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john carter

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    I caught the bug at a very early age from the harmonium in my great aunt’s living room. Attempts to lull me to sleep with Vierne’s Berceuse were pointless because I was so excited by the wheezing monster. Studied piano and cello, but preferred choral singing as it was a much more sociable pursuit and gave me more access to the organ. In the early sixties I had a job interview at Compton, with a view to working on the design of electronic instruments, but had a better offer from a well-known broadcasting organisation, where I remained for the following 35 years. Favourite composer – Franck. Inspiration – Fernando Germani. Now, sadly, on my own I find music is a great comfort, especially late in the evening, when I can turn down the volume so as not to disturb the neighbours and lull myself to sleep with Vierne’s Berceu…zzz.

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  1. As a teenager, it was Richard Ellsasser's Widor 6, recorded at Hammond Castle, that made a huge impression on me.
  2. Although to the best of my knowledge he does not subscribe to this board, Chris Lawton is an enthusiast who has in-depth knowledge of, and has played, many of the Compton organs around the UK. If you search for Compton Miniatura on YouTube, you will find Chris's channel, which has contact details.
  3. This thread reminded me of the heroic performance by an injured Andrew Dewar with one hand and a stick:
  4. The programme is deliberately different from the radio broadcast as it is aimed at a different audience. From a conversation with the producer of this year's TV broadcast a couple of days ago, I understand the overall result this year is quite different, because of the lack of a congregation and the participation of the King's Singers, but is thought to be good.
  5. Forum members may not be aware that, without a TV licence, you cannot legally watch any live television online, including Now TV, Amazon Prime or YouTube live streams of broadcasts. The restriction is not limited to BBC i-player. A licence is not required to listen to BBC Radio or BBC Sounds which are, of course, paid for by those of us who spend less than 50p per day on the cost of the licence. For comparison, the cost of the Times newspaper is £2 per day (£1.10 for subscribers).
  6. Wayne Marshall is certainly a talented performer. I just wish he wasn't in such a hurry. I'm out of breath just listening.
  7. Touch screens certainly aren't a practical advance, but they are an effective way to reduce costs. Custom metalwork, switches and wiring are labour intensive and surprisingly expensive by comparison. I'm afraid you get what you pay for these days! The only practical way out is to programme combinations in advance, which doesn't really help when improvising.
  8. Thanks Niccolo for putting this interesting collection together. I think only the contrabassoon and handpan are likely to catch on. The venova seems to have all the charm of the vuvuzela! I welcome new ideas rather than always being locked in to what went before. Many of the features in today's organs, that we now take for granted, started out as experiments. Notable examples are the innovative ideas of Compton and Cavaillé-Coll.
  9. To Cornet IV and Nic Davidson-Porter: Even though we have strayed off-topic, it is pleasant to have a little humour occasionally. I am glad that you appear to like the Swiss Federation as much as I do. I only wish I could have been there for my annual visit to the Lucerne Festival, sadly not possible in the current situation.
  10. Oops, I must read more carefully. When I first looked at your post and saw the reference to Walschaert's valve gear, I took it that the organ had a plaque from the Berner Oberland Bahn!
  11. I think your comments are somewhat discourteous to our new hosts. Perhaps you should wait and see how the company develops in the coming months.
  12. At a time and in a World where there seems to be much trouble and confusion, it is refreshing to hear some really good news. I wish Stephen Bayley and his team success, and hope that they can maintain the forum that I have happily followed for fifteen years.
  13. pwhodges wrote: "Is anyone here happy to pay that indefinitely for such a small active community, when there are free alternatives?" Vox Humana wrote: "I'll be blunt. I would not be willing to pay an ongoing subscription fee unless it is quite nominal." Gentlemen, I imagine you pay for your internet access and you probably paid for your computers. How can you expect to get the services of a forum free of charge when it requires both equipment with a finite life and internet bandwidth? To set up the trial forum, Steve Goodwin is generously paying for both out of his own pocket. The cost may be small, but it is more than zero. The only long term alternative to subscription is to find a sponsor, as Manders have been. The inclusion of digital organs could make the forum attractive to a wider range of manufacturers, who might value the opportunity to reach an audience interested in their products. General advertising could be an alternative, but the narrow forum topic and the potential views are probably too limited.
  14. I am grateful to Steve for rapidly setting up a trial alternative that provides an "insurance policy". However attractive it is, I don't think we should be rushed into "decamping" until we know, for certain, the status of the existing forum. Nothing in this life comes free and we cannot expect Steve to bear the sole responsibility for operating a forum for the rest of us to sit back and enjoy. A time may come when Steve is unwilling or unable to continue as host, so an alternative needs a proper constitution from the start and possibly a sponsor. However boring legal matters are, we also need to ensure that a public forum complies with Data Protection regulations.
  15. One of the important aspects we have not yet mentioned is the mass of valuable information that exists in this forum's archive. It would be dreadful to lose it all at the flick of a switch. How feasible is it for the whole forum to be transferred complete to new ownership? With over a thousand members it would surely be possible to invite sufficient donations to pay for the forum to continue uninterrupted, if a suitable moderator was available?
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