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Łukasz Martynowicz

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Everything posted by Łukasz Martynowicz

  1. My first was the cheapest I could find on ebay - 20b German Anglo. Bought soon after 30 birthday, just to check if I realy could learn anything (I had no prior musical training, only a childhood dream of playing concertina). I had no knowledge on various systems then, this was really a blind purchase. A year later I decided to give a Hayden layout a go and I've built a 64b MIDI concertina - it was the cheapest option to experiment with layouts and to have a large Hayden. After another year of playing only an electronic instrument and missing all the joy of playing an acoustic concertina, I have bought Elise. And now, after 2,5 years, I'm again building an instrument - an acoustic 66b Hayden, because Elise range has reached it's limits for me.
  2. Thanks Geoff and Greg! It is still a long way before I put in the reeds because I can only spare a little time each week on this project, but yes, I'm getting really excited - is it going to sound/act terrible or will it prove at least acceptable
  3. After more than 70 hours of work later it's finally time for another update. So, here it is - my brand new bellows. It's probably not the best bellows out there and is quite stiff for now, but I'm quite happy how it came out. Papers will come later, I must yet design them and print somewhere...
  4. One possible reason is because it is too complicated - it is easier to put two mass produced reeds in a single chamber than make a complicated two-way chamber (in Wheatstone patent the reed is placed in a chamber-dividing wall and there are with lots of valves involved). And acoustics of such obscured reed probably weren't satisfactory - too much sound bouncing, so probably they had muffled or at least very mellow tone.
  5. All of it is great, but the last part is simply stunning. You're setting the highest standards in playing duets, as always.
  6. Indeed the second part doesn't work well with treble, sounds a bit chaotic - but the third part is great and gives an idea of what you had in mind for the second part. Hope you'll find a baritone and play a trio, can't wait to hear it happen
  7. I like your A part very much Jim, it has a nice Early Music feel to it.
  8. Dave: we on c.net forum don't struggle with limited resources/forum space available. This thread doesn't occupy any "broadcast time" or in any way forces anyone to follow it, so I really don't see what your point is. This thread is about (MIDI) concertina construction and is disscussed by concertina players interested in playing concertinas, whether traditional, hybrid or electronic. And I cannot agree, that MIDI instruments are mere simulators - a huge deal of modern music is done purely on electronic keyboards or with some use of them. Most piano players don't have real pianos, but they often have dozens of "simulators" which they use to great extent on such non-simulated events like open air festivals for tens of thousands of people. In Poland we have two terms for people playing piano keyboard instruments on professional level: one is 'pianista' and refers to acoustic piano players with degree from music school, and the second is "klawiszowiec" which translates to "keyboard player" - a person who can play piano (often perfectly and often a pianista with diploma) but also have a wide knowlege on sound production, electronic music, composition and simply can use modern electronic keyboards with all their capabilities. I bet, that if we had a large supply of cheap but powerfull MIDI concertinas available, a lot of concertinists would have a MIDI box for practicing and experimenting. As Paul said - if it can be played as any other concertina then it is a concertina.
  9. After a long, long absence from TOTM I simply couldn't resist to find some time and learn Zelda - such an energetic tune. So, for starters, here is my melody-only WIP: https://soundcloud.com/martynowi-cz/totm-april-zelda-wip-melody I play the first bar differently, with e-c and not e-A, because I will add A in the accompaniment for this part. Also not too many variations for now, only one major in the second repetition of B part.
  10. Here is the thread by Jordan himself: http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=16415 mbe2 is soon to became obsolete as Jordan had already made something signifficantly better.
  11. What you say is at least partially true - we are indeed vastly outnumbered and this indeed affects exposure. You are slightly missing my point though - as we may indeed have similiar ratios as melodeonists (not sure if I can agree on ratios of accordionists being the same) in terms of avant-garde, experimental or exploratory players - I was talking about different genre-coverage among average players. But I realise, that everything I say in this thread is more applicable to duets than to Anglos, which's natural point of reference is a melodeon or diatonic accordion and not CBA or PA. And that is a niche of a niche, with total number of duet players estimated at order of magnitude at least two digits smaller than Anglo players. So maybe I'll better leave this thread to Anglo players ***Side note on square concertinas and prices: I'm in the process of building my eight sided concertina (Tedrow's photo-essay is indeed a great source of knowledge) and from where I'm standing, the most time consuming process in building a hybrid - and greatly dependand on number of sides - is the traditional bellows. The woodwork is just two cuts difference between 4 and 6 sides, the fretwork could be lasercut or kept simple (there are fretless concertinas), but the bellows is a real pain. So I don't realy think that any mass produced cheap concertina will ever have a traditional bellows. But I agree, that we might need fully chromatic Elises (or cheap chineese 46 button Haydens), standard size Jackies/Jacks and Rochelles with bushed action. From those three only Rochelle isn't a significantly handicapped cousin of its kind. When I was at the designing stage of by DIY project, I did considered a square box for a moment. And the reason why I have chosen octagon is that my playing style and habits realy do not support square box. I would have to have the buttons and handles at a strange angle (relative to sides) or I would have to play with the box balancing on the edge. Someone in the MIDI DIY thread pointed out, that he plays his 8-sided concertina turned one edge forward, to get desired angle of his keyboard. So IMHO a square concertinas didn't got atention because of ergonomics, not because of a "rut".
