Hot Topics, Travels and Throwbacks
My World of Hammond (5)
It’s been a ‘hot’ summer in many different ways. So where to start? I wish I could give you a glimpse into all the sorts of exciting developments that are and have been going on, but since that would be too much, let me just concentrate on what is tangible – which is actually excited enough on its own!
My research into the history and future of the Hammond organ seems to be the main and ever returning subject when it comes to all my other activities. The first chapter of this thesis has been finished and approved by my professors and promoters. It describes and discusses the emergence of the Hammond organ as pioneering innovation and the life of its inventor, Laurens Hammond. It’s not a story built up by just facts, instead its centres around the actors that have influenced the history of the instrument’s development. I talk about the climate in which innovation could come about, the technologies, the social and cultural factors present and the people that – together with Hammond – were decisive for the development of the Hammond organ.
On another note, despite the discussion about the open access of scientific articles, which I strongly support, I abide the policy of the Erasmus University and therefore won’t be sharing the entire chapter on my website – yet. Of course I hope to be able to share this content at some point, since I believe in a Hammond community where people can share interesting facts and perspectives. Keeping science alive, am I right?
I’m very much looking forward to the upcoming visit to the Chicago History Museum next week. The Hammond Organ Company Records between 1928 and 1985 are stored there, which the Marmon Group, as owner of the Hammond brand, donated to the museum when Hammond passed onto non-American hands during the eighties. As researcher I’ll get access to these archives – which I expect to be of great importance to my research. There are about 20 meters of boxes containing correspondence, reports, drawings and patents, budget and marketing plans, operational figures, et cetera. They also preserve a collection of promotional and educational materials, photographs, posters, audio and video, and even a number of actual organs.
I also hope to get the chance to meet a number of people, such as the former technical engineer who worked under Laurens Hammond personally. Besides that, I’m also planning a visit to Hammond Suzuki USA. Hopefully, there will be some time left to actually visit the city, clubs and museums. In other words: you can expect a report of my visit for sure.
This summer also brought us closer to the release of the New Hammond Sound Project in collaboration with Jordi Geuens: my next blog will reveal the release date! We also recorded some exciting new material made on my new Blue B3 and Jordi’s Hybrid Drums.
Finally, this blog ends with a proud father announcing that his daughter Romy will join his team in the field of PR and Marketing this coming year – it being a part of her master Media and Creative Industries at the Erasmus University as well. When she was just a baby, Romy often kept me company, chilling in her maxi-cosi, while I was working at my desk or studio. As soon as a rehearsal with the then Voices of Soul started, she would join them with her own vocals – showing us her already exhibiting talent for wanting to babble on with the musicians. It therefore should not come as a surprise that I now want to take advantage of her – by now actually developed – creative and communicative talents.
Stay tuned, as the next blog will be here soon enough.
With Romy (1999)
Although she was just four years old, every now and then she would keep me company on stage during a performance