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Mark Evans

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Everything posted by Mark Evans

  1. Rest in peace Leo. I truly enjoyed your postings.

  2. Mark Evans

    Eucalyptus burl concertina

    Very beautiful.
  3. Hello Steve,

    I used to go to the Stone's session often. Very high level of playing and friendly. If you're bringing your singing voice, they will be very happy indeed.

    English concertina is welcome and as the evening goes a bit, they are more than willing to stray off the beaten path to embrace anything you might want to play.

    Leader of the session is ...

  4. Mark Evans

    My web site

    Bravo! Bravo!
  5. Mark Evans

    A ver Happy Xmas

    Very sweet Alan. Merry Christmas!
  6. For the last year in a quasi-casual fashion and within the last few months like a maddened beaver I have been consuming new tunes by two fellers at our local session: Greg Bacon and Brian Hebert. I wouldn't insult them by afixing the term "composer" for they seem to see what they do in a much simpler light. Tunesmith seems right to me. Both have turned out beautiful tunes that are within traditional veins. Greg tends towards an historical and nautical bent while Brian's tunes take on whimiscal names. Both are grounded in the finest Celtic tradition. It just blows my mind that these lads come up with tunes that on one hearing capture the imagination and make people put down their pints and listen. I took the theory and composition classes and everything I turned in for a grade was pure unfiltered sh#*t! Couldn't write a decent tune to save my sorry backside. They both have taken the time to transcribe their works to dots so a dodger like me can quickly get my digits around them. It certainly convinces me that Celtic traditional music is a living tradition. I've learned not to be a pain in the arse and inflict my discovered treasures on the early evening session, but late night part II is a time to let the good times roll and some very interesting music making happens. The session is blessed in that those two are not the only fine tunesmiths we have. Graham Patten, his mother Connie, Jim Buchanan and George Arata all have some fine tunes. Brian transcribed one of Connie's tunes and I sprung it on her unawares last week. She was cocking her head from side to side and son Graham came right in. It just profoundly impresses me, as it is a labor of love, not a comercial interprise or some outlandish need to become immortal through one's compositions. It's simple and good. Very little left of that around these days.
  7. Mark Evans

    In Praise of tunesmiths...

    I just think it's important that folks who otherwise might go unsung, should be. And yes, they are mostly very complementary, even when the should just tell the ole White Rabbit the truth.
  8. Mark Evans

    In Praise of tunesmiths...

    Rod, you do have your own definition, and I'd love to hear it fleshed out. My lack of religion outside of music, causes me to turn time and time again to religious terminology to discribe what I need from the act of music making. A tunesmith for me is a Shawman (sp for sure), a clarvoiant who sees past what is easily preceivable.
  9. Mark Evans

    In Praise of tunesmiths...

    Ah, the website...I've not done anything with it in months. We are recording and some of them will appear before too long.
  10. ... and what does that have to do with phrasing? Let's clarify three things here: 1. Automatic fingering based on bellows change and so forth does influence the style. 2. I agree that it has little to do with artistic interpretation per se, however, in-out of the bellows is one of the most powerful phrasing instrument we have. It includes two variables: a. In-out itself, no need to blabber about it and b. Necessity of in-out influences dynamics of even phrases fingered in one direction. Our brain gets ready for bellows change and either we may slow down, or do a powerful punch right before the change/ or whatever else. It seems to be out of our control, yet gives music a feel. 3. When someone like Danny Chapman enters discussion, we need to switch gears. Our usual definitions, like "good job", "wonderful playing", "expressive dynamics" - have to be toned down quite a bit. To Danny I answer: "Danny, you are right, there is NO automatic phrasing in Anglo". But to lesser players like myself I will whisper: "Yes there is". Now that's the Misha whose postes I love to read. Danny does necessitate a change of gear...and then we still have no chance we'll ever appear in his rear view mirror.
  11. It should work out, assuming folk friendly keys.
  12. Larger, yes. Wider? No. The interest in Irish trad is huge, but quite narrow. Point taken Jim.
  13. Wicked, wicked lad ye are! The blood has barely dried on the deck from our last punch up. This one has potential. EC and AC are each played in numerous styles. Both have limitations and advantages. Some are more prevelent and preferred in one genre of music over another. Certainly the AC enjoys a wider popularity due mainly to the explosion of interest in Irish trad.
  14. Mark Evans

    why the standards are low in concertinas

    I'm talking about folks like this, among others, all of whom I've played with, talked with, and danced to. They do not fit your description at all. Foghorn Stringband The Macrae Sisters The Tallboys Boney, Always knew you had excellent taste. These folks are a treasure. All true to their tradition and yet, and yet...wonderfull. Thank you. I'm deeply moved.
  15. Mark Evans

    why the standards are low in concertinas

    Whether I like it is the issue....to me. I'm very used to this virtuosi thing you've got going, framing the topic to your standards, showing folks the road to salvation from their low tastes. There is something magnificent watching you jump upon the slathering, lumbering beast, slashing away with your saber, as the enraged creature howls, but that video....it was an assult and dumbassed ole me weathered the storm striving to see your point, because in the past there was some point grounded in musicallity wether or not I agreed. Damn near soiled my new linen trousers. I had a fat old Persian cat that loved to mince across the piano keyboard each morining on her way to her morning bowl of chow. It was chromatic, gentle on the ears and charming. This other cat was just a chromatic fire bomb hurled in my direction.
  16. Mark Evans

