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Mander Organs

handsoff

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About handsoff

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Interests
    Playing the organ, listening to organ music both live and recorded, railways, photography, walking, swimming, cooking and eating, driving (1969 Morris Minor amongst others) and keeping my wife in the manner to which she has become accustomed. That means that I took very early retirement and she still works!

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  1. Sorry, I should have specified that it is the C of E. I had 5 booked in the near future...
  2. It is now announced that weddings may have only the number of people legally required. A priest, the happy(ish) couple and two witnesses.
  3. The BBC is reporting that all collective public worship is suspended UFN. Weddings and funerals may be held.
  4. If I remember correctly the metal open 32' at York Minster appears to have been made in this way. I recall thinking, a bit irreverently, that the pipes resembled dustbins welded together. They had been painted into a stone colour and matched the Minster's pillars quite effectively.
  5. Oops, I do indeed - church architecture often foxes me!
  6. I visited Pershore Abbey this morning. The work to accomodate the new organ in the North Transept is underway with scaffolding towers in place and several men making progress with the job. There is an update from Francesco Ruffati on display stating that the work within their factory is ahead of schedule with many of the metal pipes having already been produced. The wooden pipes are next to be tackled. There is an "adopt a pipe" scheme available for anyone wishing to help with the cost. Details should be available on the Friends' website or you can visit their office just around the corner in Broad Street. The location of the organ is quite unusual being towards the West end of the transept but on having a good look around it really appears to be the only place available without some piece or other of beautiful stained glass being obscured, especially those at the West end. I'm not 100% sure but I think that the speakers for the current electronic instrument are on the same side as the new organ but in the galleries a bit further East. The console is currently on the South side which would currently give a decent sound to the organist so maybe the new one will be similarly placed.
  7. Thank you for the replies. The church in question with the music group has the same 4 or 5 players who, since the regular organist retired, play for all Sunday services where music is required and also for carols and harvest extras. It is a very pretty building in a classic black & white village setting so is popular for weddings and as the village has quite a large population of older inhabitants there are quite a few funerals for all of which I play unless recorded or no music is the preference. There hasn't been a single occasion for which the music group has been requested; the organ apparently being regarded as more traditional and, as one family told me when discussing music, "the right thing to have". On one occasion a deceased person had been an enthusiastic member of the more evangelical style of service held there and accompanied by the group for years but had stipulated that he wanted the hymns and voluntaries played on the organ. I had wondered if this situation was the norm and am really interested to hear that it may, albeit on a small sample, be in a minority. Perhaps the setting in a pretty location is a factor. It certainly isn't due to any perceived competence on the part of the organist!
  8. I currently play the organ for 3 out of 4 churches in our benefice, one of them regularly and the other two on as-required basis, largely for weddings and funerals plus harvest, general (5th Sunday if there is one) benefice and carol services in one of the two. The other of the two has a music group for the Sunday morning services, consisting of, as far as I know, piano/electronic keyboard, guitars and flute. I have never heard of the music group being asked to play for a wedding or funeral and if for whatever reason the organ is not desired recorded music is usually played. On rare occasions, especially for weddings, the family has asked musicians of their acquaintance, not the regular music group, to accompany the service rather than have the organ played. I should be interested to hear if any members have known a church music group play for weddings and funerals as part of their general duties rather than by special request or is it more likely that a local organist be asked to come along as a one-off? Just wondering...
  9. In the 1980s the company for which I worked bought some IBM desktop PCs for "selected" staff and arranged for us to have some training in the IBM Basic programming language. As part of the the work-based applications which sent a "beep" if an input error was made I discovered that my PC had a very simple sound card and speaker. As a bit of fun I wrote a simple program which played frequencies ranging from x to y where each was set from an input menu. Mainly with the aim of annoying people I set it to gradually descend from 30 khz to 15khz and see whom from the year's intake of actuarial students I mentored picked up the sound and roughly where in the selected range. The results from just watching their reactions were actually quite interesting and during a couple of lunch breaks it was possible to talk to the youngsters, aged 21 - 23, and correlate very roughly their sensitivity to high frequencies with their student lifestyles while at university. It became obvious that 1 or 2 of them who had frequented what I probably referred to as pop concerts and nightclubs did have quite badly attenuated hearing in the higher ranges and I inferred that the two were not unconnected.
  10. The very informal carol service at church A - the first 3 phrases of that Toccata in D minor which then morphed into "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas". It went down a treat! The more traditional carol service at church B - "Nowell! Nowell! Christus Natus Est", by Andrew Fletcher. Christmas Morning at church B - "A Roundelay for Christmas Day", Stanley Vann.
  11. BR..illiant!!👍 👍
  12. I quite agree. I love mechanical watches and have several, of both pocket and wrist varieties with an especial fondness for those of the latter with automatic winding movements although the winder boxes take up too much space (apparently!). No Patek Philippe yet but I'm working on it... 🙏
  13. I bet I'm the only one who will be pretending to be an organist!🙄 I've just recovered the feeling in my hands and feet after a practice session and have found that the Open Diapason + Larigot with the box closed sounds good - there's no point in me trying to imitate a brass instrument and feel that the plaintive sound of the above combination will be appropriate. I shall play Thaxted for a short voluntary after the service and shall use, for the second playover, the OD alone in the closed box and draw the Larigot (twice, pause and twice again) on the final chord (having repeated the final phrase so as to end on Middle C) to echo the sound in Dupré's Cortege. It souded effective to me, at least, earlier today.
  14. I have previously and shall again use a C Major version on my single manual reedless organ on Sunday. In my opinion the key isn't of much importance on such an occasion; the music itself trumping all else and fact that it is being played being paramount. I know nothing of brass instruments' tuning anyway!
  15. Vox and AJJ. You both are quite correct. The couple's statement to me came over as quite defensive rather than outright arrogant as they know that my own tastes for liturgy, not reflected in the all services for which I play, cease somewhere around Cranmer. The "you'd hate it" phrase, whilst perfectly true did smack of an attitude that they were more in touch with today's church than I, an old-fashioned stick-kicker. I do though have sympathy with the over-cautious language used by some folk when talking to or about less advantaged people. It's a bit like the way well-meaning enquiries about the health of one we know to be very ill are all too often accompanied with a head leant to one side and a felicitous smile whereas the sufferer may prefer a straightforward question such as "How's the chemo(therapy) making you feel?"
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