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alan taylor

Alexandra Palace Organ

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Guest Roffensis
To reply to John Hosking:

 

Yes, I am aware of the fact that the Solo flutes (and the orchestral reeds, I think) have marked crescendi as one ascends the compass.

 

However, insofar as the comment re- the Solo versus the Choir Clarinet/ CdiB are concerned, it is as well to remember that some organists who are also competent (!) do not have the luxury of four years' acquaintance with it. I think I had one and a half hours' practice for my recital and about fifteen minutes' practice for the service playing. Apart from that, there was only the odd evening or two in several years. Naturally, I forgot/did not have time to discover many of its secrets.

 

In any case, the trick with the CdiB then ties up the Choir Organ. I would still wish to have the Solo enclosed.

 

I, too, am reasonably adept at hand-registration. My point regarding the Tuba and the Full Organ piston, was to illustrate the apparent thoughts of the incumbent organists, that Full Organ was quite adequate without the Tuba. Certainly, I found no shortage of pistons for my recital.

 

I am not convinced re- the Ophicleide. As the only Pedal Reed at any pitch, I can see no merit in being able to claim that it is the loudest Ophicleide in Christendom (well, the country!). The inescapable corollary being, surely, that it is also the least versatile.

 

So St. Asaph's new organ is not very loud, then? :)

 

Incidentally, it is not strictly accurate to term it a 'Hill' organ - surely it is Wood & Co's interpretation of a Hill organ? (I must admit I would have added 16p and 4p reeds to the GO, before I included a 32p reed on the Pedal.)

 

I thought that the Wood rebuild of St Asaph was excellent, and quite put me4 in mind of Chichester. Both in essence Hills, with the original tone preserved, but enhanced as needed. How much of St Asaph is original I dont know, but I played a while ago, and think it superb. It suits the building like a glove, and nothing about it is unmusical. Everything blends and balances, again like Chichester. Willis was never one to balance really, I recently heard a organ that I was plyaing for for years as organist recently, and going back was a revelation. The Diapason chorus was good but weak in the bass (as usual) but it was still very clear how the reeds dominated the sound, and swamped everything. As much as I respect a good Father Willis, I still maintain that Hill was a superior builder, still not perhaps as recognised as he should be even now. It is also interesting to consider how many organs have a lot of Hill in them, to mention a handful....Kings, Ely, Westminster Abbey and even York to a degree. St Asaph is a gem particularly as it isn't blown through the roof on 95" wind. If power is all that music is asbout, we all have a lot to learn methinks.

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Guest Roffensis
I love Willis organs - my idea of most fit for purpose organs to accompany anglican liturgy without rival. See my comments re. Hereford and St Michael's Tenbury elsewhere. I'd love to be able to hear a fully restored AP organ, and have also yet to experiece Truro in the flesh. But it concerns be that this messahge board above all others (event that about Worcester Cathedral which I must confess is dearer to my heart) has become just a chance to have a bitch at other people. Frankly this is boring to the rest of us and does not further the cause ofthe AP organ.

 

GIVE IT A REST !

 

 

Nothing can really further the cause of AP until it goes out to tender though. Currently it is a bit of a joke. I personally am also sickened by poor Worcester, and wonder how long it will be before Hereford is declared a "hotpotch" as it has some Gray and Davison in it. Far better to out the lot and put a 20 stop tracker job in on 1 inch wind, suspended on chains from the vault. This of course would be a sliding affair like mountain climb...so it could be used for the three choirs as well as the psalms. When not in use it could be slid away somehow, and the Willis pipework could make excellent serviette rings. I seem to recall Gloucester having some harris work, so really that should go as well, who knows whats next.

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Guest Roffensis
Thanks for the lesson.

I cannot believe that you could have read the messages from myself and Alan Taylor. or read the unofficial web site with sufficent care, to have made the above remarks.

The proposed restoration is a serious business, and I for one am not prepared to respond to someone who does not have the courage to publish their real name.

and makes offensive remarks about someone who is still working hard to realise our dream.

