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Roger Digby

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    Fordham, Essex, U.K.

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Chatty concertinist

Chatty concertinist (4/6)

  1. May I add a caveat? Moving reeds from one chamber to another changes the pitch of the note! It may be scarcely noticeable or it may be excruciating. This is a fact of physics which I have had explained to me by people with great knowledge; I have none myself. I have, however, some experience of the phenomenon. Some years ago I was able to provide a fine Jeffries to a player in Ireland. Seeing him a while later he said that two of the reeds had gone out of tune. They hadn't; he had swapped their positions. Back in their home chambers the tuning was again perfect. If you relocate reeds you must be prepared for retuning. Best wishes to you all, Roger
  2. For over 30 years, Andrew's grave has had no headstone. Knowing that the circumstances which had obviated one had changed, I stopped in Cheddar last week whilst traveling down to the West Country to watch some cricket. There is now a headstone. Unfortunately, the monumental mason was unaware of the different concertina systems and an English is depicted! Nevertheless, I'm pleased that the family chose to highlight this aspect of Andrew's short life. There are now three headstones in England - to my knowledge - which depict a concertina. Best wishes, Roger
  3. I think that's the first Jeffries I've seen with radial reed chambers. I was prompted to look inside my raised-end Jeffries to see if that was the same, but it has the usual parallel chambers. Presumably it's because it's English system. I've heard that the air bounces differently around radial chambers and gives a softer sound. Any theories? Best wishes, Roger
  4. The Bradfield Traditional Music Weekend takes place this year from 19th-22nd July 2018 and a lively concertina presence is, as usual, expected. The event is informal and friendly and free. It involves sessions,- music, song and mixed - and presentations. A donation of £10 is invited. This year, under new management, some changes are being introduced and there is a new Facebook group: BTMW - Bradfield Traditional Music Weekend. If, like me, you’re not involved in Facebook there is also an email list. Simply send your email address to the administrator, Liz Giddings, liz.mostunexpected@hotmail.com Camping at Mark’s farm offers the most wonderful views of the Dales and will be enhanced this year with extra toilets and a shower. Because of additional interest this year it is likely that numbers will be greater. It is even possible that numbers will have to be limited to conserve the unique nature of the event. If you fully intend to attend the weekend, I urge you to make that clear via the Facebook page so that your place will be guaranteed should it be necessary to declare ‘House Full’. Very best wishes to you all, Roger
  5. I think it is appropriate to make known the circumstances surrounding the decision to launch a new online website for academic research and the issues with the ICA that have lead to us proceeding without ICA involvement. I should make it clear at the outset that I have been a life member of the ICA for over 30 years and support its aims; I was also on the editorial board of PICA and its predecessor ‘The Free Reed Journal’. PICA 10 was the last. The editor, Allan Atlas, who had been tireless and rigorous in his editorial role, was retiring from his academic post and thought that this was the time to stand down. There were other issues as well; it was proving increasingly difficult to find articles (and people willing and able to write them) which satisfied the research standards and methodology which were required by a major university. Annual publication was increasingly difficult. Furthermore, PICA 10 was submitted for publication nearly 2 years before it was finally printed; the online versions were also slow to reach the ICA website. At the 2014 AGM, I spoke to the tiny gathering about the plans that Allan, Dan and Randy had for an online ‘Son of PICA’ and asked the ICA if they would like this to continue under their imprimatur and on the ICA website. The committee were interested and said they would get back to us with a decision. For a year nothing happened. The draft minutes were not published so the membership was unaware of our plans. Eventually I wrote to the committee asking for an update and received a reply stating that nothing had been done. Months later I wrote again and got a similar reply. By this time it was over three years since PICA 10 was ready for publication and some good articles had been waiting in the wings. It is not fair on those who have worked hard and written a good article to sit on it for any length of time; we had to make a decision and we decided that the ICA had been given more than enough time to express its opinion on whether or not to host us on their site and under their banner. We were asking for no more than that. Incidentally, Dan did approach Bob Gaskins but his website is currently resting as has been said in an earlier post. Sorry this has been dry and dusty, but there was clearly interest in this background. Best wishes, Roger
