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 Forum index » Artists » Christopher Orczy
A brief (?) introduction
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orczy



Joined: Mar 30, 2005
Posts: 161
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 2:45 am    Post subject: A brief (?) introduction Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi everyone.
I'd better let you know a wee bit about myself and what I do.
I started composing music in 1991, when at the time I was a bass guitarist. I had played in bands for years, but never really enjoyed being told what to do, or having to explain what it was I wanted (which I never really knew anyway).
I was interested in creating ambient music with a solo bass guitar. As time progressed I moved into keyboards. I was interested in analog synthsizers, and here in New Zealand, Sequential Circuits gear was very easy to find second hand. I managed to pick up a Prophet 600, Pro One, Six Trak, Drum Trax and Prophet T-8, along with other bits and bobs such as Korg MS-20, Rhodes electric piano, and a mellotron.
Around this time (1993) I started to record albums on a 4 track, which were released (cassette!) here in NZ. None were very successful, but I was happy. I moved to a digital Korg Wavestation EX in 1995 which was my only keyboard until 1999, when I started a degree in composition. I composed pieces mainly for soprano and piano, and electro-acoustic works.
Upon leaving uni, I started playing the harmonium, which takes us up to now.
My works are in various genres. My earliest stuff could only be described as instrumental goth, "Frippertronic" bass pieces, electronic instrumentals, ambient, microtonal serial electronic, "classical" songs, electro-acoustic, and "ambient harmonium".
It is the harmonium that has grabbed me more than any instrument before. Although I love my mellotron, miss my Rhodes, and regret selling the T-8, in the harmonium I have found what I have always seeked: a genuinely expressive polyphonic instrument, with the ability to alter and combine timbres.
In this forum, I will be announcing album releases and re-issues, and new projects.
I hope you visit again.
Cheers
Chris
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seraph
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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 9:09 am    Post subject: Re: A brief (?) introduction Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mustel wrote:
in the harmonium I have found what I have always seeked: a genuinely expressive polyphonic instrument, with the ability to alter and combine timbres.

great introduction Chris
I guess I understand your feelings for the harmonium: it's an "organic" instrument, it literally breaths Very Happy Aren't you going to mix it with electronics Question I would if I were you Very Happy

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orczy



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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 2:32 am    Post subject: Re: A brief (?) introduction Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

seraph wrote:
Aren't you going to mix it with electronics Question I would if I were you Very Happy


Not within the Diaries project. But my next project, definately. The harmonium will be one of many soundsources. I haven't really tried much manipulation as yet, but I am sure it is all within the tone waiting to be exposed.
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hmm.. a modular rig used for messing up the harmonium while playing might really be something. Hmm.. the NM-1 should be able to do the job. Is it still possible to get such an harmonium for a decent price?
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orczy



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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:
Is it still possible to get such an harmonium for a decent price?


Hmmm. At the risk of being completely boring... yes and no.
A good harmonium, like mine, mmmmm, a Mustel (the Steinway of harmoniums, or more accurately, Erdad) is hard thing to find, hence very expensive.
In Europe, you should be able to find a decent harmonium, as there were loads made, but there aren't many people around to fix them.
This is the boring bit. There are two kinds of harmonium: those that use pressure to push the air through the reeds; and those that use suction to suck the air past the reeds. Both have their advantages: suction creates a softer, more rounded tone, but with not as much control over the airflow, so less control over dynamics and tone shaping. A pressure system can be very harsh sounding (this is where my processing comes in; parametric eqing all over the range, mainly in a subtractive mode), but the control is very expressive.
The suction mechanism was used more prevalently as it was cheaper to make, and the idea really caught on in USA. Most harmoniums you will see in an antique shop will be one of these, also called "The American Organ" or "Reed Organ". These definitions are important, but not many people use them.
Yes, a ring modulator would be a fine thing. If only I didn't sell my Korg MS-20!
I plan to do most of the mangling in Audiosculpt and Soundmaker. There is a ring mod in Soundmaker. A real time set of manipulations would be nice.
Any ideas? I'm on a VERY tight budget!
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I have seen harmoniums go for as little as .. uh.. 120 USD over here. I will look into this.

A Nord NM-1 might be what you need. The NM micro might be cool too. The prices are still falling. I wouldn´t be surprised if they will be reappreciated soon and the prices will rise. -But right now, the NM-1 and the micro can be had for very little. Both are awesome.

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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:
I have seen harmoniums go for as little as .. uh.. 120 USD over here. I will look into this.

I got a harmonium down here Very Happy too bad we live just a tiny bit too far away Cool do you want pictures of it Question

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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hmm.. pictures would be fine. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2005 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:
Hmm.. pictures would be fine. Very Happy



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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2005 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

That one is nice! It is in great condition too? Soundwise?
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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2005 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:
That one is nice! It is in great condition too? Soundwise?

I am not an expert of pump organs but I tried it and it works. I am not sure if all the stops work and/or they affect only a portion of the keyboard. gee...these things come without user manuals Rolling Eyes

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orczy



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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2005 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I've looked up Boretta in a harmonium book, but there is no mention of it. My guess is that it is a reed organ (sction). That little metal lever at the left of the keyboard, underneath, may be a prolongement stop. What this does is hold 1 key down in tha bass register. Handy. I used it on one piece on "August", but I like moving drones at the moment. Karg Elert used little wedges of wood to hold down chords. Very ambient and impressionistic. I would love to tell you more about the Boretta, but I will have to hunt around a wee bit. I'll mention to the Reed Organ Society. Someone thee will know about them.
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