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1 hour ago, S_L said:

 

I've tried to find it on e-bay - but without success!!

 

I suppose I should be pleased, but the e-bay entries are being fairly snapped up. The problem is, e-bay do not allow multiple entries of the same thing, of which I wasn't aware until I received an official notification. I'm trying to keep an eye on things, and the moment I see that one has been snapped up, I immediately re-list the item.

It's all very much a trial at the moment, to see what the uptake is. I'm quite surprised at the interest, and that's before I mention it in cinema/theatre organ circles and to the electronic buffs!

I wonder if a book about organ-building could become a best seller?

No!  That's just daft!

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12 hours ago, MusoMusing said:

The problem is, e-bay do not allow multiple entries of the same thing, of which I wasn't aware until I received an official notification. 

 

Are you sure about that? I bought something on e-bay yesterday that said 15 available!!!

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6 hours ago, S_L said:

 

Are you sure about that? I bought something on e-bay yesterday that said 15 available!!!

I'm working on it!
There must be easier ways, not to say cheaper ways. E-bay is quite expensive to use, and on top of that, PayPal want a piece of the action.

Bear with me!

 

MM

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What are the chances of this?

Two days ago, I went to the printers to get card inserts for the book CD. I explained what I wanted, because the original inserts had a spelling mistake/typo which the printer had made in the first batch.

So there I was, explaining layout and wording and the correction required, when a voice from behind said, "Compton Organs? That's interesting!"

I turned to find the local organ-builder standing behind me!!

Almost as good as the time I stood on the top of Cape Wrath.....somewhere between here and the Noth Pole......only accessible by foot, from the road about a mile away.

There were two people standing there, and as I approached, one of them turned and said, "Hello, what are YOU doing here?"

It was one of my neighbours!

MM
 

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As a student I was buying a copy of the newly published book on harpsichord building by Hubbard and was told that behind me at the till was Michael Thomas, a noted harpsichord builder.  We got to talking, and the outcome was that I promised him the wood of a diseased pear tree my parents were about to chop down - he said he used pear just for the jacks (as I recall), and the tree would be enough for the rest of his career.

Paul

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Also while I was a student, the BBC recorded two short concerts played by George Malcolm for separate broadcasts.  They were recorded back to back in the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford.  It was possible to get entry tickets free.

On the day, we were sitting waiting, and George Malcolm's car had been delayed.  So the announcer spoke to us for a time, explaining what was happening, and telling us we shouldn't think of complaining, because "after all, where other than the BBC would you be able to get two concerts for the price of one - for nothing!"

Paul

(and I have the EP with that recording on, too)

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If you type out an order form, take a photo of it and attach it to a forum post as a JPG, we could print it out and post it to you with a cheque.  No middle men involved!

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10 hours ago, bam said:

If you type out an order form, take a photo of it and attach it to a forum post as a JPG, we could print it out and post it to you with a cheque.  No middle men involved!

Thank you, but I'm not sure that I know what you have in mind.  The last thing I would want to do is to use the Mander Forum as an advertising medium.

There is a further problem, in that I only got 50 CD's duplicated and 20 have gone already.

My longer term hope, is that someone could take it on board and use it for fundraising; especially those closest to the preservation of Compton organs. The reason for this is simple, because I am not claiming the story as entirely my own.  I may have written the facts into a story, but quite a few people in the Compton Study Group have contributed information, and claiming that as all my own work would not be very ethical; especially the information on the electronic Melotone. My role has largely been that of researcher and collator, and it has been an enormous and very lengthy task. My name does not, therefore, appear on the front, but rather, 'Written by members of the John Compton Study Group".

The 50 CD's were really a tester,which I paid out of my own pocket, to see what response it might get, and with 20 copies moved in just 4 days, it looks encouraging.

