Viscount Organs http://viscountorgans.net The UK's leading Digital Church Organ specialist Sat, 04 Jul 2015 09:36:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Tony, a Regent 356 customer shares his experiences. http://viscountorgans.net/tony-a-regent-356-customer-shares-his-experiences/ http://viscountorgans.net/tony-a-regent-356-customer-shares-his-experiences/#comments Sat, 04 Jul 2015 08:02:27 +0000 http://viscountorgans.net/?p=3393 Tony at his instrument

Tony would be delighted to welcome organists contemplating the purchase of a Viscount to explore his home installation. If you are interested to do this please first call Viscount to be given Tony’s contact information.

I have wanted for some time now to share my experience in purchasing a new organ for my home use. I was concerned that any such attempt could be interpreted as  over enthusiasm for a particular supplier rather than well-informed decision made on my part. I hope I have achieved this.

While thinking about this I realised that there might well be a lot of people out there who could benefit from sharing this experience so here goes. I’ve also realised that this experience is of relevance not just to home-owners but churches and other musical establishments.

What motivated this journey? I’ve always loved church and organ music but being self-taught and not particularly good felt it necessary to be able to practice on my own and not make others suffer.

What sort of organ do I want? Well I wanted one that sounded, touched and felt just like a full-size pipe organ that I have had the privilege to play and experience a few times in my life. I wanted a wide range of stops but also had a liking for the many schools of music and resulting organ designs and voicing. I wanted three manuals and a full-size pedal board. I wanted the normal playing aids you find on a larger instrument such as toe and thumb pistons. Despite this rather grand desire my experience which would like to share with you is just as applicable whether it’s one or four manuals and whether it’s 10 or 50 stops.

The first choice might well have been a pipe organ but as usual there are constraints. In my case I still wanted to be able to live in my house rather than in an organ chamber. Like churches and other establishments I had financial constraints. I could perhaps buy a very modest one manual and 10 stop pipe organ but then I wanted to experience a wide ranging spectrum of music and sound.

One choice only then was a pipe less organ with the benefit of size and cost of ownership.

Only then did the journey begin. The first stumbling block was the limitation of the packages provided by suppliers. I would find an instrument that had enough stops and playing aids but if I wanted internal speakers then I had to choose another range. If I finally accepted a model with external speakers then there were generally none in the console so I had to have enough external ones to do a reasonable job. I then found that I was frequently required to have a certain number of speakers regardless of the space I had. I was offered a compact solution where the entire speaker units could be compressed into fewer cabinets but this had the problem of acoustic interference between the different speakers and restricted sound picture.

I felt I had no choice but to go down the custom-built route but the prices quoted were daunting and beyond my pocket as it is for most small churches.

Most suppliers could provide multiple voicing and as an extra additional voices, or replacement voices. With most suppliers extra voices and some playing aids were often optional extras at additional cost.

I wondered why I could not plug and play and get an organ that fitted my requirements but had a better price.

On a whim of fancy contacted Viscount and did not expect other than the standard answers that I had elsewhere. To my surprise my initial questions were answered with “yes we can do that”. I was suspicious at first but my first contact with the technical manager who is also the service manager explained why this might be possible.

I now realise that the Viscount range of organs gets as near as it can to buying a custom model but off-the-shelf. This is why the cost can be so attractive and you can buy one instrument and get it to do what you want, rather than having to choose from a range of models or resorting to a custom-built one.

Alternative voiceSo what is so special about the Viscount range of organs especially within the Regent range? Yes you have the typical four different voicing’s as with other suppliers but when you open the box you immediately find you’ve got so much more. For each voice the organ comes with a range of 40 alternative voices per stop.

 

Voicing parametersIf that’s not good enough for you then you can change the voicing of each of those stops infinitely. You can alter the scale and make it stringier or more like a flute. You can vary the wind pressure, attack and you can vary the way the reeds speak. You can vary the way the organ responds to multiple pipes opening on the same wind chest.

 

Now don’t panic you don’t need to set this up yourself, the excellent installation team will do it all for you. They begin by listening to and quite happily discussing your requirements and any constraints you may have. They identify the model and speaker arrangement that will suit you. On the installation day they make certain that it is set up just as you wanted. Once you get confident with the instrument as I feel I have there is much more to gain. Exploring this wide range of tailoring that is at your fingertips on the console or plugged in computer can be very rewarding. Every voice, thumb and toe piston is configurable and even groups of settings can be managed separately.

Does this configurability then have more surprises up its sleeve? I could not believe it because it most certainly does. Most organs from alternative suppliers as I’ve already said either had internal or external speakers. If you had external speakers then you had to have the number of channels they decided. It also seemed that you had to accept on the standard models and whatever stops were sent to whichever channels. Not on the Viscount.

Combined cuspWe are all familiar with looking at the external displays on pipe organs with you start with large pipes reducing to small in the middle rising to big pipes at the edge often known as a cusp. The cusp can be inverted and even be a double one. Quite common in concert halls are rows pipes tapering from one side or the other. In any organ these pipes and the chest they are mounted can be set at different heights above the ground. Such pipes such as fanfare trumpets are often mounted in a particularly dominant position generally centre of organ. Would you believe it with whatever speaker setup you’ve got you can create the effects above with surprising ease? These displays show the sound being spread between 4 speakers in two different acoustic patterns.

 

 

 

Speakers marked upIn my case speakers are set up in simple stereo pairs stacked three high and when you set up a typical cusp the sound of each pipe moves in a picture created between the two chosen speakers just as you would experience standing in front of a row pipes. If you have the space such as in a church or concert hall then a horizontal row speakers can be put in place and then the resulting sound moves seamlessly across that whole row. Having different rows or pairs of speakers at different heights enables the creation of everything the makes a pipe organ so special. A distinct positive or choir section low down behind or with the player, a brilliant read section topping the organ, pedal towers nestling either side of the organ and the great and swell speaking from across the whole breadth of the instrument but at different heights.

So what of the sound it produces? Yes without being this being good all of the tailoring above would be worthless. I will explain below why this sound production is so good through state-of-the-art technology.

