NEMES November 2006 Membership Meeting

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Our scheduled speaker for November was Leonard Solomon.  Leonard designs and builds what can only be described as very unusual musical instruments with equally unusual names such as "The Majestic Bellowphone", a cross between a pipe organ a French horn and a drum kit. Norm Jones and I met Leonard at Dave Dearbornís engine /steam show this spring and after a few minutes discussion with him about his instrument and itís construction we both immediately said "Guest Speaker". Items of interest that he will discuss are the valving mechanism for the pipe organ portion of the instrument and the unique method he uses to fabricate the bellows that drives the instrument. I am sure he will also play a couple selections in a classical motif for our enjoyment.

The show and talk that Leonard gave us was one of the most enjoyable and educational experiences I have had in a long time.  With wit and humor he described the construction of his unusual instruments.

Our secretary, Todd Cahill, is going to try to send me a recording of some of the tunes played by Leonard.  If at all possible I will get the recording on to this web site!  What does a Bellowphone sound like?  Think steam calliope or perhaps pipe organ on happy pills.  It was great!!!

This page is written and posted on 3 November 2006.  Please check back to see if Todd and I are able to get the sound track going.  It will be worth it.

P1010047-1.JPG (36452 bytes)  Leonard setting up one of the instruments

P1010049-1.JPG (56744 bytes)  Talking about the how and why of his craft

 P1010050-1.JPG (95416 bytes)  P1010051-1.JPG (105618 bytes) 

P1010052-1.JPG (48074 bytes)  A view of the "keyboard".  There are 32 keys which give a two and a half octave range 

P1010053-1.JPG (56037 bytes)  The ball shaped bellows are laid up with liquid latex for many layers.  The plumbing pieces in the front of the bellows are ordinary H.D. plumbing components

P1010054-1.JPG (106077 bytes)  P1010055-1.JPG (57529 bytes)  These two instruments are joined by a flexible tubing.

P1010056-1.JPG (61369 bytes)  This pipe is made of dog food cans soldered end to end.  Leonard described how he makes his instruments our of "found" materials

P1010057-1.JPG (55582 bytes)  Demonstrating how the reeds are made and how they function

P1010058-1.JPG (46318 bytes)  P1010059-1.JPG (45888 bytes)  Lovely music from the junkyard

The following pictures were taken by Rich Koolish and are published here with his permission.



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