Welcome to the online home of Paul Morris'
Music - please note this site is still being constructed and some of the Menu Links on the left are not yet functional.
12th March 2017
My Fortieth Year in Wax Phonograph Cylinder Production and the NEW CONCERT RECORDS
"It's true! Time does speed up with advancing years, and wax cylinders in my collection that I was given for my 16th birthday
seemed impossibly old as I gazed longingly at them, waiting for a phonograph to appear so that I could hear what sounds lay in their ancient groove.
They were about 70 years old then, not even antiques in the proper sense of the word, and if I can live for another 12 years, I will be as impossibly old as they were then.
If I can survive until I am 85, I will have owned them for as long as I have not owned them; if you see what I mean but don't worry if you don't.
The point is we are all getting older!
There are some advantages that the passing years have caused and there are plenty of things I can do better now than I could as a tender young sixteen-year-old;
play the piano, for example, and also, more to the point, make wax cylinders.
Had I been told that what began as a school project in the early 'seventies would result in a small, but useful income over forty years later, I don't think I would have believed it.
It was true, however. Over the last several of years I have made and supplied many hundreds of wax cylinder blanks the majority going to good friends and customers in the U.S.A.
- and this year looks like being the best yet. If the trend continues, I expect to turn out the best part of 1000 waxes by the end of 2017 alone.
As part of the celebrations I am producing over 20 titles in the 5 diameter Concert Cylinder Record format, and although this will not be the first time I have produced
these giant wax dinosaurs of a bygone age, recent experiments in wax production, shaving and moulding improvements and newly sourced raw materials mean that these will be the best yet.
Whilst more details will follow, and can be seen on my website paulmorrismusic.co.uk I can confirm that as before, I will be bringing a consignment over to the Union Phonograph Show, held in June,
at Donley's Wild West Town. Despite increased costs, reduced air travel baggage allowances and sundry other difficulties to overcome, these improved records will be the same cost of $50 each
- If ordered and paid for in advance! A price I cannot hold over until next year. If you have a Concert phonograph,
NOW IS THE TIME TO BUY. IF YOU DON'T HAVE ONE, BUY THEM ANYWAY!
Over the next few weeks I will be adding video footage of excerpts from some of the recordings available, so that you can see and hear what you will be getting,
with details of how you can order, and of bulk purchase offers. A full list of titles will be available soon.
I am taking a big risk carrying these fragile high-value items across the Atlantic, and although I cannot rule out the possibility of breakage,
it is a risk I am prepared to take; and, like last time they were produced, I will deliver free to the Union Phonograph Show
(only charging any import taxes that the consignment attracts which is usually none) Please support this venture!"
Sixteen year old me
Wax ready for melting
Concert phonograph at the ready
Concert record on the mandrel
Concert cylinders ARE big!
Concert versus Standard size
Concert and Standard moulds
Moulds showing cores & shells
The massive concert reamer
57 year old me in the Music Room
1st February 2017
New Video on Youtube
"I had the privilege of playing to the 1929 silent film "The Phantom Of The Opera" on 3rd December 2016 at "The Oak Room"
in Tiverton, Devon, UK.
The performance was recorded and is being made available as a DVD which is available for purchase here on the website (link below)."
Price £9.99 plus £1.50 post & packing.
The organ was built by George Osmond of Taunton, Somerset sometime in the late Victorian era when the current venue was a Congregational Church (until 2012) and underwent some work in the 1980s.
For details of the organ visit the Nation Pipe Organ Register >NPOR.ORG.UK
We have just uploaded 2 NEW Videos - Paul writes about the first:
"Not long ago we had the privilege of playing to the classic 1927 silent film "Sunrise" at Tiverton's popular art venue "The Oak Room".
The organ here is by no means the largest that we have played and certainly not the most modern, the majority of the action being of the Tracker type.
However, for beauty of sound and romance of effect it is hard to beat, and somehow seems just so "right" for the job."
And about the second:
"On the way home from an event near Brighton last week end, had an opportunity that I just could not resist, even if the results are rather rough and ready, just wanted to share it."
13th June 2015.
