music and in the Music Room of the Candler mansion there had been installed a 4-manual, 88-rank Aeolian pipe-organ. There is nothing quite like having a cathedral-sized organ in one’s residence!)Allow me to quote from a Curley touring organ programme I recently discovered in a file dating from 1975:“In the beginning. . . came the soaring tidal wave sonorities of the pipe-organ — followed now by the debut of a new musical medium, with an almost boundless repertoire of sounds, embellishments and nuance. Built to Carlo Curley’s exact specification by the Allen Organ Company of Macungie, Pennsylvania (USA), this giant, one-of-a-kind 5,500 watt instrument incorporates no pipes. It’s in the forefront of an historic leap forward into the space-program realm of micro-circuits and digital computers. Standard organ keys and stops control seven specialized digital computers to produce through 380 speakers housed in 50 enclosures: 1) — A full range of pipe-organ sounds, as well as 2) — Tremendous theatre organ timbres and — heretofore impossible — 3) — Unshackle the artist from recording studio limits to perform the works of great composers in the contemporary sound of the analogue synthesizer.Three instruments in one, yet, though all 400,000 micro and macro parts of this giant weigh in at better than three and one-half tons, after each of Carlo Curley’s performances on tour, the entire unit can be packed up and moved, making it truly one of the largest portable music mediums in existence today.”After a year of transporting this behemoth ‘from sea to shining sea’ in North America I chanced to be visited by the doyen of English master organists, Dr. (later Sir) George Thalben-Ball, Organist and Choirmaster of London’s Temple Church. At Virgil Fox’s recommendation I had travelled to London in 1970/71 for a period of private study with ‘The Doctor’ and a long and steadfast friendship grew from these sessions. He chanced to attend a recital in Pennsylvania where the Touring Organ was used and at the post performance supper he suggested that I should consider bringing the instrument to the UK and present a Summer series of concerts in the Great Hall of Alexandra Palace. He knew the venue quite well having performed and recorded on the famous ‘Father’ Willis pipe-organ in the Great Hall. (The Willis had suffered from war damage and neglect in general and had been removed to storage. Only the organ’s swell boxes, inner frame-work and massive 32’ metal Diapason façade pipes remained.) When I was next in London I visited the ‘Ally Pally’ with The Doctor and through his contacts I met a member of the Greater London Council Parks Departments, which owned and managed the Palace.And the rest, as the old saying goes, is history. The organ arrived to much fanfare. The Press couldn’t seem to get enough of it and both national and local television, radio and newspapers spread the word far and wide that organ music had returned to the Ally Pally. From 1976 through to 1979 the Summer series drew record attendances, sometimes in excess of 3,000, quite unheard of given that a normal audience for a church recital usually drew between 40 and 50! And Thalben-Ball volunteered to give one of the Palace recitals, which was magical.It didn’t take an Einstein to figure out that I needed to consider downsizing to an instrument far easier to move and install. While Florence Candler had so kindly underwritten the organ’s cost, sadly she did not provide a sinking fund to keep it afloat. Given that organists have never been paid rock-star fees for their services, it came as no surprise that often the performance funds barely covered the cost of maintaining a truck and driver/engineer so the decision was taken to sell the organ in 1979.it eventually found its way to a private home in Hove and now ‘hangs its hat’ here in the National Suite where the inner workings have all been brought to 21st Century standard. Details of the modernized and enhanced instrument follow gleaned from a recent Press Release:“This state-of-the-art musical behemoth weighs in excess of one ton and utilize3 four Artisan Sound Engines to digitally produce the 162 stops (‘colours’) spread over the 4-manual and pedal (‘keyboard’) console which has been re-fitted with c modern Artisan MicroMIDI control system. Curley refers to the console asflight-deck of the 777”. The tonalities are heard in the auditorium via thirtj speaker enclosures and four woofer/subwoofer units, the latter faithfully reproducing the low 16 to 32-Hz pitches as found in the largest pipe-organs 6,500-watts of audio power the organ’s tonal delivery to every corner of the 400 seat haiL The work was carried out by Alan Baker and David Houlgate.”