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Forumites may not know that an icon of the Canadian way of life is Tim Horton's coffee shops.  They are everywhere (even above the Arctic Circle in Nunavut) - if you remember the song "Walk like an Egyptian", the equivalent "Walk like a Canadian" would have one hand outstretched with a Timmie's cup in it.

In the last week or so, Timmie's have changed the design of the plastic lids on their cups.  The new type makes the cup too high to fit under the Swell stops at the bass end of Fredericton Cathedral organ. A quick jab on a Swell piston could shoot the whole ensemble goodness knows where (Viola da Gamba being the launch vehicle).

Very frustrating - you'd think there were enough troubles in life without having to find somewhere new to put my tea.

At least, we aren't looking for ways of escaping our government - being near the border with our smaller neighbour to the South, it's been surprising how many visitors have said they were actively seeking to buy a property here to get away from Trump.....

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You need your own, designed to fit safely under the VdG draw stop, “Keep Cup”, that you take to Tim Horton’s for them to fill with their delicious brew. If Hortons are anything like any UK coffee outlet chain you’ll get a 30-50¢ discount on each cup if you bring your own cup to save the planet!

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As a very distinguished former organist of York Minster once told me, "One is in a constant battle with the mentality of 'if it works, change it'".  :)

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8 minutes ago, D Quentin Bellamy said:

As a very distinguished former organist of York Minster once told me, "One is in a constant battle with the mentality of 'if it works, change it'".  :)

That is so true.

Mention of Tim Horton's brings back vivid memories of a fortnight I spent in Canada a few years ago (nothing to do with music), staying in a motel and getting up at 5.00 every morning. The only option for breakfast so early in the day was the local Tim Horton's.  It was fine for the first three days or so...

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On 07/07/2019 at 17:21, David Drinkell said:

A quick jab on a Swell piston could shoot the whole ensemble goodness knows where (Viola da Gamba being the launch vehicle).

There is room here for an interesting and perhaps useful digression. I know nothing of the organ in Fredericton Cathedral, but until convincingly assured otherwise, I decline to believe that the Viola da Gamba is the loudest and lowest pitched flue rank on the Swell Organ. If this drawstop is at the bottom of the Swell jamb then it is in the wrong position. I accept that a cup of coffee upset by a Bourdon 16ft is no less upset by a Gamba 8ft, but for some a bad situation is made worse by the malefaction being undertaken by a drawstop that should not be there in the first place. It is true that the transatlantic habit of setting out departments in columns of three might confuse the issue, but not here, I think.

 One of the many ways in which organists like to leave their mark (or legacy, as we now say) is to corrupt for their own convenience the settled and satisfactory anglophone convention for the order of drawstops on the jambs. With the exception of the late Henry Willis III, organ builders are often too pliant in accepting the organist’s whim in this regard; they assume too freely that a contested drawstop position might be a deal breaker. 

 Frequently, one hears that the String and Celeste should be at the bottom of the Swell jamb so that the devising organist can easily, and without thought, reach for his musical crutch. Similarly, Open 8, Principal 4 and Fifteenth 2 (and other such choruses) are occasionally grouped together, sometimes in the middle of the jamb in the name of convenience but the confusion others. The sin is exacerbated when the drawstop heads are numbered, so that a newly appointed organist cannot easily rectify the matter without resort to the engraver at no little cost.

 So far as I can see, the Royal Festival organ faithfully adopts the convention (and I guess the Albert Hall organ likewise) for the sound reason that visiting organists are entitled to assess the stop-list on the jambs at a glance. The parish church may not have such a long procession of players, but if the average tenure of an organist is five years, that will be one (self) satisfied organist and nineteen disaffected ones in a century. But the one will be remembered.

