The Wurlitzer style K Photoplayer was one of the largest and most musically versatile of all the Wurlitzer photoplayers, and it could be played automatically using Concert PianOrchestra music rolls, which were ideally suited to this large instrument because of their extensive set of register and trapwork controls. Easy to install, the style K photoplayer was a self-contained unit, which sat in the orchestra pit, if there was one, or, if not, below the movie screen. It was situated so that the operator (who sat at the piano keyboard) could watch the movie while coordinating music and/or sound effects that matched the mood of any on-screen action. If a theater wanted anything much more musically extensive a theater organ would have to be installed, which required custom pipe chambers built into the auditorium building, along with an organ console and a complex cabling system consisting of miles of electrical wiring, all of which was an elaborate and costly installation process at best.
The tape recording used to create this CD was made by Tim Westman on April 7, 1986. At the time of the recording, the Style K Photoplayer was located in Tim Westman's restoration shop, with the large and noisy motor powered blower that supplied both vacuum and wind-pressure to the instrument sitting nearby. This arrangement did not make for an ideal recording environment, but, at the time, it was never thought that this tape might someday be made available to a general audience. Nonetheless, once digitized, the audio signal was equalized to compensate for tape roll-off and poor microphone placement, all of which greatly exaggerated the mid-range and especially the bass frequencies. Then, extensive noise reduction technology was applied in order to eliminate the distractingly loud mechanical blower noise and whine. This was followed by the addition of a minor amount of reverberation to replace room ambiance lost due to the high level of blower noise that completely masked these subtle qualities. All in all, this CD provides a good audio characterization of a large Wurlitzer Photoplayer, but it is also not the high quality recording that I would otherwise like to offer.
Playing Wurlitzer Concert PianOrchestra music rolls, this impressive Wurlitzer style K Photoplayer amply demonstrates the musical and tonal breadth of scale built into this top-of-the-line photoplayer. The rich, full violin and reed tones are bolstered by foundational bass timbres that must have brought chills to the avid movie goers of the silent film era. The musical selections on this CD range from classical to marches and popular music of the day, all played with equal finesse.
Wurlitzer Style K Photoplayer
|1.||Entry Of The Gladiators|
|2.||Die Fledermaus Selections|
|3.||Gold and Silver Waltz|
|4.||Troica! Waltz Russe|
|5.||Man Steight Nach! Tanzlied|
|8.||Love Me and The World is Mine|
|15.||Comrades Of The Legion, March|
|16.||For All And Forever, March|
|17.||The Gallant Hero, March|
|18.||unknown Popular or Blues|
|20.||unknown Popular or Blues|
|21.||Men To The Front, March|
|22.||Repazz Band, March|
|23.||Sabres and Spurs, March|
|25.||How Ya Gonna Keep Em Down On The Farm (After They've Seen Paree), One-Step|
|26.||Good-bye France (You'll Never BE Forgotten By The USA), One-Step|
|27.||American Red Cross, March|
|10.||One Fine Day|
|11.||Doodle Do Do|
Listen to a sample.....
"GOLD AND SILVER WALTZ"
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