Sunday, March 9, 2008
Since I had fun (sick, huh?) ripping that Previn recording last night, this morning I decided to do the same with one of the oddest records in my collection. Found this for 50 cents at one of the Portland record shops, and it's something you wouldn't really find anywhere but in a dollar bin. It's put out by HiFirecordings that was some label on Sunset Blvd. in the 50s or 60s. I don't know the exact year this is put out, and I can't really find much information (save for two links that reference the record at the end of this post). But you really have no reason to download this unless you want to listen to carnival music, which, let's face it: would be weird. Scanned and assembled the LP cover in photoshop again as well. It's pretty funny record though, and if you ever find yourself throwing a carnival or something, well then here ya go. The liner notes are the best thing ever, so I will include them again this time:
Dutch Band Organ is different!
All Band Organs are a "gas," quaintly tootling and twittering away, but this Dutch variety is even more so. You have heard Band Organs in carnivals, circuses and fairs. The picture on the front cover will remind you. The straightforward melodies, crazy arrangements and frequent "clams" are nostalgic, taking you back to the fun days of your youth.
In Holland, a Band Organ is a thing of achievement. There are lots of them and the builders take much pride in outdoing each other. The particular instrument recorded here is the Pride Of Amsterdam, the best of them all!
The process of making the music is interesting. After selecting tunes for this album, the list was sent to a roll maker who cuts by hand the appropriate holes in paper rolls which actuate the notes of the instrument as the roll progresses over a tracker, something like an ordinary player piano. The roll cutter in this case, incidentally, is a prominent Amsterdam attorney who cuts rolls as a hobby (try that one!).
After cutting, the rolls were played on the Band Organ in a live room for the best sound. By the way, stereo recording equipment included Neumann microphones and the best of other European recording gear, all of which is PLENTY good.
The very original adaptations and arrangements of the tunes played is remindful of the difference between domestic and imported Dutch beer. Anyway, make yourself comfortable for listening, put this album on your player and you will soon get the idea and want to listen over and over again!
Here are two links that reference the record in Mechanical Music Digest:
Dutch Band Organ (1995)
Recordings Of Fairground, Band, And Dance Organs (2007)
AND OF COURSE: