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Everything posted by Syncopepper

  1. I have heard (probably here) that anglo bellows should be stiffer than english bellows. The reason I recall was that the stiffness made them more bouncy and able to change directions smoothly. The english system on the other hand did best with more flexible bellows for better timing. I wonder if that is true and if so, do the the two systems have different blocking requirements? While I keep my english in a blocked case when left out it does not appear to expand over time.
  2. Many thanks for several interesting avenues to pursue. To define my issue more precisely performing with a stage monitor isn’t a problem. My problem occurs in informal groups with no amplification. I have found it helpful to use the space around me to amplify but often can’t control that variable. I do find myself cupping my ears these days. (but not while playing) The earplug approach is one I can attempt. I have a pair of those for loud music environments. I will have to dig around for them and report back. Also the Amplug option seems to be close to what I was envisioning. I have a rosewood New Model but have been able to try several metal-ended Aeolas in one sitting recently. Generally their handling and reed quality were similar to the New Model but the usual differences of volume and brightness sets the new model off. For accompaniment it’s a better match for me. In a senor epiphany moment I just realized I have an accordion reeded instrument that is playable. I wonder if that would cut through the auditory fog?
  3. I have come to that time in life when I have trouble hearing through the background level. This is causing me problems when playing in sessions or jams (or in bars). I cannot hear myself which is fatal for me on my 56 key EC. I hoped that an Android app might allow me to clip my cell phone to my belt as a hearing aid but all those I have tried had significant sound delay. I wonder if there might be any dedicated devices that are alternative options? Perhaps some sort of amplifier (hearing aid) that I could plug earbuds into with a volume control. Clipped to the shirt or the belt it would be near to the reeds whether standing and sitting. As most earbuds don't have a lot of sound isolation perhaps I could hear the other musicians and adjust the volume of my own instrument. I'm afraid that scheme that would have to be attempted to predict how all those variables shake out. Any advice on a more sane solution, or general comment, would be appreciated. 🤓
  4. I have played the EC for many years and use it strictly for accompaniment. Starting out with an Anglo many many years ago, I then had dinner with Alistair Anderson before a performance at my local folk club. I was smitten and bought a good learner EC. Recently I had an opportunity to play about eight metal-ended Aeolas. My own current New Model has solid rosewood ends and I thought the difference between the brightness and volume was very noticeable. I seems to me that both attributes make the metal-ended Aeola shine in instrumental or vocal grouping but for personal accompaniment I will stick with the more mellow New Model.
  5. I thought the player was holding a lighted cigarette in his hand while playing until I saw the stogie in his mouth! Maybe a joystick?
  6. Great Pictures! I noticed that in both of the Tottington Band pictures most players have their instruments held mid to upper chest level. I would guess that most players today might find that high for comfortable playing. If so was this just posing for cameras? It appears the band is dressed for marching in the second photo. Did they march with their concertinas at this height for band Esprit De Corps? Widening the scope is it very common to find instruments displayed like this in other historic band photos?
  7. My focus is English and nautical folk music. I switched from AC to EC years ago and have been happy. I think the EC is more versatile for this purpose.
  8. I have done a lot of gigs this month doing Victorian-era Christmas music. Otherwise American and English and Nautical Folk music. I built a sound-proof room with a humidifier. My family is grateful!
  9. I am looking forward to a trip to the UK in May/June (unfortunately without my EC or other instruments). Having been a regular at a UK style folk club in Northern Virginia for many years, I have plotted my upcoming travels against folk club listings and plan to stop at a few when events sync with my itinerary. As I'm likely missing many and have not plotted any concertina happenings I thought I would list my itinerary here in hopes others can recommend events I might like to attend, music or otherwise. 5/20-21: Glasgow 5/22-23: Oban 5/24: Inverness 5/25-26: Edinburgh 5/27-28: Keswick (Lake District) 5/29-30: Askrigg (Yorkshire Dales) 5/31- 6\1: York 6/2: Llandudno (North Wales) 6\3-4: Pembrokeshire 6/5: Gloucester 6/6: Chipping Norton (Cotswalds) 6/7-10: Plymouth When driving around Ireland a few years ago I was able to get to many musical events and hope to do the same this year in UK. Thanks for any suggestions you can give me.
