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Sarah Swett

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Everything posted by Sarah Swett

  1. Wow -- fantastic! just what I needed today. I was lucky enough to go to Randy's workshop at the North East Squeeze in September so have the sheet music in front of me as you play. What joy to hear all your delicious variations, dancing around the buttons. This I will listen to again and again and again. Sarah
  2. Yes it is a lovely tune Spinnningwoman, and fantastic that you've only been playing since November! Well done. Indeed, thanks to everyone for a fabulous month of listening and learning from the very spare to the gloriously accompanied -- sore hands and all. I fear my last minute contribution falls into the "there, it is recorded and uploaded even if not the way I'd like to have played it"' category, and I apologize in advance for the f# my finger inadvertently hit one time in the B part. https://soundcloud.com/mildredestelle/josefins-dopvals Next month, by golly, I'll work harder on the accompanyment and see if I can fill out my melody line and get my timing more consistent, whatever tune we choose.
  3. That's a lovely tune, David. Amazing what a story can do. I listened, then read, then listened again and it sounded quite different the second time, though no less pleasurable. Here is a very simple rendition of Kitchen Girl https://soundcloud.com/mildredestelle/kitchen-girl played on the new-to-me-as-of-a-month-ago 1890 ish Jones English Concertina purchased from Greg Jowaisas. What a joy. I was thrilled to find that I knew a couple of tunes on your list, Jim, so just sat down by the fire and played without doing anything fancy. I didn't notice the accompanying snaps and pops of burning fir until I played it back --and thought something was wrong in my computer. Amazing what a brain can tune out. Since I don't have any fancy software, I'll assume it adds atmosphere. All you southern hemisphere folks can pretend you're huddled by the wood stove too.
  4. Another simple entry -- but fun for me to play nonetheless, and it's nice to contribute something as I get such pleasure from hearing everyone else's contributions, even those (as with David's charming rendition), played by those don't even like the tune! Sarah https://soundcloud.com/mildredestelle/haste-to-the-wedding
  5. Oh my goodness. Such renditions of this tune. I am in awe, not to mention a little envious (once again), of the amazing things you duet players can do. Such fun to listen again and again. Why didn't I spend more time trying out those amazing things at NESI??? David -- it was wonderful to be able to practice along with your youtube version -- one part at a time of course. Don't know if you intended (or mind) this, but it really helped me get a handle on how the two parts wind through one another. When it came to recording my beginner EC version, however, my inspiration turned to frustration. I have a Mac computer so thought I'd record the accompaniment first with Quick Time audio, then play that while recording the melody, putting the the two parts together in a second quick time file. It works technically (the computer can play the first recording and record both it and me in the second), but I find it hard to get the timing right, and even when I do manage to match myself, measure for measure, it sounds hollow and tinny. I'm sure it is all more about my timing than the computer's poor sound quality, but someone told me that, barring a friend to play with or a duet concertina, it is easier to record the two parts individually and then combine them somehow. True? And if so, how? Or is figuring out recording equipment just a way to gobble up time better spent actually playing with a metronome in my ear? Maybe I've just answered my own question. As for Concertina Face -- I'm thrilled to know that it is a 'thing.' Apparently I look like I'm am chewing on celery with peanut butter when I play. This worried me quite a bit until someone suggested I keep a plate of such snacks beside me if/when I play in public to mitigate the impression made by my dour, masticating visage. I may have to try it!
  6. Likewise, David. What a pleasure to meet so many wonderful people -- not to mention listen, talk, learn, sing and occasionally squeeze out a few notes myself. An astonishing weekend. I have much to work on. And right now -- on to the tune of the month for october! Sarah
  7. Well now I'm hopping, skipping, and hoping I can learn a hambo without tripping over my fingers. Most distracting, especially as it isn't even September yet.
  8. Hope, Skype and Jam! Perhaps it wasn't a typo, but rather a subconscious commentary on my musical life -- the triumph of hope over experience. Because some day I will learn to jam. Perhaps at NESI? As for Hambos and Polskas -- yes yes, let's hear and learn some fun ones. Sarah
  9. I was taken with the Hambo (got distracted by all sorts of amazing Scandinavian dances on youtube), but cannot resist a tune called Hope and Skip actually composed on and for the concertina. Makes me want to hop and skip. Indeed, maybe I will. Thanks Jody! best wishes to everyone's hands Sarah
  10. Sounds wonderful. Would that I could imitate it. I've already spilled over into August, however, so will attach a version from this morning My excuse? I'm been traveling/ working/ teaching so playing time was scarce. The location, however, was heavenly. Indeed, Roslyn Castle sounded pretty terrific on the steps of my digs (photo below). But alas (or hurrah), there was neither phone service nor internet and no way to record, so only the sand hill cranes got to hear it. https://soundcloud.com/mildredestelle/roslyn-castle-totm
  11. Oh my, that is absolutely lovely. What a pleasure. Sarah
  12. Thank so much for making that set. What a pleasure to hear all the versions together. Sarah
  13. Ah ha! And here I thought an 'open fifth' meant playing adjacent open strings (as on a cello or violin as you say David), but now see that 'open' has other meanings depending on context. But by this definition I see one can play an open fifth 'power chord' on a string instrument with stopped notes. Whew. Great thoughts about instrument placement when recording too -- what a difference a wall can make. My education continues apace -- much appreciated as ever. Sarah
