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Myrtle's cook

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About Myrtle's cook

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    Chatty concertinist

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    English concertina, Maccan duetm folk music
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  1. Myrtle's cook

    Steve Turner’s concertina

    I recall him saying (at a concert) that it was indeed a baritone treble, although several of the keys/reeds have been altered to more easily facilitate a drone effect. He does play it incredibly well - these are relatively heavy, bulky instruments to wrangle if one is more used to a treble/tt.
  2. Myrtle's cook

    24 key Lachenal?

    In terms of the label - if the box is a Lachenal it might well be a dealer's label, further obscuring origin (and indeed on some Jones's). Sorry that's not of much help!
  3. Myrtle's cook

    Should I buy a brass reed vintage anglo ?

    A few thoughts from an EC player... I have two instruments which have non steel reeds - a Wheatstone Baritone with brass reeds from 1860s and apparently quite 'high end', and a Scates labelled (probably George Case made) amboyna treble with silver nickel reeds. - there are different standards of brass etc reeds (just as with steel). The best wheatstone brass reeds are robust, have good dynamic range and volume, need relatively little air, speak quickly and do not seem to readily go out of tune. The cheapest (e.g. basic lachenal models) seem to have far less dynamic range, be slow to speak and need quite a lot of air. I understand such reeds are a little more prone to fracture - I purchased the two concertinas above because I loved their mellow sound which combines with good reponse and dynamic range to provide a very satisfying playing experience . I use them for song. Both would struggle to be heard in a good session - perhaps a plus if you want to develop confidence, but less so if you want to really get 'stuck in'. - Brass/non-steel reeds can play any sort of music, just as well as steel reeds. However, if you are used to listening to Irish tunes played on growling Jeffries anglos then the tone of the brass reeds will be different and might take a little mental adjustment (a little less 'bark and bite' to use a phrase a Jeffries owning friend describes some of his accompaniment style). -With good reeds (and mechanism - which is part of the speed equation) high speed is possible if the fingers are willing and coordinate! If you are considering buying from Chris Algar ('and other dealers are available', including those who regularly contribute to this forum) you may well be able to get the instrument on approval and if it doesn't meet your expectations return it - as long as it is in the same condition. Good luck - we all started somewhere - my first instrument, which I still love, is in fact technically pretty poor - but it got me playing and gave an enormous amount of pleasure.
  4. Myrtle's cook

    For Sale: Lachenal English Concertina

    The serial number would suggest this is a Lachenal. Wheatstones with 55### onward, including 55870, are anglos. Still, potentially a good starter instrument for someone - it looks in decent condition and the non original thumb straps look quite recent replacements suggesting it has been loved or at least well cared for. Good luck with the sale.
  5. Myrtle's cook

    Rock Chidley

    In addition to Geoff's suggestion, you might also want to check out the Concertina Museum Collection (part of Neil Wayne's collection acquired by the Horniman Museum), the title page for the Rock Chidley instruments should be found at this link: http://concertinamuseum.com/SiteS4d.htm and contains a helpful overview of Chidley and his concertinas, the pages that follow detail individual Chidley concertinas in the collection.
  6. Myrtle's cook

    Injurous session

    Hi Christine I managed to look out my treatment notes over the weekend and located the following 'introductory' form of PMR, developed by a physiotherpist. it's one I often come back to (although I'd managed to foget it's name!) www.csp.org.uk/sites/files/csp/secure/pogp-mitchell-2_0.pdf Hope this is helpful.
  7. Myrtle's cook

