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  1. Dave - love the typo, far too accurate! speaking as one of the who shredded a good few tunes due to malfunctions in the memory department (and the good intentions-to-fingers bit of the brain. Seem to have left that on the M1 on the way up). Great weekend though, like Mo I come back inspired and refuelled. Pippa
  2. I'll second that, Joy (and nice to meet you over the weekend, really enjoyed your playing). Interesting events, great musicians, great sessions - thanks Mark and Joan. Pippa
  3. Just tried Googling the book again (previous attempts only brought up Amazon.com) and found the website, with a shop - it's on the way! Thanks very much for pointing us to it - Pippa
  4. Peter, can you suggest anywhere else I could buy that book ("As we met ...") - Amazon has it as 'out of print' (which of course would be great if it's sold out within a month, but I guess it's their website not keeping up. I'd rather pay a tad more and buy it from e.g. an independent bookshop or publisher, if you know of one. Pippa
  5. I heard Malcolm North talking in Aylesbury (UK) last night on the history of a concertina he was restoring; it was absolutely fascinating, weaving in references to Bletchley Park and ciphers, Wheatstone and other eminent scientist of his time, motor racing, and even James Bond - all completely relevant. He's likely to be giving it in other venues, so if you have the chance to go and hear him, do. Very interesting and entertaining. Pippa
  6. I take it you don't work for the Irish tourist board, Peter! But thanks for the warning - I'm just working out whether I can get over there in February; I can waterproof the concertina case, and the rest of me will dry out anyway. Pippa
  7. I should have added, the Singsong site has the whole CD available as well - I've ordered mine. Great playing, great tunes. Thanks Roger & Liz for introducing us to her. Pippa
  8. For anyone who was at the wonderful Bradfield traditional music festival last weekend, and in particular, anyone who was learning the two Minnie White tunes Roger Digby and Liz Giddings taught on the Saturday, here's a link to the original recordings that you can download for $1.99 each - http://www.singsonginc.ca/artists/minnie-white?view=product&id=122%3Ass-9478&catid=38 Fascinating to compare what Roger and Liz have done with them, which is very much in the same spirit. Can't wait for their CD. Pippa
  9. Thanks for posting this, Michael and Steve - I'd not heard about it before, and have just ordered a copy. His singing's been part of my life for longer than I care to remember. Pippa
  10. I don't think there's any difference in approach, but perhaps it's easier for musicians new to a session to fit in with English/Euro sessions without bothering with the common decency of doing a bit of listening to the players first. I've been in Irish sessions where English players have arrived with a sense of entitlement and a tune or three learned off dots only, the session members haven't recognised the tune as it's been in a different rhythm (think someone speaking English with a strong French accent - goodwill has little to do with it, if you don't recognise the words you don't recognise them, no matter how much effort you make!), and the session is roundly and vociferously condemned all round the area as 'very unfriendly'. It's certainly happened for the two Irish sessions local to where I live (Bucks/Herts, UK). Yet they're full of really supportive musicians who'll try and play the few tunes beginners do know, so that everyone can share the music. No, but I do think they assume you listen a bit to some CDs and learn a bit about what the music sounds like. Just like a French session, or an old-time session, or a bluegrass session. Or even our 'anything goes' session in Cublington. Just good manners; then 'rules and regulations' aren't needed. Pippa (edited because the reply originally came up in the middle of the quote)
  11. Wow what a lineup! Really hope I can make it this year. Pippa
  12. For anyone near Oxford - Alistair Anderson is doing a concert at the Jacqueline du Pré Music Building at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, OX4 1DY at 8 pm on Friday March 9th, which includes a new piece for solo concertina that he says is “a little different”. The concert’s billed as “an evening with Alistair Anderson”, described as “this evening of music from Alistair Anderson features both the traditional and the new, and begins with the premiere of Eclogues, a new song cycle by the composer, Chris Ferebee at 6pm. Anderson will then give a solo performance at 8pm of traditional music from Northumberland and beyond.” It’s one of the events in the M@SH programme (“the Research Centre for Experimental Music at St. Hilda's College, presents concerts of contemporary classical music, experimental music, electro-acoustic music as well as interdisciplinary projects (eg., music and dance, art installations), including work created by the Centre's associated ensemble, Syzygy.). Tickets £15/£12 (£5 for students) from Oxford Playhouse - www.ticketsoxford.com / 01865 305 305. Pippa
  13. I've come to be uncomfortable with the term "folk." It's vague and confusing, and since most of us qualify as more "gentry" (however humble) than folk. "Traditional" is probably a better term, but it gets murky, too. On an English country dance listserv, one poster defended (although tongue-in-check) a particular way of dancing one dance as genuine Ren-Faire (Renaissance Faire) tradition, going back to 1977. Mike That's interesting - I've only recently realised that the tunes other musicians in my main dance band like, and I don't, tend to be related to the fact that what I think of as 'traditional' is probably rooted in the continuing Northumbrian tradition, or the traditional English musicians who inspired the original English Country Music Weekends, while the tunes one of the other musicians keeps asking for are rooted in the EFDSS tradition of the late sixties and seventies. Where I can I keep quiet, as I can play my own music at sessions and I don't think one type is inherently better than the other, I'd just never thought of the EFDSS style as traditionl/ but they were my own way into all this music when I first met it, they were very melodic and accessible and catchy, and I didn't find them empty or missing something at all then; so I try and remember that, as we play mainly for non-folkies who seem to just get up and dance to whatever we play. But 40-50 years on from when a lot of the EFDSS-type tunes were written, or written down as approximations of what a particular musician was playing and then set in stone(e.g. "Up Jumped the Devil" in the Community Dance Manuals), perhaps that type of tune and setting is as valid a 'tradition' as any other? Pippa
  14. Thanks for that, Peter - I'm off there now! Would that be the programme broadcast on 5th November? Pippa
  15. I'd say it's easy enough to learn chord patterns in D to the level where they become automatic, if you're just chording; in many ways, it's easier than if you're sticking to just one row, because your fingers don't get so cramped together. The push bottom A on the third row is a lovely tone on most of the C/G instruments I've tried, and there are a lot of places in a lot of tunes where having that A at the bottom of a D chord works, particularly if you space the whole chord out a bit so it doesn't get overpowering. The other chords you'd probably use most also fit well onto a 30-key C/G once you get familiar with the layout, though it helps to be a bit nifty with bellows changing so it doesn't notice. I used to play with a Tex-Mex band and often used to switch to accompaniment for a couple of verses of a song, including in D & E, so yes, once you're used to the patterns they can become automatic. If you're accompanying Irish it might be tricky really listening to where the emphasis is at any one time in each tune - I play regularly in an Irish session where the tune would need a different kind of accompaniment each time through each phrase depending on which of its many internal rhythms the melody players are emphasising at any one time, it usually varies as the tune progresses and could be very easy to overpower or to straightjacket the tune into a more four-square rhythm pattern. It's particularly hard for someone accompanying / busking along on concertina because it can be hard to hear what, say, a solo fiddle is doing unless you have a lot of gaps between the chords in your own playing & play them very lightly - back to the arm muscles / control / bellows changing exercises again! Which is probably why I only ever play melody, it's a lot easier to play the tune quietly while learning it than to play chords behind it quietly enough. Pippa
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