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Bruce is quite right in thinking that the Fredericton console follows the North American pattern of having more than two vertical rows of draw-stops (this is reckoned by British players to be less convenient, but I've never found it to be so).  The Swell jamb has the Bourdon at the bottom left and the stops in that row ascend diagonally to the right  so that the Viola de Gamba had just enough room beneath it to fit in a Tim Horton's large size cup.  The new style lids are higher than the old ones, so there isn't room for the Viola to come out without hitting the lid.

Innate is also right in supposing that there is a discount if you use your own re-usable cup, but all the ones on the market are taller than the standard issue paper ones.....

The organ, by that way, is a Casavant of around 1912.  It had a new console in 1957, but no tonal changes, and the stop-list is as below.  The Swell is absolutely typical Casavant for the period (and a long while afterwards).  The whole thing looks rather gormless to our eyes, but I can make it do most of what I want with a bit of fiddling about.  Incidentally, the Diapason Phonon is no such thing - it is unleathered and sounds just like any normal Swell Open.

Great
Double Open Diapason 16, Open Diapason I 8, Open Diapason II 8, Doppel Flute 8, Rohr Flute 8, Principal 4, Harmonic Flute 4, Twelfth 2 2/3, Fifteenth 2, Mixture III, Trumpet 8
Great 4
Swell to Great 16.8.4, Choir to Great 16.8.4, Echo to Great 16.8.4
 
Swell
Bourdon 16, Diapason Phonon 8, Stopped Diapason 8, Viola da Gamba 8, Voix Celeste 8, Dolcissimo 8, Gemshorn 4, Flauto Traverso 4, Piccolo 2, Dolce Cornet 12.15.17 III, Cornopean, Oboe Basson 8, Vox Humana 8
Tremulant
Swell 16.8.4
 
Choir (enclosed)
Geigen Principal 8, Melodia 8, Viole d'Orchestre 8, Dulciana 8, Flute 4, Flautina 2, Clarinet 8
Tremulant
Swell 16.8.4
Swell to Choir 16.8.4, Echo to Choir 16.8.4
 
Echo (enclosed)
Open Diapason 8, Stopped Diapason 8, Aeoline 8, Dolce Flute 4
Tremulant
Echo 16.8.4
 
Pedal
Resultant 32, Open Diapason 16, Violone 16, Bourdon 16, Bass Flute 8, Violoncello 8, Bourdon 8, Trombone 16
Great to Pedal 8.4, Swell to Pedal 8.4, Choir to Pedal 8.4, Echo to Pedal 8
 
5 adjustable pistons each to Great, Swell, Choir, Pedal
3 adjustable pistons to Echo
5 adjustable General pistons
General Cancel
General Crescendo
 
There's an online tour of the building which shows the organ at https://cccath.ca/home/youre-touring-online/ .  The church is a copy of Snettisham Church, Norfolk. The resemblance is uncanny, although Snettisham lost its chancel and north transept after the Reformation and the organ is smaller (2m Kirkland).  I think it's the finest looking Canadian cathedral, and its situation, in its own little park by the river, is certainly the prettiest.

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Clearly Klais had this dilemma in mind when they designed their new six manual console at Malmo to have two large touchscreen monitors as stop jambs. A bonus of not having over-enthusiastic Viols shooting out at coffee cups is that each visiting organist can presumably set the exact position of each stop. I think this idea has much to commend it - if all organs had touchscreens I could set up any organ I played in advance such that the stops were in the position of my choosing regardless of the specification or the organ builder.

 

As my home (albeit digital) practice organ has touchscreens I can supply an amusing consequence of becoming too familiar with them however. My older son was 2 years old when he first got to sit at a "real" cathedral organ console and was mightily perplexed at how the stops had to be physically pulled out to make a sound and no amount of pressing them in the off" position would make them come on, unlike Daddy's console at home.