  10. I've heard my EC called a "Steampunk Cheeseburger"!
  11. Here is an interesting analysis for practicing that I read yesterday about keeping focused while practicing. (sorry about the banjo stuff) http://www.banjohangout.org/blog/33294
  12. My wife and I went to Ireland a two years ago. Our music highlights were a trad session in Galway; a regional Fleadh Cheoil competition; The Lee Sessions in Cork; the music scene in Dingle and Doolin; and of course Temple Bar In Dublin. Galway - I had an acquaintance who was a trad session leader at the Western Hotel. This is actually a great traditional pub and the musicians were local - there were only a few tourists and we had a great time. Unfortunately I didn't have room for my concertina or anything much else on the trip but did bring along a set of bones which I was able to put to use. Fleadh Cheoil - Ireland has a nationally based music education/mentoring/competition system and throughout the summer each county has a regional Fleadh Cheoil competition. We went to one in a small town southwest of Dublin and west of the National Stud Farm and spent all morning and part of the afternoon watching the competition (many amazing young musicians). In the afternoon and early evening we enjoying the many impromptu sessions that sprang up all over town. The Lee Sessions - In Cork they have a rotating trad session that plays in a different pub each week of the month. My understanding is that the city (or some other public organization) help fund it. It is actually a pick up performance with a revolving set of some of the best musicians in Ireland. Apparently you never know who will be performing - it's whom ever is in town and not playing somewhere else that night. The one I saw all the musicians were masters and they were trying to out do each other in friendly competition. It was the best music we heard on the trip. I understand there is something similar in Dublin. West coast music towns - We visited some of the famous music pubs in Dingle and Doolin. Tip - if you are going to attend any of these sessions be sure to plan on putting up for the night in one of the many nearby B&B's or hostels as you DO NOT want to be out driving at night. Ireland has very strict drinking and driving laws and the roads in western Ireland are mostly unmarked and treacherous. We didn't do that and couldn't hang around for the best music. Temple Bar - We found the Dublin music scene less to our liking being more commercial and crowded - that's not to say we didn't have a rollicking good time there. I would recommend that you do your research ahead of time by using the many great resources on the Internet. Decide what you want to do ahead of time and plan to be at the right place at the right time to do it.
  13. I checked the songs on the Knock at the Knocker and Ring at the Bell album. The November Drinking song is there but the other one I mis-titled - its called the Wren Boys' song.
  14. I am a fan of Victorian (or before) Christmas music on the concertina. Some of my favorites: Bagpipers Carol - Traditional carol performed by hill shepherds in the Southern Italy. Respeghi used it as a theme in "Three Botticelli Pictures". Paddy Maloney of the Chieftains did a great instrumental version of it in his Overture on the excellent CD "Silent Night: A Christmas in Rome". Pete Seeger wrote words to it. Traditionally the shepherds came down from the hills to the towns on Christmas Eve to perform this song on early instruments including a giant bagpipe and a oboe like instrument. Rick Steeves documented the tradition in modern day southern Italy one of his Christmas specials in which the participants were playing a sax and an accordian! Knock at the Knocker and Ring at the Bell - A great Victorian caroling song and the title song of a Christmas CD by Magpie Lane. I Saw Three Ships - This is not the standard carol but a much earlier version that chronicles St Helena's move of the Three Wise Men's skulls from Bethlehem to the Cologne Cathedral where they still reside. Good King Weceslas - Fun on the concertina, about a king who lived and died before the Feast of St. Steven was invented! November Drinking Song - Good rollicking Revels song about drinking. A Virgin Unspotted - Same words, older tune Come Fill Up Your Glasses - With seasonal lyrics written by Peggy Seeger to the tune of "Pretty Polly Perkins from Paddington Green"
  15. I started out over fifty years ago playing almost exclusively in concert settings and still much prefer them. In that type of setting people are attending specifically to appreciate the performance and generally aren't eating, talking and drinking. That environment allows performers to develop a dialog and rapport with the audience. I spend almost as much time talking as playing and singing and that allows me to joke around as well as provide information and context about the material being resented. In that environment I always have a great connect with the audience. It's that connect that makes it worth while (especially if I'm not getting paid). Since I don't care that much about making money I steer clear of bars, background music venues, etc and play mostly folk nightclubs, coffee houses and music membership clubs. Now if there were just more of those kind of venues!
