Stan West Plays a Tune From Tasmania

A man never knows where he’ll find a horse to buy. In this, my third week of Tasmanian horse hunting, I visited the Cygnet History Museum on a whim. Like I said, you never know….

That’s where I met Stan Watts. Stan is a museum volunteer. And while he couldn’t put me onto a horse, he did offer to play me a tune on the museum’s harmonium.

Stan Watts seated at his organ

Built by Stan’s reckoning in the 1920s, the harmonium, a type of simple church organ, reminded me of a cross between a piano and a furnace bellow. The bellow is operated through vigorous foot pumping and blows air over the open pipes that make the instrument’s sound. Then there are levers to pull, keys to depress. It gives the operator the appearance of flying slowly through syrup – all to the tune of something you might expect in a serious moment at a carnival.

Stan at the organ

Hands, keys and levers

I figured you’d enjoy listening so I had Stan play you a tune. If you listen carefully, you’ll hear all matter of clicking, pumping and pushing sounds as Stan operates his lovely music machine. So sit back, hit the audio player below, close your eyes and let your mind wander Tassie-way. Enjoy!

To have Stan play you a tune click on the player below.

Carolyn Howell
2010-11-27 09:57:19

I enjoyed Stan’s tune.

2010-11-27 12:24:40

wow… if I close my eyes i imagine card-board cutouts of boats swaying in time… great images bernie

2010-11-27 17:21:18

Hey, glad you enjoyed Stan’s tune. Even though I haven’t found a horse yet, my ten buck bike has brought me across some great sound scapes. Stay tuned for the Razor the Amazer interview! Your homework ‘til then: think of three things that signify “you are free….”. Cheers guys! Bernie in Tassmania

Al Privette
2010-11-27 18:08:06

Reminds me of an old-timey carnival I once went to. And yes, there was a “hoochy-goochy show” ….. and yes, I went in that tent. Shouldn’t have done that! Some things you never forget. You have a lot of never-forget-experiences. We’re living through your adventers!!


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