In my time I’ve owned a pipe organ, a Compton organ with tone wheel sound generation in the early 60s and from the 70s a second-hand electronic church organ with sounds produced by all sorts of circuitry including oscillators and sound varying circuits.

I had watched with interest the emerging world of digital organs but had not really understood these as much as I perhaps should. In my investigations I understood these better. Almost all manufacturers rely on sound sampling or CD like clips of sounds from individual stops. To make the organs affordable the sound clips are often kept very short and therefore repeated as notes are kept pressed. These clips are reused for different pitches through in built technology. The sound is therefore arguably not very lifelike. Just like going to a concert hall to hear an orchestra play a piece of music and then have the conductor switch on a CD which gives you the same performance each time. On a pipe organ if two pipes are played at the same time on the same wind chest as opposed to a single pipe being played then the resultant sound is subtly different every time. On sound sampled instruments the sounding of any one pipe will be pretty much the same whether played singly or in combination and other pitches derived from the same source will sound basically the same.

So what makes the Viscount so special? Well instead of the sound being canned a physical model is held enabling each pipe to be recreated as if it existed. It is this model that is then turned into the characteristic of a pipe. The resultant sound from many such pipes emulates exactly what a pipe organ would do with many pipes on the same wind chest. The only way Viscount could go any further would be to use the physical model to drive engineering equipment to produce the pipe and then put wind through it but then the cost would be horrendous just like a pipe organ.

Euphemistically modern pipe less organs are generally referred to as digital. To therefore refer to a Viscount organ as being simply digital is about as misleading as referring to a Dyson vacuum cleaner as a hoover.

As a result of the sound being produced on the spot combined with the ability to route the sound to the best combination of speakers gives clarity of sound that I have not found matched. The brilliance of that sound from the softest and most delicate flutes to the most brilliant and strident of reeds must be heard to be believed. The sound of each reed is produced in the context of everything else that is happening at the time and brings the subtle vagaries of such stops to the fore which has given the pipe organ until now its uniqueness. The sound from full choruses is chilling and just like the real thing as recent concerts have demonstrated. I heard with pride a storey that a cathedral organist where a model like mine had been installed as a temporary measure came into the building one day and believed the actual pipe organ was playing.

The playing aids are of great benefit to players of all capabilities. The usual couplers are provided through thumb piston and toe piston, combinations are available from a similar set of pistons with the ability to remember different user settings. The French like ventals enabling the control of all reads and mixtures, programmable foot pedals enabling full enclosure or divisional enclosure plus full crescendo options complete the picture.

If a church or similar establishment has an organist with limited capability then an automatic bass is provided. Should an organist not be available then a previous performance of any piece required can be recreated not just through a recording but through an inbuilt midi player which recreates the performance as if the organist was present. Such performances can even be transferred to other installations and recordings likewise made. For those that enjoy it the organ has also wide range of orchestral effects. If you want a Hammond organ, if you want chimes, if you want a human chorus or would like to own a piano or harpsichord then these organs can do that all for you including the provision of sustain pedal. The controls for these are on a discreet panel leaving the rest of the organ for the purist being the best disposition of any pipe organ you could wish to meet.

Bach supposedly said the most important stop on an organ is the building or room as the American’s say. So what can the Viscount offer? What is called rather misleadingly named reverberation in the set-up menu is there to surprise you.  Even this is configurable from the blandest Chapel via a Basilica to a massive Cathedral. Even the dryness of the echo can be altered to emulate sound bouncing around a lofty and capacious building with the inevitable delay in the sound reaching the ear.

Bach was a prime mover in well-tempered tuning but the Viscount supports a myriad of temperaments such as mean tone via 16 more including Silbermann who was both friend and foe of Bach. This different temperaments  enable authentic historic performance or the accompaniment of period instruments.

So again the tailor-ability of the Viscount range means you can have almost any organ you want in any building supplied off-the-shelf and set up on site to your requirement. From a basic range of three models giving rocking tablet stops, simulated drawer stops or full motorised stops you only then have to choose the number of manuals and off you go. This is why the cost is so low as from one simple range you can create almost any organ you want rather than choose one from the many ranges or limited ranges other suppliers provide. You can have whatever combination of speakers you want including massive bass one’s if your budget and space allows. All of your settings and recordings can be archived and stored on external media. In the unlikely event you ever get tired of the current setup either you as the user or the supplier can come in and change it for you. The instrument can be upgraded or actually reduced in size should you wish for whatever reason. More speakers can be added and any enhancement realised by the manufacturing factory is sent out as a free upgrade enabling you to keep up with the state-of-the-art and no further cost.

The price of any solution may to some seem rather low and especially to churches where they are perhaps conditioned to expect to pay much more. The well designed and simple range is totally computer driven and tailorable to meet almost any requirement and at any time upgradable so consequently this brings the cost down considerably. You do not have to choose a model that gives you what you want, you choose what you want and the model can be configured to give you what you want and at the right cost.

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Recital St Mary’s Witney Saturday July 18th 7.30pm http://viscountorgans.net/recital-st-marys-witney-saturday-july-18th-7-30pm/ http://viscountorgans.net/recital-st-marys-witney-saturday-july-18th-7-30pm/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 15:27:43 +0000 http://viscountorgans.net/?p=5403 Organist Francis Rumsey is putting on another interesting programme on our new instrument at St Mary’s Witney. To find out more about the organ and the installation CLICK HERE

Witney recital poster 18_7_15_jpeg

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Merrylea Parish Church Recital – Sun 5 Jul 15 http://viscountorgans.net/merrylea-parish-church-recital-sun-5-jul-15/ http://viscountorgans.net/merrylea-parish-church-recital-sun-5-jul-15/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 10:07:21 +0000 http://viscountorgans.net/?p=5347 The next recital at Merrylea Parish Church is going to be on Sunday 5 July 2015.

The church is in the heart of the south side of Glasgow and serves the communities of Newlands, Merrylee, Giffnock and Cathcart. Admission for the recital is free, however a retiring offering will be gratefully received in aid of The Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice ‘Brick by Brick’ Appeal. (Scottish Charity Registration No. SC004016)

The recital will begin at 2:30pm and will run for 45 to 50minutes. You will hear players Peter Christie and John Burnett (and includes Organ and Piano duets).