I suspect I know who you are, and if you wish to continue to support the organ appeal, why not write them a cheque for 1 million pounds, and I can then seek pastures new.?

This action would entitle you to a place on the Committee, and then you could tell us all where we had all gone wrong.

Colin Richell.

 

So you are admitting you have all gone wrong? rest assured I knew fully all going on with AP LONG before you was in any way involved with it, and most certainly could give you a few lessons in protocol. One thing never to do is to put on a unofficial website and publish out of context letters, that were private. That simply lets your own good self down surely, no good can possibly come of it, and it opens up doubts and hornets nests and arguments. As to your seeking pastures new, is this an admission that you are still on the committee? if so, good for you. I appluade you, but use your position to further the cause. As to my name, I am not in the least a coward, but I choose not to have my name blazened everwhere in connection with the lunacies of modern organ building. I would not want to be associated with it beyond voicing my opinion. That I am fully entitled to do, and I refrain from mudslinging anyone by name, and have not singled out anyone. Finally, yes I have thoroughly read your letters and all kinds of other stuff on your website. The fact that I am still not convinced should give a little food for thought. Some people can see what is going on.

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I think it a shame that the subject of the Alexandra Palace organ, seems to have taken a turn for the worst on this wonderful web site.

 

Just a few points to clear up. Colin Richell is not the webmaster of the Unofficial or Official web sites. Mr Richell has no control of what is published on the web sites. He is no longer a member of the appeal committee. After many years of hard work, in several senior positions, he was sacked from the appeals committee. This sacking was through no fault of his (details will be found on the unofficial web site) However, he continues to work hard in the hope that his efforts will lead to the organ being properly reconstructed. He strives whilst many, many others have given up on the project. There is certainly no call to attack Mr Richell. The appeal committee would be much better off if he was still a member of it.

 

If someone thinks that the unofficial web site is inaccurate or publishes out of context letters et al, I would, as a webmaster, be very pleased to hear from them. Then any corrections in fact could be made to the website. I would be very happy to publish any such correspondence, in full, on the website.

 

This however, The Mander website, seems to me to be the wrong place for such discussion.

 

Alan Taylor

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Guest Roffensis
I think it a shame that the subject of the Alexandra Palace organ, seems to have taken a turn for the worst on this wonderful web site.

 

Just a few points to clear up. Colin Richell is not the webmaster of the Unofficial or Official web sites. Mr Richell has no control of what is published on the web sites. He is no longer a member of the appeal committee. After many years of hard work, in several senior positions, he was sacked from the appeals committee. This sacking was through no fault of his (details will be found on the unofficial web site) However, he continues to work hard in the hope that his efforts will lead to the organ being properly reconstructed. He strives whilst many, many others have given up on the project. There is certainly no call to attack Mr Richell. The appeal committee would be much better off if he was still a member of it.

 

If someone thinks that the unofficial web site is inaccurate or publishes out of context letters et al, I would, as a webmaster, be very pleased to hear from them. Then any corrections in fact could be made to the website. I would be very happy to publish any such correspondence, in full, on the website.

 

This however, The Mander website, seems to me to be the wrong place for such discussion.

 

Alan Taylor

 

To those it may concern.

Firstly, the unofficial website is just that...unofficial. It should nt really be heeded to in the way the official site is. Furthermore, letters are private, and matters at meetings should be discussed in private, kept so, and not balazened accross a website. its unethical and its wrong. Politically, it does damage and nothing whatever to further any acause except bad feeling. Whoever published the letters should hang their heads in shame, and I should consider any letters are not their property as such, rather belonging to the actual positions they held. Imagine what would happen if private letters were published willy nilly everywhere. To actually publish anything like this must surely be illegal?????

As to the website, I see nothing of your own fundraising activities, in fact the site looks positvely stagnant and full of bitterness, and comes over very negatively. I did not single out anyone as responsible for anything, so who is the coward who will not be named now? above all, it seems tragic that this wonderful organ is the political football of those who cannot agree. Thats what committees are formed for....to discuss and hopefully agree on something. I take great exception to such unhelpful sites as the unofficial giving everything so negatively, who do you honestly consider would help after reading all that on there??

