Re: "New" Reproducing Rolls
By Robin Pratt
With regard to "new" reproducing piano rolls...???
I wondered if you belonged to AMICA and looked you up and you do. Since 1978. If you have been a member that long how did you miss the new rolls being issued and available since then? The Chicago Chapter issued an entire recital (10 rolls?) played by AMPICO artist Leo Podolsky (and AMICA Honorary, now deceased). This was a SUPERB set of rolls recorded on the Stahnke Reproducing/Recording system and the print out was translated to AMPICO coding and transferred to the paper masters made from the recordings. The coding and transfer (a MONUMENTAL!!! job) was done by Robert W. Taylor then of Chicago (Arlington Heights, actually) and now of Columbia, MO. I was supposed to help with the coding and especially the pedalling, but moved to Ohio just as the recording part was finished and before the coding began. Darn! This set was under appreciated, but showed what could be done today and has only lately become acknowledged for the outstanding job that was done.
You mentioned some roll companies but you had not purchased anything "yet". As publisher, I have had several editorials on just this very subject. I would encourage you or anyone who is in the LEAST BIT interested in rolls to PLEASE buy them NOW!!! Projects come and go and if you don't buy the selections when they are available, you are OUT OF LUCK. There is no one who has a truely standing catalogue of reproducing rolls today and if you don't patronize the manufacturers they will simply die on the vine. This is no different than a grocery or a car dealer or a computer maker. If you don't buy...they die.
I am certainly not attacking anyone personally I hope you know. The market is there (albeit a small one) and I hope we can make it continue to survive into the next century. After all, When they quit making new rolls for the Ampico and Duo-Art, the making of mechanisms also died. Cumulative effect.
There is no specific catalogue of the newer releases that I know of. The recordings are issued in limited quantities and when sold...that's that. The QRS reproducing rolls were strictly recuts of old existing recordings. Currently there are many sources for purchase of reproducing rolls of all types including my own label "ARTISTS' CHOICE MUSIC ROLLS" Ampico, Welte and 88 note. There is Keystone, Bluestone, Playrite, Artcraft (mostly NEW arranged, not hand-played, rolls), John McClelland, Bennett Leedy, and I am sure several others. So if you are interested in rolls, they're out there! Just ask!
(Message sent Sun 24 Sep 1995, 04:37:58 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)