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Tony Newnham

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About Tony Newnham

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    Advanced Member

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  • Location
    Rugby, UK
  • Interests
    Retired Baptist Minister, organ enthusiast (including electronics and reed organs).
  1. Saving the Walcker in Birmingham's Central Methodist Hall

    Hi It's certainly a fine sounding organ, but I was glad I wasn't playing it for a special event back in the 1970's. I was there to accompany a choir from another church on piano (a decent grand IIRC). Anyway, back to the organ, the reason I was glad I wasn't at the console was the Pedal Posaune cyphered during the closing hymn - and wasn't silenced until the organist had switched off the blower & allowed the reservoir to empty - so it continued drom=ning at quite a substantial volume throughout the closing prayers etc.! As to organs in hotels, NPOR E00216 shows a Wood Wordsworth house organ that was moved from it's previous home in East Sussex (where I played it a couple of times) when they sold up and moved up North. Last I heard it had been removed. Every Blessing Tony
  2. Servite Priory Fulham

    Hi I think Colin may well be right in his suggestion that the 16ft is intended - at least in part -to counterbalance the shrillness of high pitched mixtures. The same thinking, it seems to me, applies in reed organs, where a manual 16ft is an early addition to the stop list to balance the significant harmonic development of free reeds. Every Blessing Tony
  3. Caleb Simper

    Hi Simper's organ music is, I think, underated. It's not great music, but it's tuneful - and usually pretty easy to play. I have a number of the volumes of voluntarys "for organ, Harmonium or American Organ" - and they sometimes get an airing when I need something suitably vintage and (near) sight-readable. I don't recall seeing the piece you mention in them though. I'll try & have a look later today. Every Blessing Tony
  4. Music That We'd Rather Not Play

    Hi Pleased to see that I'm not the only fan of "The Crucifixion" on here. That, & Olivet to Valvary serve a purpose. They may not be the greatest music, but there are many people out there who don't connect with "great music" (however you define that!) Such presentations help present the gospel message to many - and that's what the church is all about. Every Blessing Tony
  5. Music That We'd Rather Not Play

    Hi There's far more to choosung church music than personal preference. Maybe it had been chosen for a very good reason. IMHO you should have checked with the person responsible for choosing the music before changing it. I repeat - personal dislike is rerally not a good enough reason for rejecting something, and nor is musical elitism. If the music helps the congregation (or a part of the congregation) to connect with God, then it's fine. Personally, I don;t have any great problem with "Shine Jesus Shine" where it fits the them of the service - and I can think of far worse songs! Every Blessing Tony
  6. Microphone for laptop/audacity?

    Hi Colin's scond suggestion is probably the best way to go for simple stereo recordings - it's what I often do. However, the question involves multi-track recordings, building up a part at a time - and obviously, the various parts need to be in sync. Personally, I'd forget about the 1/8th inch input on the computer - audio quality usually leaves a bit to be desired. The simplest way is probably a USB mictophone - Maplin offer a number of lternatives, some under the £100 mark (http://www.maplin.co.uk/c/dj-studio-and-audio/microphones/usb-microphones) - Amazon or a pro audio dealer are other sources - or even your ocal music shop if they cover home recording equipment. I can't make any reccomendations as I use an external soundcard and mics that cost rather more than £100 when I do need to record direct to computer. I think my son told me that he uses the Blue Snowball for his podcasts - but it was a while ago. Going back to the 1/8th in. input, dynamic mics are indeed another option - although some computer inputs have a small voltage on them to power electret mics, so some care might be needed (that said, I've used dynamic mics into a MMinidisc trecorder that has plug-in-power with no problems). I sue AKG D190's - but they were over 50UKP when I bought them some 30 years ago! Long discontinued - last price I saw was around150UKP new. I have some cheaper dynamic mocs by Shure & Audio-Technica but I primarily use them for sound reinfrcement (or I did when health allowed!) Good luck with your project. Every Blessing Tony
  7. Synchronising organ and singer

    Nice April 1st story. Many pro/semi-pro location digital recorders have a pre-record buffer as described - nothing magic about it, the machine is "listening" and saves the last few seconds of what it's heard at the start of the track. Primarily intended for recording unprefictable speakers in press conference & similar situations. Nothing magic about it at all. Every Blessing Tony
  8. Peter Collins...end of an era.

