Originally uploaded by Duchenj.
My blog stats tell me that I've had a few hits from various people seeking information about the Vuillaume Octobass. So here it is. We visited it last November in Paris, where it lives at the musical instrument museum in the Cite de la Musique. (We did NOT use a flash to take this photo!) It's a most extraordinary contraption and its controls work via pedals which unfortunately aren't quite visible here. Apparently the famous French luthier Vuillaume made it according to specifications from Berlioz (I think). I'm not entirely sure why Berlioz wanted one - but if anyone was going to, it WOULD be him, wouldn't it?! By the way, I share his birthday.