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Kathryn Wheeler

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Posts posted by Kathryn Wheeler

  1. 39 minutes ago, SIMON GABRIELOW said:

    That countryside reminds me of where I escape to every summer, when I can, as countryside around York is very agricultural based, fields, edged by trees, quite flat actually, until you reach a part in the distance ( huge ridge of inland cliff, and above is another wave of scenery towards the Moors of Yorkshire; I much prefer that to City centres with their noise and bustle.

    I do like to look at ridges across a foreground of fields 

  2. 7 hours ago, CrP said:Reminded me of some nice atmospheric French accordion café music, too.

    Yes, now you mention it I can really hear the French influences. Isn’t it funny that you don’t always notice things like this at the time.  It’s possible there’s a classical waltz influence behind that somewhere. But basically it feels good under the fingers!

  3. On 3/18/2023 at 6:36 AM, Jody Kruskal said:


    But now I have my smart phone. It makes a great recorder of my latest diddle. I can sing the tune into my phone by reaching across my pillow and touching it. I have done this several times, in the dark, even after my head has hit the pillow. 


    I agree, the recording app on my phone is an absolute godsend!

  4. This is a warm and wistful waltz for 20 button anglo.
    It came about after a walk into the sun through trees on farmland just west of Worcester. I'm not quite sure why it came out like this, but it all got just a teeny bit Sound of Music somehow! I shall probably whirl around in a meadow come the late spring!
    The first section of this tune uses the melody in the left hand, accompanied in the right. The middle section swaps roles. It feels good to play and just dances along.
    • Like 8
  5. On 1/17/2023 at 1:43 AM, CrP said:

    Nice, and twisty indeed. It seems to have a sense of perpetuum mobile to it that moves well. Please do more like this.

    Thankyou, I see what you mean. 


    It’s really interesting and useful to find out how a tune comes across to others!


    I can’t always guarantee where my tinkering around will take me, as usually I’m channelling a feeling or playing around with an interesting pattern of buttons or movements! Perhaps I need to get lost and frustrated on trips more to produce more like this one 😆  

    • Like 1
  6. I got the bug for anglo concertina by being given a Scholer anglo by a friend who had seen it in a charity shop.  It was in Eb/Bb and the arrangement of the notes was the same as a 20button anglo (rather than the one the OP posted) i.e. enough to intrigue me.  I even came up with a couple of new tunes on it.


    So, yes, they're definitely useful!

  7. There's a fun bit at the end of this one!


    This is a bit of a spooky sounding tune.  I wrote it after coming back from yet another failed drive around tiny rural lanes to get to Woolhope in Herefordshire*.  I think it channels the frustration and turned-about feeling we had!   Unusually for me this isn't about harmonies but instead about unexpected bellows directions and ambiguity offered by having two B/C buttons on the instrument (one on the left bottom side, the other on the right top) in different directions and playing around with that.  Also a bit of pinky finger twisting in the middle section where things are largely on the lower end of the instrument.  Ooh, and in the intro bit.


    It's a nice one to play with others because you can just alternate Em and F chords and it works - that has lead to some jazzy stuff!  At the end of the video I get a bit syncopated and enjoy myself!


    *Now I'm a great navigator usually, but this one beat me (and I am relieved that I'm not alone in finding it hard to find the car-park!)  We have been trying to go and walk on the Marcle ridge for a while now, with its gorgeous views east back to the Malvern Hills and views to the west towards Hereford and Wales.  Turns out that there was a road signpost that had got turned about!  Now, you could say the locals just didn't want any folk from Worcestershire coming over and touristing in their area.  But actually the very landscape and underlying geology is well confusing too!  Rings of ridges encircle Woolhope, providing a feeling of enclosed protection.   


    There's a direct route in from the west!



    • Like 9
  8. Welcome!


    Firstly I’d think about trying rhythmic stabs instead of long slow chords to see if that works. Long slow chords can be good too of course.  If you’re a drummer you’ll already be on the case rhythm wise - try playing it like a drum in that sense 


    Secondly, try just playing a couple of notes from the chord instead of all three.  Try playing one of the notes in the right hand to see what that’s like. 

    Have a play around and try some unexpected notes and see if they sound interesting.  (If you want to play around at home instead of a rehearsal, record the song and play over the top of it. Try recording yourself too and see what sounds good


    One of the great things about punk related stuff is that you can play around and be expressive and don’t have to be afraid of trying unusual things. Have a play!


    For F# why not play just F# and A# together (you could add the F#  on the right too) 

  9. I’m continually delighted at just how good I find the 20 button concertina is as an expressive instrument - not just for expressing joy but also plaintive stuff. 

    Thus one touches on loss and grief and how it changes you.  About how the most wonderful warm memories come to mind but they are now bittersweet, interwoven with sadness. 

    I've used this amazing tree, which is completely woven over with interlaced ivy roots, but which is cut off at the base.




    • Like 5
  10. On 10/7/2022 at 4:01 PM, Anglo-Irishman said:

    Well, considering that the concertina is a very British-Isles thing, this is not really surprising. The ubiquitousness of drumkits in many music genres - jazz, pop, rock, Latin, what have you - tends to obscure the fact that, in a specifically British context, drums are traditionally associated with war and death. Take the Scottish pipes and drums: that's pure military music, aimed at raising the adrenalin level in the troops. And the Irish Lambeg drum is similar in effect. The concertina is more at home in the domestic drawing-room or the convivial pub, where hatred, bloodshed and drums would be foreign bodies!

    But, some might object: What about the bodhrán, which is played in convivial pubs along with concertinas and other peaceful instruments like fiddles and flutes? Traditionally, the bodhrán, which came into use in Irish traditional music in the 1960s, as I remember, was a cult instrument, played by small boys ("Wren Boys") in folk ritual processions. So it was never a "weapon" of war!


    I quite agree! In my group, we always did our Carolan arrangements with that combination. A guitar and a bowed double bass provided the accompaniment (AKA basso continuo).


    Interestingly enough, I played my trusty, 1990s-vintage, metal-ended Stagi Anglo in those days. When I bought a Lachenal Crane, and had learnt the concertina part of Planxty Irwin, I tried it out at a rehearsal. The unanimous decision of the bandmates was, "Take your old concertina - it blends better!"




    Ooh I find this really interesting and it will explain a reaction I had to a bit of pipe and taboring, which had a long tradition in England of course. 

    A friend said she really liked the tune on the pipe but the taboring made it sound military - now it’s entirely possible that my taboring was unsubtle and unsuited to the tune (I suspect so! The tune was one Id come up with on the pipe and the taboring was an afterthought instead of being incorporated from the start as it should be.  It was a mellow gentle tune that was out of kilter with the taboring).


    That said, it’s been played for dance and the taboring was to support the stepping in the dancing.  With a good sensitive taborer I’m sure that no one would think of this sort of music sounding military in this context.  

    • Like 1
  11. Interesting topic to discuss!


    We weren’t sure if a piano accordion and 20 button anglo would work but we’re pleasantly surprised how the anglo was a distinct timbre that stood out well.  I also didn’t expect that the concertina would do so well at also playing the accompanying role - one of my favourite bits in a piece I play with an accordionist friend is where it is just a moving slow melody on the accordion accompanied by sustained chords with some lovely dissonances on the anglo. Which reminds me, we should record it :) 


    In the meantime here’s something I’ve done on the two instruments - the trick I’ve found is to be more sparing with the piano accordion to give more textures and light and shade and more only going full on for effect! 


    • Like 3
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