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Michael Reid

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Everything posted by Michael Reid

  1. Doubtful. Tim has referred (in private correspondence) to a C#/G# concertina as an "E flat" concertina -- because it's well-suited to playing in E flat and related keys. And as you probably know, some people refer to the standard C/G as a "D concertina" for short. So-called "flat" pipe sets, as opposed to standard pipe sets in D, can be in C#, C, B, or Bb, according to Wikipedia. I suspect that C and Bb sets are the most common after D, but surely someone here knows more about their relative frequencies than me. To play with a B set, an A/E concertina would be ideal; for playing with a Bb set, the best choice would be an Ab/Eb concertina.
  2. I'd opt for the Morse, as it's much less likely that something in it would fail due to age. During the period when I was playing my Morse heavily, I did have several pads come loose. The dry climate I live in might have been partly responsible for those problems. In any case, I would include in my travelling kit some glue to reattach a pad, should that become necessary. In most cases I used "Sobo Premium Craft and Fabric Glue" to reglue pads to the leather thingy on the end of the arm. The last time I did a field repair, however, I used a "Glue Dots" brand adhesive disk, which was, as I recall, recommended on this forum, and I didn't have to wait for the glue to dry. I keep both in my travelling kit. The Sobo is available in a 2 oz. bottle at craft and fabric stores. I found the Glue Dots at an office supply house. Add some toothpicks and Q-tips for applying glue. I would also recommend that before you go, you open up the Morse so that you get familiar with the procedure (which is quite easy). Find and add to your kit a screwdriver that is just the right size for the Morse's filister-head bolts, which can get chewed up if you're not careful. While it's open, you can check the pads to make sure that each is well secured. As an added precaution you could bring some spare springs (get some from the Button Box), and a good pair of needlenose pliers.
  3. Congratulations are also in order for Concertina.net member Geoff Woof, who gets a shout-out in part 1 as the maker of a set of pipes played by Padraic Keane, Young Musician of the Year.
  4. Someone on thesession.org posted a link to a video of some fine, relaxed playing by a young banjo player: As I was watching, I wondered if we would also get to the hear the very young concertina player at his side. Alas, no ... but wait! She appears in another video: http://www.youtube.com/user/oakhillrider#p/u/5/AE4E-fTifo8 I think you'll be charmed.
  5. David, I've played instruments nearly all my life, starting on piano at age 6. I took up English concertina in my 30's and learned to play ... fast. At age 50, I took up C/G Anglo. In part, this was a half-century challenge to my mental and physical agility. But mostly it was because had fallen in love with Irish traditional music. I'm seven years into it now, and my love for this instrument and music only seems to grow without limit. Not playing fast, and working to find the pulse and swing, are constant struggles ... but also the source of great rewards. Thanks for your elegant and thoughtful statements. I couldn't agree more.
  6. Mark, I'm also in Colorado, temporarily living in Denver, and I had no problem pulling up the Tommy McCarthy segments using the links provided by Ptarmigan. I'm on a Windows XP computer, using low-end DSL internet service from Quest, and I tested the links in both Firefox and Chrome browsers.
  7. Azalin, here's how I would use cuts in the first part of Morrison's. I've left out other ornamentation in this short clip. E cuts.mp3
  8. Fernando, The link I provided in my previous post is to the page on thesession.org where you can find the sheet music and ABC notation for this tune. If you click on the Comments tab, you will see some links to recordings, but they are all dead links. Unfortunately, I don't know of another recorded source. To clarify my comment about D mix: When the tune was submitted to concertina.net in ABC format, it was labeled D mix. But if you look at the sheet music, it's clear that it's not D anything. The person who submitted the tune apparently wanted a key signature of one sharp (F sharp), and D mix provides that, but you could get the same result by specifying the key of G (major). Please regard the D mix label as an error. If I were notating this tune, I would label it G mix, which yields no sharps or flats. Then the F's would be played natural, excerpt in cases where they are marked within a measure to be sharped.
  9. I would say that it switches between G mixolydian and G major. The prominent F naturals in opening phrase indicate the mixolydian mode. But both the A and B parts end in G major. Ambiguous keys occur in several Paddy Fahy tunes. If you need a single key designation, I would go with G mix because that's how the tune begins, and it's the starting key that is the more useful piece of information for accompanists, in my opinion. For example: if I were leading a set in a session and decided to make this the next tune, the folks who play accompaniment (guitar, bouzouki) would be better served if I called out "G mix" instead of "G". That would clue them in that an F major chord would be appropriate at the end of those phrases with the F naturals. I found this tune on thesession.org, where it is notated as D mix; that's clearly wrong. A couple of versions given in the comments have it as G major.
  10. Sean, a simple thing you can do is to 'cut' the second E with the G on the adjacent button. That is, play the first E (presumably with your middle finger), and then, just before playing the second E, play a very brief G with your index finger. Maintain the rhythm of the three E's when you do this, so that the second E occurs as the same time as you have been playing it.
  11. Steinway still manufactures pianos in Astoria, New York, a neighborhood of Queens. The factory was featured in a 2007 documentary, Note by Note: The Making of Steinway L1037 -- highly recommended, and available in the U.S. and Canada through Netflix.