  16. I inherited one of those single-latch cases in good condition with my New Model some years ago and recognized the potential for great harm. Someone recommended I check with The Music Room UK. Although it wasn't in their catalog they had a nifty brown Cordura case cover in two sizes. The case consists of an upper and lower half that is one piece on the back side and zippered in the middle around the sides and front. It doesn't have a place for a handle to poke through but does have a full length shoulder strap. I can remove the case from this cover easily or just flip back the un-zippered top half of the cover to open the case and remove the concertina. I have given this case cover plenty of use for years and it still looks like new - keeps the case looking like new too. Makes it easy to lug the New Model around with other instruments - over the shoulder and riding on my back out of the way of the rest of the gear.
  17. Many years ago I sat down to dinner with Alistair at my folk club and talked about concertinas after which he performed. I went out afterwards and traded my anglo for an EC. As I recall he had an Aeola at the time but details as to its range, age, etc escape me now.
  18. I have a 56 key extended-treble New Model. While I have not had the opportunity to play an Edeophone I have been able to compare the New Model to an Aeola and found it equal. The pivot post action was just as responsive as the riveted action. I have had some problems, however, with the “Cranked Arm Syndrome” issue currently under discussion in the instrument construction and repair section. Briefly this problem occurs with levers that are routed around other lever assemblies by being bent in odd angles. These angles tend to create small amounts of torque when the keys are depressed that, over time, excessively wear both the lever and the post where they meet. The additional torque movement due to the wear in turn creates alignment problems with springs and pads. Close examination of the results on my EC makes me think that the more keys on an EC the more this problem is likely to be manifested due to the increased number of odd angles in levers and the closer tolerances. If so I would think that a 56 and 64 key ECs might be more prone to this problem than those with fewer keys.
  19. The Music Room (the-music-room.com) in Cleckheaton has concertina cases. I even had them ship a hard-to-find case to the states for me a few years ago.
  20. I have had this problem with my 56 key Lachenal extended treble and have nursed it along by messing with the spring. In leu of replacement parts I wonder if swapping the offending pivot post with one from a straight levered high key seldom used might help? Otherwise, as the instrument's original restorer when quiried did not want to replace the hook action with rivited unless for the entire 56 keys (very expensive), is there anyone in the states who does this kind of repair?
  21. In the late 1970's I had the privilage of having dinner with Alistair before he performed at the english style folk club I regularly attended near Washington D.C. I was so impressed with him that I sold my Anglo and bought an EC - always been glad I did that. I have alway made a point of standing up to play it when performing.
  22. This part must be located near the fret(work)! Looks like ovoroid so it must be from a tutor model.
  23. Often I notice in pictures of vintage concertinas that oval openings are often designed into the fretwork. Sometimes these openings are empty and sometimes they are covered with a suspended paper label. I have always assumed that the empty ones were originaly covered with label when those instruments were new. I am curious about the history of these label openings in vintage concertinas and have a few questions about them: Were paper labels used in both wooden and metal ended concertinas? Where these labels primarily to display information about the manufacturer or were they also used for other purposes like information about resellers or distributers? I have a 1880's era Lachenal New Model with a paper label in such an area (as shown). While it looks old I have seen comments in this forum regarding fabricating replacement labels leading to a few more questions: Were the original labels standardized and/or did they evolve over the years (possibly providing collaboarative dating of instruments)? Is there a consensus about how many original labels still exist and how may to be seen are reproductions?
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