    why the standards are low in concertinas

    What in the name of Satan's screaming hords was that? Jesus, Mary, Joseph and all the major and minor saints...I thought I would loose my mind getting through that! Me freakin' heart is racing and not in a good way!
  17. Mark Evans

    why the standards are low in concertinas

    Jaysus, David .. it's a long way from discussions of virtuousity that young Tom Lenihan who features in that video, was reared. If that's your ideal, and I see no reason why it shouldn't be, methinks you need to get rid of a lot of baggage and analysis - get back to the simpler things in life.. Now that gent had it by the short hairs indeed! Tenor voice strong and bright throughout the range displayed. Unwavering, perfect jig tempo, great story, a complete lack of arrogance and all without I'll wager, a teacher. From the twinkle in his eyes I'd guess he might clot some bed bug of voice teacher on the head with an axe handle should a critique foolishly be offered .
  18. Mark Evans

    why the standards are low in concertinas

    I avoid teaching...voice. It's a very personal thing the voice, trapped inside an' all. You can't take it out and look at it and what it sounds like in your head isn't what it sounds like to those yer aiming it at. Everything within a singer needed to sing is used perfectly every day....but not in singing. I refuse to judge singing competitions. The last one I foolishly agreed to nearly ended up in a real punch up at judges table. Vocal pedagogy, the last bastion of the snake oil saleman. In most cases a Sister Assumpta somewhere to some darling little kid in some music class said "don't sing darlin', just move your mouth." They spend most of a life not singing because they were told they couldn't. Eventually those folks hit middle age and want to find out...and some of them would show up at my studio door. I could no longer sustain the Jacob wrestling in the wilderness thing. It was so painful. The motivated singers with gifted instruments had the Jacob thing as well, but like badgers a percentage of them did not let go. Some of them have found me on facebook close to 15 years hence. My most talented student who I have mentioned on this site before sent me a message with sound clips that started "Dear sensai"....I wept and wept with joy to know that his struggles were not in vain, that his magnificent voice and soul found release and claimed their rightful place. An opportunity presented itself for me to do the little gig I do today (with health benefits and a little something in possible retirement). I buggered off and ran away as did Brave Sir Robin. My students gave me more than I ever managed to give most of them. Perhaps I was their student.
  19. Mark Evans

    why the standards are low in concertinas

    Hate to call the alarm...but how about prices for Jeffries and other instruments of top quality? Right to the moon they'll go! Ole dodgers like myself would be hard pressed to afford a used, abused hybrid, or worse....a Bastari!
  20. Mark Evans

    An evening at Stones

    Ah yes, we do have a mix. Our young Pelham the piper...such a baby face. He's been "carded' on ordering a pint from time to time. Poor lad, you'd think we old dogs would comfort him in such a state......uh, no, he gets laid to pretty hard.
  21. A very nice fellow shows up from time to time and takes pictures of local sessions. He just posted some shots taken a Stones Public House. http://www.peterjee.com/irishseisiuns/id5.html
  22. Mark Evans

    why the standards are low in concertinas

    You made the hair on me neck raise up, even with the Bushmills under the hood. I know there are a lot of wonderful players out there and I've heard a number of them. More teachers? God forbid! I'll not begrudge someone who's got the teacher-guru thing going for them, a blessing on your home...but cleaving to a "teacher" can be a trap if you loose a sense of yourself. The Wizards of the Plectral Arts and I were having a discussion after session this week (maybe alittle drunk). Teaching came up. No positive responses issued forth. Let's be calm here. Most of us play some form of folk music...right? Someone to show you the way....okay, but after that...hop in your skiff, hoist sail and be off. Cleave to the tradition ye espouse, educate yourself, play with other people. Pick up their bits that work for you and have some freakin' fun. Is that not why most of us are nockin' around with the damned box anyway? If your fun comes from going to summer schools and seminars...I'm down with that. This comes from a reformed voice teacher who made his daily bread off singers aspirations. I've shown some people my version of the way. The ones that had desire took in full or in part whatever my pedegogical flatulence had to offer and did something with it...or not.
  23. Mark Evans

    why the standards are low in concertinas

    Hmm, I think I'll have a little Bushmills Blackbush with me coffee and think about practice. David, Misha's grinning right now in pre-dawn San Francisco. He loves to stir the cauldron. There's nought but frustration down this slippery path... It will be fun to watch.
  24. Filled with excellent Indian delights, my chums, The Wizzards of the Plectral Arts and I have been mucking about in my office after hours...recording. It has been a lot of fun. Greg Bacon has posted something about it and a recording. They set the tempo on this one and pushed me and the Albion like a rented mule... http://www.baconworks.com/archives/998
  25. Welcome to the dark side! Thanks. I managed to get through the A music of Speed the Plough this morning without ****ing it up, but it's slow patient work. My brain seems to be hardwired into looking for the G on my right hand (I know there's one there, but it's not the G I'm looking for ). Yup, slow patient work...but with repetition it will get set rock solid.
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