Finchcocks Music Museum.

old git

Tremendous Bore
Although mainly keyboard, there are some flutes, a serpent and a double flageolet on display but no saxes.

Richard Burnett, the current owner, is a keyboard freak and now owns Broadwood. He gives very educational and witty demonstrations of the various instruments with added help from other musicians/singers. If he wasn't such a good pianist, he could easily earn his living as a stand up comedian so exquisite is his timing.

Thoroughly recommend a visit, it is near Goudhurst, Kent and don't be afraid about your saxophone background. One of the helpers is a drummer, the interplay between him and Richard caused much hilarity when demonstrating the original version of 'Chopsticks' on two keyboards. Another is a Dixieland fan. Learnt was that synthesisers are not a modern invention as demonstrated by a Viennese piano literally with bells and drums operated by extra pedals.

Good nine quids worth, look on web for details.
 

Young Col

Well-Known Member
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Coulsdon, London/Surrey
Well on the strength of my esteemed friend Mr Git's recommendation and because Mrs YC and I fancied an afternoon out, we went there this afternoon.

It was everything he said, with excellent working demos of the history of pianos, and more. There were two hour long demo sessions. Guest musicians included superb Italian soprano singer Alessandra Testai, who sang - Rossini arias included -with Richard Burnett on piano, plus her husband, Lutenist (sic) Robin Jeffery. The latter played, among other things, an archlute (basically a standard lute but with an additional very long neck extension and four bass strings - and no, neither had I seen one before). To finish, the recently appointed curator, Alastair Lawrence, played a jazz piece. He has recently returned from Norway after many years where he played with his own trio. His piece was in typical Norwegian jazz idiom and Thomsax and Tom M would no doubt recognise the Scandinanvian folk roots (indeed very much a celtic tinge to it). I chatted to him afterwards and bought one of his CDs. His trio are playing concerts at Finchcocks at the end of the month - see the Finchcocks website.

All in all an absolute treat of a visit. Thoroughly recommended if you like the history of music and pianos, but check opening times. Thanks Bill :welldone

Colin
 
OP
old git

old git

Tremendous Bore
Glad you enjoyed it Official Zimmer Retainer, nice to be educated in an amusing and laid back manner.
Bought a Bamboo Swanee whistle in the Finchcocks shop and now thinking of equipping the CaSLM Palm Court Orchestra with Swanee Whistles and Kazoos so that we can perform the whole of the Bill Sauter and Eddie Finnegan book.
 

Young Col

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,428
Location
Coulsdon, London/Surrey
Which reminds me, two things they didn't have were a caliope (admittedly needs a ready source of steam and there aren't too many Mississippi paddle steamers in that part of Kent) and a piano roll player. One of the curators agreed that the latter would be a good addition and that there were some about.
 

snowball

Member
Messages
72
Location
East Sussex
Thanks for recommendation OG, Finchcocks is not too far from us and I have been wondering about an outing there with Mr Snowball. Lack of Saxophones is a definite drawback, but perhaps they have some ancestral clarinets?
 
OP
old git

old git

Tremendous Bore
Not even sure if there are saxophones at Horniman's, will drop in next week and have a gander but aren't you interested in music as a whole? (Almost wrote 'hole' as loads of loot goes down there.)
You will learn about keyboard development and Richard's attempt at getting Britain into the Space Race by firing a jack from a harpsichord.
They have a few woodwinds of indeterminate age as well as a Serpent but I was too cowardly to ask for a go.
Guarantee you will enjoy it providing you don't melt in the weather that I enjoyed. Just be ready to laugh, a situation not often encountered in 'classical' music and many friendly staff and customers. Can recommend the Ploughman's in the restaurant.
 

Richard Perks

Member
Messages
165
Location
Nanaimo BC Canada
How to play a saxophone

Not sure if this has done the rounds yet, thought it a great "museum" piece::D:D

This was on David Valdez' website.

Question:

Hi, is there someone who can give me some directions about playing the sax? I've just purchased one and would love to know how to play it. Some helpful weblinks would also be great!

Answer:

First things first. If you're a white guy, you'll need a stupid hat, the stupider the better, preferably a beret. Sunglasses are optional, but all the really really good players wear them, especially indoors.

You'll also need some "gig shirts" -- Hawaiians are good, in a pinch anything with a loud floral pattern is acceptable, as are T-shirts from various jazz clubs and festivals. Get them mail order, so you don't have to go to all the trouble of actually seeing live music. And sandals are an absolute must, even in winter.

Once you've assembled the proper attire you can begin practicing.

One of the most important things about playing is being able to convey emotion to the audience. This you do through various facial expressions. The two emotions you'll need to convey are (1) rapture/ecstasy and (2) soul wrenching pain/sadness (i. e., the blues).

You may find it useful in the beginning to borrow a page from the method acting school. So, for example, to convey rapture try thinking of something nice, like puppy dogs or getting a kiss from Uma Thurman.

To convey the "blues" try thinking of something really really appalling, like ulcerative colitis or Alec Baldwin. Practice your facial expressions in front of a mirror at least two hours per day. You may feel a tad stupid at first, but you'll never get the chicks if you don't jump around on stage like a monkey with your face all screwed up like there's a rabid wolverine in your colon, believe you me. And bottom line, chicks is really what music's all about.

Next, you'll need the correct ligature. Some people think that the ligature is just a stupid piece of old metal that holds the reed on the mouthpiece. Well, those people are idiots. Besides your beret, your ligature is the single most important piece of musical equipment you will ever buy. Mine, for example, is 40% platinum and 60% titanium; one screw is rubidium and the other plutonium. It makes me sound exactly like Booker Ervin would if Booker Ervin were (1) not dead and (2) on Mars, if (2)(a) there was oxygen on Mars.

You may have to spend years and years and thousands of dollars finding the proper ligature, but in the end it will definitely be worth it.

Now: reeds. Optimally you'll want to move to the South of France, grow and cure your own cane and carve your own reeds by hand. If you're just a "weekend warrior" however, you can get by with store-bought. First, buy ten boxes of reeds, that's 100 in all. Next, open all the boxes and throw away 60 reeds. Those were unplayable. Take the remaining reeds and soak them in a mixture of 27.8% rubbing alcohol and 72.2% pituitary gland extract for a period of 17weeks.

Now, you say you just bought a horn. Although you didn't say what kind it is, I'd sell it immediately and get a different one. The best one to get would be a Selmer Mark VI made at 4:27 PM on June , 1963, serial number 135543. If you can't get that one though, generally speaking the older and more expensive the better. The following brands suck:

Any other Selmer, Yamaha, Conn, Beuscher, Yanigasawa, Cannonball, LA, Jupiter, Elkhart, King, Martin, Keilworth, Boosey and Hawkes, Couf, Silvertone, and Holton.

On no account should you play the horn before you buy it: go strictly on reputation and price.

Oh, yeah. To play the sax itself, blow in the small end and wiggle your fingers a little over the shiny part.

:))):))):)))
 
SYOS
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