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Sarah Swett

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Everything posted by Sarah Swett

  1. A great group of people indeed, Jim. Such delight to feel utterly at ease, which in turn makes room for all kinds of adventurous learning. Thank you..
  2. It was fantastic. Just working on some of the myriad new NESI learned tunes in my stash. What a joyful time. I feel so fortunate.
  3. Thanks! Carolan tunes are worth the effort, no? I'd love to get a bunch of the McDermott Roe family pieces under my fingers.
  4. Love this theme! So many favorites -- Charles O'Connor, Henry McDermott Roe (1st air), Carolan's Draught, Princess Royal... What to add? My favorite! Loftus Jones, a tune I know (or once knew), pretty well. Apparently, however, in the months since I las recorded or posted on C Neg and I'd forgotten what pushing that little button does to my brain and fingers. N tries later, I deleted all attempts and started again with Carolan's Concerto -- and then only came up with one short recording with a minimum of fumbles. At any rate, here it is! Once through. https://soundcloud.com/mildredestelle/cs-concerto-1x Sarah
  5. oops -- signed my name twice but didn't say the other thing I meant to add, which is how much I like listening to the subtle variations in emphases and timing and hope to hear some more examples of grace note choices. This is yet another area in which I feel my playing is lacking so appreciate all the discussion above. thanks! Sarah
  6. Wow! Fantastic. Such a great combination of instruments. Thanks. Fabulous. Thanks so much for getting me going on this gorgeous tune. Love the accompaniment . Sarah Sarah
  7. It does indeed answer my questions-- though now it will take a bit of effort to 'cure, myself of the sharpened note. The folk process , or at least finger habits, can be powerful. A fellow I sometimes play with learns everything by ear. Sometimes he will bring dots for the rest of us and we duitifully play and learn that version, only to find ourselves clashing when we play together. He is not going to change his habits/ patterns to suit us or the written notes, so I,ve found myself adding or eliminating many a sharp in the interest of the group sound. How, then to retain both versions in my head just in case?? Thank you David. And for the great story as well.
  8. Thanks! That was lovely. More satisfying to me than listening to the choirboys! Angelic though they sound (and, I'm sure, actually are...).
  9. Question about Abbot's Bromley Horn Dance. I have a version in my pile 'o tunes that has a couple of differences from the versions listed above and I wondered what people thought. 1. Measure 4 of the B part: the first note in my version (C in the PDFs version Jim posted above) has an accidental sharp. Changes the feel to keep it natural, which most of the YouTube versions also seem to do. Is my version (the sharpened version) an anomolie? 2. Measure 1 of the C part: 4th note goes up a 4th from the third note ( instead of a step); measure 2, the 4 th note goes up a fifth ( vs. a fourth). Not sure my terminology is correct so hope this makes sense. As an ancient tune, clearly there isn't just one 'proper, version, but I'd love to hear some thoughts on the matter before the one I have and sort of know becomes embedded in my fingers and brain
  10. SImply gorgeous! Thanks. Yes indeed! Lovely. Perfect timing too-- I saw the dots for Valse d'hiver the other day (in The Waltz Book 2), started to play it, and now can,t stop. What a treat to hear it 'for real.'
  11. Nicely done. You maintained a nice even tempo, not always easy when playing slowly. Good example of melody playing. Nice indeed. Great to hear an example of the clean, clear melody Sorry I'm going to have to be the bad guy here, but we're here to learn, and nobody will learn anything if nobody points out obvious problems with a performance. This tune is in 3, and you have to feel the 3-beat pulse in your bones if you're going to play it with any degree of effectiveness. The same would be true if it were in 2 or 4 or any other time signature. Gerry is missing this inner sense of the beat as evidenced by the fact that he consistently (four times, every time it comes up) plays the C-natural in the B section as a quarter note (crochet) instead of a half note (minim), leaving a 2-beat measure. So, Gerry, your homework is to learn how to internalize the beat, to make it more important than the notes, so that you are incapable of making a mistake like that, even if you play wrong notes. And everyone else... If you really didn't hear the problem, you have the same assignment. And if you did, well, we need to learn how to constructively criticize, or, as I said, nobody will learn anything. Thanks, David! Much appreciated. Time for metronome and dance practice --though I've always been a waltzing klutz. Question --When using a metronome for tunes in 3/4, do you find it easiest to have it beat once per measure to really emphasize the downbeat? Or is there a better approach?
  12. Brandon -- these are fantastic. What great faces! Another whole wonderful world of music and Dance. I knew nothing about these, so am thrilled to be introduced. Now to have a look at Alex's.
  13. Oh my, but that was a treat. I really like the way the two melodic lines worked together. Did you write the accompaniment? And how fantastic to have melody and harmony on two instruments. Not only do you get the pleasure of playing with someone else, but you avoid the finger contortions and honks of trying to accompany yourself. Or so it seems to me….
  14. Nicely done. You maintained a nice even tempo, not always easy when playing slowly. Good example of melody playing. Nice indeed. Great to hear an example of the clean, clear melody
  15. Nicely done. Good chording in the B part. In my own playing of this tune I still haven't worked out chords to my satisfaction. Maybe a limitation of playing it on Anglo. Yes! I, too, kept trying to add chords but they alway sounded odd or abrupt or otherwise unsatisfactory. Eventually recorded this https://soundcloud.com/mildredestelle/les-poulles-houpp-es-1 thinking I'd accompany myself 'later' on another garage band track. But later never came and the month is nearly over, so here 'tis, as is.