The official website publishes an excellent article by Willis 4, which everyone in doubt should read, never mind all this crazy backbiting. Everything is clear, the building frame, his regrets at pieemeal work, and so on, he never dinied anything was temporary, but even that is criticised by some elsewhere it seems. Let it be heard that when no other organ builder thought the job worth doing, willis DID, and has done sterling work to get some going, and it sounds glorious. Judge it on those merits. Now it needs to go out to tender, with willis included, and may the best man win. Immature mud slinging has no part in anything constructive, and right now you are still urging people to read them. Why? what is your gain? who will benefit? and this after all the business about the palace not wanting the organ? can you say nothinmgh helpful at all?? On principle,I am disgusted with the unofficial website and all those who run it.

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...  To actually publish anything like this must surely be illegal?????

...  I take great exception to such unhelpful sites as the unofficial giving everything so negatively, who do you honestly consider would help after reading all that on there??

... right now you are still urging people to read them. Why? what is your gain? who will benefit? and this after all the business about the palace not wanting the organ? can you say nothing helpful at all??

 

As moderator (with about 9 years' experience of keeping order in on-line bulletin boards), I do not want anyone to answer your questions here. I do not want the discussion here to develop along the lines that you are indicating. This is not the place to do so. Further posts in the same vein are likely to be deleted without warning.

 

I am not stopping you taking the discussion elsewhere: you could, for instance, start your own forum or web site devoted to this topic.

 

Moderator on behalf of Mander Organs

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So you are admitting you have all gone wrong?  ...  is this an admission that you are still on the committee?

 

As moderator, I request that participants refrain from answering these questions on this forum - by all means, take this to e-mail. This dead horse has been, in my view, sufficiently flogged here.

 

Moderator on behalf of Mander Organs

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Guest Roffensis
As moderator (with about 9 years' experience of keeping order in on-line bulletin boards), I do not want anyone to answer your questions here.  I do not want the discussion here to develop along the lines that you are indicating.  This is not the place to do so.  Further posts in the same vein are likely to be deleted without warning.

 

I am not stopping you taking the discussion elsewhere: you could, for instance, start your own forum or web site devoted to this topic.

 

Moderator on behalf of Mander Organs

 

Thats all very well, but a certain site has been indicated by another contributor elsewhere. A better solution would be to remove ALL references to what is a very controversial issue, and keep to the organ itself. I feel this site should not be used as a venue to secure political gains. As to me indicating anything, there are others who have "indicated" far more, and in more outspoken terms, than myself. Why have I been singled out?

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Guest Roffensis
If you have not already done this, you should contact local and national newspapers and television about this. [Remainder of this post by Anthony Poole deleted by Moderator, 25.5.2005]

 

 

 

I find this email posting most offensive. And for obviouis reasons.

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Guest Roffensis
Thats all very well, but a certain site has been indicated by another contributor elsewhere. A better solution would be to remove ALL references to what is a very controversial issue, and keep to the organ itself. I feel this site should not be used as a venue to secure political gains. As to me indicating anything, there are others who have "indicated" far more, and in more outspoken terms, than myself. Why have I been singled out?

Actually with hindsight I see you are not singling me out, so apologies for a brief misunderstanding on my part.

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Actually with hindsight I see you are not singling me out, so apologies for a brief misunderstanding on my part.

 

No, I didn't single you out.

 

Moderator, on behalf of Mander Organs.

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At Full Council, Mon 18 July 2005

 

Written Question 2 - To the Chair of Alexandra Park & Palace Board from Cllr Beacham

 

At its meeting in March this year, the Board heard stated and did not in any way dissent from the view that their only responsibility for the organ was to achieve the best price for it. Is this actually the view of the Board? In which case a, why is the Organ Appeal being allowed to continue to fund raise if it is to be sold-off , or can the Chair detail exactly what commitment the Board has to achieving the long-term protection and restoration of the AP organ?