Paul Morris to play at The Oak Room, Tiverton (near Exeter) Devon on 20th June 2015 at 7:30 PM.
The programme will include live improvised music for the 1915 silent film epic "The Cheat", directed by Cecil B. De Mille. There will also be a half hour mini recital of light music from the '20s and '30s.
"I was asked some time ago to play "one or two" of my compositions as part of a concert in Crediton,
a small town north of Exeter, in Devon. These events are organised by Paul Vincent, and are called The Music Makers' Concerts. Paul is the grandson of the composer Thomas Dunhill.
About two months before it was agreed that the entire concert was to be given over for my use, and it was suggested that I play my pieces in the first half, and accompany a silent film in the second.
This was actually just what I needed in order to "dust off" some of my earlier compositions, and get some of my more recent ones heard in public, and I set to immediately to get soloists
for the piccolo and oboe pieces, and a vocalist for a setting of "On the Road to Mandalay" that I had completed about four years ago.
The first compositions played were some piano rags that I had written whilst at Poole Grammar School in the 1970s, and I was quite surprised how difficult they were to play. I was a preccotious child!
I also wrote the two piccolo pieces at about the same time, and was delighted to have found Jacquie Kenney, herself with connections in the Poole and Bournemouth area, to play them for me.
She said that she enjoyed playing them, and I was delighted with her interpretation.
I was similarly fortunate to find Carolyne Thomas to play the oboe piece that I wrote in the early eighties.
Other piano pieces followed, including "Naughty Natasha", "An Evening in Westhay" and a caprice that I wrote for a dear Czech friend, Ondrej Honc called simply "Ondrej".
As a record collector, I had always been intrigued by the number of different tunes there were to Kipling's famous poem: "On the Road to Mandalay" and having learnt recently that in fact there
are at least 19, I decided to have a go at one. Jason Bomford gave a rousing rendition, and I am grateful to him as well.
The film I chose for the second half was a 1918 version of a 1915 film called "The Cheat" Directed by Cecile B. DeMille, it's main star and Japanese villain, was Sessue Hayakawa, a very early Holywood
heartthrob. When the film was released, America was not at war, but subsequent developments required a more favourable assessment of the Japanese nation, and Mr Hayakawa then "became" Burmese, for the duration of the film.
I was initially doubtful whether or not I could maintain interest for a film of this length, having only played previously to shorter ones, but I soon found that it was an excellent and thrilling story,
which my audience were entirely captivated with. This was most rewarding."
Exeter, Devon, November 2014.
(Updated) 27th May 2013
- New Organ Tour Part 1 Video on YouTube
Due to many requests we have added Part 1 of a brief organ "Tour" video to our YouTube Channel.
This part is an "at the console" demonstration of some of the organ's voices.
13th June 2012
- Three New Theatre Organ CDs available soon from Paul Morris'
Paul Morris' Music is pleased to
announce some new theatre Organ CDs, all of which commemorate the
art of bygone stars, originally captured by the new electrical
recording techniques of the mid '20s, and re-mastered by Adrian
Tuddenham of Poppy Records, Bath in the UK.
Ready first, will be a tribute to Emil
Velazco, the young South American boy who rose from obscurity to
fame and then who disappeared from the scene almost as rapidly,
leaving only memories and these records, as a testament to his
musicianship and skill. Most of the recordings were made on
Velazco's 3/8 Kimball studio organ, and many of them are under his
pseudonyms Franklyn Ferris and Richard Jordan. He recorded
principally for Columbia and quite a few of the recordings were
issued on this company's cheaper labels of Velvetone and Diva as
well as the main black and gold label. The CD also includes a
recording by Velazco's Organ Melodians - a surprisingly appealing
up-tempo version of Ketelby's In a Monastery Garden!
Velazco's style was unique, soulful portamento, clever chromatic
inventions, melodies that interchanged between the hands, and a
compelling pedal style with telling reedy stops. His rhythmic
numbers were put across very impressively, and very expressively -
something only really possible with the intimate sound of the small
studio organ - whilst slower, flowing, romantic music was played
with a depth of feeling seldom equalled by many of his
contemporaries. Certainly there is no one like him today. Velazco
deserves to be brought to the attention of today's enthusiasts, and
to be re-evaluated as one of the truly great pioneers of the theatre
organ, and it is earnestly hoped that this CD will do just that.
