Who's the person behind the website, and why is he doing it?

From an early age, I've been fascinated by player pianos ("pianolas"). My first memory of one is as a child during a family trip to Auckland's Museum of Transport and Technology. I fed a 20c coin into it, it played a roll at breakneck tempo, and I've been hooked ever since!

Fast-forward 20 years, and I now have three of my own and a collection of around 2500 rolls. I was lucky enough to be able to find and purchase the assets of the Reliance Music Roll Company, which operated in New Zealand from approx 1921-1930, including a large number of rolls from their roll library, master rolls, documentation, and parts of the perforating machinery.

These Reliance rolls constitute some of the earliest recorded music in New Zealand, and I felt they should be preserved in some way. And now, thanks to the pioneering efforts of Richard Stibbons, Wayne Stahnke, Terry Smythe, Warren Trachtman, Spencer Chase, and others, the technology exists to do so by means of optically scanning the rolls. My original roll scanner was custom-built for me by Terry Smythe in Canada, and I now use a scanner designed by Larry Doe in the USA. This is one of the new generation of roll scanners that captures bi-colour scans, resulting in the ability to preserve the lyrics and other printed information on the rolls..

I live in Auckland, New Zealand and work as an international flight attendant. Other interests include genealogy, travel, and history.

I hope you enjoy the site. Please do sign my guestbook and/or drop me a line with your comments. I'd love to hear from you!






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