PipeChat Digest #499 - Wednesday, August 26, 1998
Re: Kilgen organ & Scott Foppiano's note.
  by <ScottFop@aol.com>
Wilma Jensen
  by "Dave Pitzer" <dpitzer@sonic.net>
A review: Dennis James and Harold Lloyd
  by "Wildhirt, Richard" <Richard.Wildhirt@PSS.Boeing.com>
  by "krumet" <krumet@worldnet.att.net>
Re: Hello
  by "krumet" <krumet@worldnet.att.net>
  by "krumet" <krumet@worldnet.att.net>

(back) Subject: Re: Kilgen organ & Scott Foppiano's note. From: <ScottFop@aol.com> Date: Tue, 25 Aug 1998 07:38:31 EDT   In a message dated 8/25/98 1:58:55 AM Eastern Daylight Time, aeolian@sunvalley.net writes:   << A friend is an organist for a church in Philadelphia that had the exact same problem. The organ is a 3/40something Kilgen with PLENTY of pedal and 8' tone. The organ sounded somewhat "sloppy", and when we temporarily raised the wind pressures on all divisions, the organ came to life with a vengeance! What a thrill it was to hear those tremendous great diapasons and TWO open pedal diapasons at their true wind pressures! The reeds were, of course the real treat. >>   And we are experiencing the EXACT same thing here at the Shrine. One thing I forgot to mention is that the man I named in my previous post, who was on the installation team and who regulated the reeds for the Kilgen, told me that a "refined installation" simply was not possible due to the lack of time they had on site. Because of the huge number of installations that hit them (Kilgen) during those years, since St. pat's had set a precidence in many Roman Parishes throughout the country, they simply did not have the time to fully voice every pipe, adjust and regulate wind pressures throughout, adjust trems etc etc etc. The name of the game was: throw it in, get it playing, tune it and get to the next job (much like theatre organs in the preceeding years).   And through the years, the Shrine's organ has been described exactly as above- "sloppy," lathargic and, worst of all- BURIED. Well- we now know why.   Two weeks ago we temporarily brought up the pressures to hear what they would sound like. They were not permanently adjusted at that time due to the fact that we had to order springs and weights.   But what we heard was nothing short of miraculous. The organ, literally- came to life with a vengeance (sound familiar???) The flues became "full throated and very well harmonically developed and the reeds, oh the reeds- well- they were not the same reeds. The Great reeds, which had been descrobed as "three ranks of halloween horns" suddenly became a true chorus of 16 Double Trumpet, 8 Tromba and 4 Clarion. the Open Woods and Bourdons blossomed and developed and gave the organ a bottom end and "support" that it never had and the presence of the overall instrument in the rotunda was vastly and beautifully improved. (Remember- the main divisions speak through gallery arches that are a bit deep, not excessively but enough to bring the sound "back" from the ears of thise on the main floor.)   Anyway- the Choir pressures were brought up last week. Tomorrow (Wednesday) the Swell and Great pedal offsets and Great Main will be brought up and the Swell main chests when the new springs arrive. I will keep everyone posted of the progress but I will finish with this: the organ is NOT, by any means, anywhere NEAR the same instrument it was when I auditioned here in April and May!   Scott Foppiano  
(back) Subject: Wilma Jensen From: Dave Pitzer <dpitzer@sonic.net> Date: Tue, 25 Aug 1998 04:53:45 -0700   Seeing Wilmas Jensen's name brings back some fond memories. I was a high school student (this was 30 years ago!) and she was the organist at the 1st Methodist Church in Westfield, N.J. The church had a brand new 3m Aeolian-Skinner Organ (35 ranks??)   Wilma used to allow a freind and I play on weekdays after school and even crawl through the chambers to see what actually made the sound. Apparently my friend and I were well behaved since she finally gave us the combination to the console lock. Many times my friend and I would sit up on the tuning walkway in the Great division while she paractied. What a glorious noise!! I attended several of he recitals. As far as I know this may have been her first "post". Like myself, she was much younger.   Those were pivotal days in my life. Nice memories of Wilma and very fond memories of my friend. Ah, Sweet Bird of Youth!   Dave Pitzer Sonoma, California      
(back) Subject: A review: Dennis James and Harold Lloyd From: "Wildhirt, Richard" <Richard.Wildhirt@PSS.Boeing.com> Date: Tue, 25 Aug 1998 07:46:32 -0700   The hot spot in Seattle last night was at the Paramount, where Dennis James provided organ accompaniment for Harold Lloyd's "Safety Last." This was the third in a series of Silent Movie Mondays to celebrate the newly renovated 4/20 Wurlitzer Publix 1. Last Monday, Charlie Chaplin and "The Gold Rush" was shown, and on 10 August, "The General" with Buster Keaton was the featured flick.   It was a fantastic evening. I arrived just after 7 p.m. PDT, early enough to cruise around and admire this beautifully restored theatre. What a place! At over 3,000 seats, it provides an adequate venue for many big name performers and lavish productions. For this event, I'd say the place was half-full, and there was a strong contingent of those with no gray hair!   Dennis had a Q&A session at 7:15, and then took a short break before beginning his pre-show music at 7:45. At this point, I felt like I was back in the mid-1920's. Dennis was in character as he donned an actual pair of Harold Lloyd glasses and played tunes of the day. At 8, the house lights dimmed, the crowd cheered and clapped, and we began the sing-along. Dennis did a great job of leading us singers who were unfamiliar with those old songs.   