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Mander Organs

john carter

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About 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. I can't remember ever hearing Leo van Doeselaar before, but these performances are among the best I have heard.
  2. Quite extraordinary! I wouldn't have believed it possible that an accordion could be so expressive. Thank you Peter for posting it.
  3. Replace "balanced" with "infinite speed and gradation" and I would be in total agreement with the original author.
  4. Having been through the anguish of facing the closure of my church, we realised that it wasn't that people didn't want the church, they just didn't like what we were doing. Nor, to be honest, were we as open and welcoming as we thought we were. The appointment of a young Mission Leader, who has introduced a contemporary worship style, has more than doubled the congregation in a few months and more than halved the average age. The music may not be in the style that I have enjoyed in my 75 years, but the fact that we have a vibrant and growing place of Christian Worship is much more important.
  5. My hearing is damaged to the point that I cannot manage at all without my hearing aids. They go on first thing in the morning until I go to bed at night. Yes, there are times when some sounds are unplesantly loud, such as travelling on the London Underground, but my brain is now accustomed to coping with them. It's amazing how much the brain adapts in the first weeks of hearing aid use. I have no need of a volume control - my ears didn't have one in the first place! As to delay, it is inevitable, and any sounds that reach the eardrum directly as well as through the hearing aid will cause some colouration. It is important to have well-fitting domes to minimise the effect. As I have said previously, it is possible to find hearing aids with the latest technology that can either automatically or manually reject unwanted noise, but they are expensive. However, when you need to use them for 16 hours a day, every day, it's worth it. For those who have severe hearing difficulties, it is worth looking for a specialist independent audiologist who can tailor the hearing instrument to your needs. Those who are concessionaires for a single supplier, or high street chains, may not be able to offer exactly what you need.
  6. In reply to my question about Paul Isom's requirement for the small organ to have mechanical action, Vox Humana quite correctly pointed out that it develops the most precise touch. I am aware of the advantages, but the reason for my question is to ask if that is the most economic solution? However ideal the instrument, if no individuals, schools or churches can afford a pipe organ, what future is there for the instrument?
  7. Why must it have mechanical action?
  8. Colin, if you are experiencing whistling, it suggests to me that your domes or moulds - the type depending on whether or not it is a "receiver in canal" aid - do not fit perfectly. If that fitting is improved, you may get better results under all circumstances.
  9. John, in the "normal" program, your hearing aid, like mine, probably switches between different settings automatically, depending on what it thinks you want to hear. That is fine for most of the time. The change I have made is to have the option of fixing it in the "speech in loud noise" mode, which makes it easier to concentrate on the conversation you want.
  10. Replying to Steve Goodwin - Phonak Audéo V90
  11. I am the audiologist's worst nightmare, being a music lover and amateur musician who spent all his career in the operational side of TV broadcasting. I had age-related hearing loss, but this was made much worse by the use of platinum based chemotherapy in 2016. It was no longer a pleasure to listen to music. I decided to invest in some top end hearing aids and found an audiologist who was prepared to listen to me and who, in cooperation with the hearing aid manufacturers, has set up a music program that is better than I could ever have expected. I have been able to specify the levels I want at each frequency and the makers have recommended the best settings for other parameters, such as compression. The anti-whistle features have been turned off, but as long as I keep my hands away from my ears, there is no feedback. It has been a process of gradual refinement, but in the past few months I have attended a number of orchestral concerts and organ recitals and I now doubt I could achieve anything better. Fifteen metres from 100-strong Vienna Philharmonic playing fff, I was not conscious of any significant distortion. For those who have hearing problems, it is worth persisting with the audiologist. Mine said that he had learnt from the experience of working with me and felt he was now better able to advise other customers. My hearing will never be good, but with high quality hearing aids and a helpful audiologist, I can now enjoy music once again. I would say to John Robinson that I have had the same difficulty in restaurants. I have even resorted to a personal microphone, connected by Bluetooth, for my dinner guest - but that is rather inconvenient! This week my audiologist has set up a new program for me, fixing the hearing aid into the "speech in loud noise" setting and reducing the overall levels slightly. My first impressions are very encouraging as the hearing aids seem to focus more on the person I am listening to. To Paul Hodges, I would say I had never realised how noisy the birds in London can be. I sometimes wish they would be quiet!
  12. I am very shocked to hear this news. I only knew of David through this forum but, without doubt, he was a source of exceptional knowledge. My heart and my prayers go out to his family and friends.
  13. We often use the turn of phrase "It has all the bells and whistles" for a complex machine. This remarkable organ appears to have more bells and whistles than you "can shake a stick at"! I wonder what happens if you shake a stick at the touch screen? It's fascinating, but I do wonder how much of it will ever actually be used?
  14. Pierre Lauwers has been posting on Facebook in the past 24 hours, so that may be the best way to contact him.
  15. As a Compton enthusiast, I greatly regret that this instrument has not been saved, but I have been involved in projects to remove asbestos from a number of places, and I must advise that it is a material that must be treated with the greatest respect. Some types of asbestos are more harmful than others and in some places it may have degraded or been damaged since it was put in. You would be amazed how far microscopic fibres can travel and it is essential to test all areas for contamination before making decisions. Was there any asbestos sound deadening on the blowers or in the cable ducts? I am sure at least some of the pipework could have been cleaned, but at considerable cost as it would require specialist effort. However some parts of the action would be very difficult to make safe. It is essential not to take risks. Despite taking all normal precautions, I know from personal experience that even one fibre deep in the lung can cause life-threatening health problems. I was fortunate that the problem was spotted at an early stage by a radiologist looking for something else, but the subsequent treatment was not one I would wish others to experience.
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