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MMD > Archives > March 1997 > 1997.03.15 > 02Prev  Next

Artcraft Leabarjan on CNN TV
By Douglas Henderson

I just turned on CNN's Headline News, and there was that special report which the two Gannett television stations broadcast on 3/3/97. Usually, the same 'human interest' breaks are repeated on CNN and Headline News through the day, and often the next. Those who are interested in close- up shots of a #5 Leabarjan perforator at work, plus a view of the Studio's #8-B Leabarjan in the background, should check out CNN and Headline News today and tomorrow!

For a change, a tuned player piano is featured. Again, Mark Lutton's 2-piano/8-hand transcription of The Chrysanthemum by Scott Joplin was featured for the continuous musical background, and part of the actual performance. (This roll will be issued in Duo-Art form when released later in Spring, having been delayed by the fire at the Play-Rite plant in California.)

The spot has several messages in its compact 2-1/2 minutes running time: a) Grand pianos had player actions; b) Player pianos should be tuned, and don't have to be presented as 'off-key' novelties; c) Music rolls are _arranged_, and hand-playing has nothing to do with the final product; d) An 'involved' human is needed for interpreting/monitoring the music roll's performance, which is fined-tuned via levers, pedals and sundry player action controls.

Let's hope this helps bury some of the mythology about the pneumatic instruments and their paper rolls. It's perforate-duplicate-interpret -- a medium that's void of an alleged artist legacy. Having the individual participate in the music roll performance is what gives the pedal player and the lever-controlled reproducing piano its lasting appeal.

Regards, Douglas Henderson

(Message sent Sat 15 Mar 1997, 14:39:03 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Artcraft, CNN, Leabarjan, TV

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