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Łukasz Martynowicz

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Everything posted by Łukasz Martynowicz

  1. That's exactly the point - it's very "native" technique for anglo, but it's difficult to make duet sound similiar (exact copy is IMHO impossible) - and Stefan managed to push this rythm to a point where one can be fooled that he's alternating notes inbetween (near the end of his sample). I can do bellows tremolo, play simple progressions in it, but not in such steady rythm. Stefan did. On anglo there is twice as much time to change finger positions and parts can be played with bellows only - my fingers don't move that fast yet As for accordion players not using this technique - mass of an accordion times velocity of a bellows compression/extension makes this a hell of an excercise
  2. I miss the times, when "real 3D" stop-motion animation was so popular... I can't recall any names now, but I remember, that concertina showed up on at least a couple of other children tv shows and animations in '80 and '90 - probably because of it's size that fits characters better than an accordion. Intrestingly, they were almost exclusively western (US or UK) productions or... Russian. This makes me wonder about historical concertina popularity in Europe: it was known in UK and Ireland, in Germany and in Russia, but completely unknown in central europe - Poland, Ukraine and Baltic coutries all have rich accordion tradition, Czech and Slovakia have both accordion and chemnitzer tradition, in southern countries like greece, italy or spain they play mostly accordions (in at least one of these countries word "concertina" is used to describe a diatonic accordion).
  3. That must be a remanant of the times of "sweedish flood" - when Sweden invaded Poland. Just to be precise: polska means Polish only for the feminine words, and in Sweeden it was probably taken from "polska muzyka" (polish music) or something like that. In most cases polska means Poland.
  4. As for "Ostatnia niedziela" - it is mostly in a single key, but some parts require additional accidentals. As 32 button anglo generally have quite large compass, compared to other concertinas, it should be quite straightforward to play melody line. Accompaniment is however a completely different story... Sadly, I must wait untill I manage to build my larger instrument, as Elise is to limited for this one... Jim, I would backup any sweedish or finnish tune - I was even going to suggest that later on I must say that I like "Two guitars" even better than "Cyganeczka...", so thank you "Cyganeczka Zosia" would translate to "Sophia the gypsy girl" and you're right - as gypsies live in diasporas their music have influenced middle and eastern european countries music to great extent, almost the same way as klezmer music. It is often very hard to draw lines between balkan gypsy music, klezmer music, russian and ukrainian folk etc. Remember also, that geopolitics of this region in XIX and early XX centuries mixed every nation and their cultures together... On top of that, many of modern folk, folk-jazz or folk-rock bands perform music of different regions and traditions, so it mixes them even more... "Two guitars" indeed share the same melody line in one part, probably were the basis for writing "cyganeczka.." - "biesiada" is a polish wedding dance music (ukraine, belarus and russia have their similiar traditions), written mostly for accordion.
  5. Maybe something from completely different tradition? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHAXoN3YOuY - this is one of polish "biesiada" songs, it's a kind of modern folk genre (most of songs were written in early XX century) Or something from balkan or klezmer folk?
  6. I only casted one vote for Old Molly, so I can either cast my second vote for Old molly if one can accumulate or on Waterfall otherwise.
  7. Finaly, I've been able to record my attempt. This is still a work in progress, as I have great problems with playing the second part in tempo without messing up the keys... This is the best take I managed at this point: https://soundcloud.com/martynowi-cz/roslin-castle-wip-1 For the final version, I intend to go twice through with increasing tempo, like in this version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asdVyUEs4lg
  8. Tom, this pitch bending technology of bluesBox is absolutely amazing. One question - what is the space requirement for such effect? In other words - can it be fitted into a duet concertina?
  9. Probably the close voting this month is directly caused by double voting: only 20 people voting, each for half of the list. This is almost like voting between only two options with single vote. So I vote for going back to the old method next month. [this reminds me a classic polish film "Rejs", and a scene were there is a debate on "which method of voting should be chosen to vote on the voting method of the actual vote" ]
  10. So you're just a little behind me with your knowledge There are probably some printed resources on accordion restoration, but most practical aspects of bulding free reed instruments are "secret of a trade"... with very limited "first hand" information. Bob Tedrows photo essay on building one of his concertinas can be found on his site - this is by far the most extensive set of informations regarding building a hybrid I found. There are numerous articles spread out on the web. Most of them aren't easy to find by google - search forums about accordions, this forum, bandoneon forums, melodeon forums etc... There were a great blog with history of "making concertina on the kitchen table" but I can't find it anymore - maybe someone here knows the person who build that instrument? Or maybe the builder himself is here? As for low vs high pressure: pressure of a bellows is determined by the area of its cross section. Accordions have at least twice as big as concerinas, so when you squeze them with same force they produce lower air pressure. From what I managed to learn, more expensive accordion reeds are engineered to have better response at low pressures (can play softer and quieter) and more stable frequency across different volumes/pressures.