  14. Melodic indeed. These duets get more and more compelling. Darn... Such a treat !
  15. Oh also, when you were talking about balance and voicing, were you referring to some of the topics covered here: http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=13998&hl=parnassus and here? http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=14292&hl=parnassus
  16. S0 -- one part instrument, many parts operator uncertainty. That's good. I like that I can continue to have a fantastic time playing at my current level (with my current instrument) and know that there are so many things yet to try -- playing in a different room, for instance, or going outside (lucky passers by....), or, indeed, picking the right accompaniment note be it a 5th or a 6th or an octave or something i don't know the name of but pleases my ear without stealing the show. Certainly the more times I play a tune, and hear others play it, the more I can really hear and begin to understand the subtleties -- Yay TOTM. Perhaps some day I'll be able to say, "Oh, I see, I am this kind of player and perhaps an instrument with 'these' qualities would be extra fantastic. Geoff -- you are absolutely right about the acoustical brightness of the room in which I recorded. What a difference to play (much less record), somewhere with more tapestries or trees and less dry wall. thanks! Sarah ps Open fifth? Isn't that a string instrument thing? What other kind of a fifth would there be on a concertina?
  17. Here's this month's attempt and my continued work on adding accompaniment: https://soundcloud.com/mildredestelle/la-luna-dins-laiga A question for EC players -- how do you keep the accompaniment notes (esp low sustained ones) from overwhelming the tune? I seem to have trouble keeping some notes from blasting out with a great HONK! How much is the nature of hte beast and how much my overzealous fingers? Before uploading I listened again to all the versions so far and it seemed to me that the duets manage the tune/accompaniment balance in a very nice way. Are the reeds more 'equal' on a duet or do you you train your left hand to lighten up? Or, indeed, do you keep the accompaniment side of the concertina away from the recording speakers? thanks in advance for any ideas/ suggestions Sarah
  18. All three of you seem to be advocating the sensible (to me) course of learning and understanding a skeleton tune well enough to add and subtract at will. No easy task, but enticing. I came to the English concertina from classical cello where the emphasis was on following the dots regardless, and fiddle music where the general feeling seemed to be, "when in doubt add five more notes." It's astonishing to realize that one can make choices, get messy, make mistakes, play what sounds good in the moment and even, eventually, adjust on the fly. How bright the future looks! Sorry to highjack the thread. Back to getting to know La Luna... Sarah
  19. Thanks for posting so soon Steve and David. It's great fun to play along as I learn the tune and begin to figure out how and where to add chords and/or 'twiddles'. I've been in straight tune learning mode (as in, how many tunes can I get in my head and under my fingers), since I picked up the EC, but listening to the TOTM contributions, my chordal curiosity is aroused and I have questions. What happens, for instance, when playing with others if, as Steve said, you develop and learn a harmonized version of a tune and then can't get back to the basic melody? Do most of you who regularly play with others learn both? From my limited experience of Sessions and jams, it seems that one is either melody or accompaniment and that too much harmony rapidly becomes a veritable cacophony. Perhaps it is merely a matter of experience -- the tune coming first, the harmony not learned, but showing up (or not) as needed? Sarah
  20. Great idea putting the Sound Cloud versions into a set. A real pleasure to listen to them one after the other. It's so nice when one can learn and admire at the same time. Thank you -- and for your fabulous version, Squeeze Cat.
  21. Concertinas and wool -- my favorite things. Now to pass on the link to my hand spinning friends. Sarah
  22. Yipes -- I've been away from both concertina and computer and it is almost the end of May, so though I don't feel ready I'll be brave nonetheless and post my first attempt at a tune with a few chords. Thank you all for the many versions, tempos etc, and particularly Geoff for your description of 'striding' around the EC to find notes that sound OK together. Like Chris it took xxx tries to get a recording that it was even passible (and still only once through), but what a challenge for ear and fingers. I LOVE the TOTM. https://soundcloud.com/mildredestelle/parsons-farewell
  23. This tune of the month is proving to be the best music education I could ever imagine. Not only do you play the notes but you talk about them too. I can listen, attempt to imitate, read, play some more, and then sit quietly and think. And no pop quizzes. thanks again and again Sarah
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