    Injurous session

    Hi Christine I expect there are those who will say practice and confidence - and I' sure that's a large part of it. As a sufferer of chronic pain for some years I stumbled upon Progressive Muscular Relaxation as means of managing tension/stress when playing/performing, as well as condition management. There are various manefestations of this in on line resources, and as every person is different I suspect different methods suit different people. It is based on systematically working down the body, tensing then releasing different areas, and can be used in conjunction with breath control (i.e. slow breath whilst drawing left hand into clenched position, slow out breath whilst releasing the hand, and repeating for each area to be tensed and released). WHen initially doing this I found spoken instructions useful - there are some on Youtube and also on the Insight Timer app. Some of the approaches have their origins in physiotherapy, others seem to have been adapted and developed in mindfulness techniques. I try to find a quiet space in which to sit (car or toilet(!)) before playing, and if a long session, having a similar break halfway. There's quite a good check list within this arcticle: https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/progressive-muscle-relaxation-pmr/ One advantage may be that tension in one area of the body can sometimes manefest in another muscle group/limb during exertion. This method goes some way to minimising overall tension in the first place, making this less likely. By combining with slowed breathing it might also help control the cocktail of chemicals our bodies sometimes delivering whilst playing that promote stress/tension (cortisol, adrenalin etc). I was very cynical of this technique when it was first suggested to me, but after a little practice found it was genuinely useful for both pain control and [getting on the first step to] a Zen like state whilst playing. Hope this is helpful.
  8. Myrtle's cook

    Injurous session

    What system are you playing Christine? I am asuming Anglo (quite possibly wrongly). The stresses and strains of playing English concertina are well documented on this site, but less so Anglo and Duet. If it's a system with lower notes largely on the left hand side is there an element of trying to emphasise/underplay these which is adding to the tension and consequent pain. Glad to hear it passed easily at any rate.
  9. Myrtle's cook

    Jones? concertina on eBay

    The shot of the mechanism (photo 8 in the listing's sequence) showing a lever arm supports does look like those on my own EC/Duet Lachenals. That said, I understand Jones to have used a number of different mechanism solutions. The serial number also seems to read as 162021 - I may be wrong, but do Jones instruments go much beyond the 20,000s?? The adjustable handrails definitely look 'custom' and unusual - as if the use of metal which seem to be more associated with Jeffries/Crabb than Lachenal or Jones. INteresting to hear form an Anglo player as to the practicality/utility of such adjustable rests (short/long fingers enable to reach upper/lower registers??).
  10. Returning to ridges/flanges etc.... Following on from Jim Lucas's survey of instruments, I took a look at the little finger rests on my concertinas. I noticed that on my Aeola 'pinhole' treble EC (no. 21477), the rests are a further variant where the metal is thinnned towards the outer edge or chamfered. This appears to have been done at the time of manufacture. Until I noticed it I had not been aware of any particular difference it makes to my playing. On reflection it does enable rather freer movement of my little finger as the remaining fingers wander across the keys - particularly when compared to another rest with the flange/ridge. I wonder if this form, the plain form and the flanged/ridged form are little more than examples of the areas of choice manufacturers offered for their better instruments in the late C19th-earlier C20th?
  11. Perhaps the leather sheafing of the rests was more prevalent in the earlier period of concertina manaufacture and use (when primarily a parlour instrument), i.e. up to c.1870/80s. On later instruments, less common, perhaps reflecting the developing uses and users of concertinas. A quick peruse of the instruments in the 'Concertina Museum Collection' supports this hypothesis.
  12. Myrtle's cook

    Wheatstone Tenor Treble Aeola For Sale On Ebay

    That does appear something of a bargain. The bellows looked to have had a hard life (both patching and visible wear), but even allowing for the cost of their replacement this would still be a reasonable price asuming not too much else needed doing.
  13. Myrtle's cook

    New Model Anglo

    Returning to the concertina, what do people make of the EK/CK engraved within the fretwork. The commissioner of this instrument?
  14. Myrtle's cook

    Wanted: Mid/high End 32-40B Anglo

    In addition to Chris Algar, you might also like to check out Theo Gibb's website (he is a regular contriubtor of knowledge to this site). He has a Jeffries 45 key CG anglo in his 'Box Shop' at present as well as a 40 key Lachenal CG which looks nice - although as an EC player I wouldn't know whether the latter is better than your present box. Check them out at www.theboxplace.co.uk (apologies for not pasting actual link, something doesn't seem to be working - probably the requsitie part of my brain).
  15. Myrtle's cook

    Frank Butler, Concertina Mini-Tunes

    Many thanks for the hard work involved in this - this is an excellent resource