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Tune Of The Month, August 2015: The Wren


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#19 Wolf Molkentin

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Posted 06 August 2015 - 04:24 PM

Strange: I thought I commented on your posting earlier today, but it seems to be missing.  Or I put it in the wrong place.


Not (gasp!) on The Dark Side?!  :ph34r:

 
Well, my keys and my wife's glasses disappeared into the Dark Side, so why not my message?


Having searched the dark side for you I must say that your message doesn't appear to be there (but neither your keys nor your wife's glasses, I have to admit...). :D

#20 Bob Michel

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Posted 07 August 2015 - 10:20 AM

After months of trying to ignore a couple of wonky reeds on my Lachenal I finally got out my screwdriver and did some housekeeping this morning. Presto! Not only is the raspiness gone; they're miraculously back in tune.

To celebrate, here's "The Wren." Straight up, with no overdubbing and very few twiddly bits.

http://youtu.be/J9FuY8Bbx-w

Bob Michel
Near Philly

Edited by Bob Michel, 07 August 2015 - 10:20 AM.


#21 Wolf Molkentin

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Posted 07 August 2015 - 02:25 PM

An appropriate and enjoyable celebration, Bob! Love the contrast from the droney to the variable harmony, and the sweet Lachenal sound anyways!

Best wishes - Wolf

#22 Bob Michel

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Posted 07 August 2015 - 07:31 PM

the contrast from the droney to the variable harmony


Thanks, Wolf. As it happens I'm a huge Chris Droney fan; I'd love to be able to play Droney harmonies!

Bob Michel
Near Philly

#23 Jim Besser

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Posted 09 August 2015 - 02:52 PM

After months of trying to ignore a couple of wonky reeds on my Lachenal I finally got out my screwdriver and did some housekeeping this morning. Presto! Not only is the raspiness gone; they're miraculously back in tune.

To celebrate, here's "The Wren." Straight up, with no overdubbing and very few twiddly bits.

http://youtu.be/J9FuY8Bbx-w

Bob Michel
Near Philly

 

Agree with wolf - the drony left hand is very nice on this tune.

 

BTW, I was away at a music weekend in your neighborhood, depending on where "near" Philly is.



#24 Bob Michel

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Posted 09 August 2015 - 05:37 PM

 BTW, I was away at a music weekend in your neighborhood, depending on where "near" Philly is.


Wish I'd known, though I spent the weekend in the wilds of S. Jersey (most of the time "near" is about nine miles from City Hall). By all means put me on notice the next time you're heading up this way.

Bob Michel
Near Philly

#25 Jim Besser

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 08:15 AM

 

 BTW, I was away at a music weekend in your neighborhood, depending on where "near" Philly is.


Wish I'd known, though I spent the weekend in the wilds of S. Jersey (most of the time "near" is about nine miles from City Hall). By all means put me on notice the next time you're heading up this way.

Bob Michel
Near Philly

 

 

We were in Mertztown, so probably not exactly in your backyard.



#26 iradcliffe

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 05:44 AM

Bit late in the month, but here is my stab at the Wren.  I think when we play an an dro we use a different arrangement of this tune, but I couldn't lay my hands on our dots.



#27 Jim Besser

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 07:06 AM

Bit late in the month, but here is my stab at the Wren.  I think when we play an an dro we use a different arrangement of this tune, but I couldn't lay my hands on our dots.

 

Never too late! Thanks for a nice version.



#28 Tootler

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 10:11 AM

As said above, getting to the end of the month but here is my effort.

 

The Wren

 

Morse CG Anglo and Tenor Ukulele. The Pictures on the video are of Whitby as I was visiting the folk festival there earlier this week. I had been videoing me playing the anglo but when I finally got a good take, I found I had forgotten to start the video camera.



#29 Tootler

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 10:43 AM

 

I wonder if I have too much going on in the left hand that it detracts from the melody ?


I like the left hand accompaniment, and it doesn't seem to me that it gets in the way of the melody at all. What I can't tell from the recording, though, is what kind of balance you're getting. It sounds as if the microphone is placed very close to the right side, so that the left-hand chords sound quite subdued (maybe even a tad too subdued) in comparison. Since your own ears are more or less equidistant from the two sides, your impression of the relative volumes may be more accurate.