With the book being on e-bay, it has an automatic global exposure, and it is a good barometer of potential sales. I'm just listing them as and when another one is snapped up.  The scary thing is, I have not yet notified any of the theatre/cinema organ groups, and that is where I would expect the most interest; simply because they have technical teams looking after their own instruments. Furthermore, although one copy has gone to the Netherlands, I have yet to target the big Compton interest in Australia.

I have an idea in mind, which could well result in the story appearing as a physical book; at which point I could sit back, relax and forget about it all!  The simple fact is, I have another (written entirely by me!) book completed, and a novel which merely needs revising, and which would be suitable for an organisation like Lulu or Amazon.

Anyway, just to plug the book, there will be more on e-bay until the 50 are gone, by which time, I hope someone will take over the production and distribution.

MM



 


 

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Thanks for the kind comments.  From the writing/marketing/publishing point of view, it's important to get the belence right, between things that are topical, things that are technical and things that are musical. I hope I've achieved that balance, to create a readabe whole and tell an interesting story which can appeal to amateur and professional alike.  Not an easy task!

 

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3 hours ago, pwhodges said:

Yes, I've started reading too - It looks very good.  I've loaded mine into Kindle.

Paul

I’m waiting for my disc to arrive - how did you manage to load it on the Kindle?

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Install "Send to Kindle", then you can right-click the file and select "Send to Kindle".  You can choose which of your devices it is pushed to immediately as well.  It ends up in the "Documents" part of the library.  There is probably a way to upload it using the Amazon web interface for your Kindle library, but that's not what I do.

Paul

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Oh dear!

The theatre organ people have got wind of it. 
What started as a "tester" is becoming a cottage industry, with 35 copies moved in a single week!
I geuinely thought that the first batch would probably be enough for 6 months, but I shall have to order another 50 this next week. 😲

MM

 

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15 hours ago, MusingMuso said:

Oh dear!

The theatre organ people have got wind of it. 
What started as a "tester" is becoming a cottage industry, with 35 copies moved in a single week!
I geuinely thought that the first batch would probably be enough for 6 months, but I shall have to order another 50 this next week. 😲

MM

 

What would be wrong with the "theatre organ people" having wind of it? A sale is a sale, you wanted to do it, so you cannot grumble about it, regardless of who is buying it. 

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56 minutes ago, carrick said:

What would be wrong with the "theatre organ people" having wind of it? A sale is a sale, you wanted to do it, so you cannot grumble about it, regardless of who is buying it. 

I love theatre organs when they're played well and I have been known to dabble myself.  No, what I was referring to was being caught out by the volume of sales in such a short time. I would expect the theatre/cinema organ enthusiasts to be the main market for anything Compton. It's been quite a task getting them all out. Now I have to get another batch duplicated. I think I'm now down to 8 left in the box, and that works out at 42 CD's moved in just 9 days.

The "Oh dear" comment was a sigh of self pity.

MM

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At least I managed to order from eBay before you ran out!

I sympathise, having recorded for sale at various Christian Conferences.  It can be frustrating when demand exceeds your expectations - and I did my own duplication (originally cassette, and then CD-R - still have the duplicating machine for the latter).  Distribution of such things is always the difficult bit.

Every Blessing

Tony

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I've just finished reading MM's Compton book. I greatly enjoyed it, it is a fine narrative history of Compton, his work, and the people around him, along with the times in which they lived and worked. I appreciate it all the more for learning that the company's records were destroyed in WWII, so MM has done a great job researching and assembling the information for the book. I wonder how much is on the "cutting-room floor", so to speak. MM, please back up your research notes for some future researcher's reference!

One aspect of Compton's work intrigues me. Concerning his interest in mixtures, and his approach to and understanding of synthesizing various sounds and his attitudes to correctly-understood mixtures in reinforcing natural harmonics of pipes, especially in his large church instruments, it strikes me that he might have laid the foundation of understanding these matters, at least, for the Orgelbewegung and neo-baroque enthusiasts. While MM presents the specification of a very late Compton organ (St Mary the Boltons) which had an almost-baroque specification, I also recall an article in OR a few years ago discussing a specification by Percy Whitlock for a similar instrument. Just a thought...

