(Ad Maeorum Dei Gloriam)
Welcome to the Silver Octopus Studios website.
Please navigate around the site using the various buttons to find details of the many products and services that we offer.
We believe that there is nothing that can equal the sound of a real pipe organ when it is designed and built with consummate artistry and skill and installed in a suitable space. In an ideal world, there would be no need for any substitute but in the real world, there are some valid reasons why a pipeless alternative to the real thing may need to be considered. Where the provision of a real pipe organ cannot be accomplished for one reason or another, our goal is to provide the best and closest alternative built with equal artistry and skill using the best technology available.
The company was founded in 1985 initially as a 16 track recording studio. As technology developed it moved into music and specialist sample production for clients including the BBC and Granada television. Other activities included recording samples for Ahlborn Organs of Germany and the creation of organ sample libraries for E-mu and later; Gigastudio. With the advent of HAUPTWERK, it was realised that at last, there was a more viable means to create a pipeless organ which was vastly superior to any other commercially available system. More recently, we have been able to expand the sample production side of things to providing complete, finished instruments including consoles, audio systems and installation.
Who is Who
Charles Braund was educated at Stonyhurst College and became interested in organs as a teenager. He studied piano with John Mallord and John Lavender the concert pianist and had organ lessons with Ralph Downes and Alistair Sampson of Eton College. Apart from playing for services both at school and in the local church he also played the Compton cinema organ at the Regal, Henley-on-Thames for matinee performances during school holidays. After leaving school, he was apprenticed to Dennis Thurlow of Nicholson's as his personal assistant and was appointed as the resident pianist in a local Michelin starred restaurant. In his early twenties he was organist to St Georges Cathedral in Southwark for a summer season and worked for Viscount Organs as UK sales manager and demonstrator. This was followed by a period working for Bosendorfer and Conn organs in London before being appointed as UK sales manager to Kawai Pianos. He was also the UK representative for Heyligers Organs of Holland. In 1985, he set up a music shop in Derbyshire dealing mainly with educational supplies to several counties and founding Silver Octopus Studios. Silver Octopus Studios started out as a 16 track recording studio before gradually moving into the production of music and recording for various TV and film companies. The company also imported organs from Ahlborn in Germany for which English sample sets were created. After working some years for PC World, he lived for two years in Spain before returning to the UK where he now lives in Somerset.
Neil Craig began his classical musical education on the piano under the tutelage of his father at age 8. Later, he took up the post of assistant organist at Guisborough Parish Church at 16, after being Head Chorister in the choir, before becoming organ scholar of Mossley Hill Parish Church, Liverpool, under Colin Porter. Currently, he works in I.T. for the local authority and plays in a local band. As one of the earliest users of Hauptwerk, he was one of our first HW customers and it soon became apparent that his knowledge of both organs and computer programming would be invaluable to the company. Neil is responsible for the creation of the Studio Series of libraries. These use our original dry samples but have been further developed to present organs for the home and other dry acoustics using his own developments in custom pipe positioning and convoluted reverberation.
Graham Harrison was raised in Derbyshire where, as a teenager and
complete novice he found himself promoted overnight from the position of Sunday
School Pianist to that of Organist of his local Congregational church. After
graduating in Physics from London University in 1962, Graham's first career was
in the paper industry but in 1980, after several years as a senior manager in a
large Kentish paper mill, Graham commenced training at Cambridge for the
Anglican priesthood. For nearly 20 years he served as Vicar of a parish in
Nottinghamshire and although (he readily admits) he never attained much
competency as an organist, he always maintained an interest in and love of the
organ. About the time of the millennium, quite by chance Graham discovered MIDI
and shortly afterwards, jOrgan - and was able to realise a life-long ambition to
build an organ console in his home. A desire for a more realistic pipe organ
sound than he was achieving with the JEUX sound font subsequently led Graham to
the Silver Octopus web site and, shortly before he retired at the end of 2004,
to a meeting with Charles. Having returned, in retirement, to his north
Derbyshire roots (though actually he lives just over the border in Cheshire)
Graham was able to further his relationship with Silver Octopus Studios where,
with a little persuasion by Neil he was soon fully converted to Hauptwerk. With
the experience gained from designing and building his own home console as well
as several others for HW users, he has a very comprehensive knowledge of the
hardware side of HW and can wield a mean soldering iron. He is also very
experienced in the creation of graphic interfaces for HW instruments. Having
served in the Anglican church for some years, he is familiar with the granting
of faculties and other ecclesiastical matters to do with organs.
There are several other people who act as advisers and consultants to Silver Octopus from time to time. All are either professional organists or organ builders with extensive knowledge of both pipe and pipeless instruments.
In addition to our studio on the farm in Somerset, we have a large storage barn (approx. 40' x 40' x 20') in which complete instruments - pipe or pipeless, can be set up as required. We are also closely affiliated to a well known organ builder with extensive premises offering all organ building facilities including a pipe metal casting workshop, foundry, woodworking workshops and extensive CNC facilities.
(Laus Deo Semper)
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