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A few recent organs (Sussex University, and somewhere in Oxford, I think) have used the buttons with in-built lights from lifts for stop selection. You could easily replace those disruptive moving stop knobs with them, probably without rewiring, just using the existing wiring for selection and turning the lights on and off. You could even adapt those attractively-voiced lift announcements - "I wouldn't do that if I were you Dave" for unwise combinations such as Voix Celestes and Tuba Mirabilis, or "TUTTI!!" when appropriate. Perhaps even have the backlight change colour according to the liturgical season. That would be a fun project for someone, shouldn't take too long to get working properly.

Or alternatively, but much less fun, buy a smaller cup :)

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15 minutes ago, Damian Beasley-Suffolk said:

 You could even adapt those attractively-voiced lift announcements 

 

Having just joined the 21st century and bought an Amazon Alexa thing for the home (after enjoying the use of one in a holiday cottage) a voice activated console should be a possibility. It would need a faster response time than Alexa but with a closed-circuit system rather than wi-fi/internet it should be possible. "Fred, swell No8, swell to great" etc etc

Mind you, some careful filters for error-led profanities and mischievous asistants/choristers/ curates/ spouses  and so on might be advisable.

</realmoffantasymode>  🦄🦄

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11 hours ago, Damian Beasley-Suffolk said:

A few recent organs (Sussex University, and somewhere in Oxford, I think) have used the buttons with in-built lights from lifts for stop selection. You could easily replace those disruptive moving stop knobs with them, probably without rewiring, just using the existing wiring for selection and turning the lights on and off. You could even adapt those attractively-voiced lift announcements - "I wouldn't do that if I were you Dave" for unwise combinations such as Voix Celestes and Tuba Mirabilis, or "TUTTI!!" when appropriate. Perhaps even have the backlight change colour according to the liturgical season. That would be a fun project for someone, shouldn't take too long to get working properly.

Or alternatively, but much less fun, buy a smaller cup :)

The next time I play a Compton organ with luminous stops, and which has been computerised, I swear I will improvise on "Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do"

 

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If anyone knows how to write the computer code that will recognise my vocal command "next page!" or perhaps "go back a page" on my music display tablet they deserve more than a pint or two. Better still is there a way of getting the camera to recognise frantic gestures and translate them to page turns that too would be good. My home practice organ has thumb and toe pistons for page advance and page back, as I believe does the console at Kings College Cambridge but that's not much use when both hands and feet are employed simultaneously!

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8 hours ago, Contrabombarde said:

If anyone knows how to write the computer code that will recognise my vocal command "next page!" or perhaps "go back a page" on my music display tablet they deserve more than a pint or two. Better still is there a way of getting the camera to recognise frantic gestures and translate them to page turns that too would be good. My home practice organ has thumb and toe pistons for page advance and page back, as I believe does the console at Kings College Cambridge but that's not much use when both hands and feet are employed simultaneously!

Voice and gesture commands already exist and are in mass production as part of the "infotainment" system in a number of premium German cars. A trawl of the internet suggests that they are still not entirely successful. With voice commands unless the organist was wearing a microphone i suspect that the sound of the instrument might corrupt the vocal data reading. An innocent conversation happening behind you could also lead to some very interesting registration changes.

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23 hours ago, Contrabombarde said:

If anyone knows how to write the computer code that will recognise my vocal command "next page!" or perhaps "go back a page" on my music display tablet they deserve more than a pint or two. Better still is there a way of getting the camera to recognise frantic gestures and translate them to page turns that too would be good. My home practice organ has thumb and toe pistons for page advance and page back, as I believe does the console at Kings College Cambridge but that's not much use when both hands and feet are employed simultaneously!

If that turns out not to be possible, perhaps we should ask ourselves is there is any part of the organist's body not occupied in playing or registration changes.  Before any untoward suggestions are considered, what crossed my mind was a small tube including a pressure sensor inserted in the organists mouth: blow to turn page; suck to turn back a page.

No, I'm being serious!

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1 hour ago, John Robinson said:

what crossed my mind was a small tube including a pressure sensor inserted in the organists mouth: blow to turn page; suck to turn back a page.