  12. Greg recently did some work on one of my concertinas -- my main squeeze -- and I'm thrilled with the results. Greg quieted the action (rivets, pads, valves), lightened the touch a bit, improved the L-R balance, touched up the tuning, improved the fit of my case, and probably did a few other things I've forgotten to list here that have enhanced my playing experience. Send him your concertinas, guys and gals, when you need some work done, and I'm sure you, too, will become very satisfied customers.
  13. I found it on iTunes under the title "Irish Traditional Music," although iTunes' picture of the album clearly shows "Fiddle" in the title.
  14. Thank you, Peter, and welcome back. I love the tight framing on the Willie Week photos, and I really appreciate your taking the time to identify all of the musicians.
  15. Lovely, unhurried, and intimate playing and singing. And a very well done recording: listening through headphones today, it was as if you guys were right here in my living room. Just slightly disappointed that your concertina playing only appears on a couple of tracks. My favorite cuts are your flute solo, "Place True Love Thy Arms Around Me," and the Van Morrison song, "And It Stoned Me," a changeup selection that fits in very nicely. I'd like to know a little more about Coyne & Reeves, and I suspect that shoppers on CD Baby would appreciate more information. I suggest you add some short bios to your CD Baby page a and also list the instruments you play, so that, for example, your CD will come up when someone searches on concertina or bouzouki. One more thing: What does the title ("ceann eile le d'thoil") mean? Thanks again!
  16. Thank you, Lawrence! I just used the first download key successfully and briefly sampled a few tracks, which sounded great. I look forward to giving it a more careful listen.
  17. I'm listening to it right now. I ordered it from Custy's on the evening of July 4 and received it in Colorado on July 8. Great stuff. Dick, I love that it's all in concert pitch, because I can start playing along on my C/G anglo without running it through pitch-changing software. I just noticed that track 6 begins with the (uncredited) Phil Cunningham tune, "The Hut on Staffin Island," which is listed as "The Hut on Staten Island." (Not too many huts there -- Staten Island is one of the boroughs of New York City.)
  18. I've been twice (Hi, Richard!) and would love to return when circumstances permit. Aside from hours of concertina-playing, one of my favorite activities there was getting up early and taking a kayak out onto the lake. If you enjoy that sort of thing, plan accordingly -- bathing suit, footwear you don't mind getting wet, security strap for eyeglasses, etc. I also recommend a flashlight in case you want to walk the trails at night, and insect repellent.
  19. Another option from New York City is to take Amtrak from Penn Station to Hudson, NY, which is about 20 miles East of East Durham, and a cab from there. I know some people did this when I went to Catskills Irish Arts Week several years ago. For the return trip you to Hudson could probably get a ride from a fellow student. Assuming that NHICS starts on a Sunday, there are 10 trains from NYC to Hudson.
  20. thesession.org has always been defined by its creator/owner as a site about traditional Irish music, and within that tradition to dance tunes (see the Welcome tab on the main page, as well as the FAQ), so what would you expect? Discussions about, say, English or duet concertinas have been known to happen, but there's not much to say about their use within ITM.
  21. Bravo! ... for both the making and your story-telling.
  22. As it happens, The Connaughtman's Rambles was the tune I chose to play for MO'R in a workshop a few years ago. He then played it back for me on his C/G demonstrating how he would ornament it, and he used a number of octave notes for emphasis (although he didn't play long passages in octaves, as he often does). I enjoy playing in octaves on my C/G and can do it reasonably well with a little practice. The B part of Connaughtman's Rambles is well suited to the octave treatment. Try this much: fbb faa | fef edg | fbb faa | fed e2g | fbb faa | fef edf | gfe f2e |d ... where all the notes shown are played on the right hand, and you're using the left hand to play the octave below. To finish off the phrase, i.e., with the full last measure being dBA B2g I play B and the octave below it on the left hand, but I find it a bit tricky. The same is true for the A (where you don't have the choice of using the right hand).
  23. You haven't. That's why such a vast majority of Irish Folk music on Anglo is so unbearable. But listen tothis. Note that it is bouncy, played on accordion reeded A/D Anglo, uses harmony. Very nicely played, with tasteful ornaments, use of bass notes for emphasis, some octave harmonies, etc. As I was listening, I was thinking, "That sounds like a C/G anglo, not A/D (D/A?) or some other setup." Then I noticed the filename, SligoMaidsLament_DownTheBroom_EdgleyCG.mp3, which certainly supports the C/G theory. Who's the player? My hat's off to him or her.
  24. I use mine for Irish and Englis and songs and F is very good for chords and key of F. What tunes do you use that low D in? i was playing with some fiddlers last night and they only go down to G1 of course unless they tune down a bit. I use it mostly with tunes in D. Tunes in F are quite rare in my circles. A box player did play one at our session the other night, and some of us nearly fell off our chairs. I don't use the low D for melody, but only as a single accompanying bass note or sometimes in chords. John Williams, in his instructional video on button accordion, describes what he calls the 'piping regulators' approach to using accordion bass buttons -- playing them sparingly, rather than holding them down or affecting an oom-pah-pah style -- and that's pretty much what I try to do on concertina.
  25. I have a low D on my Suttner 32-button C/G, because I ordered it that way. It replaces the low F (pull) on the accidentals row. I thought about it for a long time before ordering the instrument this way, and I got the thumbs-up from a few people here before finalizing my choice. As a player of Irish trad, I absolutely love the low D and use it frequently for emphasis. I haven't missed the F.
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