View Full Version : Demo with Glass Harmonica

Adam Burford
02-04-2004, 03:19 PM
Here\'s my demo of a big hit from 1909 arranged for Glass Harmonica and 4 Celli.
Simple Confession by Francis Thome (\"http://www.mydocsonline.com/pub/aburford/SimpleConfession_Thome.MP3\")

I have another piece on my website that uses the glass harmonica--Humming Bird Waltz, arranged from a children\'s piano piece.

Houston Haynes
02-04-2004, 09:41 PM
NICE! Did you use legato mode, or is the separation in the strings intentional (contrasting the long sustains in the harmonica)? It\'s an absolutely lovely piece.

One last thing - what was the reverb you used?

Adam Burford
02-05-2004, 07:19 AM
Originally posted by Houston Haynes:
...Did you use legato mode, or is the separation in the strings intentional?...

what was the reverb you used? <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Easy question first: The reverb was the Garritan Ambience Recital Hall 2. I chose it because it doesn\'t have a lot of reverb, but the celli sounded a little distant--like in a little recital hall(!).

The most overriding technical issue for me on this one was how to get the maximum definition from the glass harmonica. It has no damping.

I discovered that if the celli played legato all notes seemed to be lost in a wash of sound--the strings, but especially the harmonica. So I used legato mode very sparingly, and I reduced the duration of most notes.

In the loudest part of the piece I made the harmonica staccato. The notes don\'t sound short but it had the effect of bringing out the friction sound of the attack on the individual notes.

I actually worked to modify the velocity of individual harmonica notes, because the music would just swallow them up.

I did some modifcations to the main repeating rhythmic pattern of the celli for clarity. It\'s a 2-note pattern on the 2-3 of a quarter note triplet (with the downbeat missing). When I first starting thinking about it I imagined two sustained notes of equal strength. But, again, the music lost it\'s clarity mainly because the glass harmonica was swallowing all sound. So the main two-note rhythmic pattern got some treatment: one note sharp attack, the other note shorter with a slightly softer attack.

I did use legato mode when I just had to have the characteristic singing cello sound. images/icons/smile.gif

02-05-2004, 07:38 AM
Wow, I picture some sort of circus music machine with little people inside working the controls (scary).

The glass harmonica sounds great.

Karl Garrett
02-05-2004, 09:11 AM
What other sampling software would include a glass harmonica? So cool… Besides the quality of the sound in GPO, these are the little things that make using GPO so much fun.

Houston Haynes
02-05-2004, 10:29 AM
I just listened to it again - and it *is* extremely well done. I have a piece that uses a glass harmonica from a public Giga library, and it\'s nice, but the character is not as rich as the one in GPO. I\'m not sure if that\'s a good or a bad thing, as it cuts through without too much effort. I have plans to go back and re-work the cue with GPO (and DIVA replacing the thremin part that coincides with the glass harmonica), and your piece has inspired me to put it at the top of my list of arranging \"to-dos\". Thanks again for sharing.

Adam Burford
02-05-2004, 11:51 AM
Originally posted by UNIX_GURU:
Wow, I picture some sort of circus music machine...<font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Are you referring to the Humming Bird Waltz on my site? Because if you are... that\'s exactly what I had in mind! But I suspect that there\'s a little bit of the mechanical music machine in everything I arrange.

A couple of years ago I heard a restored 1915 Wurlizter \"Military\" Band Organ playing at some New Jersey seaside amusement park. The thrill of hearing that machine has never left me.

02-05-2004, 01:36 PM
Its cool to hear other types of music being done with GPO besides he usual Hollywood and classical. There\'s heavy metal, disco and now this piece.
didn\'t Ben Franklin invent the glass harmonica?

02-06-2004, 12:09 AM
\"restored 1915 Wurlizter \"Military\" Band Organ\"

Ahh yes, that would explain it.

It is a neat sound that I don\'t hear much, though it comes out in your music very well.