  16. Like Matthew I fell for the idea of the instrument rather that a particular musician or style. A late starter fiddle player, I wanted a similar range for single melody lines with the odd chord (a substitute for singing which I love but have learned to do only when alone), with no intonation issues! I thought I wanted a melodeon until I saw a concertina and totally fell in love. First try was a loaner dumpster (literally) Anglo. The push- pull thing made absolutely no sense to me and the bellows were a nightmare (though I didn't know that at the time), so I did some research and plunged in with a Jackie. Still pick up the fiddle now and again -- the concertina has improved my ear -- but after a few tunes and the thought that I really should spend more time with the poor neglected thing, I always turn with relief and renewed delight to my concertina. The ergonomics alone allow me to play for hours, and now that I have the bliss of a model 21 ( such sensitive buttons, such responsive bellows AND shine metal ends!), stopping is even harder. As for style -- well my concertina and I like to try everything... And now that my husband has taken up the piano to accompany me and ONLY wants to play chords, I'm awfully content.
  17. Wow-- Graham, your fabulous version and that hurdy hurdy show another whole side to this tune! So many possibilities. Thanks! I wonder why the quote thing didn't work on my last post....
  18. Thanks so much! This was the 'easiest' tune I've recorded so far-- don't know if it is the bliss of the instrument (the action and metal buttons are just sooo responsve), or affection for the tune. Probably both. Certainly not affection for the recording process. But practice helps with that too.
  19. Fantastic theme, Jim. As you said, nothing quite matches one's affection for those first loves. These are great posts and great tunes. Now I want to relearn Hector the Hero, which I played on the cello long ago but haven't thought about for ages! Love Banks of the Inverness, David. The first tune I actually leaned on the concertina is lost in the mists ( even though it wasn't that long ago), but the one I first really struggled to get under my fingers on my Jackie was White Petticoat, and it is still a favorite. I'd heard it on the Kevin Burke/Cal Scott album "Suite" (first tune of the Irish session suite 1st movement:jigs), and was determined to learn to play it myself. Solas also plays a version in a set with Stan Chapman and Miller's Maggott. This recording is with the fabulous Wheatstone model 21 I recently bought from Greg Jowaisas -- What fun it is to play. So much I have still to learn! Yay. http://soundcloud.com/mildredestelle/white-petticoat
  20. I have loved the TOTM from the beginning and have added many new tunes to my repertoire -- often the tunes that didn't win the poll. As many have said, however, actually recording and posting can be a fraught business for us relative newbies, so I much appreciate all the thoughtful comments on how best to make a 'safe' place for all styles and levels. Personally, I find giving comments awfully hard -- how to be both even-handed and enthusiastic? Who wants to risk hurting anyone's feelings? And how could my simplistic comments be helpful anyway? On the other hand, my cello teacher used to have a charming approach that, as an adult beginner, I much appreciated. She always begin with a compliment: "My, Sarah, I just love the way you are holding the bow," then go on to, "Now let's talk about your intonation on the third measure. That C# is just a touch flat." Of course it was way more than a touch flat, but it didn't seem so mortifying when she put it so nicely. Happily, I now play the concertina so intonation issues are less of an issue, but I do notice how bellows work can really effect the clarity of notes and want to work on that. At any rate I like the idea someone mentioned of actually ASKING for feedback on a specific thing. One time I did just that (an issue with honking low notes) and was delighted to be reminded to record in a less acoustically lively space. Duh. Also, I've really liked the addition of the theme of the month though find when I work on something for the theme I tend to ignore the tune, and vice versa. Indeed, this month I am slaving away on a classical piece that I'm terrified but determined to record at least part of, if only because I love it and want to get to know it better as a concertina tune. But that means I've ignored the tunes of the month though have definitely enjoyed the posts. So, Jim, Thank you for doing this. It is clearly a positive feature of CNet. And now I'm going to go listen to the selections for October with the hope that I'll have a clear favorite AND that it won't interfere too much with my desire to attempt a few recordings of the September theme. Sarah
  21. Gee Whiz, Randy, your playing is a delight every time. What a pleasure And Wolf -- "Cheeky" or no, I enjoyed the Bach as much as the first time. Thanks for posting it again and giving me another listen. Sarah
  22. You're right about J being the brass reeded instrument -- an 1890s Jones. The Steel Reeded one is also vintage though, an early 1900's Wheatstone with metal sides. Decidedly brighter -- Crisp is a good word for it. Totally different action too. Fast and light. Capable of far more subtlety than my fingers. I used garage band on an iPad to record both, though recorded in two different rooms: my acoustically lively weaving studio for the Jones, and my more subdued bedroom for the Wheatstone (comforters and all that to absorb sound). The studio/ Wheatstone combination seems almost too bright for my ears. I suppose it'd be a better test to do them both in the same place. next time… Recording (and posting) adds such a strange element to the pleasure of learning and playing a tune -- every critical nerve alert. Each time I undertake it I try to remember is a story someone once told me about a friend who took up the guitar and absolutely LOVED playing until he decided to record himself, whereupon he put down his guitar and never picked it up again. There is no way I want to be that mean or to risk the extreme pleasure of simply playing. Messing around with acoustics etc is a nice way to distance myself slightly from the many faults of the 'emerging musician." :-)
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