Mark Forer, in his introduction, put in a plug for owners of mechanical
music instruments doing more recording of what they have, with an eye
to personal enjoyment as well as to the historical record.
That inspired me to dig out the mechanical music videotapes I have and
listen to them again. Videotaping, for those that have the equipment,
has two advantages over making audio cassette recordings: you get to
see the instruments making the noise, and the amount of recording time
per cassette is greater.
Several of the tapes I have were received as gifts with music rolls
ordered from Ray Siou. Those of you who never dealt with Ray didn't
have the pleasure of opening up one of Ray's chicken crates and finding
inside not only the dozen rolls you ordered but a bunch of other
surprising stuff, thrown in gratis. Over the years I received post
cards, tee shirts, shaving cream, recipe cards (which my wife made good
use of), an apron (which she didn't), toys, blank tapes, product
samples, and always a tape or two containing mechanical music.
In re-watching those videotapes, I notice that one of them (from Ray)
is marked "Ray Siou Collection, vol. 2." I wonder if any MMD member
has the companion vol. 1?
It's been a while since I've visited or heard anything from or about
Ray. Videotape vol. 2 records pretty faithfully Ray's incredible
living arrangements, wherein nothing but a direct atomic bomb hit could
penetrate to him because of the mountain of music rolls piled
everywhere, floor to ceiling, in between and on top of every
orchestrion or organ in his place.
But the tape does not show one or two of the instruments I would most
like to have a permanent record of, leading me to believe they are on
the first tape, which Ray never sent.