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Blog

The blog shows a record of our past and current work. Please click on the post for the full details
  • Joe starting to make the new dummy pipes

    Joe starting to make the new dummy pipes.

  • Vauxhall case is going up…

    The case is going up in the workshop ready for starting to fit the components….

  • And unit 2…

    Joe and Chris……2m apart……

  • Back to work 1st June!

    Back to work…2m apart…Edward and Nick…..2 per workshop….

  • The positive organ

    The Positive organ in situ.

  • Chris and Dominic deliver new positive organ to Chris Kent

    Chris and Dominic deliver the new positive organ to Chris Kent

  • Bishop organ case

    The organ’s case was designed by James Savage, the architect of the church.  Like the rest of the church, it is monumental but quite plain. 

  • Andrew Roberts and Dominic Gwynn blowing the Bermondsey organ in the traditional manner

    Our sympathies go to Jennifer’s partner Andrew Roberts.  Andrew is a most distinguished man, but for the purposes of the recording we were there to help.  He will remember this occasion, when the new electric blower cut out and we had to resort to authentic muscle power, as one of the more surreal in his …

  • 1829 J.C.Bishop organ at St James Bermondsey

    The organ was forward-looking in many ways – the first English pedal organ with a choice of stops, a full range of manual and pedal couplers, combination pedals, a Swell organ down to 8ft G, etc.  It is most well-known for the finger pedalboard, for English organists unused to using their feet.  The pedalboard is …

  • Samuel Wesley and his contemporaries

    The music ran over one and a half CDs, so tracks were included which had already been recorded at the Brangwyn Hall in Swansea.  The CDs are available from https://www.somm-recordings.com/recording/organ-music-by-samuel-wesley/.  We really should have produced a booklet about the organ and never have.

  • Jennifer Bate playing Samuel Wesley at St James Bermondsey

    I have meaning to add our tribute to the genius of Jennifer Bate, who died at the end of March.  We will always be enormously grateful to her enthusiasm for the 1829 Bishop organ at St James, with every reason; it is in my opinion one of the great European organs.  She was a passionate …

  • Renatus Harris organ at St Paulinus Llangorse

    Another Harris organ survives at St Paulinus Llangors in Powys, from near the end of his life, when Renatus was living in the parish of St John, in Bristol.  It was built in 1720 for St John’s Cardiff, and removed when the Father Willis organ was installed in 1885.  It was put in store and …

  • St Botolph Aldgate history of the 1704 Renatus Harris organ

    Considering the tendency of the English to rebuild or replace their organs, almost from the moment they were first built, we are fortunate to have two organs from the times of Bernard Smith and Renatus Harris, in something like original condition.  It seems extraordinary that so little of Bernard Smith’s work has survived – only …

  • Tim Roberts plays Blow at St Botolph Aldgate

    I have been listening to Joseph Payne playing John Blow.  His playing, it would be fair to say, occasionally catches fire, but is mostly worthy.  So I have gone back to one of my favourite recordings, made by that wonderful keyboard player Timothy Roberts, of music by John Blow and his pupils and successors.  The …

  • The G&G organ for Magdalene Cambridge, 20 years old

    The organ was brand new, the brain-child of Dr Richard Luckett, who was then Fellow and Pepys Librarian.  The organ is based on the organs of Bernard Smith (1630-1703) who was German, but spent a decade making organs in Holland, including the 1657 organ in Edam, and was from 1667 resident in London and on …

  • Joseph Payne playing John Blow at Magdalene College Cambridge

    About six months after we finished the new organ at Magdalene College Cambridge, Joseph Payne, an eminent English-American keyboard player, recorded all the keyboard works of John Blow, on organ and harpsichord.  They were recorded and produced by his wife Phoebe, and I spent a day with them at Magdalene.  We were sent a pre-production …

  • The Swan Singers in 2018

    Here we are in 2018.  It impressed me how much further spring has got this year than it had in 2018.  On May 3rd I heard my first swifts in Wells (we have swifts rather than swallows), though the first recorded in Bristol were on April 23rd.   

