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Toki no Kodama Part 2 (echoes of 20th Century) ~ hommage to 20th century pops ~(ALCD-3066)

Kiyonori Sokabe plays 20th Century pops trans-figurated by contemporary music composers

Here there and Everywhere / John Lennon & Paul McArtney / Kyo Ichinose
Zephyros in C

Ama Pola / J.M.Lacalle / Masao Nobuhara
Cornet in Bb

Premier on the hill of sun set / Kyohei Tsutsumi / Takashi Niigaki
Trumpet in C

Happy birthday, Mr.President. / Mildred J. Hill and Patty Smith Hil / Satoru Wono
Trumpet in Bb

La Internacio / Pierre Deygeter / Formant Brothers (Nobuyasu Sakonda + Miwa Masahiro)
Trumpet in Bb and Piccolo Trumpet in Bb

I got rythm and played tennis with Mr. Soenberg / George Gershwin + Arnold Soenberg / Kyo Yoshida
Zephyros in Bb

Summertime / George Gershwin / Yoshihiro Nakagawa
Trumpet in C

My Favorite things / Richard Rodgers / Rica Narimoto
Piccolo trumpet in A, Cornet in Bb, Trumpet in C

PunctuationV(My Funny Valentine) / Richard Rodgers / Haruyuki Suzuki
Trumpet in C

And I love her / John Lennon & Paul McArtney / Yoriaki Matsudaira + Takashi Niigaki
Trumpet in C

West slide story / Motoharu Kawashima
Zerphyros in C

Here there and Everywhere(Coda mix) / John Lennon & Paul McArtney / Kyo Ichinose
Zephyros in C


Toki no Kodama Part 1 (echoes of 20th Century) ~ hommage to 20th century pops ~(ALCD-3057)

Kiyonori Sokabe plays 20th Century pops trans-figurated by contemporary music composers

Gersomina-Distanza/Nino Rota/Yoshifumi Tanaka
Trumpet in C and Piano

With a little help from my friends/John Lennon & Paul McArtney/Takuro Shibayama
Trumpet in C/Zephyros in C & Piano

TWILIGHT OF THE ULTRAS - Seven vs Zarathustra/Toru Fuyuki+Richard Strauss/Kunihiko Goto
Cornet in B flat & Percussion

Let it be Asian Tour/John Lennon & Paul McArtney/Masahiro Miwa to Kiyonori Sokabe
Flugelhorn/Trumpet in C/Picc.trp in A & Synthesizer

GET UP STAND UP/ BOB MARLEY/Tomoko Fukui
2 Picc.Trpts in B flat , Trp in C , Trp in B flat

Michelle/John Lennon & Paul McArtney/Toshio Nakagawa
Trumpet in C & Piano

Scarborough Fair/Traditional/Simon & Garfunkel/Hiroyuki Yamamoto
Trumpet in B flat

first love/Hikaru Utada/Keiko Harada
Zephyros in C and Piano

Thanks to night fog/Kuranosuke Hamaguchi/Haruyuki Suzuki
Zephyros in C and Synthesizer

So Danco Samba(BRAZIL ONDO)/Tom Jobim/Sunao Isaji
Trumpet in C and Piano


limpid solitude(ALCD-55)






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Till now and from now on......(ALCD-50)

Soumei Sato/Light

Masataka Matsuo/Distraction IV for Trumpet and Piano (1998)

Akira Nishimura/Halos, for Trumpet and Piano

Jo Kondo/Durante L'Inverno

Sunao Isaji/Fanfaria

Toshio Nakagawa/Etudes for Lip, Tongue, Teeth, Throat - For Trumpet Player and Keyboard Player

Toru Takemitsu/Paths


Kiyonori Sokabe and Trumpet Creativity

By Jo Kondo (composer)

A musical instrument is not merely a tool for producing music. It has a unique power, the power as a source from which music can be born. A true musician, whether a composer of a performer, does not just show off his skill at handling the instrument as a tool for the purpose of his own self expression. Rather, he takes into himself the power of the instrument and, by giving it form, he draws on that power in order to create his music. A tool is something that is continually improved until it becomes perfected as the ideal tool for performing a given function. For an instrument-as-power, however, there is no such perfection. This is because its power is that of potential and potential is something that is continually developed toward the future. The creation of a new piece of music requires a new power, which stated differently means, it requires a new instrument. However, this does not mean you must continue to invent new instruments. Even if it is an instrument of the same form and function as other instruments, when it becomes the object of fresh imagination and creative spirit on the part of the individual musician or composer it has the potential to be rediscovered as an instrument with new power. It is possible to find any number of different power is one instrument. That is the responsibility of the person who would create music.

