Dear Iain, thank you for completing a marvellous team during my recordings of three Haydn Concertos at Henry Wood Hall together with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. You have kept the beautiful old Steinway in a perfect condition throughout all the recording sessions. Thank you for a wonderful job.
Pianist, Steinway Artist
Thanks again for all the work you’ve done, Iain. The piano is just incredible. I honestly never thought I’d own one that plays and sound’s like mine does now.”
Ben Argyle BA
I believe I have now ascended to what I can only be described as the ‘Bush Plain’. This is a high, fuelled by a potent mixture of wonder, excitement and utter disbelief. I had always imagined Steinways were owned by people with mansions, models and multiple cars of exotic pedigree. Never by ordinary people like myself.
Every so often, I find myself peeking into the dining room just to check that the Steinway is really there. When I sit down to play, I feel like pinching myself. The bass almost growls in the arresting manner of a sports car engine. The richly textured and unique Steinway tone envelopes one in a sound system to end all sound systems. Even scales and arpeggios sound wonderful on this instrument. I have become a child again, once more bewitched and bedazzled by the real and fantasy worlds which combine in a most treasured toy.
My particular Steinway journey began, as you know, in a troubled way. At the Steinway showroom, I fell in love with the model B and yet a new B was financially out of reach. Luckily, I found myself talking to you and you persuaded me to bid for a B at the next auction. As you also know, I was pretty unhappy with the chosen instrument. The action was inconsistent and unreliable, the middle range tone was largely absent and I was loathe to bid for such an expensive item purely on the basis of a telephone relationship. Clive’s words of reassurance were crucial. It was still a shock though, when the hammer fell and the deed was done. I was convinced for many weeks afterwards, that I had made the wrong move. It was extremely helpful to meet you at the next auction and at the Steinway showroom where you were able to explain to me why my piano was ailing and how simple (relatively speaking) it would be to put things right. I am so glad that I kept faith.
Understanding how pivotal the top action and a new set of hammers were to the problems the piano was having meant that the dark tunnel now had some light at the end of it. When you installed the new action last week I knew we were out of the tunnel, even though you had yet to complete the voicing. I now have an instrument that responds accurately and faithfully to my input and in which I now have utter confidence. Any aberrations are now mine and mine alone. It is as good as new. My years in the piano wilderness are over.
So, Iain, your role in this has not really been that of piano technician, though skilled and true has been your craftsmanship. Your role has been to make a dream come true. A dream so large and improbable and so deeply buried that I was unaware that it even existed. I am really fortunate to have met you and I will always remember the impact your efforts have had on my life.
I only hope that I can be as high as the ‘Bushman’ is, and for as long.