The recital programme will include the following:

Merrylea Church Recital programme - Jul 15

For more information, please contact the church directly on 0141 637 6700 or by email on info@merryleaparishchurch.org.uk.

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[Jonathan Kingston] Music Tutorial Series – Concerto in G Johann Ernst http://viscountorgans.net/jonathan-kingston-music-tutorial-series-concerto-in-g-johann-ernst/ http://viscountorgans.net/jonathan-kingston-music-tutorial-series-concerto-in-g-johann-ernst/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 16:27:48 +0000 http://viscountorgans.net/?p=5311 [This is a series where we share short tutorials on a range of different pieces introduced and played by our colleague Jonathan Kingston, on our Viscount Organs. ]

In this edition of the series, we bring you the first movement of a violing concerto by Ernst transcribed for organ by J S Bach. Ernst was also Duke of Weimar the city where Bach lived and worked.  Ernst was apparently an alcoholic but there is no sense of this in this short piece which sticks rigidly to the form of the day. Jonathan plays this on our  Envoy 35-F We hope that you find this piece a worthwhile addition to your library and enjoy the tips that Jonathan provides for it’s performance.

View the video tutorial here

Download the Chelase Fayre Score

Download the midi file

 

 

 

 

If you would like to watch the video tutorial right now – here it is:

More About Jonathan Kingston’s Musical Background

Jonathan Kingston

Jonathan studied the organ with Professor Ian Tracey and Ian Wells of Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral, home to one of the largest pipe organs in the world. He was appointed Organ Scholar, and subsequently Sub-Organist to Bradford Cathedral before securing positions as Assistant Director and Director of Music at two leading independent schools. He is currently Associate Director of Music at the Ordinariate Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Piccadilly.

Jonathan’s Work With Viscount

I am pleased to have Jonathan working with us – he covers several areas from sales, demonstrations, voicing of instruments and performing. His playing features on the current promotional DVD material for Viscount, and he would be very pleased to hear from any churches or individuals requiring an engaging and lively recitalist. If you would like to connect with Jonathan directly, please feel free to follow him on Twitter (@jonkingston) or by email on jonkingston@hotmail.co.uk.

More About the Organ Being Played In This Tutorial

Jonathan plays this piece on our very own Envoy 35-F  This is  a 35 speaking stop 2 manual instrument. It is based on the very successful physical modelling ‘Physis’ sound technology used in all Envoy and Regent instruments. This particular instrument has  35 stops in a real wood veneer cabinet. It  has a internal library of over 500 alternative voice samples allowing the user to create  totally individual voice pallets from classic English through Baroque and Romantic. For more information have a look at its specifications here.

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Selby Abbey Organ Recitals in association with Viscount http://viscountorgans.net/selby-abbey-organ-recitals-in-association-with-viscount/ http://viscountorgans.net/selby-abbey-organ-recitals-in-association-with-viscount/#comments Mon, 22 Jun 2015 15:25:26 +0000 http://viscountorgans.net/?p=5223 Viscount Regent 356

Viscount Regent 356

We are pleased to announce that this summer we have arranged, in conjunction with Selby Abbey Trust, to host a number of Celebrity Organ recitals played on their spectacular Viscount Regent 356 digital organ. (We installed the organ in Sept 2014).

Our organ will be installed while the historic William Hill organ undergoes restoration by Principal Pipe Organs of York. All proceeds of these recitals will go towards the Organ Appeal. Tickets are free, but a retiring collection will be gratefully received.

This prestigious series of concerts will feature cathedral and concert organists from the UK and from Europe who are among the most distinguished performers in the world.

The recitals will be at lunchtime (12:30pm) at Selby Abbey and the line up of players will be as follows:

July 7               Dr Roger Tebbet                  (from Selby Abbey)
July 14             Joshua Stephens                (from Manchester)
July 21             Dr Franz Hauk                     (from Ingolstadt Minster)
July 28            Paul Parsons                        (from Pontigny Abbey)
Aug 4               Paul Hale                             (from Southwell Minster)
Aug 11             Jan van Mol                         (from Antwerp)
Aug 18            Michael Overbury                 (from Newark)
Aug 25            D’Arcy Trinkwon                   (from Worth Abbey)
Sep 1               John Scott Whiteley             (from York)

Here is an insight into the amazing musicians which you will be able to hear play. If you want to learn more about each player and their recital programme – just click their picture below:

Dr Roger Tebbet, organist

Joshua Stephens

Dr Franz Hauk, organist

Paul Parsons, organist

Paul Hale, organist

Jan van Mol, organist

Michael Overbury, organist

D'Arcy Trinkwon, organist

John Scott Whiteley, organist

To find out more please contact me on 01869 247 333, drop me an email on enquiries@viscountorgans.net or direct message me on Twitter.

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Selby Abbey – Recording John Scott Whiteley and D’Arcy Trinkwon http://viscountorgans.net/selby-abbey-recording-john-scott-whiteley-and-darcy-trinkwon/ http://viscountorgans.net/selby-abbey-recording-john-scott-whiteley-and-darcy-trinkwon/#comments Mon, 22 Jun 2015 10:31:03 +0000 http://viscountorgans.net/?p=4896 In September 2014 we were very pleased to be asked to install our Regent 356 instrument at the breathtaking Selby Abbey (read more about that here). Eight months later we were back to make some musical magic!

After having cast my vote at 7.00am (7 May 2015),  a time I am not usually even awake, I had an easy drive up the M1 arriving at Selby by just 9.45am, much of the journey time spent wondering why on earth we had picked Election Day to start this project.

The Abbey had very kindly agreed to close to all visitors so this very special gesture and all the usual service bookings had limited our choice of dates. By the time we had found 2 consecutive days available the fact that one was the Election Day had completely escaped us.

We have of course made DVD’s in the past but not on this scale.