This is why the names of instruments should always be used not in the singular but in the plural. A trumpet is not always the same trumpet.
The number of different trumpets is equal to the number of musicians, the number of composers and the number of pieces that are written. Possessed of a unique performing style deriving from exceptional technique and a deep sense of music, the trumpeter Kiyonori Sokabe is one of the few musicians who is sharply aware of this creative pluralness of musical instruments. His tenacious pioneering spirit as a musician has not only given birth to the Zephyros trumpet with its new functions and the works on this CD with their many uniquely different ideas, but has also given expression to the power of the instrument that is the trumpet and, ultimately, to the creativity inherent in the act of musical performance.

Soumei Sato/Light
The piece Light was composed on commission for the Art at St. Anns and first performed at St. Anns Church in New York in 1986 with Stephen Burns on trumpet and Margaret Leng-Tan on the piano. During the 1970s I was focusing on compositions deriving from new modes and harmonics. In this piece the melody is drawn out from the resonance of multi-layered modes and, eventually, the line of the melody threading through a sea of resonance expansive as the sky begins to generate light. The title Light was chosen as a result of this kind of aural impression from the imagination. (Soumei Sato)
* The Japan debut of this piece was performed at the Tokyo Bunka-kaikan Hall on Jan. 5, 1996, with Kiyonori Sokabe on trumpet and Toshio Nakagawa on piano.

Akira Nishimura/Halos, for Trumpet and Piano
In the old Greek Orthodox temples of Istanbul (formerly Constantinople) you can still find many icon images of Christ, the Mother Mary and the Angel Gabriel whose bodies were pealed away and halos scraped off by the Muslims when the Ottoman Turk Empire ruled the city in the middle of the 15th century. Standing before the painful sight of these icons, I was deeply moved, and this inspiration led to the writing of this composition.
The part played by the trumpet is from the Byzantine chant Koinonikon,
''Spiritus tuus bonus, Domine, deducit me. Allaluia'' Here, the original melody of the chant has been given liberal kalophonic variations and further segmented with the addition of heterogeneous tones (allophones)and rests. Meanwhile, in juxtaposition to the chant, the piano introduces halos of resonance, halos that are deeply scarred.
First performance: Tsuda Hall Dec 12, 1998, Kiyonori Sokabe (trumpet), Toshio Nakagawa (piano)
Commission, Publication: Zen Ongaku Sho Publishers

Jo Kondo/Durante L
'Inverno
The trio for violin, trumpet and piano Durante L
'Inverno was written in December of 1995 and first performed by Kiyonori Sokabe, Madoka Sato and Masanori Kato at the recital 'Genzaikei no Ongaku '95' held that same month in Tokyo. It is a work written in response to a request from my close long-time friend, Kiyonori Sokabe, for a 'new type of chamber piece for trumpet.' This piece is very close in nature to another trio for a different set of instruments Winsen Dance Step (flute vibraphone, piano) composed in September of that same year. In other words, these two are sister pieces. When two pieces that, though they may not be called identical, are extremely similar in terms of the musical material called into play and the methodology of composition used are composed for two completely different sets of instruments, the musical result should naturally be quite different as a reflection of the differences in the characters of the instruments involved. It was precisely in this area that my primary interest lay, from a compositional standpoint, with these two pieces.