  • May Day with the Swan Singers on the Mendips

    For the last few years Dominic’s wife Antonia’s chamber choir, the Swan Singers, have sung madrigals on May morning, up on the Mendips at Ebbor Gorge.  Swans are important in Wells, see https://bishopspalace.org.uk/whats-on/swan-news/ including a link to the swan cam.  When I can I join them (the Swan Singers).  This year we had to do …

  • 1879 Gray & Davison console at St Anne’s Worksop

    I also feel affectionate about the organ at St Anne’s, not least because it is our parish church.   Edward is organist there.  Nick and Emma got married there.  It has moved twice, once from the congregational chapel in Clapham, south London, to Buckley in NE Wales, and then in 1999 to St Anne’s.  The organ …

  • The Gray brothers at St Patrick RC Soho Square

    If you prefer the organs of the 18th century to those of the Imperial Age, then Gray & Davison will be your favourite major Victorian organ builder.  We have been lucky enough to restore some of their earliest organs (St Patrick Soho Square and St Swithun Worcester, chamber organs at Dingestow Court, St James Lower …

  • New history of Gray & Davison by Nicholas Thistlethwaite

    I have just read this new book about the Gray family’s organs and the Victorian firm of Gray & Davison that effectively took over from them after 1851.  The central character in the book is Frederick Davison, partly because we now know so much more about him.  For a general reader (including me) the evocation …

  • The Remy Family

    I sent the picture of the Sharp family to Derek Adlam, who sent me this picture in return, equally as wonderful, by Januarius Zick.  How many painters have names beginning with Z?  The Remy family were ironmasters in Bendorf in the Rheinpfalz, wealthy and musical.  The painting is in the Nürnberg Germanisches Museum.  It is …

  • Sharp family

    I have always loved this picture of the musical Sharp family, with their musical instruments on a family boat on the River Thames, painted by Johan Josef Zoffany in about 1780.  Their letters are an important source of information and colour about Georgian music-making.  Granville was also one of the main figures in the anti-slavery …

  • Riepp family

    This picture is in Ottobeuren, near where Riepp was born, and where he built one of his largest organs and certainly the finest surviving.  I have a fondness for these slightly naïve conversation pieces.  Each figure seems to have been painted separately and positioned rather awkwardly in the painting, which may indeed have been the …

  • Klaus Josef Riepp

    G&G are all on furlough, since we cannot work in the workshop and cannot work from home.  We hope it won’t be long before small manufacturing businesses are allowed to start work again, but in the meantime I have been gathering illustrations, finishing articles and other pieces of work, and getting in touch with people …

  • ‘Newark Siege’ from ‘A Consort’s Monument’

    On Saturday (April 25th) Record Review on BBC Radio 3 played a recording of John Jenkins’s wonderful descriptive piece commemorating the siege of Newark in 1646.  It can be heard on https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000hmrp 18mins and 30 seconds into the programme.  I hope you are then inspired to buy the recording from Ricercar-Outhere https://outhere-music.com/en/albums/a-consort-s-monument-ric413  Newark is only …

  • Recording ‘A Consort’s Monument’ with viol consort L’Achéron

    In October Antonia and I spent a day with the viol consort L’Achéron, during their recording of English viol music in the beautiful little church of Centeilles near Siran in the Minervois (Fr).  You can sample some of the significance and the flavour of the recording here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRkgXGJ1YBI  or on their website https://www.lacheron.com/single-post/2020/02/24/A-Consorts-Monument—MAKING-OF Apart from …

  • Opus 1

    The first organ was finished as we celebrated Christmas in 1980, and my elder daughter Pip was born on Boxing Day.  Its design shows some naivety, with all our ideas packed into a small organ, but on those occasions when we have re-visited it over the years, I have been impressed.  It was commissioned by …

  • Goetze and Gwynn forty years on

    I (Dominic) have always picked April 1st as the birthday of the firm, a thoroughly appropriate day.  It is actually about halfway between the date in 1980 when Martin and I started our first project, and the date when both of us started full time.  I think we have achieved a lot since then, but …

  • Experiment with corroded Trumpet block

    The bottom octave blocks from the trumpet in the 1870 Lewis organ at St Peter’s Vauxhall had white powder, a common problem. Joe has been trying to reverse the process by electrolysis.