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Jim Besser

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    Contra and English ceilidh dance music, Morris music, traditional French dance music, playing for any and all dancers.
  • Location
    Washington DC metro area

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  1. The Lass of Paties Mill, written by Scottish poet Allan Ramsey in the early 1700s. The tune was incorporated into the Beggers Opera (1728) as a satirical song. Most recordings I've heard play this slow and pretty; I liked the punchier version recorded by melodeonist Martin Ellison, but then, I'm a Morris player, and try as I might, I can't play slow and pretty.
  2. My CG is a somewhat modified Wheatstone / Lachenal (C# in both directions, top inside), the GD a Jeffries. I don't see any particular advantage to either system, and mostly switching back and forth is no problem. You get used to it.
  3. I've played for Drunks March, always being very careful to keep my distance from the dancers and the sloshing pints
  4. Vill du Flyga, a tune written by Leija Lautamaja of the Floating Sofa Quartet, which has rapidly become one of my favorite bands. This was the tune of the week in a Facebook group, and I found arranging it for Anglo to be challenging. Still a work in progress. Played on a 30 button Jeffries G/D Anglo https://soundcloud.com/concertinist/vill-du-flyga-3-19-2024
  5. Agree; I actually play both. My CG is Wheatstone/Lachenal, more or less, and my GD is Jeffries. I don't have a problem moving back and forth, and I don't see any great difference in playability. I seem to have a slight preference for the Jeffries layout, but that's probably because I have a preference for the actual Jeffries instrument! Re: Irish players: wondering what system Noel Hill plays. I know he has both Jeffries and Lachenal instruments, probably a Wheatstone or two as well. Does he switch, or has he modified his instruments?
  6. Just a coupla classic English dance tunes: the Radstock Jig and Enrico, played on a 30 button Jeffries Anglo.
  7. Outstanding performance. I always liked that tune, and this version is exceptional. Django really needed a concertina in his band!
  8. Update: problem solved, mostly. The workaround is just to leave the app open, so it doesn't have to resync the entire mass of tunes. I've tried numerous slow down apps. There are many good ones, and I used the ASD for years. But for the way I work, AnyTune still seems the best.
  9. The pic of you in your clown kit is priceless .
  10. I used ASD for years - mostly OK, but not as well integrated with Apple Music as Anytune. And the start/stop loop function is not as smoothly implemented. And AnyTune has the ability to export a transposed tune; I don't believe ASD can do that. Response from AnyTune developers indicate that the problem centers on changes Apple made to their music program, and that there's no fix expected anytime soon.
  11. I have used Anytune for Mac happily for years, but with the latest Mac OS update its ability to retain syncing with apple music has been lost. Which means that every time I open AnyTune, it has to sync all 21,000 tunes, which, needless to say, is a pain. I'm wondering if there are good alternative slow down apps with the functions I need, including: - seamless syncing with Apple Music - Easy to set start-stop points for looping segments - Simple process for changing keys For the Mac OS. I have the iOs version, but don't really use it.
  12. I played guitar and hammered dulcimer in American contra dance bands for years, but at some point I was given a couple of old, non-functional East German 20 button Anglos. I combined parts -- with liberal applications of duct tape -- to create something of a Franken-concertina and used it to play musical games with my little kid. (I still have it. And still have the kid, although she's nearing 40 years old). 30 years ago I dropped the other instruments, bought a good concertina (the first of many) and expanded my focus to include English dance music. 25 years ago I started playing for Morris dance groups, an affliction I continue to have, and began playing concertina for a succession of contra dance and English ceilidh bands. Other things that drew me to the instrument included Tom Kruskal and friends 1980 record (vinyl) Round Pond Relics, which I imitated slavishly. And the English concertina playing of the late Michael Reid (many here will remember him - an early and frequent concertina.net poster). He joined our dance band sometime in the late 80s; when he moved away, I missed the free reed sound and resolved to get proficient on concertina, albeit an Anglo. Completing the circle: after he moved, Michael plunged into the world of Irish traditional music and took up Anglo, becoming quite proficient.
  13. Serpentiner och Konfetti, a tune by Swedish melodeonist Mats Edén. I love tunes that can be fit into diverse musical genres, and this is a prime example, having worked its way into the Morris dance repertoire. Played on a Jeffries G/D Anglo concertina. https://soundcloud.com/concertinist/serpentiner-och-konfetti-12-30-2023
  14. Road to the North, a tune by Alistair Anderson, piper and English concertina player. I heard this a while back and forgot about it; then, the other day, it popped up on another forum and I realized it's a totally fun tune that I just had to learn. Played on a 30 button Jeffries G/D Anglo. https://soundcloud.com/concertinist/road-to-the-north-12-3-2023
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