Sunao Isaji/Fanfaria
With the trumpet as 'solo' and the other three intruments as ''accompaniment'', the roles of the performers are clearly defined. I have a sense of the 'solo' as being play in a contorted and drawn out way that doesn't ''thread'' the melody out so much as ''setting it flowing.'' With the exception of the final section of the piece, the ''accompaniment'' is not predetermined, and, with the exception of the piano, the makeup of the instruments has been different with each performance. At the maiden performance the piano was joined by a flute, the composer and a reading. After that, it was performed with variations like piano plus the composer, piano only and piano plus violin and the composer. Not predetermined does not mean uncertain. It is one way of seeking to design ''perfect time'' from the conditions available at different times.
The piece was first performed in January of 1996 at the Tokyo Contemporary Music Festival ''Theater Winter 95/96'', having been composed for part of the closed acoustic theater play Bodas de sangre (based on theoriginal play by the Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca). At the time of the maiden performance, an Epilogue titled Le entrada del bosque in which the strong 'solo' is completely broken down was added, and along with Fanfaria there was also the title Tsuki no Nikuhen.

Masataka Matsuo/Distraction IV for Trumpet and Piano (1998)
As my life work in the area of chamber music my intention has been to compose a group of solo pieces for the primary instruments and a group of duo pieces with piano. The solo pieces I call my Phono Series and the duets my Distraction Series. Therefore, this work Distraction IV represents the fourth work in my duet series following composition I for clarinet, II for flute and III for violin. In this piece, the piano part written in an extremely limited vocabulary is contrasted with the freely wandering trumpet part to produce acoustic wave patterns in the performance space. Furthermore, the piano is employed not only as an instrument but also as an acoustic body for the trumpet.
This piece was composed for the
"1998 Trumpet Festival" organized through the cooperation of the Japan Society for Contemporary Music and the Japan Trumpet Society and was first performed by the duo of Kiyonori Sokabe and Toshio Nakagawa. I am deeply grateful to Mr. Sokabe for his in valuable advice during the composing of this piece and for breathing life into it with his performance.

Toshio Nakagawa/Etudes for Lip, Tongue, Teeth, Throat - For Trumpet Player and Keyboard Player
This piece can be perceived as a sort of patchwork. The materials being stitched together can be divided into three basic categories. The first is a bright 4/4 beat march that appears to be in the style of Messiaen. This is performed in various ways with changes in expression and tempo. Next are the parts that, as the title of the piece suggests, seek purely to explore the possibilities of the organs of the mouth, with the sense of rhythm being very ambiguous or even nonexistent. Then, making up most of the elements of the whole, there are parts with a middle-of-the-road character that can not be classified as either of these two. These serve mainly to bridge the gap between the two former parts which are extremely alien to each other in character.
As is always the case with my works, the overall composition is variable and fluid, and the performers through discourse among themselves determine the way the materials (fragments) will be put together or layered one on the other. There are also spaces prepared where the performers can interject improvisational passages or introduce their own materials while watching the reactions of the composer, and there is also here the proposition of a new form of oral tradition. For example, there are parts interjected at frequent intervals where one sound or a short improvisation of about one second are allowed, and in this case the improvisations are not required but written in as a number of ''realization'' passages that the performer can choose from and play as they are, or he can take them as reference and improvise completely new passages or play passages that he has planned out beforehand. The influence that these fragmented sounds have on the overall piece is very large. I believe there are still many possibilities left in the practice of working chance operation or improvisation into the structure of a composition that most composers have abandoned. I find myself unable to simply take the same stance as many of my seniors who have taken a small sampling of these methods and then discarded them.... But, in saying so, I do not wish to imply that finding new solutions is at all an easy thing....
(This piece was commissioned for the Kiyonori Sokabe Trumpet Recital of Jan. 4, 1996)

Toru Takemitsu/Paths
Since there is a comment that the composer himself wrote for the 1994 Hakan Hardenberger Recital at the Suntory Hall, I would like to beginby quoting it.
''The piece Paths for trumpet was written as a fanfare mourning the eath of Lutoslawski. When I met Lutoslawski in Warsaw in the spring of 1992, I was deeply impressed when he said to me, We composers should take melody more seriously and not spare any efforts to create new melodies. In Paths a simple (melodic) inspiration proceeds through the subtle changes of a landscape, much like a path through a garden.''
As this passage implies, many of Takemitsu
's compositions from his later years adopt a structure based on the concept of a traditional Japanese walk-around type garden. Some examples are the works Arc for Piano and Orchestra, Dream/Window and Fantasma/Cantos. In a walk-around style garden there is no single point from which the entire garden can be viewed. As you proceed along its small paths, you view the garden in portions as one scene after another reveals itself in the course of the walk. In this piece you should be able to perceive a uniquely Japanese concept of time and space in which the temporal act of walking the paths and the space that is the garden interact with each other as you proceed through it.

