MAJOR ORCHESTRION AND MECHANICAL MUSIC COLLECTION WILL BE OFFERED AT CLARS IN JULY 2013 The lifetime collection of Ray Siou (1925-2013) including mechanical music rolls, player pianos, and orchestrions will be auctioned at Clars Auction Gallery in Oakland, California, July, 13-14th 2013
News-Antique.com - Jul 01,2013 - MAJOR ORCHESTRION AND MECHANICAL MUSIC
COLLECTION WILL BE OFFERED AT CLARS IN JULY 2013
~ THE PRIVATE LIFETIME COLLECTION OF RAY SIOU ~
OAKLAND’S MUSIC MAN
Oakland, CA — Even if you’ve never heard the terms mechanical music or orchestrion, chances are you’ve heard the music. Think carousel rides at amusement parks and fairs. Remember how exciting it was to hear the carousel music and know that you were going to be able to pick your favorite horse or tiger or swan to take a spin for as long as the song lasted? Orchestrions are the instruments that played these wonderful songs. Also known as band organs, these player instruments play, not only the piano, but an entire band or “orchestra’s” worth of instruments.
The lifetime collection of Ray Siou (1925-2013) including mechanical music rolls, player pianos, and orchestrions will be auctioned at Clars Auction Gallery in Oakland, California, July, 13-14th 2013 as part of their important Fine Arts and Antiques Sale.
Orchestrions and player instruments had their heyday at the turn of the 20th century before radio or television. They played rolls. For the big orchestrions, multiple rolls were necessary to play a song. Mechanical music rolls are long strips of paper with holes punched at intervals and come in as many different types and varieties as the pianos, band organs, or orchestrions that play them. These rolls are based on the punch cards originally used in textile mills to make jacquard fabric. Essentially, they are an early computer programing mechanism. When threaded into a player piano or orchestrion, the instrument ‘plays’ by following the holes in the paper roll. Mechanical music machines ceased to be popular with the general public as radios became more affordable and can now be found only rarely. A die-hard group of collectors and enthusiasts remain, however. Ray Siou was a part of this group, serving as a member and "Honor Roll" inductee of AMICA the Automatic Musical Instrument Collector's Association which will be holding its 50th anniversary convention the weekend of July 14th in San Francisco.
Ray collected for decades. When he retired from the family business he bought two player pianos on a whim. The pianos came with large collections of paper rolls and Ray was hooked. Ray Siou became the “Roll Mogul” using his impressive collection of rolls as templates to re-cut difficult to find types and titles. Ray sold his new rolls to collectors and institutions at modest prices. His pricing and large selection helped institutions across the country build or rebuild collections. For example, Roy helped the caretakers of Glen Echo Park in Maryland build a collection of rolls for their historic 1921 Denzel Carousel whose music is played on a 1926 Wurlitzer Band Organ using mechanical rolls. If you ever visit the park, think of Ray as you take a leisurely trip back to a more gentile era while listening to one of the last publicly played orchestrion’s in America.