During one of the songs, an unexpected cipher occurred. It wasn't a quiet rank, either. It was on the high end of the Vox Humana. Dennis just stopped, explained what was happening, and through the grill we could see the lights come on and the competent technician from Balcom and Vaughn take care of the problem. We resumed singing as if nothing had gone wrong.   The short feature on the program was Laurel and Hardy's "Two Tars." Dennis said that after extensive research, he has been unable to find a score or cue sheet for this movie. He demonstrated his masterful technique of improvisation so much that it seemed that the music and the film were one. Fascinating. It was easy to see why silent movie accompaniment is Dennis James's specialty.   Intermission was supposed to be 15 minutes, but it was actually 20, and then Dennis returned to the stage to talk. He explained that this was unplanned filler to allow the projectionists to make some adjustments. You see, the copy of "Safety Last" was an archived copy from UCLA. It was in top condition--one of the copies that other copies are made from. And until the dawn of "talkies," there was no standard frame size on the film. Dennis explained that the projectionists were working to file an aperture plate so that the audience did not miss the outer sides of the image, space on the film that was later occupied by sound track when a standard was developed.   For me, this was my first time seeing a silent movie in a theater that was built for this purpose. It was also my first time experiencing a theatre organ in a theater--and this is an original installation, not a transplant. What a sound! Incredible stereo separation. From the quietest to the loudest passages, the room was filled with music. Before last night, I had only seen silent shorts in pizza parlors. Now I know what it must've been like back in the 20's. Incredible.   "Safety Last" has four reels, each lasting about 20 minutes. The first three went off without a hitch. When the fourth began, I noticed that the image was backwards from the picture that was in the program. I paid it no mind until the first subtitle came up--backwards! The film had been threaded through the projector backwards! Immediately the screen went blank, presumably so the problem could be fixed. However, Dennis never missed a beat. He kept playing as if nothing had happened.   Then what happened I believe Dennis nor the audience will never forget. Someone in the audience, possibly a guy who came directly to the theater from his downtown office without a stop at home to empty his pockets, pointed one of those red laser pointers on the screen. The red dot started bouncing up and down in time with the music. Dennis caught on and played right along. As this comical exchange proceeded, it was becoming plain that the red laser dot was controlling the tempo and not Dennis! Fast to slow to fast to slow, Dennis "followed the bouncing ball." Suddenly, the dot started moving REALLY fast and Dennis broke into a rapid piece, characteristic of a silent movie chase scene. During this whole sequence, the audience was in stitches. I has tears in my eyes from laughing so hard. Then the movie returned, Dennis got a thunderous applause, and the image was corrected.   At the conclusion of the evening, Dennis took three curtain calls to an enthusiastic crowd on their feet. What a fantastic performer and a fun evening.   In the program was a survey asking for our reaction to the movie, our desire to see more, would we attend, etc., etc., etc. Before the program began, Dennis informed us that the Paramount management has, based on audience response from the previous two Silent Movie Mondays, committed to doing more of these silent movies. It is cause for rejoicing to see theatre management support this type of entertainment, and to see the general public be so enthralled by something 60 years old.   The theatre organ is alive and well in Seattle! Wurlitzer forever! ____________________________________ Fac ut vivas. Rich Wildhirt Renton/Seattle Project Management & Integration Planning The Boeing Company (425) 234-8051  
(back) Subject: Hello From: "krumet" <krumet@worldnet.att.net> Date: Tue, 25 Aug 1998 18:07:39 -0400   It was suggested to me by a very dear friend that I let the members of pipechat know about my web site.   There are those who might find it interesting--or not! :)     Clare  
(back) Subject: Re: Hello From: "krumet" <krumet@worldnet.att.net> Date: Tue, 25 Aug 1998 18:09:58 -0400     ---------- > From: krumet <krumet@worldnet.att.net> > To: pipechat@pipechat.org > Subject: Hello > Date: Tuesday, August 25, 1998 6:07 PM > > It was suggested to me by a very dear friend that I let the members of > pipechat know about my web site. > > There are those who might find it interesting--or not! :) > > > Clare http://home.att.net/~krumet     > "Pipe Up and Be Heard!" > PipeChat: A discussion List for pipe/digital organs & related topics > HOMEPAGE : http://www.pipechat.org > List: mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org > Administration: mailto:admin@pipechat.org > Subscribe/Unsubscribe: mailto:requests@pipechat.org  
(back) Subject: sorry---:( From: "krumet" <krumet@worldnet.att.net> Date: Tue, 25 Aug 1998 18:12:04 -0400   Sorry for the double messages---I neglected to include the major reason for my first posting---that of my URL.   http://home.att.net/~krumet   Thank you,   Clare