(Comment: Kiyonori Sokabe)


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About the Zephyros Trumpet/Kiyonori Sokabe
Most of the pieces on this CD are performed on a conventional trumpet in C (C trumpet ), but on the Nakagawa piece alone a Zephyros trumpet (slide-fitted trumpet) is used. In fact, it is probably more accurate to say this piece was composed specifically for this trumpet. This Zephyros trumpet was first proposed by me in 1993 and the first instrument constructed by a famous craftsman. Since then, several improvements have been added to bring it to its present state.
Specifications:
The key of the horn itself is C.
It has three pistons (same as a conventional trumpet) and one slide which can lower the sound by an augmented fourth when the pistons are not being pressed. By using the slide along with the pistons, it is possible to achieve a much freer glissando than on a trombone. Also, by using them in combination it is possible to get subtle nuances of musical interval and other special tonal effects.

Since it was not possible to widen the trumpet's horn body to accommodate the slide, the Zephyros has a slightly smaller bell (about the size of an E-flat horn) that gives it a somewhat brighter sound.

Profiles

Toshio Nakagawa
Born in Tokyo, Nakagawa attended the Toho Gakuen University, where he studied in the Music Department and graduate course. He studied composition under Akira Miyoshi and piano under Yoko Moriyasu and Katsuyo Suemitsu. In 1982 he received 1st Prize of the Music Today Composition Awards. His wide-ranging musical activities today include contemporary music composition, piano performance and improvisational performance. He is also known as a hit-maker in the TV commercial music field and his CD gathering his commercial music for corporations like Suntory, Nissan, Shiseido and Nescafe became a best-seller.

Chiyoko Noguchi
Noguchi entered the Tokyo National University of Fine Art and Music via the same university
's affiliated senior high school. Noguchi then entered the Julliard Conservatory of Music in New York and prior to graduation there won the Young Artist Debut Award. In 1995 Noguchi graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Tokyo National University of Fine Art and Music and in 1996 won Honorable Mention in the Wieniawski International Violin Competition. Presently, Noguchi is a member of the Kioi Sintonetta Tokyo. As member also of such groups as Ensemble Nomad and Contemporary a, Noguchi has participated in the maiden performances of numerous new works and is also active as a recording artist. Noguchi presently holds the position of special instructor at Toho Gakuen College.


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limpid solitude(ALCD-55)

This CD is a collection of representative performances from the recent musical activities of Kiyonori Sokabe, an artist who, through his work as lead trumpet for the experimental performing group Musica Practica, through his own solo performances and work with other ensembles (presently leader of the group Practica Musica Studio) has firmly established himself as a prominent specialist in the contemporary music genre. The pieces recorded here comprise works by Japanese composers and works by foreign composers that deal with themes related in a broad sense to Japan or the Orient.
Sokabe has recently been involved in projects aimed at expanding the range and repertoire of trumpet music through such means as the invention and development of a slide-fitted 'Zephyros' trumpet that enables a broad range of glissando, and through the use of computers. Sokabe alone has performed or produced all the parts and sounds appearing in the non-solo works on this CD, including the trumpet ensemble (Kagel) and the percussion parts in the piece by John Cage.

Fanfanfarren (1993) by Mauricio Kagel (1931 ~ ) is a work consisting of 12 short pieces for trumpet quartet. Here, numbers 1, 4, 9, 11, 7 and 12 are used to bracket the other works on this CD as specified by the composer.
This is the same way Sokabe performed his program at the "New Generation Arts Festival'97"of 1997, although the selection of pieces is different.
Though the pieces are indeed fanfare-like in terms of their musical form, they contain very Kagel-esque compositional methods and ideas throughout,such as the use of deep vibrato and abundant portament, specialized use of the mouthpiece and a different mute for each of the four performers. Thereare also various instructions concerning the directions the performers face and their relative positions. In short, this work represents a dissimulation of the traditional fanfare.