I'm just a bit worried about how the pages might behave while the player is struggling with a Sorabji symphony.

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8 hours ago, John Robinson said:

If that turns out not to be possible, perhaps we should ask ourselves is there is any part of the organist's body not occupied in playing or registration changes.  Before any untoward suggestions are considered, what crossed my mind was a small tube including a pressure sensor inserted in the organists mouth: blow to turn page; suck to turn back a page.

No, I'm being serious!

A mouth controlled device already exists. It is used by parachutists to take photos. You plug it into an Airturn page turner. The device is placed between the teeth and you bite it to turn the page. I’ve got one and it works. It’s useful for home recording. I wouldn’t want to use it in church or for a recital as it becomes wearing after a while and  you would look ridiculous.

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15 hours ago, Zimbelstern said:

A mouth controlled device already exists. It is used by parachutists to take photos. You plug it into an Airturn page turner. The device is placed between the teeth and you bite it to turn the page. I’ve got one and it works. It’s useful for home recording. I wouldn’t want to use it in church or for a recital as it becomes wearing after a while and  you would look ridiculous.

If the device could be connected to the page turner via Bluetooth (or similar) the user wouldn't look ridiculous, assuming that the device can be enclosed in the mouth. 

Who knows, in the not-too-distant future we might see such connections being possible using electrical signals directly from the brain!

Sorry.  I'm getting silly now.

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On ‎09‎/‎07‎/‎2019 at 19:26, Contrabombarde said:

Clearly Klais had this dilemma in mind when they designed their new six manual console at Malmo to have two large touchscreen monitors as stop jambs. A bonus of not having over-enthusiastic Viols shooting out at coffee cups is that each visiting organist can presumably set the exact position of each stop. I think this idea has much to commend it - if all organs had touchscreens I could set up any organ I played in advance such that the stops were in the position of my choosing regardless of the specification or the organ builder.

 

As my home (albeit digital) practice organ has touchscreens I can supply an amusing consequence of becoming too familiar with them however. My older son was 2 years old when he first got to sit at a "real" cathedral organ console and was mightily perplexed at how the stops had to be physically pulled out to make a sound and no amount of pressing them in the off" position would make them come on, unlike Daddy's console at home.

I don't know why someone hasn't yet invented a way to register an organ using a smartphone. Surely there's going to be an app for it shortly. That way I can set up all the stop changes at breakfast before I even get to the church. The turn on the blower and just play. If set up correctly the organ will change the stops at the appropriate time that the music requires. If any subtle changes are required for the closing hymn/anthem, they could easily be done on the smartphone during the sermon. Yes, I think this is probably the way forward for the 21st century that we're now living in! 

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As I recall that was possible at Notre Dame, Paris twenty (?) years ago and being by done Olivier Latry, possibly using land-line.  Wasn’t the facility lost when the organ ‘computer’ packed-up?  Colin Pykett wrote about this quite recently.

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I seem to remember seeing a demonstration of an app that enabled the organ to be tuned single handed. It also allowed the player to check balances etc. away from the console by controlling the playback facility. 

With Facetime  I wonder if I could work from home?!

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Some modern consoles already have midi input so any suitable device (phone/laptop/tablet) could do the registration for you. It could also play the keys for you as well. In fact maybe you wouldn't need to be there at all...

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From the Hauptwerk FAQ:

Quote

Q: Can I use Hauptwerk with an iPad?

A: Hauptwerk must be installed on either a Windows PC or a Mac OS X based computer per the requirements page. You may use an iPad to connect remotely to your Hauptwerk computer and control the stops and other virtual controls on an organ with a 3rd party iPad App available from the Apple App Store™.  Installing Hauptwerk itself directly on an iPad is not possible. The following forum posts show how some of our users are using an iPad with Hauptwerk:

This is simply using MIDI from the iPad, of course.

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