Other CDs will include a tribute to Roxy Organist, Lew White and
a compilation CD of several other great pioneers of the theatre,
including Sigmund Krumgold and Milton Charles.
Available soon, watch this page for details.
November 2010 - Wax Cylinder Phonograph Blanks - a Bumper Year!
Paul Morris writes:
"Looking back over the last 12 months I see that this
has been a bumper year for the manufacture and supply of phonograph blanks.
It is hard to know just how many of these items I have made,
but since 1977 there must be quite a few of them around! Whilst going
back over the paperwork for this last year, I was amazed at just
how many entries there were for blanks, and at the end of the period
I did a total. Four hundred and ninety three! Is that a record?
Of course most of them will be records now, since that is
their purpose, and again I was thinking how wonderful it is that
they all go so far away and have such diverse fates. The vast
majority survive postage to far off lands, and that is usually the
last I see of them. A few have quite remarkable fates, however and I
thought I'd mention them here.
Not so long ago, Thailand was
celebrating the centenary of the introduction of the phonograph to
that country, and the Thai Phonograph Society organised a recording
session with the King. Like his ancestor 100 years ago, the King of
Thailand made a recording onto one of my blanks. What an honour!
Hilary Clinton, whilst making an appeal to raise funds at the Edison
National Historic Site also recorded a short speech in like manner.
The recording engineer was my friend Peter Dilg, who, in addition to
this remarkable project has recorded a number of celebrities onto
wax including innovator and musician, Les Paul.
Recently I heard of
another recording, this time by Jerry Fabris, a curator at the
Edison Site, made at The College Of New Jersey and was so delighted with it I asked permission to share
it with everyone, and so with no more comment from me, just use the
links below to witness the fate of one of those 493 blanks, made in Exeter
by Paul Morris' Music where the future it seems, is still in the
details of the recording session at The College of New Jersey >> HERE
the actual recording made on that day >> HERE
Also watch a video on YouTube of some more of my blanks being recorded on by Aleksander Kolkowski >> HERE
July 2010 - Read the Concertola Restoration
Saturday 29th of May 2010 was
a "Red Letter Day" for the continuing saga of Aeolian Organs
and music at 27 Blackall Road. Paul writes:
"I acquired the Concertola at the same time as the Aeolian
Pipe Organ Op1458 and eventually restored it during the first two
months of this year. I decided that a suitable first outing would
take the form of a dinner party, during which background music would
be provided by rolls played on the Concertola. Not just any rolls
however, but the ones that were last played when this machine still
worked. And that was a LONG time ago..."
story of the restoration of Aeolian Concertola Number 204 is now available to read >> HERE
A video of the Dinner Party held to celebrate
the completion of the restoration may be seen on the video page
>> HERE (Scroll down to
video number 14).
July 2010 - Paul
Morris to play in a
Paul Morris will play 2 "slots"
as part of a Concert at Southernhay United Reformed Church, Exeter
on Saturday 17th July at 7.30pm.
Paul will play both piano and organ and will
premiere one of his own compositions "Naughty Natasha" as part of
There will be retiring
donations for the Church Building Fund.
When on the Southernhay site select the "People & News magazine" link near the
bottom of the home page and then "People and News July-August 2010"
and scroll down quite a way to find details of the Concert.
There is also a link "How to Find Us" on the left had side of
20th November 2009 - New CD.
"20 Hits You Won't Know From Shows
You've Never Even Heard Of"
Why would anyone give a CD such an
unlikely title? The simple answer is because its probably true!
Those of us immersed in the past, seldom realise what esoteric lives
we lead, and usually become immune to the jibes of those whose
musical entertainment comes from post-war times. What about the '60s
and beyond I hear you say? My reply? What about them?! Was any music
written then? Of course I jest, but not by much, and as if to prove
the point, I invite you all to experience some delightful melodies
from the musical backwaters of yesteryear.