On the other hand, concertinas, because of their construction, are unusually tricky this way. I've played in more than one session where I could barely hear myself, only to be told later that mine was the loudest instrument in the room. When you're playing in the harmonic style a listener on your right (like us, in this instance) may hear the melody loud and clear, while one on your left is hearing only loud chords. If you're playing without amplification for a live audience, every one of your listeners is getting a slightly different mix.

When you record yourself, your microphone placement (assuming you're using just one) can be used to optimize the balance. But if you think of recording as an approximation of live performance rather than an end in itself, that strategically placed mic may give a very misleading impression of what most listeners would hear.

I wouldn't change your approach to accompaniment; it's quite lovely. But if it seems to *you* that the chords are obtrusive, you can try playing them with a lighter, more staccato touch. And if you want your recording to give a more faithful impression of what a live listener would hear (assuming s/he isn't next to you on a bench), try facing the mic from a slightly greater distance.

Bob Michel
Near Philly

 

I use a Tascam multi track recorder for recording. It has twin built in condenser mics and I sit with the recorder in the middle of the concertina and record the left and right mics onto separate tracks. If I'm multitracking, other instruments are added on other channels and when I mix the resulting recordings I pan the two concertina channels slightly apart from each other so you hear the sound from the two ends coming from different places in the stereo space. The built in mics are omni directional and will each pick up both ends of the concertina but the overall effect still works well as each mic will "hear" more of the nearer side. The main thing is not to pan the two tracks too far apart from each other to get the right effect.

 

In the case of The Wren, I used the smaller of my two Tascam recorders which has two mono and two stereo channels. I recorded the concertina on the two mono channels and then "bounced" them on to one of the stereo channels panning them about 20% to left and right. I then reused one of the mono channels to record the ukulele and when I finally mixed the two instruments, I panned the ukulele about 30% left and the concertina 30% right of centre but the concertina itself still had that bit of width.

 

Concertinas in sessions are difficult because it's hard to hear yourself. I've noticed a lot of concertina players in sessions hold the instrument with their arms vertical so it's near the face so they can hear themselves. I mostly take harmonicas to sessions as I can hear what I am doing and also I find I am better able to pick up tunes I don't know and join in - as long as they play enough times through. The issue you mention of what you hear from others in a session is true of all squeeze boxes. You tend to hear the end nearer you.



#30 spindizzy

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Posted 30 August 2015 - 07:08 AM

Finally (as detailed in my Theme of the Month contribution...)

https://soundcloud.c...-45/tv-and-wren

 

The first tune is Theme Vannitais, the the second is the Wren, which I just called "An Dro". These alsways seem to get played together in local sessions, tjhough occasionally someone will add another one at the end, but haven't learnt that yet. These are fairly unornamented since I've just picked them up by ear from a mass of people playing.



#31 Jim Besser

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Posted 30 August 2015 - 08:39 AM

Finally (as detailed in my Theme of the Month contribution...)

https://soundcloud.c...-45/tv-and-wren

 

The first tune is Theme Vannitais, the the second is the Wren, which I just called "An Dro". These alsways seem to get played together in local sessions, tjhough occasionally someone will add another one at the end, but haven't learnt that yet. These are fairly unornamented since I've just picked them up by ear from a mass of people playing.

 

I always enjoyed playing Theme Vannitais for border MOrris dancers, and it goes nicely with The Wren. Thanks.



#32 Jim Besser

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Posted 30 August 2015 - 10:50 PM

In an interesting coincidence, there's a thread about this tune on melodeon.net.  Apparently it is also called Gweharall Here's a beautiful rendition.



#33 Wolf Molkentin

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Posted 31 August 2015 - 12:59 AM

Not that I'd be knowing the tune but I was reading Theme Vanitatis in the first instance and wonder whether this might be the original spelling and/or meaning...

#34 Jim Besser

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Posted 31 August 2015 - 09:14 AM

Not that I'd be knowing the tune but I was reading Theme Vanitatis in the first instance and wonder whether this might be the original spelling and/or meaning...

 

Here's some info on the tune, with variant spellings. http://forum.melodeo...p?topic=11007.0






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