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VERYAN WESTON tracker-action organs
JON ROSE violins

A1 - MAY 12: LIVERPOOL - 18:22
A2 - MAY 13: YORK - 29:34
A3 - MAY 15: NEWCASTLE part I - 12:55
A4 - MAY 15: NEWCASTLE part II - 8:58
A5 - MAY 15: NEWCASTLE part III - 7:29
B1 - MAY 16: SHEFFIELD part I - 7:36
B2 - MAY 16: SHEFFIELD part II - 12:43
B3 - MAY 16: SHEFFIELD part III - 18:41
B4 - MAY 19: LONDON - 37:48

All digital concert recordings made by the musicians:
A1 - Liverpool (Blue Coat Chapel) 2014 May 12
A2 - York (All Saints Church) 2014 May 13
A3-5 - Newcastle (Saint Silas Church) 2014 May 15
B1-3 - Sheffield (St Matthew’s Church) 2014 May 16
B4 - London (All Hallows-on-the-Wall Church) 2014 May 19
Total time 154:52

All previously unissued


Excerpts from sleeve notes:

An England-wide tour of music exploring new territories in tuning using tracker-action organs and re-tuned string instruments. A few notes on tuning:

Over the years Veryan Weston and I have musically engaged with the alternative combination of small pipe organs and strings. Although tonally worlds apart, the two instrumental types talk to each other – they just do. It's the historical digestive system at work – guts, wind, pipes. Back to animal first principles.

Which brings me on to the big banana – tuning. Left to our own devices, most string players will try and play pure intervals – well at least we will tune the 5ths pure no matter what kind of interval errors or horrors happen further along the way. As a music student, the given was that the piano was in tune and please will you try your best to get with the program. Then you discover later that you have been had.

JON ROSE (2014)

Tuning is conveyed not just through one note’s relationships with another note, but also through the tuning of the note to itself, by the sounding of sympathetic strings, parts of a resonating chamber or the internal workings of the instrument. This provides vital timbral information about the pitch and tuning tradition that the musician and instrument is employing.

However, when the tonal relationships between pitches cover a range of unusual micro-tonal intervals for the prevailing culture, listeners may find themselves spending more time than they thought working out what the music is, where it is going and what their feelings about it are, and so – a journey of discovery can begin.


Because the tracker-action organ is entirely mechanical, there is a more direct physical relationship between the instrument and the player. When each stop is very carefully and slowly pulled while a key is pressed, a myriad of uncertain transitional stages of sound is produced... at first just the breath, then a glimmer of sound, often a different pitch can be a microtone away from the final pitch or can be some kind of harmonically related partial to the final pitch.

So by using the stops partially pulled in different manuals (more than one keyboard) you can get microtonal relationships with each manual. The resulting chords are sonically rich and uncertain and changeable depending on the minutest push or pull of a stop in transition.


The three texts by the musicians are extracts from longer pieces written for the tour brochure, which can be seen complete here.


Links to other reviews:

JOHN EYLES - All About Jazz 2016


STEF - The Free Jazz Collective 2016

ANON - Dusty Groove 2016



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