 

Answer:

 

The Board has not made any decisions in relation to the Willis Organ in the Great Hall. The only comment that was made at the March meeting was in the report of the General Manager reminding the charity trustees that in considering any alternative uses for Alexandra Palace, a number of stake-holders, Including the Organ Appeal, would need to be consulted.

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What is it you wish to have clarified Richard?

 

What I have posted is a report of a question, put in writing, to a full meeting of Haringey Council. And then the reply from the Chair of the AP Trustees to the question.

 

 

Alan

 

www.alexandrapalaceorgan.com

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Guest Roffensis
What is it you wish to have clarified Richard?

 

What I have posted is a report of a question, put in writing, to a full meeting of Haringey Council. And then the reply from the Chair of the AP Trustees to the question.

Alan

 

www.alexandrapalaceorgan.com

 

 

 

Ok, so the organ is as we all know in a state of status quo. The actual uses of the hall would not be altered anyhow, and cannot. Dittto the organ, which cannot be removed. Hence the appeal continuing. I asked for clarity to simply say what the point of the meeting was? obviously nothing has changed, nor will it. Its a bit like new churchwardens really, but still the same church being run. I was delighted to hear that the organ was in very fine fettle recently, and only sorry i could not get it the recital. But i gather the organ sounded magnificent.

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Richard, I don't know where you get the idea that the use of the hall cannot change. This idea is quite wrong.

 

Read again the advice that the Trustees of the AP were given by their legal advisor. The Trustees can dispose of the organ at any time they choose.

 

As much as you like the organ, it cannot change the actual reality of the situation.

 

Alan

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Guest Roffensis
Richard, I don't know where you get the idea that the use of the hall cannot change. This idea is quite wrong.

 

Read again the advice that the Trustees of the AP were given by their legal advisor. The Trustees can dispose of the organ at any time they choose.

 

As much as you like the organ, it cannot change the actual reality of the situation.

 

Alan

No my source is right back in the original functions of the palace, which have never changed, including the organ. There have also been suggestions in the past to "out" the organ, particularly following the 1980 fire. As one who remembers well all the legal sides to the whole issue, and was in very close contact with those on the appeal, I assure you that you are worrying unecessarily. Then as now, it was status quo. I know that you and many others are glad to have the organ back in working order, even in its current reduced state. I'm glad is there and yes I do love it dearly. Very much so. There is nothing like it in the world. I have followed its fate since a small boy, some 40 years ago. In that time there has been much debate, but nothing has ever changed during that time, and people have always clamoured together when it has been even threatened. There has been many a public outcry and no doubt people would do so again if pushed, and I also know that the current political situation is a lot healthier than it has been for a very long time, and that the organ continues in use. I honestly cannot begin to see how that can ever be changed, legally or otherwise, and the organ is far from a white elephant. Just enjoy it and support it!

All best,

Richard

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Those interested in the Ally Pally Organ may like to know that The Appeal has just published 11 new sound samples from a live concert played by David Dunnett in April 2004. They comprise a couple of minutes selected from each piece.

 

We very much hope you enjoy listening to them.

 

http://www.allypallyorgan.org.uk/recordings2004.php

 

Stephen Walmsley

APOA

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Guest Roffensis
Those interested in the Ally Pally Organ may like to know that The Appeal has just published 11 new sound samples from a live concert played by David Dunnett in April 2004. They comprise a couple of minutes selected from each piece.

 

We very much hope you enjoy listening to them.

 

http://www.allypallyorgan.org.uk/recordings2004.php

 

Stephen Walmsley

APOA

 

 

Wow! well anyone who doubts the magnificence of this legend is deaf!!! When one considers also the absence of the Great Reeds and much "big stuff" the sheer ring and vigour of this job is beyond reproach. So much for not being worth restoration in the past or fit only to sell off! I don't think so somehow. I was also amazed at the wonderful soft stops, the flutes and celestes and sheer class of the pipework is very fine, typically Willis, and instantly recognisable as Ally Pally. Now, lets get the thing finished!!! Oh and I note the regulation and voicing is excellent too, well done Willis's.

