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ARTCRAFT Music Rolls!

These are the 21st Century rolls from ARTCRAFT ... representing the finest arrangements ever released for your Player-Piano or expression 'Reproducing' Piano

THE CARIOCA - from "Flying Down to Rio", an RKO-Radio Picture (1933) -Vincent Youmans-

Arranged and Interpreted for The Duo-Art Pianola by L. Douglas Henderson - $45.00
Arranged and Interpreted for the Player-Piano by L. Douglas Henderson - $45.00

If you only had one ARTCRAFT Interpretive Arrangement in your music roll collection, THE CARIOCA should be that roll, for it would show you the limitless potential of the Pianola ... and them some!

THE CARIOCA probably represents the most work ever lavished on a player roll, which began in 1986 in a modest way, but was shelved from time to time as Mr. Henderson studied the audio from a VHS tape of the famous RKO musical, which launched the careers of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. (While they had minor roles, compared to the 'stars' of the day — Gene Raymond and Dolores Del Rio — this effervescent Brazilian number "stole the picture" ... and the dancing duo became box office attractions in their own right!)

If you have never seen this memorable RKO picture, our roll of THE CARIOCA stands on its own feet as a musical extravaganza of the highest order. However, if you know the visual elements of this long, long musical sequence, the roll believe it or not! conveys, through creative arranging, all the action on the motion picture screen.

The roll begins with simulations of a few native instruments, with Ginger Rogers making snide comments, such as "They call this quartet a 'band'?" Our roll of THE CARIOCA has rubber stamps for some of this breezy dialogue, along with thumbnail descriptions of the soundtrack/visuals.

Once the orchestral version of THE CARIOCA begins, the roll "takes off" and never lets the listener down, even for a moment. You hear "The Squeaky Photophone Girls" in the balcony ... Etta Motten giving her sultry vocal refrain ... the talented Negro tap dancers who seem to 'float above the dance floor' and all the exciting elements, including Fred & Ginger tap dancing on "7 fake revolving grand pianos" (with approximately 2 pianos in the Photophone soundrack!) ... plus a finale which has to be heard to be believed.

Each repetition of the music is a variation, a creation of its own ... and the music builds as it repeats itself. Not until you approach the later variations do the higher/lower notes of the piano scale come into play, retaining the element of surprise which the film possessed, in its own special way.

There was a tandem droning, boring, muted version of THE CARIOCA for Ampico and Duo-Art in 1933, a Duo-Art version which appears, here :

Fake "Arden & Ohman" roll by Frank Milne ('33)

Note that this FAKE "Arden & Ohman" roll, a 'graph paper with pencils special' by Frank C. Milne looks like ORGAN MUSIC. On a piano, especially where staccato and sensual Latin rhythms are required — as in this infectious piece!  — the last thing the listener wants is "connected notes and organlike playing" on a piano keyboard!  (Note: at this writing, we have an "Arden & Ohman" style roll in progress, inspired by their Victor Record of 1930, and it sounds like them, being bouncy and sparkling in performance ... just like THE CARIOCA illustrated below.)

You don't need to hear the following roll of THE CARIOCA on a player or 'reproducing' piano to realize the difference that Interpretive Arranging makes.
Compare these staccato notes (graduated down to a 128th of a beat) with the lackluster perforations, shown above:

Exciting! Another ARTCRAFT arrangement steals the show!

Here's where Fred and Ginger dance on a circle of ostensible pianos:

                                     Dancing on 7 "prop" pianos! 

          Fred & Ginger make movie history with THE CARIOCA!

Again, examine carefully the slight variances in the "staccato" (short perforation) notes for the 3 examples, above, all an ARTCRAFT Interpretive Arrangement. These incremental differences in the "key depression time" are what give a KEYBOARD ATTACK simulation and PERFORMANCE SPARKLE to the new arrangement of THE CARIOCAin 88-Note (Themodist) editions for the standard Pianola and the Duo-Art expression player ... two versions of the same stupdenous, long-playing roll!

As we said above, this is the ONE ROLL by ARTCRAFT to own, if you want your piano to mirror a movie, instrumentally, and captivate the listeners with every conceivable effect that only a pneumatic Player-Piano action would provide. THE CARIOCA will exceed your expectations ... and the thundering applause from its performance on Pianola concerts still echoes in New England concert halls, we're told!

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Telephone 207 882-7420 or 207 631-1761