My earnest wish
is to have brought back to life some of my favourite songs that I
have learned from vintage records. I think I have an ear for melody
and charm, and have selected and transcribed these pieces for, and
played them on my Aeolian Residence Pipe Organ. I hope you like
see all the details and to purchase this
new CD >> CLICK HERE
1st November 2009 - "A recent recording
session and a NEW CD."
"Rainbows And Rendezvous" New CD Cover Image
Orchestrelle Model 'V' (from the Aeolian Catalogue)
"Not so long ago I acquired a Model V
Orchestrelle. Intending to sell it on, I set about restoration and
when the job was finished, I was so pleased with it, that I
determined to keep it! You can pedal a roll, and get up and walk to
the other side of the room before it runs out of wind!!
A few months ago I decided to record it and made what I thought
would be sufficient preparation of the room and a few little
"niceties" of adjustment on the instrument.
My recording engineer,
Adrian Tuddenham of "Poppy Records" in Bath is, however, very
exacting. Heavy sheets were hung on cords strung from one side of
the room to the other in order to remove traffic noise, the last
noises of foot pedalling were all but removed by wrapping a heavy
blanket around my feet, and part of the transmission mechanism was
rebuilt in order to remove the faint, but noticeable chain noise. In
short, a lot of effort went into the setting up.
The repertoire, too, was carefully chosen. We wanted a mixture,
and whilst nothing too heavy was chosen, we did not shy away from
It includes a very effective
transcription of a Grieg string quartet. Some Gounod and Wagner
were chosen of course, along with some "Show" selections.
The CD, which was christened "Rainbows and
Rendezvous" starts with a lively march: "The Little Duchess" and
ends with a spirited rendering of Wallace's "Maritana
The CD is aimed at the widest possible
audience who, it is hoped will enjoy the wonderful music contained
on it, but Orchestrelle enthusiasts ought to be especially pleased
and accordingly I draw it to your attention now, and with Christmas
around the corner, I hope you will find it of interest."
The latest recording of Op.
1458 - "Is There An Organ In The
- is now available for
purchase from this website. Paul Morris plays a lovely
selection of pieces in this first "live" recording since
the restoration of this wonderful instrument was completed.
Including many favourites and an
original composition by Paul entitled "West Of England March",
this new recording is a must for those who have enjoyed Paul's
videos on YouTube
Here is the chance to hear this rare instrument in a high quality
recording which much better captures the experience of hearing this
organ in all its glory in it's home environment.
see all the details and to purchase this
new CD >> CLICK HERE
June 2009 - Op. 1458 has
a "New" Blower!
Aeolian Residence Organ Op. 1458 has a
"New" Blower. To read the story and see pictures of
Rescue, Restoration and Installation CLICK HERE
"....Well, we got to the church,
and how wrong I was! .....it seemed to have grown, as if, nourished by
the damp lavatorial air, like a giant rusty cylindrical mushroom, it
was ready to burst. How on earth were we going to shift
March 2009 - New Videos on
Paul has recorded a selection of the tracks found on the CD
"Sounds from the Cinemas" for YouTube. His own transcription of
some of the tracks, which were played by famous Organists of the era
on Organs around the UK, gives a flavour of the CD which is
available from this site. The CD was re-mastered from originals in
the Archives of Paul Morris' Music.
Click HERE for
futher information about the CD or HERE to view
the YouTube Video.
Also last October (2008) saw us apearing at Peter Webb's music room in
Woking, where we had the pleasure of giving a small recital on his
Spurden Rutt "Organestra" as part of a Theatre Organ Club event.
Playing a new organ is an exiting and often challenging
experience and this was no exception. Despite an ongoing restoration
project, this rare organ (one of only two in existance) shows plenty
There are 2 videos from this event on
YouTube now. The first is a solo piece of Paul playing "Lemare's
Andantino" and the second is a Piano and Organ Medley with Frank
Fowler playing the Organ whilst Paul provides a Piano accompaniment.