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While sound samples are all very well, not everyone (and I include myself here) are not so technically up to speed on all this download stuff. No, what's really needed is a new CD of the organ as it sounds now. If said instrument truly is as wonderful as some people here say it is - and my God it better be for all the vitriol that's been sprayed left, right and centre - then a CD would be the best way to send out a message that this organ needs saving, whilst also helping to raise funds to complete the damn thing.

 

Whatever happens, all this in-fighting is SO counter-productive. Anyone with a brass farthing or two to rub together who might consider putting their hands in their pockets to save the Ally Pally organ will take one look at thie clash of egos as Rome burns, and swiftly move on.

 

Jeremy Jones

London

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Guest Roffensis
While sound samples are all very well, not everyone (and I include myself here) are not so technically up to speed on all this download stuff. No, what's really needed is a new CD of the organ as it sounds now. If said instrument truly is as wonderful as some people here say it is - and my God it better be for all the vitriol that's been sprayed left, right and centre - then a CD would be the best way to send out a message that this organ needs saving, whilst also helping to raise funds to complete the damn thing.

 

Whatever happens, all this in-fighting is SO counter-productive. Anyone with a brass farthing or two to rub together who might consider putting their hands in their pockets to save the Ally Pally organ will take one look at thie clash of egos as Rome burns, and swiftly move on.

 

Jeremy Jones

London

 

I quite agree, and well said. There is no denying that a CD of the organ, with a programme selected to show it off would be an excellent idea and would doubtless renew still further interest in it. To date all we have had are rehashes of old 78 recordings, as if to say that's all there is of it. I recall a "modern"cassette of it also, but the programme was not terribly exciting and essentially "poppy"and the organ had only just been reopened, with a whole lot less on it then stopwise. I have felt for some time that it would be good to record some of the pieces recorded historically on it. I think that might be tatalising. Of course money is the major problem no doubt, and some cathedrals even struggle with recordings given other costs. In the case of Ally Pally it really needs a good sympathetic record company to come forward and see the virtue in the cause, and ,well, who knows.....and I have to add that the appeal is a charity. Companies can write off Tax through donations to charities.

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Two obvious recent examples of fund-raising CDs were that released by Peterborough Cathedral following the recent fire and the 2CD set released on the RLPO Live label of the organ in St George's Hall, Liverpool played by Christopher Dearnley (early 1980s provenance) and Ian Tracey (some 10 years later). Both CDs raised awareness of the situation by reminding what could be lost, whilst at the same time being a useful fund-raising tool.

 

If the Ally Pally combatants could lay down their arms long enough to work together to produce something similiar, wonders would never cease!

 

Jeremy Jones

London

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No my source is right back in the original functions of the palace, which have never changed, including the organ. There have also been suggestions in the past to "out" the organ, particularly following the 1980 fire. As one who remembers well all the legal sides to the whole issue, and was in very close contact with those on the appeal, I assure you that you are worrying unecessarily. Then as now, it was status quo. I know that you and many others are glad to have the organ back in working order, even in its current reduced state. I'm glad is there and yes I do love it dearly. Very much so. There is nothing like it in the world. I have followed its fate since a small boy, some 40 years ago. In that time there has been much debate, but nothing has ever changed during that time, and people have always clamoured together when it has been even threatened. There has been many a public outcry and no doubt people would do so again if pushed, and I also know that the current political situation is a lot healthier than it has been for a very long time, and that the organ continues in use. I honestly cannot begin to see how that can ever be changed, legally or otherwise, and the organ is far from a white elephant. Just enjoy it and support it!