On walking into the Abbey the scene was busy! We had 3 tripod cameras set up, one of these on railway tracks for smooth movement of the shot angle. We also had 4 mini cams, no more than the size of matchboxes, that could be fixed to the organ console and take detail shots of hand and footwork on the pedalboard, a mass of lighting and of course sound equipment. By 11.30 we were ready for the first takes.

Camera crew preparing, audio desk

Our 2 performers could hardly have been more different…

Mr John Scott Whiteley

Mr John Scott Whiteley

John Scott Whiteley, is Organist Emeritus of York Minster. He worked at that great cathedral from 1975 until 2010 when he retired from the Minster in order to pursue his freelance career. During the past ten years he has become well-known for his performances on BBC2 and BBC4 television of the complete organ music of Johann Sebastian Bach.  21st-Century Bach was a joint commission by BBC2 and BBC4 and began in 2001. The series continues and is planned to run for several more years, after which time some eighty programmes will have covered Bach’s entire output for organ. The series was described by the British daily national newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, as “a triumph both nationally and musically.”

John is an exceptionally neat and controlled musician, perhaps driven by the style of Bach on whose music he is such an expert on.

D'Arcy Trinkwon, concert organist

Mr D’Arcy Trinkwon

Our other recitalist, D’Arcy Trinkwon showed prodigious talent for the graphic arts from the earliest age. Beginning piano lessons at four, it was during his years as a chorister at Canterbury Cathedral under Allan Wickes he realised his musical vocation. Following studies with H. A. Bate in London, he went to the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, where he was particularly influenced by the teaching of Gillian Weir (organ) and Shirley Blakey (piano). A burning fascination for the French virtuoso organ tradition as represented particularly by Jeanne Demessieux and her teacher Dupré inevitably drew him to the Paris scene where he completed his formal studies with Jean Guillou and Odile Pierre. D’Arcy could not be more different from John. D’Arcy exudes virtuoso flamboyance with perhaps a freer interpretative style. You will perhaps notice 3 changes of costume during the recording of D’Arcy’s DVD!

The recording begins… 

Each day was split into 2 sessions, John in the morning and D’Arcy in the afternoon.

The late start on Thursday put us behind but with a 9.30am start on the Friday we managed to wrap up the session by 7.00pm that day including interviews with the performers that will form part of the DVD’s. Parts of the programmes of each DVD are listed below for you. John’s shows off the instrument in its Baroque voicing and a number of different tuning temperaments were also used. D’Arcy on the other hand used French and English voicing with pieces that allow the organ to show of the full range of power with some really explosive sections.

These were the first daytime recording sessions that I had been involved with. All other sessions I had been involved with being in the dead of night to minimise road noise. I was quite concerned that the Abbey right in the town centre and right by a busy road junction might be plagued with the need for retakes due to sirens car horns and the like, but we were remarkably free of these interruptions. Our second day was also spiced up with regular election updates arriving on otherwise muted smart phones. Chris one of our cameramen had been up all night covering the Doncaster seat of Ed Balls so he was understandably late on set. How he kept going during the day was quite remarkable.

John Scott Whitely playing Viscount Organ

D'Arcy Trinkwon playing a Viscount Organ

Having a building of this scale and history to ones self is a great privilege and Selby did not disappoint. The picture (below right) was taken from below the West End Window and shows the sheer scale of the building off well. As you would imagine the acoustic matches the scale and it was a delight to hear the music rumbling off into the distance long after the organ had ceased to play.

Internal view of Selby Abbey

Why are we going to such lengths to capture these recordings on DVD?

These recordings have a dual purpose. They are of course meant to help promote the sale of Viscount Organs to private customers and churches alike but they are also there to raise money for the restoration of the very fine Hill pipe organ in the Abbey. This work is currently underway with Principal Pipe Organs of York so the pipe organ is currently silent.  We hope in 2017 to be able to arrange a DVD featuring our instrument and the newly restored pipe organ. Watch out for that one.

Video and sound Editing in progress

Editing in progress

DVD’s will be available from the Abbey and ourselves and we hope to make access very easy that they will also be available on Amazon later in the year.  Below you will be able to see and hear a glimpse of what we recorded. In this video you will see D’Arcy playing Etude Symphonique by Enrico Bossi – it is quite a work out on the pedals!

I am sure once you have seen and heard the amazing playing from these 2 magnificent musicians you will want your very own copy.

The DVD is on sale now in the Selby Abbey shop or through us for £15 + postage and packing. Contact me by email or give me a call (01869 247 333) to order your copy – or feel free to visit the Selby Abbey shop. We hope to have the DVD on Amazon to aid online purchases in future.

As ever it has been a pleasure to be involved and a delightful musical experience that we hope will bring much needed revenue to ensure the repair of an historic and worthy pipe organ at Selby Abbey.

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Organ Club tutorial organ week-end | Sept 15 http://viscountorgans.net/organ-club-tutorial-organ-week-end-sept-15/ http://viscountorgans.net/organ-club-tutorial-organ-week-end-sept-15/#comments Thu, 18 Jun 2015 09:34:34 +0000 http://viscountorgans.net/?p=5179 Come and join other Organ Club members at this 3 day event to take lessons and build your confidence with the Organ Club’s top team of organists and teachers.

Fotheringhay Church at night

Fotheringhay Church at night

Your £160 ticket for the week-end covers lessons/tuition; attending the Annual Celebrity Organ Recital in St Mary’s, Fotheringhay given by David Goode; and dinner in Glapthorne.

Fotheringhay organ - copyright Mike Todd

Fotheringhay organ – courtesy of Mike Todd (copyright held)

The event takes place from 11 to 13 September 2015.

Your teachers for the week-end will be:

  • Daniel Moult
  • Anne Marsden Thomas
  • Tom Bell
  • James Parsons

For more information, please contact John Miley on jmiley@iee.org. (Accommodation details and booking information: Warmington Organ Weekend September 2015)

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Organ study trip to Germany | Schnitger and Schnitzels http://viscountorgans.net/study-trip-to-germany-schnitger-and-schnitzels/ http://viscountorgans.net/study-trip-to-germany-schnitger-and-schnitzels/#comments Thu, 18 Jun 2015 09:08:42 +0000 http://viscountorgans.net/?p=5173 The Organ Club, founded in 1926, is a community of all who are interested in the organ and organ music, its players and its music.

