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Sarah Swett

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Everything posted by Sarah Swett

  1. Two recordings of Eklundapolska #3 on different instruments, one with brass reeds, one steel. They feel and sound very different when I play them but as with Jim's demo in another thread, I'm not not sure this comes through in the recording process. https://soundcloud.com/mildredestelle/eklundapolska-3-j https://soundcloud.com/mildredestelle/eklundapolska-3-w Neither sounds as dance-like as I would like-- probably because, though I've listened to a number at this point, I haven't even remotely internalized what a polska feels like. This tune sure is fun to play though. Hopefully this'll get me working harder on All Of Me for the official September tune.
  2. Yes-- really great Brandon. These late entries are inspiring-- I really meant to do a tune in three in August but maybe it can still happen in sept. Just have to get into recording mode
  3. That was fabulous, Jim and Randy! What a pleasure. Sadly, I won't be at NESI this year but I'm working on very simple version of All Of Me using the music Randy gave us in his fabulous jazz workshop last year. I will pretend hard that this TOTM is merely a continuation of last year's wonderful weekend at Chimney Corners. Sarah p.s. The drop box system works very nicely, too.
  4. Just home from the local slow jam, happy as can be after playing with the usual motley collection of instruments. The regulars include three concertina players -- one Maccann duet, one Anglo, and me on EC, plus a variety of mandolins, guitars, occasional drums and fiddles. Some days it is a cacophony. Often I can't tell which concertina player just made some truly 'unusual' note choice (never me, ). Other times the mix is just right. Either way we have a wonderful time and since no one is listening by us, in the end it doesn't' really matter. It has been interesting to notice what things work most easily on which instruments. The Mccann player said today that she does not like the key of D because of the location of the accidentals and will choose tunes that don't require too much of a pinkie workout. The Anglo player (who plays entirely by ear always brings two instruments so he can be more versatile, key-wise), has his own moments of 'nope, not that one.' On the EC -- my own musical preferences and limitations notwithstanding -- I am mostly undaunted by key changes, at least given some time. I am, however, sometimes flummoxed by fingering, stumbling again and again where the duet player sails through. As for sound --I do love my concertina on its own, but find the it particularly satisfying with one or maybe two other instruments -- violin, mandolin, cello or recorder are, I think, my favorites so far. Of course that might be because I am a melody line-stuck-in-the-head kind of person, the concertina a way I can sing without using my fiddle or voice (neither of which can stick with one note in a clean way). Thanks to the TOTM, however, and all the wonderful playing and discussion I've heard on this forum, I have been practicing more self-accompanyment, which (I think), my concertina appreciates. Sarah
  5. Forgot to mention above that I am open to offers on the Morse Albion! Sarah
  6. Wendy, that is fantastic. Love it! Wish I could watch you playing that foot bass. Sarah
  7. Gosh, Brandon, NO, I'm not giving up Concertina playing one bit! Couldn't do without it. Indeed, I play more all the time. It's just that I have been playing my brass-reed Jones almost exclusively because I like the sound so much and decided to sell the Albion because it is a fabulous instrument and should be in the hands of someone who will play it and loves the hybrid sound. Also, I'd like to have the money available "in case" I find another concertina-reeded instrument whose sound I can't live without. There are actually several concertina players in Moscow, two of whom (a duet and an Anglo), come to the slow jam that meets the 2nd and 4th saturdays of every month. Come on up! Apparently there are one or two concertina players in Sandpoint too, though I have not met them. Sarah
  8. I am looking for a new home for my Morse Albion Serial # 1040, December 2012 It is in great shape (nearly new), and plays beautifully. Hard case $2100+ shipping Donation to CNet of course! Sarah
  9. Oh, she already has Pete! Apart from that, excellent suggestion... Thanks Wolf! Course now what I should do is make it more interseting -- add chords in an attempt to learn from you, some better dynamics etc, but it's hard when there are new tunes to learn! Sometimes I feel like a magpie, or even the dreaded packrat, collecting melodies and musical information like so many shiny things. Happily, they don't take up a lot of space, except in my brain. As for Vasen - I do agree, they are fantastic. I happened upon them a few years ago, drawn to the mystery of the Nykleharpa though a mention of the bow used to play one, which led to the instrument and thus to the group. This was in my pre-concertina days when the idea of keyed strings was most enticing as I struggled with fiddle intonation...
  10. Wow-- great resources, all. My wish (and tunes to learn) lists get longer by the moment. Took a minute or two to see that Fallandepolskan was what I was looking for....
  11. Oh my goodness, leave home for a couple of days and return to a plethora of Polskas! I had no idea. They are such elegant dances. The dancers look like they are floating. At first I thought I'd listen while I wove but of course couldn't keep my eyes on loom. And the Hambo contest -- how not to love that. As a textile person, the clothing alone could keep me entranced. The aprons!!!! When we were discussing the complimentary sound of concertinas and string instruments, Steve, http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=16647 I didn't register ( didn't know to notice, really) that the gorgeous tunes you were playing with the cello were polskas. So how differently are they played when they are to be listening pieces rather than something for dancers? I've never played for dancing and wonder how the musician's thinking might shift --other, perhaps, than fretting over the absolutely essential importance of keeping the rhythm exact for dancers. Any thoughts about finding notes for any of these? Falling Polska perhaps? Beethoven's polska? Sarah
  12. Sarah Swett


