... Theme of the Month ...
Each month we'll have a different theme - a genre, like Morris tunes or Irish tunes, or something else - like "the most challenging tune you've learned," or "tunes not commonly played on concertina." You pick a tune that matches the theme, record it and share it.
To kick it off, let’s hear your all-time favorite tune - to play, not perform.
What’s the tune that gives you the greatest pleasure when you’re sitting in your music room, all alone, without an audience to please/impress? What tune do you play when you just want to feel good - your musical version of comfort food?
I initially had some problems with the concept here... not "theme of the month" (that remains to be seen), but the description of this month's theme. I don't have a one-and-only "favorite" anything, for any purpose, and I think the whole idea of declaring one example somehow "better" than all others is a source of discord, all to often even in those making such a choice. Then there's that bit about "comfort food", another concept that's foreign to me. I'm not generally in need of "comfort", and if I were I don't think food would be able to provide it (not even chocolate ). Ditto for any particular piece of music, though I'm generally comfortable with most sorts of both food and music. Finally, those things I most enjoy playing (as opposed to some I wish I could play) are those with which I'm comfortable, and so they're also the ones I select from when playing for others, including and especially folks who are encountering a concertina for the first time. I.e., there's nothing that I enjoy in private that I would consider hiding from others.
But there are lots of things I play that I take pleasure in and find "comfortable", so here I'll share just a few of them with you all.
South Wind (on treble English)
I love melody in and of itself, so even when I play a tune with harmony or chords I often start off by first playing it through without any of that, then add harmonies on repeats. That's what I've done here. The third time through is one of my earliest "arrangements" of a tune, while the seemingly simpler harmony of the second time through is something I added years later. Note that while this tune is often played as a waltz, I learned it first as a slow air, and that's still how I prefer to play it. I also tend to throw in somewhat more "twiddly" ornaments than I do in most tunes.
Jamie Allen (on treble English)
This Northumbrian polka has long been a favorite of mine. On the second time through, the first few notes of harmony in the A part owe a lot to Alistair Anderson's Concertina Workshop tutor, but then I went my own way.
Tompkins Square and Tobin's Favorite (on treble English)
The first of this pair of jigs is one of my own, which I composed on whistle but now often play on both whistle and concertina (not at the same time). I find it flows nicely into the second, which is traditional.
Bold Reilly (one verse sandwiched between two choruses, with tenor-treble English)
Concertina goes well with voice, too. This isn't a show off piece, but it's comfortable. In fact, this is a shanty, so I prefer to sing it without accompaniment, but if I have an audience that needs to be encouraged to sing along (more common in Scandinavia than in the US or UK), it can help to use the concertina to simulate extra voices, as I do here. And it's easy to do.