The Club exists as a facility to promote awareness and appreciation of the art and science of the organ, its players and its music. Membership is open to all who are interested in these things!

Part of  The Club’s passion is to meet the aspirations of its members in promoting knowledge about organs, organ music and organ performance.

In 2013 they ran a club sponsored study visit to Hamburg and it was such a success that they are doing it again this year.

They are inviting organists of all ages and standards to come to Hamburg, Lübeck and Lüneburg for Student masterclasses and supervised “open console” sessions at celebrated historic and modern organs.

They have 20 places for the masterclass participants, but any number for the open console sessions.

The trip will run from 24 to 27 August 2015. (Organ Club – Germany trip Itinerary)

You will have expert guidance from lead-tutors:

James Parsons – Organ Club Vice President; Birmingham Conservatoire Tutor in Organ; RCO Head of Student Development; and international recitalist.

William Saunders – Director of Music at Royal Hospital School and international recitalist.

And the master classes will be led by:

Professor Arvid Gast and KMD Joachim Vogelsanger.

Prices:

  • £180 (students)
  • £120 (players)
  • £120 (OCSO members)
  • £100 (observers)

This is for the organ trip itself, you will need to organise your own flights, travel and accommodation.

Please contact John Miley on jmiley@iee.org for more details and enquiries. For a booking form – see here and scroll to the end of the itinerary.

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Our Regent 356 at the St Mary’s Organ Concerts |13 Jun & 19 Jul http://viscountorgans.net/our-regent-356-at-the-st-marys-organ-concerts-13-jun-19-jul/ http://viscountorgans.net/our-regent-356-at-the-st-marys-organ-concerts-13-jun-19-jul/#comments Wed, 03 Jun 2015 21:09:28 +0000 http://viscountorgans.net/?p=5043 We installed a custom built instrument at the at St Mary’s Nottingham (read about the installation here).

St Mary's Nottingham

Our Regent 356 (pictured left) has been placed in the building on 17 speakers with antiphonal departments that enables it to fill the church building with glorious sound.

Now we are pleased to let you know that St Mary’s have a series of organ concerts which you may like to attend. This is a great opportunity to see a Viscount Organ in situ in a church which has a pipe and a digital organ.

There are two dates for your diary:

Saturday 13 June 2015

The Nottingham Bach Society concert that will include Jean Langlais’ “Mess Solennelle”.

Sunday 19 July 2015

A concert for two organs at 2.45pm – with players John Keys and Andrew Abbott.

For more information please contact Paul Sibly at St Mary’s via email.

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Used Organs for Sale from Jeffers of Bandon http://viscountorgans.net/used-organs-for-sale-from-jeffers-of-bandon/ http://viscountorgans.net/used-organs-for-sale-from-jeffers-of-bandon/#comments Tue, 02 Jun 2015 09:01:25 +0000 http://viscountorgans.net/?p=5020 For information on any of these organs, please call David Jeffers (one of our distributors) on  00 353 455 8600 (near Cork in Ireland).
Used organs for sale June 2015-page 1jpegUsed organs for sale June 2015-page 2jpeg

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Join us at the IAO Congress Norwich 27 July to 1 Aug 2015 http://viscountorgans.net/join-us-at-the-iao-congress-norwich-27-july-to-1-aug-2015/ http://viscountorgans.net/join-us-at-the-iao-congress-norwich-27-july-to-1-aug-2015/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 21:11:19 +0000 http://viscountorgans.net/?p=4984 (Picture above is of Norwich Cathedral)

 

We are very pleased to be attending and supporting the national IAO Congress, which will be held in Norwich this year.

The wealth of Norfolk and in particular Norwich was built on the wool trade. This wealth created from the Middle Ages onwards financed the construction of many fine churches. Consequently, Norwich still has more medieval churches than any other city in Western Europe north of the Alps. Outside of Oxford and Cambridge there is certainly no other city location to provide such an abundance of fine churches and instruments in the UK and perhaps most of Europe. The choice of Norwich for the congress is inspired as it provides a wealth of marvellous instruments and what better place to open the congress than St Peter Mancroft in the heart of the city. (You can find the details of the organs at this church by clicking here – or clicking the image below.)

The nave at the Church of St Peter

The fine churches and instruments explored during congress include both Cathedrals of Bury St Edmunds (organ detail here) and Norwich (organ detail here).

St Edmundsbury Cathedral

Inside view of Norwich Cathedral
Wymondham AbbeyWymondham Abbey is also included as a venue (see pictured right). Founded in 1107 as a community of Benedictine monks, the building was on an ambitious scale. Stone was shipped across the English Channel from Caen, in Normandy, and the original Nave – a scaled-down version of the Nave of Norwich Cathedral – was twelve bays long, seems to have been substantially completed by 1130.

Midweek sees the congress move to the Norwich Cathedral where there will be a recital by David Dunnett after a lunchtime boat cruise on the river.

The final organised day sees a visit to the smaller church of St George in Colegate where an historic instrument dating from 1802 by G P England (although since much enlarged) will be played by Anne Page. This is a medieval church and a very different experience to the bigger churches and cathedrals – well worth a look.

St George's Church of Colegate

The week will also see visits to St Helen’s Bishopsgate and The Royal Hospital School (organ details here).

The final day will perhaps be the most personally exciting for delegates as many churches will have an ‘open console’ session – allowing the visitors to play many of the organs in and around Norwich.

St Lawrence Church, Benedict Street

We are adding to this experience by providing a selection of practice instruments for play at St Lawrence Church in the centre of the City. The church is now redundant but remains consecrated and as you can see from the picture has a very fine acoustic. Organ music has not been heard in this church for many years so we are delighted to be able to let the building sing again. To help this, we will also have set up a typical medium size church instrument on an external speaker system for you to play. We would love to see you and be especially interested to get your opinion on our instruments as you can set them in the context of the many fine pipe organs that you will have heard and played.

