Mechanical Music Digest  Archives
You Are Not Logged In Login/Get New Account
Please Log In. Accounts are free!
Logged In users are granted additional features including a more current version of the Archives and a simplified process for submitting articles.
Home Archives Calendar Gallery Store Links Info
MMD > Archives > April 1997 > 1997.04.10 > 07Prev  Next

Ohman and Arden Comparison Performance
By Craig Brougher

Alf Werolin, who used to work for Ampico, sent me a letter dated Sept 7,
1992, in which he describes a "comparison performance" which he helped to
stage.  For those interested in an actual itinerary of events on stage in
that particular format, here is a portion of the plan revealed for the
first time:

1. The two artists began playing their final selection together.

2. One artist left the stage in the middle of the number while his piano
(#1 Ampico) kept playing along.

3. The second artist then left the stage, at which point Ampico #1 was
turned off and Ampico #2 turned on.  (The roll in piano #2 was a four-
handed arrangement played by the duo, recorded especially for this

4. This procedure was then repeated -- first one piano playing, then the
other.  In a couple of places, one Ampico, playing alone, would play part
of the number which just _one_ artist had recorded, for example, an
elaborated version in the treble of the arrangement. Then the other
artist would take over with the recording artist playing a jazzed-up
version in the bass. The switching back and forth _gave the impression_
that both pianos had been playing together at the same time.

5. Finally, the two pianists returned to the stage and both sat at the
same piano. When the Ampico in that piano was turned off, they completed
the final portion of the arrangement, playing together on one piano with
the Ampico in the other piano playing the four-handed version.  End of

Alf believes that these special rolls and Ampicos were designed to start
and stop somewhat automatically. They would change rolls when the
curtains were closed. (Possibly by just removing the take-up spools with
the spent rolls and replacing a new spool and roll together).

Alf recalls controlling the pianos when an entire number, or the final
portion of a number was to be played on the Ampico. His memory is a
little hazy on some points.

He recalls that the concerts were a success, and packed houses were
common. He very much expected sales for the Ampico to really take off as
a result. He said that when that didn't happen, that he did his best to
forget his experience with the Ampico corporation. (Of course, the
depression put an end to what would have been a wonderful personal
experience for millions of families otherwise).

Craig Brougher

(Message sent Mon 7 Apr 1997, 14:34:26 GMT, from time zone GMT.)

Key Words in Subject:  Arden, Comparison, Ohman, Performance

Home    Archives    Calendar    Gallery    Store    Links    Info   

Enter text below to search the MMD Website with Google

CONTACT FORM: Click HERE to write to the editor, or to post a message about Mechanical Musical Instruments to the MMD

Unless otherwise noted, all opinions are those of the individual authors and may not represent those of the editors. Compilation copyright 1995-2024 by Jody Kravitz.

Please read our Republication Policy before copying information from or creating links to this web site.

Click HERE to contact the webmaster regarding problems with the website.

Please support publication of the MMD by donating online

Please Support Publication of the MMD with your Generous Donation

Pay via PayPal

No PayPal account required

Translate This Page