Harpsichord and Vibes
JOHN REYNOLDS CATCH SINGLE MANUAL HARPSICHORD (1942) - 2 SETS OF STRINGS PER NOTE WITH PEDAL SELECTORS (Leather or Quill plectra with Lute stop)
A lovely single manual harpsichord built in 1942 by John Reynolds Catch. The recordings were done with a couple of nice Condenser mics fairly close to the strings. You can hear the natural resonance of the instrument. Steve is the player in this excerpt, and the first piece is a work in progress track from his 'Prufrock' project, and the second and third are more fiddly (and pretty difficult!) excerpts from pieces by Scarlatti which attempt to show the different sounds the instrument can produce. We have also used this instrument as an echo chamber in the past as it's got a beautiful reverb sound - you can just about hear the natural reverb in the recording below.
A set of these extremely rare, portable, 'boxed' electronic vibes were discovered recently in somebody's loft in Cambridge, and they were fixed up by Steve - now working very well. The metal bars have a pickup on each, which is then fed into a small preamp and tremelo function. Sounds absoultely gorgeous, like the real thing! You can hear them being played on the Spitfire Sisters track below.