We will be on Facebook and Twitter throughout the event as well – so be sure to post pictures of yourself playing a Viscount Organ and tag our Facebook Page, or Tweet us using #ViscountIAO during the event. We’d love to hear your feedback as you are experiencing it!

We trust all delegates will have a wonderful time in Norwich and will find the time to come and see and hear the fine selection of instruments we will have available in St Lawrence Church in association with our local retailer Cookes Pianos (located next door to St Lawrence Church) on Saturday August 1st.

For more information on how to buy a ticket, please go to the IAO website where you will find a booking form and a way to book a ticket online as well.

The full Congress agenda published by the IAO website is as follows (please note that the agenda is subject to change and I would suggest checking on the congress website before you plan your visit or stay).

IAO Congress Agenda - Part 1

IAO Congress Agenda - Part 2

 

 

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[Jonathan Kingston] Music Tutorial Series – Gavotte William Boyce http://viscountorgans.net/jonathan-kingston-music-tutorial-series-gavotte-william-boyce/ http://viscountorgans.net/jonathan-kingston-music-tutorial-series-gavotte-william-boyce/#comments Sun, 10 May 2015 17:04:41 +0000 http://viscountorgans.net/?p=4877 [This is a series where we share short tutorials on a range of different pieces introduced and played by our colleague Jonathan Kingston, on our Viscount Organs. ]

In this edition of the series, we bring you a Gavotte by William Boyce. William born in 1711 began his musical education when he became a chorister of St. Paul’s Cathedral.  When William’s voice broke he was accepted as a pupil to the composer Maurice Greene who was the Cathedral organist.   Jonathan plays this on our  Envoy 23-S. We hope that you find this piece a worthwhile addition to your library and enjoy the tips that Jonathan provides for it’s performance.

View the video tutorial here

Download the Chelase Fayre Score

Download the midi file

 

 

 

 

If you would like to watch the video tutorial right now – here it is:

More About Jonathan Kingston’s Musical Background

Jonathan Kingston

Jonathan studied the organ with Professor Ian Tracey and Ian Wells of Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral, home to one of the largest pipe organs in the world. He was appointed Organ Scholar, and subsequently Sub-Organist to Bradford Cathedral before securing positions as Assistant Director and Director of Music at two leading independent schools. He is currently Associate Director of Music at the Ordinariate Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Piccadilly.

Jonathan’s Work With Viscount

I am pleased to have Jonathan working with us – he covers several areas from sales, demonstrations, voicing of instruments and performing. His playing features on the current promotional DVD material for Viscount, and he would be very pleased to hear from any churches or individuals requiring an engaging and lively recitalist. If you would like to connect with Jonathan directly, please feel free to follow him on Twitter (@jonkingston) or by email on jonkingston@hotmail.co.uk.

More About the Organ Being Played In This Tutorial

Jonathan plays this piece on our very own Envoy 23-S  This is  a  small 23 speaking stop 2 manual instrument. It is based on the very successful physical modelling ‘Physis’ sound technology used in all Envoy and Regent instruments. This particular instrument has  23 stops in a real wood veneer cabinet. It  has a internal library of over 500 alternative voice samples allowing the user to create  totally individual voice pallets from classic English through Baroque and Romantic. For more information have a look at its specifications here.

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A New Interior for Cleckheaton Methodist Church http://viscountorgans.net/a-new-interior-for-cleckheaton-methodist-church/ http://viscountorgans.net/a-new-interior-for-cleckheaton-methodist-church/#comments Thu, 09 Apr 2015 14:08:12 +0000 http://viscountorgans.net/?p=4727 Mice combinedDid you know the poor church mouse was originally a hungry one?

The saying was originally said to be hungry as a church mouse. Churches in the 1600’s had no kitchens to cook meals and no storage or pantries to store food. A mouse that was so unlucky to take up residence in a church would find no food there. The lucky mice would find a place to live in the cellar of a house, kitchen or shop, not a church. As time went on, the saying was changed from hungry to poor.

Cleckeaton Methodist Church has some very new and special mice of its own having undergone a major refurbishment with new furniture by the famous ‘Mouseman’ company of Robert Thompson’s Craftsmen Limited  Now mice are traditionally the enemy of both pipe organs and digital ones. They can eat the leather work of traditional instruments and nibble on cables of the electronic ones, so we are not usually happy to see mice about a church.

However, here above you see them as endearing and amusing embellishments on the fine new church furniture. I am sure they will capture the imagination of the younger members of the congregation who may well play a game of find the mice during some part of the service. I particularly like the one who has nibbled his way through the corner  of the new pew.Organ in situ

Our contribution to the refurbishment was a new Envoy 35-F instrument installed with  4 external speakers. The instrument is our standard medium oak finish which matches well the colour of the new furniture. The final voicing of the instrument was done by Anthony Bogdan of Anthony Bogdan Organs Ltd  who worked with us on this customers installation.

Our customer commented:-

“Many thanks for the time, care and attention you have given to the installation and voicing of our new Viscount Envoy 35F organ, installed as part of our church refurbishment programme. We have received friendly, courteous and professional service throughout, and I would have no hesitation in recommending you to others looking for a digital organ.”

Alan Littlewood, Organist Cleckheaton Methodist Church

 

The organ specification is as follows:

Pedal
 
Great
 
Swell
 
Sub Bass32Double Diapason16Geigen Diapason8
Open Wood16Open Diapason I8Chimney Flute8
Open Metal16Open Diapason II8Echo Gamba8
Bourdon16Claribel Flute8Voix Celeste8
Principal8Stopped Diapason8Geigen Principal4
Bass Flute8Principal4Wald Flute4
Choral Bass4Harmonic Flute4Flageolet2
MixtureIVTwelfth2-2/3SesquialteraII
Trombone16Fifteenth2MixtureIV
Trumpet8MixtureIVContra Fagotto16
Trumpet8Cornopean8
Clarinet8Oboe8
Clarion4
Great to PedalTremulantTremulant
Swell to PedalSwell to Great
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[Jonathan Kingston] Music Tutorial Series – Stanley Allegro in D http://viscountorgans.net/jonathan-kingston-music-tutorial-series-stanley-allegro-in-d/ http://viscountorgans.net/jonathan-kingston-music-tutorial-series-stanley-allegro-in-d/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 15:45:50 +0000 http://viscountorgans.net/?p=4701 [This is a series where we share short tutorials on a range of different pieces introduced and played by our colleague Jonathan Kingston, on our Viscount Organs. ]

In this edition of the series, we bring you the Allegro in D by John Stanley, a music graduate of Oxford University at the age of just 17!  This is jaunty piece, the finale of a larger work, is suitable for many occasions.   Jonathan plays this on our  Envoy 350 FV. We hope that you find this piece a worthwhile addition to your library and enjoy the tips that Jonathan provides for it’s performance.