All best,

Richard

 

 

It is a fair few years since I studied Constitutional Law but I do seem to recall that (1) the supreme law maker is Parliament (or the Queen in Parliament if you so wish) and (2) "one Parliament cannot bind its successors". It follows that a legal status conferred by one Parliament can be removed by a subsequent Parliament. While there are some fairly obvious real world restrictions on this - statutes conferring independence on former colonies can hardly realistically be reversed (at least without going to war first to grab the land back) , these would hardly seem to apply to a statute which confers power on some emanation of a local community within England to do something , such as, for example, to build and run the Alexandra Palace. Therefore, whilst it may very well be the case that the EXISTING legislative framework(and I am so unfamiliar with the basic facts that I am not even aware if a private Act of Parliament is the source of the powers though that would have been usual for the period) effectively prevents any schemes to "out" the organ, what is the basis for the belief that it is not possible to have a NEW legislative framework which permits this to be done? Given the various arguments I recall about the legal efficacy of schemes to "entrench" constitutional rights , it seems astounding that nobody was aware that this problem had been effectively solved in the middle of Victoria's reign ! [Exactly the same holds true if interlocking covenants rather than legislation are the source of the power to set up and operate the Palace. These can equally well be overturned by legislation.] And while I seem to have a hazy recollection that there are conventional restraints on the exercise of Parliamentary Supremacy in such situations, it would surely not be beyond imagining that a government prepared to abolish the centuries old office of Lord Chancellor would not lose too much sleep about ignoring or overriding these.

 

On a positive note, I think a CD of the organ as it is now would be an excellent idea and I would certainly buy a copy. My understanding is that it is not the costs of producing a CD which are the problem, especially if you "own" the venue, have an artist who will donate his or her services and stick to music which is out of copyright: rather it is the costs of MARKETING which frequently prove prohibitive, since there is no guarantee that the campaign,however well conceived and executed, will actually produce the required sales. It would be interesting to know if anyone has any idea of how many units (= individual CDs) would need to be sold and at what price to make such a project financially viable.

 

Regards,

 

BAC

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Guest Roffensis
It is a fair few years since I studied Constitutional Law but I do seem to recall that (1) the supreme law maker is Parliament (or the Queen in Parliament if you so wish) and (2) "one Parliament cannot bind its successors". It follows that a legal status conferred by one Parliament can be removed by a subsequent Parliament. While there are some fairly obvious real world restrictions on this - statutes conferring independence on former colonies can hardly realistically be reversed (at least without going to war first to grab the land back) , these would hardly seem to apply to a statute which confers power on some emanation of a local community within England  to do something , such as, for example, to build and run the Alexandra Palace. Therefore, whilst it may very well be the case that the EXISTING legislative framework(and I am so unfamiliar with the basic facts that I am not even aware if a private Act of Parliament is the source of the powers though that would have been usual for the period) effectively prevents any schemes to "out" the organ, what is the basis for the belief that it is not possible to have a NEW legislative framework which permits this to be done? Given the various arguments I recall about the legal efficacy of schemes to "entrench" constitutional rights , it seems astounding that nobody was aware that this problem had been effectively solved in the middle of Victoria's reign ! [Exactly the same holds true if interlocking covenants rather than legislation are the source of the power to set up and operate the Palace. These can equally well be overturned by legislation.]  And while I seem to have a hazy recollection that there are conventional restraints on the exercise of Parliamentary Supremacy in such situations, it would surely not be beyond imagining that a government prepared to abolish the centuries old office of Lord Chancellor would not lose too much sleep about ignoring or overriding these.

 

On a positive note, I think a CD of the organ as it is now would be an excellent idea and I would certainly buy a copy. My understanding is that it is not the costs of producing a CD which are the problem, especially if you "own" the venue, have an artist who will donate his or her  services and stick to music which is out of copyright: rather it is the costs of MARKETING which frequently prove prohibitive, since there is no guarantee that the campaign,however well conceived and executed,  will actually produce the required  sales. It would be interesting to know if anyone has any idea of how many units (= individual CDs) would need to be sold and at what price to make such a project financially viable.

 

Regards,

 

BAC

 

 

I think the thing about altering past acts is that is Hilda Gumbaggage leaves a plot of land to the people of Bishops Toenail "for ever" that it cannot be altered. The Ally pally was I think, for the people, a peoples palace, for ever. As to the Cd, the other one sold well of the old 78s on Mirabilis. That says something i guess.

All best,

R

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