  11. I am also in the process of building (still designing actually because of lack of time...) my first concertina, and what I can tell from my experiments and observations, the reed chamber sizes on an accordion vary in size mostly because of reed speaking speed. Because of different reed position (reedblocks vs reedpan), you'll have completely different physics of sound propagation and pressure buildup inside the chamber. I've built a test chamber with variable dimension and air hole placement and my observations are, that when placing reeds in concertina fasion any chamber not smaller than reedplate will work - smaller chamber are faster, larger chambers have deeper sound. Of course if you're trying to make a virtuoso instrument, or were working with concertina reeds, precise dimensions matter... Otherwise you just have to have enough room for valves and reed swing - which can be quite significant, especially with weighted reeds. What matter most to sound [with given reed type, in this case accordion reeds] is reed placement style (concertina vs accordion), then air hole placement relative to the reed, then how rigid the connection between reed and instrument is, then amount of obstacles and bounces between and then materials you build your concertina from (there is a large debate if materials do matter (you can find it on this forum), especially different kinds of woods and should it be a tonewood or not - or is it just a surface finish that affect sound; in my experiments material did matter, but only plywood and mdf gave awfull results. Someone even tried 3d printing a reedpan...). Side note - accordion reeds are low pressure reeds and different qualities of those reeds are best heard on low pressure instruments. Concertinas are high pressure instruments, so there is no point in putting expensive reeds in your first instrument - any reed will work. I seriously doubt, that both modern cheap china concertinas or old german-anglos were carefully designed instruments. They rather are/were a mockup of parts assembled together to fit both purpose and cost of an instrument. To be honest, you can build a concerina from MDF and an old shelve, put cheap russian accordion reeds in it and as long as the reeds have clearance and are not rusty and your craftsmanship is good enough, you'll end up with at least a decent playing instrument. Maybe not a beautifull or durable, but it will sound like a hybrid concertina. My first concertina was a cheapest old german anglo I could buy and still, when I upgraded to Elise it was a downgrade in terms of sound - not because of cheap reeds or any usually discussed problem, but because of steel/plastic combo, loose, unbushed buttons which buzzed when the air moved around them. After I've replaced them with rigid, fully bushed ones my Elise works like charm, the only problem left are lowest, weighted reeds that are so slow to speak that using them for accompaniment is demanding and tricky. As Jim said, it is more "art" than "science" because of amount of interlocking factors, that even free-reed instruments builders with years of experience will often bump into results completely opposite to expectations (e.g. usage of balsa wood for reedblocks, discussed in some thread here or on melodeon.net).
  12. Sound proofing is basically done by mounting airtight, semi-rigid bariers out of heaviest materials available. You need to dissipate energy of moving air. This is indeed best done by mounting acoustic plasterboard on sounbreaker bars, as they are "floating" joints. But couldn't you just baffle your concertina/melodeon and sing less loud?
  13. I believe, that system proven to be most fair is one that is based on arranging whole list in order. But since TOTM is not obligatory, there are no podiums or prizes for best performance, and finding notes for tunes that didn't win isn't hard at all it realy doesn't matter much for me, if particular tune won. I've learned "parsons..." dropped out "la luna...", was happy that "roslin castle" won [still working on it], voted for "old molly" and will learn any other tune, that I'll find interesting even if it were last in the results. For me, TOTM is great because of two things - it gives opportunity to learn something collectively and compare renditions, but also is a kind of "guide" through tunes worth learning. Especially for someone like me, who doesn't know, listen or play much folk music.