After Fanfanfarren 12 comes the piece eco lontanissima V (1996/2000) by Yoshifumi Tanaka. This is a work commissioned by Sokabe, who gave its premiere performance at the 1997 concert mentioned above. For this recording, the composer has made his second revision on the original score. Since 1993, Tanaka has written a series of pieces for solo instruments under this same title. This composition V was created specifically for the slide-fitted Zephyros trumpet Sokabe invented in 1993. As suggested by the title, achieving an echo-like sound quality is an important part of the concept behind this piece. For this reason, composition V uses various means such as half-valve technique and frequent use of mutes and slides along with a variety of innovative fingerings aimed at achieving tonal variation.
Another characteristic of this piece lies in Tanaka's unique method for creating a temporal convention. Instead of the constructivist type of
temporal convention attempted by avant-garde musicians of the past, he uses a method in which be employs free association to string together a series of musical images. However, it is usually impossible for the listener to find traces of the associations he has used. And, at the same time that it is not constructivist, this point clearly distinguishes his music from the works of an older type of composers who relied on their emotional sensibilities. This is because the older type of compositions consist of content aimed at communicating the flow of the composer's sentiments.

The next piece after Fanfanfarren 4 is Quarte Pieces Pour Trompette Solo(1956) by Giancinto Scelsi (1905 ~ 88). In the 1950s, after recovering from serious illness, Scelsi moved to a neighborhood in Rome near the ancient ruins of Foro Romano and began composing again primarily works for solo instruments. During this period, the year 1956 in which this piece was composed can be called his brass (horn) year, during which he also composed solo pieces for horn and trombone. In this piece we already find Scelsi using quarter tone, a device that he would become increasingly interested in later on. Unlike the first piece with its succession of numerous central notes, the last three pieces in this composition consist of peripheral notes distributed around one central note, reminicent of Scelsi's earlier concentration on the various tonal fragments existing potentially within one note or their modulations. In particular, the fourth piece relies on only five pitch classes, including F, E, Eb (= D#) and the quarter tones above and below F. (But with F appearing in two compasses.) Here, the central note is F, and the compositional method which employs the quarter tones above and below it is one that the composer continued to use later on. This method, in which what appears to be one simple note is in fact a complex quest in search of its inner essence, has also been critiqued in terms of its relation to Hindu philosophy. It is a known fact that Scelsi sometimes employed others to transcribe his improvisational performances into scores, and this piece is certainly one that is based on a very improvisational concept.

Fanfanfarren 9 comes next and is followed by the piece Ryoanji (1983) by John Cage ((1912 ~ 92). For his recital in 1994, Sokabe arranged Cage's oboe version of this piece as a duet for his Zephyros trumpet and percussion. What the score provides is a percussion pulse that plays the
role of the white sand covering the ground of the Ryoanji temple's rockgarden--here a pre-recorded tape is used for the percussion part--and many curved lines taken from sections of the outlines of the 15 rocks of various sizes that make up the garden arrangement. The performance of these curved lines in glissando makes good use of the unique quality of the Zephyros trumpet. At times there are variations in the scale of the longitudinal axes that indicate the tonal range. In this way the shapes of the rocks are transformed into a graphic score. In some sense this is representational(descriptive??), but it is fundamentally different from what is generally considered representational music, in which something like a landscape is perceived emotionally and that impression expressed by means of sentimental elements. It should be noted that contrary to the generally accepted determinist interpretations offered by art critics and philosophers concerning the placement of the rocks in the Ryoanji garden, Cage says he got the impression that the rocks could have been placed in any positions.
He also went on to say, in the book Pour les oiseaux co-authored with Daniel Charles, that when you allow things the freedom to appear in their own form,one's consciousness of harmony becomes even stronger.

After Fanfanfarren 11 comes Cloud, The Grave Stone in the Sky (1996) by Rika Narimoto (1969). This is a composition selected for the 1998 Trumpet Festa sponsored by the Japan Society for Contemporary Music and the Japan Trumpet Society, and in this festival Sokabe gave the premiere performance. In addition to the usual image of the trumpet as an instrument of strength and brilliance, the composer has been attracted to its capability for delicate nuance and its character as an instrument that can sing. The title of the piece came from one moment's experience while composing in a hotel room in Kyoto, when a cloud outside the window suddenly appeared to her as the gravestone of a friend who had died in a mountaineering accident. But, Narimoto says it has nothing to do with the musical content of the piece.
Skillful use of the mute creates a kind of virtual sense of perspective that gives an effect like a duet. Although the frequent and swift application of the mute certainly demands an exceptional amount of practice to master, at the same time one can imagine that its mastery, once achieve, provides a rare sort of pleasure for the performer. Meanwhile, the listener is likely
to experience a rather Japanese type of lyricism from this piece.
The composer, Narimoto, graduated magna cum laude from the Music Department of the Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music with a major in composition and went on to complete the graduate course in composition at the same university. She continues to work actively as a composer and has won awards including the Kuwabara Prize.

