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Kathryn Wheeler

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Everything posted by Kathryn Wheeler

  1. Whilst I can see the use of having tunes that people already know, it would also make a lot of sense to have easy tunes that lie well under the fingers and are concertina- istic (if that’s even a word 😆)
  2. I agree, the recording app on my phone is an absolute godsend!
  3. If that's a malady, then I heartily wish you never recover!
  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.
  5. I am reminded that this one has a relentless restless, frustrated energy, letting loose! https://youtu.be/lpiDeZRWIMs
  6. 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 😆
  7. 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!
  8. 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!
  9. Thankyou so much! I loved working with that tree and all it’s ivy roots.
  10. 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)
  11. Cello has popped up here a few times and I can certainly see why - it’s providing a lovely bassier counterpart to the much higher concertina and also a very different timbre. Good contrast. I’ve only played with a double bass and then as part of a larger group.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Great picture! Wish I could hear it! One of the musicians in our side plays this instrument too and I’ve had a jam with him - yes it does work well!
  15. 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!
  16. Fabulous, the music really supports and reflects the dancing
  17. Today I learnt how very apt the term main squeeze is! Brilliant!
  18. How do you find playing in the left hand compared to the right? I'd be interested in your thoughts. Here's a new tune for the left hand only, for 20 button anglo - melody only then some harmonic accompaniment in the same hand. As I often play harmonic style, I'm much more used to playing accompaniment in the left hand and I find the harmony notes and "chord shapes" are more nicely arranged under the fingers on the left hand than on the right (although I rarely just play straight chords). I can pretty much bet I am faster on my right hand too as it is more used to just playing melodies in the style I play. I'm trying to redress the balance! All that said, my pinkie is much better than my right one because of all those Fsharps we get to play! The tune is inspired by folklore and history of a local hill to me, here in Worcestershire - Woodbury Hill - where there was a pivotal moment in the history of Welsh/English relations in the medieval period and Owain Glyn Dwr's forces came as far west as Worcester!
  19. You can also slow down the speed of YouTube and Facebook videos without changing the pitch, which is a wonderful tool.
  20. Leaning into discords can be wonderful. Also I love a good unconventional harmony. The placement of buttons on a concertina often suggest interesting things to try.
  21. Not on concertina but I think they sound very similar: I’ve used microvox mics on a piano accordion for years and yes the Velcro could be very annoying (I had a long strip of three mics on the r hand side that fell off at least once… which is a heavy thing to have swinging around mid air! The single bass mic fell off even more!) The other problem is that if I was too close to speakers (including foldback speakers) there could be interference/feedback. I got used to having to tell sound people and some didn’t seem to believe me until they realised it was true.. They’d pick up a lot of noise from other things as they were external mics. This meant you couldn’t turn the mic up on the mixer lots - a problem in large venues. And yes it felt like it hampered my ability to move around because of that.
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