  14. I also use top loops for thumbs on Elise - this way I have much more control over the exact position of my hands. This may be layout-dependant or Elise trait (or my fingers are to long ), but when I tried to play with hand straps tight enough for good bellows control I was unable to play chords on the whole keyboard. In fact, I now have added something like English thumb straps on my instrument and I'm trying to figure out on something that could replace the hand straps completely. So playing with your thumbs in small loops is a viable choice
  15. Stefan, your example of "tremolo" reminded me of this great song: American Wheeze by 16 Horsepower - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THlgU-8dMYg . I was able to replicate this effect on an anglo, but never came anywhere close on a duet. Thank you for showing me, that this can be done to such extent. Very inspiring! [side note: I've been quiet this month, just lurking and listening only, as I'm still working on my version - not much time on my hands this month. And counter melody playing proved to be a bit of a challenge for me, but hopefully I'll post my version before the end of the month ]
  16. I know I haven't posted my version of Roslin Castle yet (still working on counter melody, unexpectedly hard for me..) but that doesn't change a fact, that I'll love to add Old Molly to my repertoire So here's my vote.
  17. I sat the last one down, but I'm going to make my version of Roslin Castle whether it'll be next TOTM or not I have a very confusing feeling, that I know this tune from some modern arrangement but I cannot remember when and where this might be... Probably as a solo part of some shanty-polo or folk-rock, as I remember it in it's fast and lively version. Any of you know of any such use of it?
  18. Ok, I finally had time to do some tests, regarding influences on sound of reedpan wood choices, chamber dimensions, hole placement (relative to tongue in "concertina layout" and in accordion variant) and of course layered layout... Turns out, that layered layout doesn't affect tone character much, but it does affect volume in significant way. I haven't yet tested methods of countering this as this will require different testing setup, but I'll probably have to build larger version of my instrument... As for woods, I tested spruce, oak, merbau and balsa (I did also mdf and plywood tests for reference on "how much material choice affects sound"). None of those was seasoned tonewood - just what I had in my workshop. There were some audible diferences between woods, but they were subtle, except for mdf and plywood - mdf being most dull, while balsa and oak being most rich sounding. ( I'am aware of the ongoing debate on wood influence and do not claim my tests to be conclusive enough to take side in this thread: http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=4485&page=4. Before milling chambers I tested woodblocks for differences in sound just by droping them on milling table and effects that those woods had on reed tone were adequate to differences in their self-tone, but much more subtle). From all variables I've tested, hole placement has the biggest influence on tone, then chamber dimensions and wood choice can be treated more of a "spice" at the end.
  19. Thank you all for examples! Theodore: this bandoneon mounting looks most like what I intended to do. After doing precise plans of possible reed layouts it came out, that using layered method I can decrease instrument diameter (flat to flat) by 25mm - from 220 to 195mm for 62 button instrument (same as 64 button Wakker W/H-2). This comes at a cost of added 2cm at each end thickness (from 4 to 6cm) AND a lot more work, due to those layered reeds being on 15 separate "reed blocks" (some in groups of 2 to 5 reeds). But... All those examples, except for Steve's bass Wheatstone, use layered reeds only for multiple reeds per note. From what I read in this thread: http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=15225&hl=nasal this layered layout may produce clearly audible differences between reeds. This thread doesn't answer the question whether this is caused by longer air travel or smaller pad clearance in those instruments (the pad clearance effect on sound is described in the last section of this text http://www.concertinaconnection.com/concertina%20reeds.htm ). I only had time to work on this project at nights, so I could not yet determine this by experiment (my workshop is next to my bedroom)... Hopefully I will manage to test it next week. Steve, could you tell me are there any differences between "feel" in sound of reeds from different layers?
  20. Many thanks a lot for suggesting Bartok! I didn't knew it and it sounds like the ultimate learning course.
  21. If we are deviating from folk and dance music, may I suggest this Polish-Russian classic tango: "Ostatnia niedziela" by Mieczysław Fogg. The dots can be found online for free. This piece is very popular amongst polish accordion players. The melody isn't all that difficult, but the downside is that it requires fully chromatic instrument, so Elise and 20-button-Anglo players would be excluded. That includes me as well... Here is one of original recordings from 1936: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-hg58QQmdc And here is an absolutely crazy arrangement by Gideon Kremer himself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C071-M1e5Vk But as Geoff pointed out, all those non-folk entries require substantially longer practice time and are not well suited for a monthly contest. So maybe it would be wise to come up with some sort of tune-of-the-quarter for advanced tunes and keep TOTM relatively simple. For all those players outside of UK and US it's often the only "place" where one can actually learn something directly from other players - there are almost no concertina players in central and eastern Europe.. BTW: if someone knows a nice tango that can be played without G#'s and D#'s and could share the dots I would appreciate that...
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