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We believe that there is nothing that can equal the sound of a real pipe organ when it is designed and built with consummate artistry and skill and installed in a suitable space. In an ideal world, there would be no need for any substitute but in the real world, there are some valid reasons why a pipeless alternative to the real thing may need to be considered. Where the provision of a real pipe organ cannot be accomplished  for one reason or another, our goal is to provide the best and closest alternative built with equal artistry and skill using the best technology available.

The company was founded in 1985 by Charles Braund, initially as a 16 track recording studio. As technology developed it moved into music and specialist sample production for clients including the BBC and Granada television. Other activities included recording samples for Ahlborn Organs of Germany and the creation of organ sample libraries for E-mu and later; Gigastudio. With the advent of HAUPTWERK, it was realised that at last, there was a more viable means to create a pipeless organ which was vastly superior to any other commercially available system. More recently, we have been able to expand the sample production side of things to providing complete, finished instruments including consoles, audio systems and installation.

Charles Braund was educated at the Jesuit school; Stonyhurst College in Lancashire and became interested in organs as a teenager. He studied piano with John Mallord and John Lavender the concert pianist and had organ lessons with Ralph Downes and Alastair Sampson of Eton College. Apart from playing for services both at school and in the local church from the age of 12 he also played the Compton cinema organ at the Regal, Henley-on-Thames for matinee performances during school holidays. After leaving school, he was apprenticed to Dennis Thurlow of Nicholson's as his personal assistant and was appointed as the resident pianist in a local Michelin starred restaurant. In his early twenties he was organist to St Georges Cathedral in Southwark for a summer season and worked for Viscount Organs as UK sales manager and demonstrator. This was followed by a period working for Bosendorfer and Conn organs in London before being appointed as UK sales manager to Kawai Pianos. He was also the UK representative for Heyligers Organs of Holland. In 1985, he set up a music shop in Derbyshire dealing mainly with educational supplies to several counties and founding Silver Octopus Studios. Silver Octopus Studios started out as a 16 track recording studio before gradually moving into the production of music and recording for various TV and film companies. The company also imported organs from Ahlborn in Germany for which English sample sets were created. After working some years for PC World, he lived for two years in Spain before returning to the UK where he now lives in Devon.

There are several other people who act as advisers, consultants and beta testers to Silver Octopus from time to time. Most are either professional organists or organ builders with extensive knowledge of both pipe and pipeless instruments.

In addition to our studio and "concert" room in Devon, we are closely affiliated to a well known organ builder with extensive premises offering all organ building facilities including a pipe metal casting workshop, foundry, woodworking workshops and extensive CNC facilities.

 

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Last modified: 01-12-2016