  12. You can approach this in many different ways. As Geoff said, playing in octaves synchronizes your hands perfectly (even to perfectly) and is the simplest form of using your duet. From there, you can start to skip some notes on the left side, keeping others longer and accenting right hand passages this way, gradually building a form of simple countermelody. If you learn something from fake sheets, you can play LH accompaniment with single note drones instead of rhytmic chords - again, this is simple and sounds like a simple countermelody. When you're comfortable with single note accompaniments, you can add some rhytm to it, some fifths or full triads. And then you can try one of those two approaches on full hand-independent rhytmic accompaniment (basically the same, but starting from a different hand): 1. (it's best for tunes you have a recording available): teach your fingers a few of those http://idiotsguides.com/static/quickguides/musicperformingarts/common-chord-progressions.html playing full triads in some basic rhytms. Once you have a natural ability to follow most common transitions, you can try to play a chordal accompaniment with your desired tune playing from the recording. If Elises allows it, play both hands together (chords in octaves): at first keep it simple, playing full chords only. Then add rhytm. When you finally can play LH only to tempo and without thinking about it, then you're ready to focus on RH side, your LH will do rhytm and chords automatically. You will see, that in many, many cases RH melody is just some added movement to the same basic chordal pattern. The added bonus of this approach is that you're learning to be your own metronome 2. learn a melody to a point, when it is perfectly smooth. Then practice your accompaniment (without melody) for a short time, playing it as rich as possible. Then slow down to a note-by-note tempo, and build your phrases with both hands together, simplifying accompaniment when it's too complicated or too heavy. This is especially usefull if accompaniment doesn't follow melody exactly (more like a countermelody than playing in octaves). When you can play it slowly without mistakes, gradually increase the tempo. You will probably use a mix of those techniques depending on what exactly you're playing. And finally - don't give up Hands independence practice takes awfully lot of time. After getting my first Hayden it took me an evening to learn my first LH om-pah acoompaniment, couple of hours to play a melody without mistakes but about a year of playing couple of hours a week to be able to play them both together smoothly. Playing simple drones or countermelodies is a lot easier and takes days or weeks only. But it gets easier with every new tune you try. One last advice - you have chosen a system great for improvisation (scales form closed groups of buttons) and jaming (chords look the same in any key), so practice it. Even a 5 minutes of chord vamping to a tune on YT gets you more familiar with your keyboard. Play a lot of chord progressions without any particular tune in mind, trying different rhytms and arpeggio patterns - this trains your fingers to play common phrases faster and smoother. Playing long, fast sessions on a concertina is in fact hell of a workout for your forearm (comparable to some light climbing) so you won't be able to do so without proper training
  13. Well, since the flood of cheap chineese instruments on ebay and introduction of Rochelle, Jackie/Jack and Elise the cost of at least trying our instrument has dropped significantly and people are trying it without prior interest in folk music. At least some are. And about accordion fame in central and easter europe: it had a very negative public image for the last 50 years, being associated mostly with annoying gypsy buskers and wedding party music, but it is changing rapidly. CBA accordionist Marcin Wyrostek has won the "Mam talent" show (polish edition of "Britain's got talent") in 2009, there are many new bands playing a folkrock or indie music incorporating accordions, brass sections and other not-so popular instruments. There are many great bands in Ukrain and Belarus, pushing accordions and fiddles to something called gypsy-punk, a mix of rock, punk, gypsy, klezmer and balkan folk and many of their arrangements are far from simple rhytmic accompaniment. One of my favourite tunes of Gogol Bordello https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mymLWGvvDu8 (there is even an accordion solo at 5:15) And Gogol Bordello is an internationally recognized main-stream band, playing on the biggest open air festivals and is hardly the only one. There is a huge movement also in scandinavian folkmetal to incorporate CBAs (try Korpiklaani for example) with a huge base of young fans starting their jurney with CBA because they like the power of such music. And CBAs are becoming very cool. We have nothing of that. There is a lot going on with 'squeezed' music in many popular genres, but concertina misses this almost entirely by being, well, stuck in a rut of reconstructory folk, dance hall accompaniment and other traditional applications. We even have some problems in recognizing duets as true concertinas, as they have no well defined traditional repertoire. And again - I'm not trying to change anyone's musical joices or interests. Just trying to put a concertina in a wider scope than Anglo vs Melodeon. Nobody should feel offended by my point of view, as I really enjoy good folk and I'am trully inspired by some of folks here on c.net playing solely folk music on Anglos and Englishes. For me, the term "being stuck in a rut" has no negative value to it. This thread is more of an academic debate for me, than personal finger-pointing.
