Easthope Martin

Easthope Martin has appeared on this site already as a composer: his popular “Come to the fair” has been heard here performed both by Julie Andrews, and her stepfather Ted Andrews. However, in the period before the First World War, Martin recorded a number of sides for Zonophone, though he was disguised behind a pseudonym.

Rex Lawson, of the Pianola Institute provided the following additional information:

Easthope Martin’s day job was to work as the chief Pianola and Aeolian organ demonstrator for the Aeolian Company. He recorded some organ music for HMV, with the instrument described as “Grand Organ.” The evidence suggests that these were made by him playing a roll-operated organ, probably an Aeolian Grand, which is why the word “grand” would have got on to the record label.

I have the rolls of both the Godard and the Grieg. The way he plays > the Grieg roll is very regular, but he plays the Godard rather better. What started me thinking is that there is only one spread chord in the Godard, which is spread in exactly the same way each time it occurs. Sure enough, the roll is identical. I took the liberty of playing your Godard transcription at a recent meeting of the Friends of the Pianola Institute, after which I played the roll, and we all agreed that they were one and the same thing, allowing for Martin’s Pianola technique being a little different from mine.

I would guess that all the Zonophone recordings are Martin pedalling the Pianola, therefore, and one can see on the CHARM website that there were 15 in all.

I keep a short biography of Easthope Martin on the web, with his picture at the very top of the page.

Godard – Second Mazurka Op.54
Grieg – Norwegian Bridal March Op.19 No.2
Easthope Martin, piano
(credited on label as Paul Astor)Godard – Second Mazurka – Easthope Martin
Grieg – Norwegian Bridal March – Easthope Martin

(mp3 files – click to play, or right click the link, then select “Save as”)

Zonophone Record The Twin Serial A 144
Matrices z7135f, z7136f (side numbers Z-045509, Z-045508)
Recorded 24th February 1913

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