Although the video and audio quality aren't the best we think they
are still worth a look. Go to our Video Page HERE
and scroll to the bottom to watch these (and
March 2009 - New Aeolian CD
Available to Buy Now!
successful launch of Op. 1458 in February 2008, Paul Morris is delighted
to offer a CD which fully captures the magic of the Aeolian
Pipe-Organ when played by some of the world's greatest organists
through the medium of the Duo Art.
To read more and hear what the critics say>> CLICK
June 2nd 2008 - Wax Cylinder
the story of how Paul Morris
came to be a manufacturer of Wax Cylinder Records. This in-depth 5 part story with many
photographs gives a fascinating insight into the history, motivation and technical detail behind his passion and involvement with this occupation.
Another 2 videos of Paul playing
Opus 1458. The first is William C. Polla's "Dancing Tambourine" from
1927, the second is "Poor Butterfly" first heard in 1916 in
the Broadway show "The Big Show" and since recorded by many
well know artists including Frank Sinatra. The music was written
by Raymond Hubbell and the lyrics by John Golden. This is an
instrumental version. To view these go to the Organ Video page >> Organ
April 27th 2008 - More video of
Aeolian Organ Opus 1458.
We have just added 2 more videos to YouTube.
The first is of Paul Morris playng an original composition of his called "Weston-super-Mare March". The second is a
medley entiltled "Three Snappy Numbers" comprising 3 well known
tunes - "Anything Goes", "I Wanna Be Loved By You" and "Crazy
Rhythm". To view these go to the Organ Video page >> Organ
March 25th 2008 - Story of
Aeolian Organ Opus 1458
We have added Part One of the story of our Aeolian Organ Opus 1458 to the site.
The fascinating story of how this wonderful instrument came to be in the Music Room at Blackall Road begins here >> Organ History Part
click the History link to be found in the menu at the left of this page. More to follow soon.
March 2008 - Paul Morris to play at
the Curzon Cinema Clevedon on 16th March
Paul Morris will be playing the
vintage Compton Electronic Organ at the Curzon
Cinema Clevedon on Sunday 16th March 2008.
Curzon is an historic cinema with an interesting website, which provides more information.
MARCH 2008 - Reviews and Pictures of 1458s' Inaugural Concert .
The Concert Programme Cover.
Paul Morris writes:
"Well, it came and went! It was only after the last of the forty
or so guests had left that I realised what a lot of stress I had
been under, and what a successful day it had been.
many very positive comments, and I feel that despite one
sticking contact in the Duo Art player, which was easily cured,
the organ gave a good account of itself.
A CD of the musical
items was made and makes for interesting listening now that the
pressure is off. Whilst this CD is not for general sale, it may
become available if there is enough interest.
appearance on YouTube has been alot of fun, and thanks to the help
of my good friends Hugh Blaney and Mark Bloor the video is of
notably better quality than many others on the site.
We hope to put together a selection of
additional ones soon. The other items in preparation include an
organ tour, plus some programme music for silent films. Watch this space.............
a sincere thank you to all who came-in some cases literally many
thousands of miles."
"The future is in the past"
PM at the Console of 1458
Taylors' Review of the day:
"As announced in MMD previously,
Paul Morris held an inauguration for his recently installed and
freshly restored Aeolian Opus 1458, Duo-Art player organ. The event
in Exeter, Devon, UK on February 23, was an all day affair. Starting
at 11 a.m., attendees gathered at 27 Blackall Road and went about
the pleasant task of greeting old acquaintances and making new ones.
Guests hailed from England, Australia, and USA.
program began with a well prepared and rehearsed audio- visual
presentation. Using both slides and videos, Paul showed the
instrument progressing from an unrestored and in anguishing
condition in America, to a fully restored and expertly installed
state in his residence in Exeter. His Victorian three-story town
house had to be modified to accommodate the larger-than-average
3manual, 37 rank organ. Even with these modifications, access to the
organ chambers still requires agility and a slim waistline.
The organ was first demonstrated by means of the organ's
detached 176-note Duo-Art roll player. Using rolls that exhibit the
orchestral quality of the Aeolian pipe organ, Paul demonstrated the
wide range dynamics, multiple voices, and lovely phrasing
incorporated in expertly arranged Aeolian Organ Guild rolls. A broad
selection of rolls gave a convincing performance of the chameleon
qualities of the Aeolian.