  14. @ Matthew & Chris: or we might just pretend, that in our case it this is just an abbreviation of BrainStorming and there is no naughtyness in it
  15. Not all covers are vocal and one can make great instrumental arrangements of vocal music (a great example, "Toxicity" by System Of A Down played on a piano: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Be-loLSUWT0&list=PLvpAJmwTOeU4G0UKTxLMzogYXfnupm3tZ&index=2) Of course "amelie" is modern written but based on well established forms. You're right, that great mass of modern instrumental music is a pastiche of old genres which are played on a concertina. But that is not my point. I'm not arguing, that covers or game/film music are in any way superior to folk or early jazz music etc... Only that if we want wider popularity of our instrument we should lean toward more popular genres and proove to general public, that concertina is not a folk-niche instrument. Today, if someone wants to start playing concertina not because it is a traditional Irish instrument, but because it is a compact, light, versatile "accordion", and wants to play modern music he has almost zero learning or inspirational concertina material and may turn to other instrument, simply because he will have anyone to compare to in his chosen genre. Again, I'm not in any way arguing, that concertinist should abandon folk, or that exploring folk music of various regions or historical times is in any way inferior to playing modern music. I'm just sad, that my beloved instrument is percieved by a generall audience only as a folk instrument and a novelty. To put my point of view to one phrase: we as concertina players rightly don't see or feel ourselves as being stuck in any rut (especially on individual level), but general audience may well percieve us (as a whole) as such.
  16. Inventor - you can link buttons on the circutboard only if you forfeit the possibility of microtonal tuning, which is important for at least two people here - me and Matthew.
  17. As I first understood, the OP question was aimed at the whole concertina community being stuck, but then it was somehow narrowed to Anglo players and it seems that I simply missunderstood the scope of original question. You're right Jim, that nobody is in any rut as long as he pushes himself outside his comfort zone - that is why I wrote about the instrument applications and not any specific player or single genre. In any way I didn't meant to depracate any kind of folk. I myself am a huge fan of klezmer, balkan and scandinavian folk and recently - breton tunes. My comment was simply to point out, that there is awfully small amount of non-traditional music played on a concertina (at least to be found on the web) in comparison to the most versatile and recognized instrument of the squeez family: an accordion. And yes, I think that comparing to the melodeon is a narrower scope - not at all meaningless, only a bit limiting: it misses how much is going on in many modern or non-dance genres and other instruments. To be honest, I deeply regret, that the only person on the web trying (succesfully) to play modern game/film music is Toru Kato (with exception on maybe to Monkey Island theme played by two other players). And that I cannot listen to any rendition of scandinavian folkmetal on a concertina, while there are literaly hundreds of such accordion videos on YT. TOTM moved mostly to the soundcloud, so our collective effort to record more concertina music is a bit of an inside thing, not drawing much attention. We often complain about concertinas not being popular and I tried to link that to being somehow stuck in a rut of a folk niche. I found many of my favourite accordion YT players by searching for music of modern artists, very often covered in dozens or hundreds of videos, on many instruments. I even found a great cover of Tool's "Lateralus" played on a Koto ensemble and spend an evening on finding anything I could on this instrument - much more exotic for me than concertina. But concertinists don't really do covers, so they are impossible to be found this way.
  18. This is the same as Wakker H2 (except for this lonely, un-Hayden Eb/F) and I have this exact layout on my prototype. I chose this layout because at that time I had no idea what would be usefull. Now I think that Ab on the edges are not. Because on MIDI we can transpose, doubling accidentals is usefull only with meantone and just tunings and with a lot more doubled notes (an old square Bastari has enough buttons for this). So now I would skip them, and move them to low F and high Eb, or low D# on RH side and to low D# on the left. And this is mostly because we have 64 buttons to spend, we realy don't need doubled Eb/D# that much - except maybe for consistent edge-triads if someone needs Cmin and Bmaj in one fully-chromatic piece somewhere...
  19. Take a look at this thread: http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=16435&hl=
  20. It's Zelda for me! My favourite rendition so far: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOPV2DLvIjg
  21. Yes I have, almost immidiately after purchase, as original Elise action was a downgrade even from a cheap German Anglo. I now have aluminum+steel rod buttons, with lever holes and endplate holes bushed with 1mm felt (plus original felt bumpers on the bottom of a button).
  22. I have tried to adjust the gap heights on the slowest reeds and this have helped a bit, but nevertheless those lowest reeds are significantly slower to speak. Slow enough, that this must be corrected when playing low rhytmic accompaniment progressions. This issue and lack of 6 buttons (missing sharps) are my only complains about Elise (at least about my modified one) - versatile as it is, it would last for much longer as a learning instrument, if it were fully chromatic.
  23. The slow response of the lowest notes is caused by weighted reeds and you can't really do anything about it.
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