  6. That is really sad news. When visiting England, Henk's ferry landed at Harwich and he sometimes visited me as he drove on along the A12. I have one happy memory of sitting with them in the garden on a sunny summer day and playing music together. He was a charming, genuine man and will be greatly missed.
  7. I thought I'd add a few words about the unseasonable features here in Essex. I have daffodils in bud; usually we hope for one in bloom on St David's Day (my wife is Welsh!) and this seldom happens! Most remarkably there is a bank of primroses in full bloom; this is extraordinary! I can't think of concertinas and Christmas without recalling Ken Loveless and his spelling of the word with a final double 'ss'. It is, he insisted, Christ's Mass. The traditional message of Christmas(s) is, of course, Peace and Goodwill and Jim has already mentioned the wonderful friendships and good will which this website displays and creates. Long may it continue. I add my best wishes this Christmas and I wish you all a very happy Christmas and a peaceful 2016. Roger
  8. I had the pleasure of hearing Dympna play in Ennis earlier in the year. As many have said, she was a fine musician and she had the rare gift of being able to play with individuality and imagination without stepping away from the pure traditional style. The strength and determination with which she faced her illness is encapsulated in the brief personal statement on her last CD 'Enriched'. 'Life can throw strange Events across our paths Moments wheN all appears lost When all we've been taught and know falls apaRt It is but a valuable chance to vIew things differently A Chance to turn things around To hear sounds afresh and to sHare them with those who understand To savour and chErish what is important and deep In short, it is a time to be enricheD' Who among us would not wish to face uncertainty with such dignity?
  9. I have some contact strips of Bampton dancing with Abingdon in ?1965. I'd be interested to know whether this is Francis Fryer. Thanks, (and hoping I can sort out how to add the photo!) RogerAbingdon Musician.tiffAbingdon Musician2.tiff
  10. I think I'm right in saying that Scan Tester found his bandoneon in a First WW trench. Seasons Greetings to everyone on the site. Roger
  11. Like Dirge, I met Pete at Brightlingsea in 2011. On arrival he instantly volunteered to help and was as good as his word joining the team of volunteer caterers. He bought a ticket for the following year, but by then was unable to attend. He was an asset to the concertina community and it's appropriate that that community is respectfully acknowledging his passing. Dirge. Drop in if you're anywhere near Essex.
  12. The annual EATMT day of free reed workshops ‘Melodeons and More’ takes place in a couple of weeks (March 23rd) and as usual there’s a strong Concertina input. In addition to the workshops, Mike Acott will be setting up his stall and Geoff Crabb will be there too. Full details are on the website of the East Anglian Traditional Music Trust, (http://www.eatmt.org.uk/m&m.htm#Melodeons and More 2013) and like all their events this one is always a great success. One particularly nice feature is a very long lunch-break giving opportunities for lots of informal playing. (Real Ale bar too!) Well worth considering if you’re free on that day, but book in advance to make certain of a place. EATMT is a very fine organisation which promotes annual events as well as one-offs. These range from concerts to lectures, classes to research projects. It’s well worth being on their mailing list and getting the newsletter if this is your interest. Best wishes, Roger
  13. Mike will be at 'Melodeons and More' in March. He currently has a fully restored 38key Bb/F Jeffries (Aldershot Rd) which is very well priced. Hope this post works! It disappeared as I was writing it! Best wishes, Roger
  14. And Hats Off to Islington Council which I imagine has been responsible for saving the shopfront. Incidentally, I took custody of a 32 C/G John Crabb yesterday and will have it for 48 hours before I show it to a possible buyer. It is a lovely instrument and genuinely 'unputdownable'. My first opportunity to spend a few hours with a John Crabb - or at least one that bears his own name. Happy New Year Everyone. Roger
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