Suites – an update

I’m in the middle of a recording project that I’m doing all by myself. Proving to be an interesting experience to run the recording machine, play, do punch-ins where necessary, and do EQ, balance, and that kind of thing with no second set of hands/ears.

Here’s the latest:

The first movement of this quartet is on my homepage already. Will be recording the third and final movement soonish. Recording time is limited, as I don’t have a very quiet space, and with an 8 month old what quiet time I have can be unpredictable.

Sept. 16 Update:

Finally had an evening with no other humans around and with cooler weather to record the last remaining piece of the Suite Argentina quartet. The full suite is here:

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K1X Rumberger Telex Pickup Fitting To Your Instrument at Howarth of London

It’s a bit more expensive than mine, but might provide some different sound opportunities. Looks like the mounting interface is similar to the Telex, but in reverse (the O-Ring is on the pickup not the adapter). Not quite as secure for bassoon use I suppose, although it’s probably fine for clarinet. There are a few other things like this out there, marketed to Klezmer or related clarinet players. Looks good though, a bit bulky. XLR though? Phantom power? For a piezo pickup that’s kinda weird.

Howarth of London

Sound production at Howarth of London is expanding even further with our ability to provide audio solutions for your woodwind instruments in a variety of different forms.

We are able to supply and fit pick-ups to your instrument, enabling you to amplify your sound in environments where musicians would normally find it difficult to be heard amongst electronic instruments. Our Audio Solutions Specialist – Philip Evans has written an article on the problems that musicians face when amplifying themselves. Please feel free to view it here:

Philip Evans – Woodwind Instrument Sound Reinforcement Problems and Pick up Microphones

We have been successful in fitting these pick-ups to saxophones and clarinets resulting in positive feedback from customers. This method of amplification is compact, easy to use and convenient for varying performance scenarios such as: loud electronic environments and electro-acoustic compositions.

“Pick up microphones:

Sometimes known as ‘piezoelectric’ microphones are different as…

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Let’s play stump the bassoonist

I sometimes run across bassoons with unusual or rare keywork features. Sometimes I’m amazed at how clever instrument makers are at coming up with solutions to problems with the bassoon fingerings. Sometimes it takes me a while to figure out how the mechanism works and how it’s used. I’m almost never permanently stumped on a key, I can usually figure out the weird things.

This one stumped me.


A small tab inserts into a hole drilled in the B natural lever that locks this little stub in place.


If you flex the arm of the button, you can get the little tab to fit under the B natural lever. This would seem to cause the stub to encounter a bit of cork at the body of the bassoon. At the moment this does not impede the travel of the B natural lever.


The other side of the stub shows the little tab.


You can see the hole the stub locks into on the B natural lever, and clearly see the indent cut into the wood where a bit of cork is.

Anybody know what it’s for? It doesn’t seem to do anything right now, so it’s probably missing cork or something.

I mean, it appears to function to limit how closed the low B key gets, but I can’t figure out a reason why you’d want a mechanism specifically designed for that, especially one that’s so cumbersome to undo.

Quick edit, I found Polisi’s patent through an interesting path in Google searches. It describes the mechanism as such:

The holes are differently from the main body of the instrument When the 315 is engaged in one of the holes the underside of stop member 311 is approximately flush with that of lever 310 and the stop member is inoperative. When pin 315 engages the other hole the stop member projects downward from the lever and prevents the stoppers the B C and D keys from approaching the corresponding tone holes more closely than approximately 1/32 – 1/32 inch and the desired mellow E sound can be produced.

So I was right, it’s meant to mute those keys. Specifically for low E. So, a little button just for the first note of Tchaik 6.

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