After Fanfanfarren 7 we hear the work Old/New (1986) by the same composer, Kagel. It bears the subtitle Studie fur Solotrompete. This short
piece proceeds with forte motifs being mimicked in pianissimo and vice versa. There are motifs employing mainly third intervals and others
employing chromatic motion. The piece traces its inspirational source back to the black music of Harlem in the 1930s, with the title indicating the old(rhythm) and new (blues) styles of the day. The score is written in the key of C but contains a note saying that it can also be performed with instruments of other keys like a Bb trumpet. Later, this piece was included under the title R: Old/New (for solo clarinet) as the 4th of "Five Jazz Pieces" the suite Rrrrrrr... consisting of 41 pieces in all.
The last piece of the CD is Fanfanfarren 1.

By Yoriaki Matsudaira(composer)

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Performer's Comment

Although the performer, the composer and the musicologist can all be called musician's a broad sense of the word, what they actually do is quite different. As the structure of music has become more complex, the effort necessary to acquire the respective techniques and knowledge involved has led to clear division of these disciplines. My job as a performer is to search for the intent of the composer in the score and translate it into actual sound. My long-time friend, the composer Jo Kondo, wrote a comment about my performance for my last CD that describes what, I am somewhat embarrassed to say, constitutes an ideal that I am still striving to achieve. And, for the programme of my recent solo recital at an art museum I wrote, my act of performing is the act of creating new meaning in music.

Assembling the program for a concert or CD is also a creative act. And this is another case where the creative act of the composer and the performer certainly become quite different.
I will cut short the irrelevant ramblings of a performer here (for all should be said by the music itself), and simply say that I will be very pleased if you will listen to the performances here as you might enjoy the flavors of seasonal cuisine.

Evolution of the Zephyros

With numerous improvements, the Zephyros trumpet that was used exclusively for performances of compositions by Toshio Nakagawa on the solo CD "Till Now and From Now On" was undergone further evolutions. Designating the trumpet used on the last CD the Zephyros II, two new instruments designated the Zephyros III and Zephyros IV have been completed.
Although it represents a reversal in order, the Zephyros IV was completed first and the Zephyros III completed later with subsequent improvements on the Zephyros IV.
The Zephyros IV is used on Ryoan-ji (John Cage), eco lontanissima V(Yoshifumi Tanaka) and Fanfanfarren (Mauricio Kargel), while the Zephyros III was used on Fanfanfarren (Mauricio Kagel).
The main points of improvement include the following:
1. The bell portion was elongated to produce a bell of normal size and a tonal quality that is no different from a conventional trumpet.
2. A special attachment has been added (allowing the trumpet to be rested on the shoulder) that allows the playerfs right hand to be taken of the piston assembly, thus enabling the attachment or removal or opening and closing ofthe mute while operating the slide.

Specifications
The key of the horn itself is C. There are three pistons (same as a conventional trumpet and one slide which can lower the sound by up to an augmented fourth when the pistons are not depressed. By using the slide along with the pistons it is possible to achieve a much freer glissando than on a trombone. Also, by using them in combination it is possible to get subtle nuances between the musical intervals and other special tonal effects.

The Zephyros III has basically the same specification but is in the key of B-flat.

The Zephyros IV instrument was constructed by the Best Brass company and the Zephyros III was constructed by Grobal. We would like to take this opportunity to thank these companies for the tremendous efforts and support they extended us in the production of the instruments. In particular we would like to acknowledge the technical expertise of the Mr. Hamanaga of Best Brass and Mr. Haido of Grobal who did the actual construction of the instruments and extend to them our heartfelt thanks.


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