    Hi I strrongly suspect that BBC news coverage of such events is determined more by the availability of camera crews. Also, it's essential to let media know about events - don't expect them to pick things up, send a press release well in advance - then at least you might have a small chance of some coverage. Every Blessing Tony
  9. Aubertin comes to Sussex

    Hi Probably because the information NPOR was given differs from what's actually on the stops! A common problem.
  10. Trevor Tipple

    Thanks for letting us know. Coincidentally, our local Organists' Association visited an organ that he has recently rebuilt yesterday - an originally 3 rank Compton Miniatura which he has rebuilt with some minor tonal changes to the Great chorus, and the addition of an unenclosed Trumpet. The instrument, at Bablake School, Coventry (not yet on NPOR) makes a fine sound in the school hall. In contrast, our second visit, just down the road, was another Miniatura - this one an untouched 4 rank version. Quite a contrast in sound, despite a basically similar stop list, but again a very good sound and and instrument that fills the church with sound when required, yet has some pleasant quiet sounds - and all from 4 ranks of pipes. If the recordings are OK, I'll be posting some clips on You Tube in the next few days.
  11. The Royal Festival Hall Organ - what if ?

    Hi Coincidentally, I've just finished re-reading "Baroque Tricks". The fact is the RFH organ is what it is. Any other builder would have faced the same problems as Downes & H&H in building something in the acoustic of the building. It was intended really as an experiment I suspect. It is what it is. Put it in a resonant acoustic and I suspect it would sound foul - Downes remarks on the difference in sounds of the pipes in the moderately reverberant area where H&H had set up a voicing machine and in the organ itself, so pipes voiced for the hall won't work effectively elsewhere. Maybe Compton would have done something that worked fairly well, given their reputation for dealing with difficult situations - but then, they installed a temporary electronic in the RFH before the pipe organ was ready, and - even allowing for the limitations of the technology of the era - no one says it was a success. It's perhaps nice to speculate, but in reality the player has to make the best of thee organ that (s)he is playing. Every Blessing Tony
  12. Chamber organ for sale

    Hi The IBO run a redundant organ listing on their website, which is perhaps the ideal central listing for such instruments - but when we were looking to dispose of the c.1820 chamber organ from Heaton Baptist when the church closed, we had no enquiries from there at all - and that was for a historic instrument that had been fully restored by a major UK firm less than 10 years previously. The Methodist Church also have a listing scheme, and the Heaton organ was listed there and drew a few enquiries, but only 2 from the UK - both from organ builders who were concerned that it was not just destroyed. In the end it went to Australia- to a training scheme for young potential church musicians. Incidentally, it took an organ builder just 1/2 day to dismantle and pack the organ (5 stops). It's the restoration & reinstallation that takes the time. As to electronic substitutes, I don't think church authorities always consider the potential life-span of the instrument - and Hauptwerk and other similar systems running on ordinary computers are a real worry - we all know how long a typical computer lasts! Every Blessing Tony
  13. Nave Booster Organs

    Hi Although there have been many more examples in the last couple of decades, Nave organs are nothing new! St James, Edgbaston (now long redundant and closed) had a Nave organ installed in 1891! The work, along with some additions & revoicing of the main organ was done by Nicholsons. The main organ was in a South chancel chamber, and was a reasonably sized 3 manual, having been moved to the chancel from the West End by Henry Jones, the original builder, in 1886 - 9 years after it was built. The Nave organ was elevated at the head of the South Nave aisle - and on a very convoluted tracker action! Playable from Great or Choir, the stop list was:- Double Diapason Bass 16 Double Diapason Treble 16 Large Open 8 Small Open 8 Clarabella 8 Principal 4 Harmonic Flute 4 Trumpet 8 Spare slide When I knew the instrument in the 1970's. the Nave disvision was all but unplayable, so I can't really coment on its effectiveness (the main organ wasn't far behind, but we did manage to make it useable). Full stop list on NPOR at N07334 Perhaps such departments are not as new a phenomenon as we might think! Every Blessing Tony
  14. Organs in musical ensembles

    I remember my organ teacher mentioning that she was playing the woodwind parts in an ensemble performance - can't remember what or where at this distance of time! Early theatre organs (and Harmoniums) were often used as part of a small orchestra, and there's some comments on this in instruction books of the period. One for Harmonium covers this exact area (sorry, the title escapes me at present) and George Toothill's book on playing theatre organ also makes mention of the subject. In the reed organ world, such instruments were often part of the palm court orchestras and similar enselmbles of the day. I'd be interested to know how much pipe organs have been (and are) involved in such ensembles. ​In more recent times, some of us use (or have used) pipe organs as part of church music groups, although in all of this, the problem of pipe organ pitch shifting with temperature can be an issue, as can the fact that many older organs are not tuned to A=440Hz.
  15. How many pipe organs in the world - in total?

    Hi The NPOR lists around 35,000 organs that are or have been installed in the UK - and it's fr from comprehensive in some geographical areas and denominations - I'd think the 120,000 is a significant underestimate! Every Blessing Tony