New DC reed model from The Shack

DonC_Stockhausen  Don Christlieb with Karlheinz Stockhausen

The Shack is very excited to announce a new reed model added to current production. The DC model is based on the pioneering work of the American bassoonist Don Christlieb (1912-2001), whose career as principal bassoonist in Hollywood film studios spanned 52 years. Don can be heard in more than 750 films, including Gone with the Wind, Adventures of Robin Hood, Wizard of Oz, A Star is Born, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

In addition to his film work, Don was an active participant in the vibrant contemporary music scene in Los Angeles during the mid-20th century. Don’s chamber music groups were frequent collaborators with Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Hindemith, Stockhausen, and Boulez, and many other composers who spent time living in LA, performing the American premieres of the wind quintets of Schoenberg and Hindemith, as well as Stockhausen’s Zeitmasse, and many others. He also played on Frank Zappa’s (Mothers of Invention) 1967 album called Lumpy Gravy.

Don was one of the first to take a scientific interest in reed-making. With the help of engineering friends, he designed and built measurement instruments to further his analysis and machines to implement his ideas. He was the first to adapt the micrometer for use as a “dial-indicator” to plot the profiles of finished reeds, and the first to design a profiler to produce near-finished dimensions.

Don’s son Tony, an artist, playwright and musician, maintains a website dedicated to Don’s work; In addition to the information available on the site, Tony also sells reed-making tools, cane shaped and profiled to Don’s specifications, as well as music and books, much of it not available elsewhere.

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