View the video tutorial here

Download the Chelase Fayre Score

Download the midi file

 

 

 

 

If you would like to watch the video tutorial right now – here it is:

More About Jonathan Kingston’s Musical Background

Jonathan Kingston

Jonathan studied the organ with Professor Ian Tracey and Ian Wells of Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral, home to one of the largest pipe organs in the world. He was appointed Organ Scholar, and subsequently Sub-Organist to Bradford Cathedral before securing positions as Assistant Director and Director of Music at two leading independent schools. He is currently Associate Director of Music at the Ordinariate Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Piccadilly.

Jonathan’s Work With Viscount

I am pleased to have Jonathan working with us – he covers several areas from sales, demonstrations, voicing of instruments and performing. His playing features on the current promotional DVD material for Viscount, and he would be very pleased to hear from any churches or individuals requiring an engaging and lively recitalist. If you would like to connect with Jonathan directly, please feel free to follow him on Twitter (@jonkingston) or by email on jonkingston@hotmail.co.uk.

More About the Organ Being Played In This Tutorial

Jonathan plays this piece on our very own Regent 356.  This is  a large 56 speaking stop 3 manual instrument. It is based on the very successful physical modelling ‘Physis’ sound technology used in all Envoy and Regent instruments. This particular instrument has  56 stops in a real wood veneer cabinet and features upgraded TP60LR keyboards. It  has a internal library of over 500 alternative voice samples allowing the user to create  totally individual voice pallets from classic English through Baroque and Romantic. For more information have a look at its specifications here.

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[Jonathan Kingston] Music Tutorial Series Jerusalem by Hubert Parry http://viscountorgans.net/jonathan-kingston-music-tutorial-series-jerusalem-by-hubert-parry/ http://viscountorgans.net/jonathan-kingston-music-tutorial-series-jerusalem-by-hubert-parry/#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 12:54:27 +0000 http://viscountorgans.net/?p=4522 [This is a series where we share short tutorials on a range of different pieces introduced and played by our colleague Jonathan Kingston, on our Viscount Organs. ]

In this edition of the series, we bring you the stirring tune Jerusalem written by Parry for the words of William Blake. This is a warhorse of a piece often chosen for weddings and funerals alike. Apparently simple there are a couple of rhythmic traps as unlike most hymns Blakes words in the 2 verses do not maintain a common metre.   Jonathan plays this on our  Envoy 350 FV. We hope that you find this piece a worthwhile addition to your library and enjoy the tips that Jonathan provides for it’s performance.

View the video tutorial here

Download the Chelase Fayre Score

Download the midi file

 

 

 

 

If you would like to watch the video tutorial right now – here it is:

More About Jonathan Kingston’s Musical Background

Jonathan Kingston

Jonathan studied the organ with Professor Ian Tracey and Ian Wells of Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral, home to one of the largest pipe organs in the world. He was appointed Organ Scholar, and subsequently Sub-Organist to Bradford Cathedral before securing positions as Assistant Director and Director of Music at two leading independent schools. He is currently Associate Director of Music at the Ordinariate Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Piccadilly.

Jonathan’s Work With Viscount

I am pleased to have Jonathan working with us – he covers several areas from sales, demonstrations, voicing of instruments and performing. His playing features on the current promotional DVD material for Viscount, and he would be very pleased to hear from any churches or individuals requiring an engaging and lively recitalist. If you would like to connect with Jonathan directly, please feel free to follow him on Twitter (@jonkingston) or by email on jonkingston@hotmail.co.uk.

More About the Organ Being Played In This Tutorial

Jonathan plays this piece on our very own Regent 356.  This is  a large 56 speaking stop 3 manual instrument. It is based on the very successful physical modelling ‘Physis’ sound technology used in all Envoy and Regent instruments. This particular instrument has  56 stops in a real wood veneer cabinet and features upgraded TP60LR keyboards. It  has a internal library of over 500 alternative voice samples allowing the user to create  totally individual voice pallets from classic English through Baroque and Romantic. For more information have a look at its specifications here.

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[Behind the Scenes] Our 2015 Digital Organ Playing Video Tutorial Pieces http://viscountorgans.net/behind-the-scenes-our-2015-digital-organ-playing-video-tutorial-pieces/ http://viscountorgans.net/behind-the-scenes-our-2015-digital-organ-playing-video-tutorial-pieces/#comments Tue, 02 Dec 2014 15:35:24 +0000 http://viscountorgans.net/?p=4179 This time we have gone to far greater lengths to ensure that the sound quality of our YouTube demonstration videos is as good as it possibly can be. We understand that listening via the internet often means using a quite poor speaker system so the starting quality is not always significant but, with increasing use of the internet to receive high quality sound and video, we thought we had better ensure that we only broadcast the very highest quality possible audio to represent our instruments.

As you can see from the pictures we brought in quite a lot of equipment for this session setting up a small studio to enable us to listen straight away to the recording and audition the various microphone positions.

The ladder you can see in the bottom right hand picture was an unexpected requirement. It was used to dampen down a light fitting that was rattling in sympathy with the 16ft open metal bass G. We also invested in an auto-cue system  so that the speaking sections are better presented.