Next, various guests played
116-note rolls at the console. To properly render these selections,
the user must nimbly set stops and other controls as the roll
instructions pass over the tracker bar. This is a true interactive
experience and the participants did a marvelous job.
dinner, which was almost a banquet, created a natural interval and
allowed more social interaction among the guests. Following the meal
were live organists who played informally. At 8 p.m., host Paul
Morris appeared at the console with a selection of well rehearsed
numbers starting out with a medley of Victor Herbert tunes. That
concluded the formal part of the program, but superb performances
continued as various professional organists stopped in and kept the
evening alive with well-polished renditions of their favorites.
What had happened in that one day represented a dream come
true for Paul Morris. It also displayed his perseverance and labor
of hundreds of hours to make this organ spring back to life.
Surrounded by enthusiasts, the camaraderie made the event a true
career highlight for most of us. Many MMDers were there, many PPG
members, and many AMICA members, too. Some of us met for the first
time, but we'll see each other again. As some of these Brits will
invade the U. S. for the summer Los Angeles AMICA convention, I will
have my hands full as they are certain to pass by my area.
Paul gave a preview performance for this event on YouTube (See
the "Video" page under "Our Aeolian Residence Organ"
on the Menu at the left - Ed.) He also pre recorded the program
and has available the CD if you contact him. Great music, great
fun, great people, and a wonderful machine. Who could ask for
Just a note to express my
thanks for the invitation to a truly memorable day at your
house. It was a very fitting celebration of your fantastic
achievement in the successful rebuilding of the Aeolian Pipe Organ.
Harry was most impressed with the proceedings and has
asked me to add his thanks to this message.
We so enjoyed the
celebratory concert yesterday. Congratulations - it
sounded spectacular. The food was wonderful and it was great to meet
so many enthusiasts.
For more pictures of the
Concert go to the "Gallery" link under "Our Aeolian Residence Organ"
on the Menu at the left or Click > HERE
17th FEBRUARY 2008
- The first video of Paul playing Aeolian Organ Opus 1458 has been posted on YouTube Click > HERE
2007 - The Picture Galleries of our Aeolian Residence Organ are now available to view online. Go to the "Gallery" link under "Our Aeolian Residence Organ" on the Menu at the left or Click > HERE
has also added a brief "thumbnail" Biography of himself - so if you would like to know more about the motivation behind Paul Morris' Music then Click > HERE
2007 - We are pleased to announce that the range
of Paul Morris' Music published CDs is available NOW for purchase
Online from this site. Please click on the "New Records" Link
(under Shops) in the Menu on the left, or Click > HERE
Based in the
City of Exeter in the County of Devon, U.K. Paul Morris' Music is
dedicated to promoting Vintage Music, chiefly from
the 'teens and 'twenties and specialising in Mechanical Musical
Instruments and Talking Machines .
Providing Advice, Sales, Repair and Skilled Restoration of a wide
range of Player Pianos, Pipe Organs, Phonographs and
Gramophones, we are enthusiasts committed to providing a
highly Professional and Personal service to all our
customers, many of whom have also become our friends.
This site will soon contain details of our stock of genuine
Phonograph Cylinders and 78 RPM Records which will be For
Our unique Reproduction Blank Cylinders and Re-Mastered Recordings
Material will also be offered for sale along with Sundries and Spares. We are also
often able to source specific requirements for our customers from our
extensive Worldwide Contacts.
Popular CDs of performances by Paul Morris himself, of period musical
pieces, played on a restored Aeolian Residence Organ installed in
a Victorian house in Exeter, are now available for purchase.
Paul Morris also offers his services as a talented Organist and Performer on Theatre
Organ and Piano as well as providing Tuition.
There will be extensive information and pictures of the Restoration
of the Aeolian Organ and it is planned (in the fullness of time)
to have a "Video Tour" of the organ and additional performances available
Please call back often to check
on progress as the site is constructed in the coming weeks and
In the meantime for all Enquiries please Contact us using details
on our Contact Form > HERE