Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
I received a couple of unsolicited comments I have to share (with permission, of course.) Dick, We just finished a long recording session for an upcoming Pops disc, the 6/4 was incredible to play on it! Listening to the playbacks, it was shocking the presence that horn has! Tons of fun! Carson McTeer, Cincinatti Symphony The J445 and I are in with Wexford Opera Orchestra this week on Rusalka and I'm enjoying the range of timbres and accuracy of intonation that the tuba offers. The score uses the contrabass register and a lot of meaty unisons with double basses - the J445 blends wonderfully. I've never owned an instrument nimble enough to handle the huge variations in tuba writing in an opera score, from trombone section chorales to bass clarinet / bassoon responses and 5th horn roles. Your design yields warm, rich, resonant sound throughout. I'm beginning to appreciate the practical acoustic advantages of the utility F tuba as practised in Germany and apparently early 20th century UK orchestras prior to the now ubiquitous Eb. I also use this experience as another example of my belief in the superiority of a 5 valve system over compensation, having paid my dues on the Besson Sovereign / Imperial and its progeny! All best, Alex Kidston, Ireland
Posted by Richard Barth at 4:53 PM
Saturday, August 17, 2013
Alex Kidston sent these links from his new recording in Ireland. He recorded these on is BMB J-445sp F tuba. Give a listen. They're really good. Give 'em a listen. Thanks, Alex. Brassy Fusion https://soundcloud.com/willgrovewhite/brassy-fusion Mad Clowns https://soundcloud.com/willgrovewhite/mad-clowns I Got a Lot https://soundcloud.com/willgrovewhite/i-got-a-lot
Posted by Richard Barth at 12:14 PM
Thursday, July 18, 2013
First some stories: Vince DeRosa was at the Conn factory when a college girl came in to pick out an 8D. “Mr Derosa! What an honor. Would you pick out my horn for me?” He walked over to a display; picked one up at random and handed it to her. Said she,“You don’t understand. I mean play them and tell me which one I should buy.” Said he “You don’t understand, honey. I picked mine out like this and got used to it. You take this one and get used to it.” Note: I met DeRosa at a convention and asked him if that story were true. He said he had never been to the factory but it did sound like something he would have said. Perhaps it was at a music store. This story may have been exaggerated by the time it reached me but I believe the essence is correct. Rafael Mendez was at the Olds factory testing trumpets and did not like any that were presented to him. An engineer stayed back when they went to lunch. He discovered that Mendez’s old trumpet had leaky valves so he lapped some extra play into a new trumpet. When Mendez came back and played the new one he was upset that they let him test all morning when the good one was in the back. Totally factual or not, the point is that instruments are like shoes. Nothing feels as good as the shoes you’ve been wearing. Bob Giardinelli, when he had his famous music store in NYC had many, many Bach Strad trumpets in stock. Customers would ask how many he had, wanting to try them all to find the magic trumpet. More often than not he would declare his inventory to be three or four, knowing that trumpets could be like perfume at the cosmetic counter. After three, the senses become confused. Of course he couldn’t afford to maintain his low prices and clean his entire inventory after each customer. Asked what he did with the dogs, the lemons, he said sooner or later someone would declare it the best instrument he’d ever played. I went to NYC looking for a CC tuba in 1965. There were two for sale. (My how things have changed. Of course I could drink a case of beer back then but you could only get Schlitz, Schaefer, Bud and Pabst. Now there is a plethora of great micro beers and my capacity has shrunk to two. Life isn’t always fair.) Anyway, Bill Bell’s old Cerveny was for sale for $425. The horn with the rubber band on the water key that he played in the NBC Orchestra. You know, the one pictured with him in a tux. I found it too frail for a college student. The other was a Mahillon about which Walter Sear said “Here’s a horn you can take on the Subway.” Not planning to take a tuba on the subway, I passed. Sear did say something relevant to our topic. “When the chips are down, you turn to the horn you’ve played on most of your life.” He was referring to Harvey Phillips and his old Conn and Arnold Jacobs and his famous York.
Posted by Richard Barth at 5:54 AM
Friday, June 14, 2013
I am honored and flattered that a number of exceptional tubists have chosen Big Mouth Brass J-445 F tubas. Among them are Don Harry, Scott Mendoker, Alex Cauthen, Andy Smith and several others. Alex Kidston has documented his experience. Alex is the one of the foremost tubists in Ireland. I met him at the Ohare airport where he took delivery. I share his experience edited only to keep it concise. Alex Kidston, brass tutor at National University of Ireland Maynooth, tuba player at vox merus, and busy freelancer in Dublin Ireland.
Posted by Richard Barth at 7:18 AM
Monday, May 20, 2013
Midwest Regional Tuba Euphonium Conference was at Illinois State in Normal, IL. Andy Rummel and Dakota Pawlicki ran a great event with a plethora of fine performances. My thanks to everyone who tried out Big Mouth Brass tubas. Pictures are posted in the links.
Posted by Richard Barth at 12:39 AM
Sunday, April 21, 2013
NERTEC 2013 pictures added in links. Thanks to my wife, I was able to get away from my display and hear a few concerts. Everything I heard was top notch. It was a special treat to hear Don Harry's and Scott Mendoker's recitals. Both performed on the J-445. These are guys that make anything they play sound great. I am honored they chose my tubas. Both were extremely musical and sensitive performances, Don's on Friday and Scott's on Sunday. Carol Janstch's performance (not on a BMB) was very impressive never mind she did it standing up and in high heels. I was gratified and encouraged by the comments I got about the Big Mouth Brass tubas. I thought some were pulling my leg about how good the BAT is but I was able to muster up enough chops to play a few notes on the notable competition to understand the sincerity. I had a good chat with Scott about sound, pitch, and the Arnold Jacobs approach. I think we had similar experiences in our studies with Mr. Jacobs, albeit his were a decade later. He confirms that I am making a complete line of tubas for the tradition in which we were schooled. I'll post some thoughts soon. Pictures are in the links. Thanks to everyone who came by to try tubas.
Posted by Richard Barth at 7:20 PM
Monday, March 18, 2013
.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Shown are J-865SP MSRP:$11,840 Sale: $7,104 ...... J-764LQ MSRP:$10,452 Sale: $6,271 ......
Posted by Richard Barth at 8:15 AM
Saturday, February 16, 2013
Thanks to everyone who tried out instruments at TMEA and thanks for all the nice comments. This was the first time I've had, or even seen a waiting line to try out instruments. Pictures in links.
Posted by Richard Barth at 6:27 PM
Sunday, February 10, 2013
Ohio MEA and visit to OU. Thanks to everybody who tried out the tubas. A special shout out to Tony Zilincik who demonstrated that the BBb BAT can rock the house with an effortless fortissimo and be delicate and agile. Great playing. And thanks to Carson McTeer for coming up from Cinti to test them all. You guys made them sound great. And thanks to Jason Smith for the invite to show my wares at O.U. You sounded super on the F. More pics in links.
Posted by Richard Barth at 3:00 AM
Saturday, February 2, 2013
Monday, January 28, 2013
Thanks to everyone who stopped at the booth to try tubas, closeout brass and of course our Gemeinhardt flutes at NAMM 2013. I'm sorry I missed some pictures due to a failure of my blackberry. Next stop Ft Meyers for the Capital tuba conference. I have a few days between DC and Columbus, OH (OMEA) that are not yet committed for a display of tubas. Anyone between DC a Columbus (NJ? Pittsburgh?) want to host a tuba testing Jan 4 or 5? Pictures in links.
Posted by Richard Barth at 9:12 AM