There's also a rather funny comment about a string "stop", a "Solo Cello", which was a single violin string played by a rotating band. I have seen and heard one of these, on a Belgian band organ or dance organ, in the Mechanical Music museum (Museum van Speelklok tot Pierement) in Utrecht. Whilst it is an ingenious idea, and works well in such automated band organs, which are like a street organ but bigger and with no horse, and were installed in dance cafes and dance halls throughout the low countries, they are indeed not especially refined, shall we say ;-)

So congratulations MM.

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How very kind of you to give the book the thumbs up.

I could probably fill a large truck with the material on the cutting-room floor. Everything which is in the book has at least two or more sources of reliable information, but not necessairly from readily available documented sources.....this has been the 'devil' in trying to set it all out and present it as a reliable whole.

However,  it was the late Stephen Bicknell who first drew my attention to John Compton's love (obsession?) of tonal synthesis and harmonic build-up, and long before the Bournemouth Pavilion organ, he had in his workshop an experimental "test rig" with seemingly the most bizarre harmonics in the tonal line-up. Stephen actually suggested that JC was one of the prime movers behind the 'organ reform' movement, because he wasn't afraid of mixtures and mutations, and used them very artistically; even when drawn from other ranks or, as was sometimes the case, extending the Mixtures upwards and calling them Cymbals (the same as drawing an octave coupler).  This is why I included as much as practicable from John Compton's own pen, because he really was quite the intellectual.

Of course, long before "organ reform" dominated the agenda, everyone got very excited by the theories of Helmholz and his explanation of musical sounds being based on amalgams of pure sine-waves, and like the eternal schoolboy, John Compton never stopped trying our this and that and, above all, USING HIS EARS!

It has been an enormous task; often a burden. However, from out of the book has come a deep personal respect for the things Mr Compton and his team achieved, and having played recitals at Hull City Hall (re-build) and St Bride's (all new Compton) it is wonderful to see how the style changed with the times. The later Comptons have so much more light and considerably less dark than such as Southanmpton Guildhall.

On the wider front, organists and organ-builders contributed so much to wartime endeavour, and if A H Midgley fiddled around with bomb fuses (possibly including the bouncing bomb), the likes of Sir Bernard Lovell were deeply involved in radar.

Then along comes Maurice Forsyth-Grant, and puts his expertise into helping to found a small company working on microwave telecommunications. They called it Vodafone!

What an amazing generation! 

MM

 

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My copy of the book arrived yesterday.

With reference to Compton & the neo-Baroque revival, I've read - probably in an article in "The Organ" - that the last version of the Miniatura was conceived with a more Baroque specification.

Every Blessing

Tony

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43 minutes ago, Tony Newnham said:

My copy of the book arrived yesterday.

With reference to Compton & the neo-Baroque revival, I've read - probably in an article in "The Organ" - that the last version of the Miniatura was conceived with a more Baroque specification.

Every Blessing

Tony

I wouldn't want to question that statement....it's too early and I never argue before tea-time.  However, I think it was probably the "Augmentum" organ that went down that path, though I may be wrong.  Interestingly, when I was very young, I went to the Liverpool IAO Congress, and we were invited both the Willis works and the Rushworth & Dreaper works, at just about the time that R & D had taken over the Compton organ-building interests. They had a small 'model' organ of thir own, which clearly owed a lot to the Miniaturas, but without the gorgwous casework. Although not quite Arp Schnitger, it was quite a chirpy thing, and quite suitable for baroque music. It was around the time that R & D built the new organ at Mold PC with tracker action, and various re-builds and new instruments which were clearly influenced by the neo-classical movement.

It was 'Bach to the future' in those days, and I actually wonder if the congress attendees actually appreciated the genius behind the organ at the Anglican Cathedral, which is still one of the great organs of the world.

If I don't feed the cats, I will probably be found partially eaten. I hate mornings!

MM

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