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Roger Gawley

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Everything posted by Roger Gawley

  1. Like everyone else, I regret the loss of a great man. His websiite is at http://www.folktrax.org/ and there are indeed concertina recordings there although you may have to hunt for them. There is a terse but decent obituary on the EFDSS news page at http://www.efdss.org/news.htm (top news item at time of writing) We will miss him.
  2. Be fair: the sun shone for nearly three hours on Sunday and there was a moment near the end of the Friday walk when you could see where you were going. I came at it from a different angle (well Durham in fact) so Northumbrian tunes are less of a novelty to me but you are right about the talented musicians along with several players not much better than I am. Some of the workshops only decided late on to perform. The stars of the "Playing in Pairs" workshop decided that they could not do it any better than the final "rehearsal" so that group did not perform. But, a huge but, Ayliffe and Foss who have been stars of the dance at both Swaledales I have been to were kind enough to dance again on Sunday while we played. This was something like fulfilling a lifelong ambition. Some of the sublety of Paul's tune was sacrificed for better rhythm but the dancers wanted that and, if Paul was upset, he was kind enough not to show it. The rest of us would like to thank Sandra and Dave for inviting you to play with them too. Please do come back, it was good to see you.
  3. The movie worked fine on this Windows PC, fired up Quicktime. Very amusing and Bob's bellows are much better than mine. And I cannot balance mine vertically. Bob, do you juggle? Cheers, Roger
  4. Go for it! Have you heard Busi Mhlongo? If she can perform with a band including Anglo concertina, I cannot see that you would be out of place with Feverdreams.
  5. And that most excellent of shops, Roots2Music in Newcastle, England has one. I only found it at the weekend whilst tidying and it does not show on the website (http://roots2music.com) but then lots of things do not: always ask! Anyway, we could send you a copy if you have not already got hold of one. Roger [ now, who has a copy of the Great Northern Tune Book for sale? Not completely unrelated as both publications vanished in the great van theft ]
  6. Won't repeat the word I used when I read the original item. Like everyone else, best wishes for a full and speedy recovery. I like Chris' critical mass idea. Wonder what the threshhold is.
  7. No, it was Bax, as previously stated. You do often see it down to Beecham. Roger
  8. A quick scan down an oldish ICA members list finds two anglo-playing members with London address and half a dozen in "home counties" so it may be a matter of asking in the right place. Are you a member of the International Concertina Association? If not, why not?
  9. I would be interested. Much would depend on price, weight, tone, etc, but I would be interested. Roger
  10. Yes it can make a difference but so can practice. If you ever get a chance to ask Rob Harbron to demonstrate his ideas on this, take it. If you have fingers like Tony Rose, you may be able to press three buttons at once with reasonable repeatablility. For most of us, two is the limit. You want to keep the finger parallel to the travel of the buttons and catch one button just below the nail and the other on the fleshy part of the fingertip. Like many things in this world, this is a idea that I understand perfectly but do not often put into effect very well. Try it and revert to one finger per button if it does not work for you. There are plenty of excellent players in both camps.
  11. I note a great gap in Northeast England, the modern heartland of the English concertina. If we all (including me) get stuck in, the pins are going to be pretty dense there. Roger (English concertina, Durham [the original Durham])
  12. Yes, there is a "correct" way, but what it is depends on which purist you listen to. Allan Atlas, in his book "Contemplating the Concertina", devotes a chapter to this issue. His is talking about English concertina but the ideas are the same. Anything that hurts your body is a bad thing to do. (You will develop minor aches when starting any new instrument.) Anything that restricts your ability to operate bellows and buttons is to be avoided if possible, but whatever feels comfortable and produces good music is "right" for you at least. Your instrument sounds heavy so you probably need to think first about supporting the weight in a way that does not obstruct the musical things you want to do.
  13. I am a bit late here but want to say that I never found Concertinas at Witney unfriendly although I do see how a newcomer could feel lost. I had the enormous advantage of becoming secretary to the International Concertina Association before going to Witney so there was a group that I knew to start with. Someone coming alone for the first time would experience things differently. The problem, if there is one, is of scale. Witney is rather impersonal. It does take a form of courage to ask the person next to you "What are you doing for lunch?" Some people find this sort of thing easy, others do not. Theo Gibb's ideas bear another look. Theo is one of the most hospitable people I know. He and Pam open their house on the Sunday before Folkworks Summer Schools just so that first timers to the Summer School can meet each other and people who have been around longer instead of starting cold on Monday morning. Now the situation on the week and the weekend is reversed here, which does make a difference and Marley Hill is a long way from Witney but some kind of welcome/induction might be arranged. I have found the sessions in The Court among the most enjoyable events I have attended (and I do not really like sessions) but they are not the ideal place to meet new friends. Dave and Jenny have explained that Witney is firstly and teaching event and only secondarily a social event. I agree with that: they have a good formula. If it is not what you are looking for, then there are other events. Dave and co do not need to change anything much. Dave is wrong on one point: the lunchbreaks are not generous. By the time you have had a decent lunch, it is a scramble to get back for the afternoon session. But this is the reality of day length. Longer lunchbreaks mean earlier starts, later finishes or shorter sessions. Have I really said anything? Well there were some half-volunteers to arrange a welcome committee. That could make a difference. It could probably be organised through concertina.net without any formal involvement of Dave and the team although it would be good for everyone to know what is happening. See you all at Witney, Roger
  14. There seems to be quite a bit of missing the point here. Tobacco is a dangerous drug that would never be allowed if you tried to introduce it today. It is here and cannot be abolished tomorrow but it is on the way out. Consideration has to be for addicts and semi-addicts. It is not easy to give up once you have started but that is the aim: all smokers should give up and no new smokers should start. Of course that is not going to happen quickly and not without pain but it is going to happen.
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