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About bogheathen

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    South of the Border

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  1. When you're overwhelmed, sometimes things stay in your subconscious for a while before resurfacing. This happened to me at the recent Noel Hill concertina school in Cincinnati, and what just bubbled up from my unconscious turns out to be something I"ll probably value the rest of my concertina playing life. This is what is bubbling up now. At some point, Noel corrected the way I was holding the instrument...on my right thigh. He suggested I change it to my left thigh, because the air-button hand -- the right hand -- is the "bowing hand" of the instrument. He made several comparisons between the fiddle and the concertina during the school, this was one that I'm really glad is coming back to me. Keeping this in mind is helping my bellows and air button work a lot, simply by giving it a frame or concept to hook it to. A simple and powerful concept.
  2. Midwest camp this year @ $400 tuition and $400 accommodation with meals. Worth every penny. Five days of world-class instruction and companionship in a beautiful setting devoid of distractions. Start working on the first morning and don't quit until the last afternoon. Now that I know what to expect, I'll get even more out of the next one.
  3. Snagged my place in line with Dana Johnson for a new Kensington C/G. Met CaryK's Kensington in Cincinnati last month and was duly impressed, so did the research. Was additionally impressed by Dana Johnson's overall approach to the business and with the relatively short wait times. Was even further impressed by Dana's fast and personal responses to inquiries and questions. Combined with the quality-for-price equation, I couldn't find a reason NOT to get in line. What I haven't found is a wealth of images of Kensingtons on the nets. Almost all Dana's web site images are parts and guts. Would love to see some glamor shots. Anyone? Bueller? Will also have some sale items coming up once the Kensington arrives -- a lighlty loved Morse Ceili and an 1868 Wheatstone English refurbed by the Button Box. In the meantime, though, Kensington glamor shots, please, if you have them.
  4. Noel usually divides his schools into beginner, intermediate, and advanced groups. Because the school session I attended had less than a dozen students, Noel only split us up into two groups, intermediate and advanced. I was in the intermediate group, and I was easily the least advanced player, having come to the school without any other personal instruction or formal training in music, much less the concertina. I can tell you that I was never made to feel by anyone like I was holding anyone back, ever. I can imagine a beginner class based on my experience in the intermediate section, and if I were you, Mathhag, I wouldn't hesitate to sign up. The more familiar you are with the button layout of your instrument, the better off you'll be...and you'd also benefit from being as good at sight reading as possible. But after having the experience of jumping in the deep end and being forced to keep my head above water, I wouldn't have had it any other way. No matter what section of Noel's school you get put in, you'll get stretched. And that's exactly why you do it, yes?
  5. Just finished the Noel Hill concertina school at the Transfiguration Spiritual Center in northern Cincinnati, and it was overwhelming. More instruction, insight, and camaraderie than you could shake a bellows at, in a setting so peaceful and accommodating that there were absolutely no distractions from playing and learning. Wake up, eat, play, eat, play, eat, play, sleep. Repeat. Five intense and intensely valuable days for anyone interested in learning Anglo from a master. I was in completely over my head, but the shore was always nearby and lined with helping hands. The same setting in Cincinnati is already locked down for next year's school, and I'm definitely planning to return. Can't recommend it highly enough.
  6. I was going to use my iPhone but suspected it didn't have enough storage. After some research I found a little Zoom recorder.
  7. Digital recorder...check. Trail mix...check. Tea bags...check. Concertina...check. Mosquito wipes...check. Clean underwear...check. What am I forgetting?
  8. Will attend my first Noel Hill class in Cincinnati in two weeks and am really looking forward to it. It's just been the Ceili, Mick Bramich's book, and me in the basement so far. Can't wait to get some real life Noel guidance into the box.
  9. More good guidance, thanks Ross. I ask about the guitar only because more often than not, if I don't have one with me when I travel, I wish I did. But you're right, we're there to squeeze.
  10. Gary, Easy Anglo 1-2-3 got me started on concertina a year ago, and I have Anglo Concertina in the Harmonic Style queued up. Will definitely snag Pirate Songs as well -- thanks for your work.
  11. Made flight arrangements for the 2018 NHICS class with Noel Hill at the Transfiguration Spiritual Center in Cincinnati in July...so it's real. Getting pretty excited. Bringing a Button Box Ceili and about a year of basement work from method books (not much of a concertina community where live). Have no idea what to expect, but I will try to emulate a sponge and soak up everything I can hold. Apart from anything else...I'll be out of the basement interacting with other humans playing the same instrument! Anyone else going? Any advice from old hands? Will a guitar be useless baggage for the week?
  12. Thanks a million, Ken. Am attending NHICS Cincinnati.
  13. Wheatstone 1867 48-Key Treble English concertina #18261 Bought from The Buttonbox in 2017 with refurbished 5-fold bellows, new valves, tuned A=440, and new fitted hardshell case.
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