    Jim suggested a new thread for this fascinating topic, so here it is. I'm off in a bit for a couple of electricity (and of course internet)-free days so won't be able to do further polska exploration, but perhaps other people have things to say about them so when I return I can gobble up all your links and information? In the meantime, I'll work on the 1/16 notes of the one I have. thanks Sarah
  13. I love these tunes Chris. I play them both on my EC. Indeed, I'm off to a jam in about five minutes and will request these when it is my turn to choose. The people I play with often pair Calliope House with Morrison's Jig -- Morrisons first, then Calliope. The shift seemed very awkward to me at first, but it's pretty fabulous when it works. Sarah
  14. Is that about how to tune a Sandviken Stradivarius? Concertinas are scarce in traditional Scandinavian music, though I do know a few players in Sweden. Not sure about Ballard itself, but there are certainly some non-Scandi concertina players in the Seattle area. Scandinavians do polka, even if not as much as they polska. Let me know if you're planning a visit (to either Seattle or Scandinavia) and want contact info. What a fun ride off into internet-land to try to get an inkling of the differences between polkas and polskas (differences other than that my spell checker believes in the former and not the latter). Ended up running across a title-less Polska I once heard played by Darol Anger that I'd tried and failed to learn by ear, this time played by Väsen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gE6j-Zp323w. Having a title at last, I ended up here: http://www.folkwiki.se/Musik/96 so now I've got some notes -- not only for the tune but also for what seems like a nice accompaniment. Perhaps if I understood what "Vanligt är också att harmoniken i andra reprisen varieras mellan G- och Em-tonalitet, typiskt så att första vändan spelas G, andra Em." meant I'd know for sure. or this: Med "lyft" or this: Jämnt At any rate, I've got the pdfs tucked into forScore and I"m going to be messing around with those fun 1/16th notes later today after I've done some of the work I thought I'd be doing this afternoon. And I didn't even get started on musical saws, thank goodness. Thanks much Sarah
  15. Crazy-making to play perhaps, but such fun to listen to. Thanks Jim! I love these polkas with key/tempo/ mood shifts in the middle. Well, tempo shift isn't the right word, as the metronome keeps ticking away just as the dancers feet would be. maybe structure shift is better? Anyway, interesting all around. Good thing the Norwegian Polka is available on The Session (and in the University of Idaho library), since when I looked up the book itself http://www.amazon.com/Traditional-Scottish-Fiddling-Christine-Martin/dp/187193138X it appears to be a bit scarce on the ground. Perhaps I better to check it out again before it vanishes. And as for Idaho as a vehicle for tunes -- it IS a cutting edge place. Indeed, it was the home of my dear friend Warren, the recently deceased writer of the USDA cross cut saw filing manual, http://www.fs.fed.us/eng/pubs/pdfpubs/pdf77712508/pdf77712508dpi72.pdf which is still in print. Are there concertina players in the Ballard district of Seattle --or people who polka? Sarah
  16. What a delight these are! Guaranteed to brighten the dullest day. Thanks Chris, Graham, Jim and everyone. Here's my contribution, not so fast, bloopers and all. https://soundcloud.com/mildredestelle/norwegian-polka It came from a book called "Traditional Scottish Fiddling" I once borrowed from the library. Sarah
  17. Gosh, it always seems that we start voting on next month's tune before I've had the wherewithal to record the current one. But today I actually did it with a few days to spare. So here is a go at Emma's Waltz -- single melody line as is most comfortable for me, but perhaps eventually I'll get better at playing with Garage Band and figure out how to accompany myself. A lovely tune to play. Now, maybe I can manage a polka too? https://soundcloud.com/mildredestelle/emmas-waltz Sarah
  18. I agree this is an interesting phenomon. I play Nordic folk music (traditionally predominantly fiddle music) together with a fiddle or two and/or cello - with concertina it works exceedingly well. You might like to have a listen here. Steve, this is amazing. The cello/ concertina combination is stunning -- and yes, it takes both instruments to a whole new place. Thank you! Sarah
  19. Indeed, Randy, I too had the time of my life at NESI last year. But though west of Boston, NESI is still far, far east of Idaho and until we get some quicker train service (how 'bout a bullet train from Seattle to NY????), my trips will be far between. I do have a show scheduled in New Hampshire in September of 2015 though, so one way or another, I"ll be there then.
  20. Sadly, no. Though that doesn't keep me from sighing over the registration form . But 2015 almost for sure!!! Are you going? Go ahead..make me jealous
  21. Gosh Randy, you have the most eventful concertina life! I'm interested in the notion of a concertina 'filling out the sound' of string instruments. I've noticed this with fiddle/ concertina duets-- as though each instrument fills the wave gaps (if that makes sense), of the other and together they create a sound that seems to be more than a sum of the parts. Could this be physically true, or just ear hallucinations? Sarah
  22. Last fall (2013) at the Northeast Squueeze-In I went to a workshop dedicated to tunes from France, Belgium and Brittany given by Mark Vidor. He taught one fabulous tune after another --- well I was mostly listening as I am not that fast at picking up new tunes. Then he had us open the packet of music to page 29 and the room went wild : Zelda! Zelda! Zelda! And off we went -- piano accordions, button accordions, concertinas of all stripes. There must have been 25 or 30 instruments in that room (perhaps someone else who was there can clarify this number), and my oh my what a sound. Total joy. I played about one note in five but by the end I sort of had it. Now I am longing to hear what concertinas alone can do with it. Zelda!!!!! Sarah
  23. Fabulous. I'm astonished and delighted by how well the concertina holds its own in the midst of so many instruments.
  24. What a good time that sounds. I love that undefinable mix of styles. Wish I could be there.
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