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john carter

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Posts posted by john carter

  1. 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.

  2. On 20/12/2020 at 09:46, David Surtees said:

    I only watched it once, and thought it was a poor comparison to the actual service as broadcast on radio. Some excellent individual items, as would be expected, but the overall experience felt lacking. 
    No longer have a TV license so can’t watch it anyway, but won’t particularly miss it. 

    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.  

  3. 11 hours ago, John Robinson said:

    I cancelled my BBC Tax earlier this year.  I have recorded Nine Lessons and Carols several times over the past years.  I particularly like certain carols which crop up now and again.  To be perfectly honest, I don't really listen to the lessons (or readings!).

    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).

  4. 22 hours ago, SlowOrg said:

    There was a live broadcast from the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg yesterday evening with Wayne Marshall giving a splendid performance on the Klais organ. The concert is still available on Elbphilharmonie’s YouTube channel:


    Wayne Marshall is certainly a talented performer.  I just wish he wasn't in such a hurry.  I'm out of breath just listening.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.  

  7. 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.

  8. 4 minutes ago, Cornet IV said:


    Sadly, if your experience had been any wider, your conclusion would have remained substantially the same.

    I'm old enough to remember when the incumbent was an MA Oxbridge, could quote Euripides in the original and was thoroughly expert in the technicalities of Walschaert's valve gear. He bicycled in a fawn jacket to watch the village cricket and knew everyone. Usually the organ was a modest affair, recently affixed with a plaque from BOB but was valued for what is was and not regarded as an outmoded and unwanted financial expense. Regrettably, the tower bells often are viewed in the same light  I profoundly regret the passing of the vicar of my boyhood and have scant regard for the bulk of that which has replaced him.  I accept that the upkeep of a pipe organ can be a substantial burden for many parishes but while it may be heresy to say so on this forum, electronic substitutes with their minimal running costs, for most people can be indistinguishable from the real thing - the Allen in the Silverstone parish church is an excellent example of such with an intelligently drawn specification. But I fear any appreciation of these things is not encouraged in today's preparation for the Ministry. 

    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!  

  9. On 10/09/2020 at 23:15, East Kent Trombone said:

    It will be an interesting change and good luck to them.

    Generally fellow Organists in East Kent are very surprised that FHB are so readily abandoning the well established and known Browne name for a company thats just gone bust.

    The styles of the two firms, as I understand are also very different adding to the mystery. The real Mander were known for pretty high end tracker organs, doing big jobs internationally and were one of the big boys with their own pipe making and excellent tonal work whereas the new 'Mander' (FHB) seem to almost never make new organs and generally appear to do relatively small overhauls and no international work. Perhaps they think it will propel them into the premier league but all the organ advisors and anyone in the know will understand that its a totally different company just reusing the name.


    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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 39 minutes ago, Martin Cooke said:

    I'm sure that's right, Vox. This could go at any moment whether we like it or not, and Steve has set up an excellent alternative that I am sure we need to decamp to pronto! I do hope that those who are delaying have noted the web address just in case.

    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.   

  13. 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? 

  14. handsoff wrote:  Most organists I know don't like the first movement of Vierne 1 but I simply love it.

    Thank you.  I thought I was the only person in the world who liked this movement!

  15. On 01/02/2020 at 23:06, MusoMusing said:

    "There can be no more pestilential and vexatious innovation to the King of Instruments than the new-fangled so-called balanced swell pedal."

    Replace "balanced"  with "infinite speed and gradation" and I would be in total agreement with the original author.  

  16. 15 hours ago, John Robinson said:

    To be perfectly honest, as an atheist, churches being closed down doesn't concern me too much, accepting that they are closing because people appear not to want them.  That sort of sounds fair.

    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. 

  17. 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.

  18. 8 hours ago, Vox Humana said:

    Because it develops the most precise touch.

    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?  

  19. 1 hour ago, Paul Isom said:

    So, within a 12 speaking stop maximum, who can come up with a versatile liturgical/house organ.  Tonal variety is top of the wish list - even undulating ranks are allowed.  The organ must have mechanical action.

    Why must it have mechanical action?  

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