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About sympathy

  • Birthday 02/06/1954

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  • Interests
    Making music is my job. Writing for film, television, dance and live performance. I mainly play contemporary stuff these days (I did say music is my job!) almost entirely original material penned by me or Julian Barnett for Sympathy Orchestra.
    Used to play a lot of folk gigs but, sadly, they are few and far between these days.
    In the '80s I played a lot of concertina and northumbrian smallpipes for gigs and recordings but 20 years on I find myself behind a wall of keyboards or carrying a guitar most of the time.

    I can still play the concertina when no one is looking though!!
  • Location
    In my wee studio. Mount Barker, South Australia

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  1. That's a very bold statement Dirge! .......................... please make it stop, make it stop!!
  2. I like this tune Chris and very much enjoyed playing it. I hope that it's registered with the relevant copyright authorities so that if I play it at a gig you will benefit from it's citation on my set list. (If it's not, DO IT NOW!) A very handy tune I reckon and it's always great to have a nice shiny new one! Would slip in "varry canny" in a set of "Morrisy" 6/8s!
  3. I'm a musician by profession. That is to say, all my income is derived from playing, writing, teaching, recording and producing music. (and has been for many years) I don't make musical instruments (although I have), I tend to break them and have them repaired. I play the English Concertina, in public and on record. (sometimes!) I'm very "ordinary" at it. ............ does that help?
  4. Hi Ray! So good you posted it twice! I'll try and make some enquiries on your behalf. But, I think Longshot is the correct term, sadly. I I'm going out now......I may be some time...(Capt Oates)! Sorry Ralph. I may have to book a regression therapy session!..............
  5. Don't quite know what happened then! I tried to quote Ralph and everything went pear shaped! Ray
  6. [quote name='Ralph Jordan' date='25 January 2010 - 06:47 PM' timestamp='1264411054' post='107518' I have not heard this recording of the Tyneside Concertina Band and there was a similar programme by the BBC that featured The Bolton Concertina Band featuring John Nixon. John knows the time date the lot, but sadly many of these old recordings were dumped in skips or the tapes used to re record over to save money. Thanks for all your help mate. I still can't remember any details of the album myself. (see below!) I've emailed Geoff and he thinks I dreamed it! He can't remember the record and it doesn't seem to be in his collection. I've searched everywhere I can think of including image searches of concertina bands in case I recognise a pic that would stir a memory or give more information but to no avail. Is there any way that I can search the BBC archives? (then again I may have dreamed the BBC connection too!) The bloke I'm trying to track down who may have been on the recording is my grandfather, "Walter Byron". He played an anglo and lived in Ryhope (Durham?) at least until 1914 (my mother was born there in 1913) and then Farnworth (Lancs). Longshots upon longshots I know. Ray
  7. I used to love the Kapunda Folk Festival Competitions here in South Australia years ago. I could do the; guitar, banjo, concertina, pipes (smallpipes), whistle and vocal comps and make a tidy profit each year. But they banned me and made me a judge. Didn't pay half as well! ................. not a big fish, just a VERY small pond! I've seen some young kids work really hard for the annual competitions and it certainly didn't do their playing any harm. They were also given the opportunity to see/hear/meet/session with some truly great players "under pressure" as it were and could learn an awful lot. Without the piper's competitions in Northumberland I wouldn't have the opportunity to play the many variations to traditional tunes that were written for them. Competitions are fine, in my view, as long as winners and losers (and non-competitors) still enjoy a tune together afterwards. Ray
  8. Yeah it was a commercial vinyl with a lot of hairy faced miners in their Sunday best on the cover. Ray
  9. I tend to play the root note as the lowest until I go to the five (in a standard folky 1:4:5 pattern). It's only when I'm looking for major or dominant sevenths or diminished chords that I let the root note go. (probably the piper in me! ) That's assuming major key tunes/songs, when it's mixolidian all bets are off. Ray
  10. Thanks Alan. No real need to bother the Wooff though as I'm still in contact with him myself. I was trying to avoid a Geoff Wooff thread (back in 2005!) but seem to have failed miserably so I'll fill in the background of my association with Geoff. We met many years ago in Adelaide at a reed making workshop. I was playing a set of Northumbrian Smallpipes that I'd made and Geoff helped me to reed them up properly. During the few days that we were working together Geoff and I realised that we had many connections musically, spiritually and geographically and we became firm friends. I bought my first concertina (a Lachenal tutor)from Geoff back then and he gave me a basket-case Wheatstone baritone that Peter (Stormy) Hyde (Hyde Accordions, South Australia) rebuilt for me. Geoff made a set of Border Pipes or Reel Pipes for me the following year (currently being played by Peter Hewlitt in Paris) and then "the White Lady", a set of Northumbrian Pipes made from whale ivory and silver that I played on the Battlefield band's first Australian tour back in the '80s. Geoff and I performed often over those years mainly at Folk Festivals in concerts and workshops but my favourite "gig" was around my kitchen table! We were sight reading and transposing some tunes from a book of Breton music that I'd found. Four of us jockeying for position to catch a glimpse of the score! Geoff on Hurdy Gurdy, Craig Fischer on viola, Linsey Pollak on taragato and me on concertina. The laughter was louder than the music! We once ran a piping workshop at a South Australian Festival where we played uillean pipes (in C) and smallpipes (in F) together. We thought it best to only play scottish tunes! Geoff would come over to my place in the Adelaide Hills every month or two from Victoria in his ancient Mercedes (playing the whistle all the way!)and stay for a week or two to play and talk and drink (with an occasional trip to town to busk!). When his marriage dissolved he decided to move to Ireland to be nearer his customer base and on leaving my place for the last time handed me a set of lignum smallpipes made by Addison as a parting gift. We still keep in touch but not so often these days. Ray
  11. Thanks Irene. I have no idea how to contact Al Day but hopefully he'll be along in due course! Geoff played the album for me many years ago when I called in to see him in Victoria when I was taking a few days off from a tour and I meant to write all the details down but the poteen and the heavy Northumbrian tunes wouldn't let me! I think my grandfather (Walter Byron) was part of the band but I don't really know. The time, the place and the instrument are all right but I have no documentation to suggest that he was involved in the recording. I talked to Geoff about it by 'phone a few years ago but he only spoke french in B flat with an irish accent at the time, so I can't remember what he said! Ray
  12. It's 5 years on Theo! Heard from him yet?? Ray
  13. Sounds great, count me in. ..................... you did say any instrument now didn't you .......
  14. Nothing on FARNE (well, actually there's heaps on FARNE but not about this recording!) Maybe your friend can shed some light. Thanks for your help Theo
  15. Used to be: "Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll" and "Take a Walk on the Wild Side" but now it's: "show me the way to go home, I'm tired and I wanna go to bed ............. "
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