The first of the new pieces with improved sound will be released in February 2015. Meanwhile the final 2014 video has recently been released: “The final movement of Widor’s 6th Symphony played on the Regent 356″. to view it CLICK HERE

Studio set-up with Jonathan Kingston | Viscount OrgansJonathan Kingston - Studio Set-up, Viscount Organs (2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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[Jonathan Kingston Series] Musical Tutorial Series Finale from Widor’s 2nd Organ Symphony http://viscountorgans.net/jonathan-kingston-series-musical-tutorial-series-finale-from-widors-2nd-organ-symphony/ http://viscountorgans.net/jonathan-kingston-series-musical-tutorial-series-finale-from-widors-2nd-organ-symphony/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 15:42:22 +0000 http://viscountorgans.net/?p=4285 [This is a series where we share short tutorials on a range of different pieces introduced and played by our colleague Jonathan Kingston, on our Viscount Organs. ]

In this edition of the series, we bring you the Finale from Widor’s 2nd  organ Symphony.  Jonathan plays this on our  Regent 356. We hope that you find this piece a worthwhile addition to your library and enjoy the tips that Jonathan provides for it’s performance.

View the video tutorial here

Download the Chelase Fayre Score

Download the midi file

 

 

 

 

If you would like to watch the video tutorial right now – here it is:

More About Jonathan Kingston’s Musical Background

Jonathan Kingston

Jonathan studied the organ with Professor Ian Tracey and Ian Wells of Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral, home to one of the largest pipe organs in the world. He was appointed Organ Scholar, and subsequently Sub-Organist to Bradford Cathedral before securing positions as Assistant Director and Director of Music at two leading independent schools. He is currently Associate Director of Music at the Ordinariate Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Piccadilly.

Jonathan’s Work With Viscount

I am pleased to have Jonathan working with us – he covers several areas from sales, demonstrations, voicing of instruments and performing. His playing features on the current promotional DVD material for Viscount, and he would be very pleased to hear from any churches or individuals requiring an engaging and lively recitalist. If you would like to connect with Jonathan directly, please feel free to follow him on Twitter (@jonkingston) or by email on jonkingston@hotmail.co.uk.

More About the Organ Being Played In This Tutorial

Jonathan plays this piece on our very own Regent 356.  This is  a large 56 speaking stop 3 manual instrument. It is based on the very successful physical modelling ‘Physis’ sound technology used in all Envoy and Regent instruments. This particular instrument has  56 stops in a real wood veneer cabinet and features upgraded TP60LR keyboards. It  has a internal library of over 500 alternative voice samples allowing the user to create  totally individual voice pallets from classic English through Baroque and Romantic. For more information have a look at its specifications here.

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5 additions to our used organ stock http://viscountorgans.net/5-additions-to-our-used-organ-stock/ http://viscountorgans.net/5-additions-to-our-used-organ-stock/#comments Thu, 13 Nov 2014 14:50:23 +0000 http://viscountorgans.net/?p=4253 We are pleased to let you know of some very good value instruments that have just become available. We have just take in a one owner Copeman Hart home practice instrument and our colleagues in Ireland have 4 instruments available. For more information click the pictures below to enlarge it. For full information on the Copeman Hart follow this link.Copeman Hart 2000 full onUsed CL 40 jpegUsed_Viscount_Domus_1132_Organ jpeg

Used_Viscount_Domus_832_Organ jpegUsed_Viscount_Jubilate_227_Organ jpeg

PLEASE NOTE THE DOMUS 832 HAS NOW BEEN SOLD

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Top of the Class | Top of its Class http://viscountorgans.net/top-of-the-class-top-of-its-class/ http://viscountorgans.net/top-of-the-class-top-of-its-class/#comments Fri, 07 Nov 2014 13:36:01 +0000 http://viscountorgans.net/?p=4213 This year we have worked on a large number of school installations.  And, since we prepared this recent advert (see below) – we have also supplied King’s School Ely and Pinewood School Bourton to add to our school installation projects.

Some of these schools have very fine pipe organs and have used our instruments to add practice resources or for use in the choir school. This is a relatively inexpensive way to give students wider access to instruments for practice and they can also be played on headphones so reducing the need for soundproof rooms!

Schools listing advert

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Would you like a ‘West End Gallery’? http://viscountorgans.net/would-you-like-a-west-end-gallery/ http://viscountorgans.net/would-you-like-a-west-end-gallery/#comments Mon, 03 Nov 2014 15:39:34 +0000 http://viscountorgans.net/?p=4193 santa maria 1OK, so this is partly an excuse for me to bang on about Italy and all the lovely places I visit there but I am just beginning to realise the very different style the small town and country churches in Italy have that is greatly to the advantage of the music making. There is no doubt that the best place to fill a church with sound involves getting the sound source high up in the building. We always try to get speakers up at wall plate level, that’s where the pitch of the roof meets the top of the wall. The sound then diffuses into the building effectively.

2014-10-14 11.23.19Many Italian church organs are by UK standards tiny. Take for example this one at the church of  Santa Maria della Stella in Camiore pictured above. It fills the building in a way that the many small parish church organs I play on in the UK never do, even when blessed with more resource. And the answer I believe lies in its location on a west end gallery.

I have lost count of the number of small churches I have seen in Italy where this is the dominant organ location. In the UK it is rare to find an organ anywhere other than a side aisle, all too often shoe horned in to boot, so it speaks across the church and not into it. Yet in Italy these small instruments on galleries are common place and often in churches that would struggle to sit more than 100. It seems the resources were directed at an expensive to construct location at the expense of the size of the instrument. Clever use of limited financial resources. How often do we want the biggest number of stops we can fit in without considering how they can speak in the building?

2014-10-14 11.23.45Now here is a controversial thought. We are often called in to replace a pipe organ beyond economic repair  and it is easy electronically to provide the instrument of power and resource relatively cheaply to speak clearly and with gravitas in the building. Far easier to put a speaker on a wall in the right place than the entire instrument! Perhaps a new 4 or 5 stop pipe organ, in the right place on a gallery would also be an option for some churches to consider?  Please do not ask me to adjudicate the debate, I obviously have a slight conflict of interest.  You may need to ask for divine guidance or visit the church at Camiore and have a private conversation with Santa Maria to get the answer.

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