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  • Interests
    Concertinas, Irish music, other music
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    Seattle, WA, USA

tomlaw90's Achievements

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  1. I thought maybe it was about time I followed up my own thread... I posted to get people thinking about it, to provide some food for thought, and to get some reactions, food for my own thought, as it were. That has happened nicely. I have come to my own philosophy about it, so to speak. Now one thing I want to mention, since some people may have the wrong idea. I do like the Dipper and have no plans to part with it. I'd have to say I prefer the Edgley, I've never tried another concertina besides Edgley's (Dipper, Jeffries, or otherwise) that felt as good to play. I just feel like everything is perfectly in the right places, and I have total control, and the more subtle voice really fits with my concept of music. This could well just be me (hence the universal advice to try as many concertinas as you can before buying). But the Dipper Clare is also a lot of fun to play -- a little harder for me than the Edgley, but with it's own charms. For me, what I've basically concluded is the Dipper is a stage instrument. An analogie for you Uilleann pipes aficionados: it's like one of those big honking Taylor sets made for unamplified halls. The penetrating tone of mine really works well playing for Ceili or set dancing, and especially for hard-shoe step-dancing, and will be getting a work-out in such applications. But in the kitchen it's a bit anti-social. For the kitchen sessions, the Edgley's more subtle, less penetrating tone wins the day. Not that the Edgley is all mellow, the attacks have plenty of bite, so it does adds that unique concertina feel to the session, but doesn't overpower like my Dipper does. For solo performance, it will be the Edgley, because I feel so comfortable and able to express with it. As far as the other concertina players who were assessing the Edgley vs. others, I'm afraid I didn't ask details about their comments, so we can only speculate there. Next time I'll ask for specific critique. Incidentally, as far as reed response and dyanmic range goes, my take for my 2 particular instruments is this. Both can play quietly. In scientific terms, the Dipper's reeds may extend to slightly lower pressures, but musically in session, I've found the Edgley is much more controllable at low volumes, the Dipper wanting to get very loud very quickly. For dynamic range, the Dipper can go much louder. For quickness at typical Irish playing volumes, I don't see any significant difference between the Dipper and the Edgley. It feels like in measurable terms the Dipper's reeds are a bit faster (Actually, after trying Jeffries and others, it feels like Dipper's reeds are the fastest ever), but the difference does not seem to be significant musically, as I am able to get ornaments so quick on the Edgley that they are nearly clicks without discernable pitch, like on the Dipper. I think the slightly gentler response of the Edgley makes the sound a little more rounded sweeter, and in actual fact, I prefer that because I feel it opens up a new realm of expressiveness and control vs. the Dipper where the cuts are kind of binary (on, then off), and I can't control texture as well. So that's just my take on things, opinions and experiences of one peculiar musician, offered up for what it's worth, with no guarrantee of applicability to anyone else's situation. Tom Lawrence
  2. I'm afraid the Dipper will have to wait for another weekend. It is an unbelievable amount of work to make these recordings. 6 hours for just 22 minutes of material. It seems there's nothing quite like sitting in front of a microphone to make my playing go all to hell. So many takes... I did listen this morning and I'm gratified to see my playing has gotten much better even since I made the A/E clips last spring. I want to redo those soon too.
  3. Why stop at one web page? A while back I special-ordered a concer-tiny from Bob Tedrow and put up a web page about that concertina. And of course, more images and sound clips. http://concertinatom.com/TedrowTiny.htm Tom Lawrence
  4. I just made another web page, this time for my Edgley C/G concertina! More pictures and of course more sound files http://concertinatom.com/EdgleyCG.htm (Also the A/E website moved to http://concertinatom.com/EdgleyAE.htm) Hope you enjoy it! Thanks, Tom Lawrence
  5. The subject of "concertina" reeds vs. "accordion" reeds comes up on a regular basis. It's there again on another thread just now, which prompted this post. As some may recall, I have an Edgley A/E that I love, and I just got a new Edgley C/G. I also recently got a 4 year old Dipper County Clare second-hand (which, in an informal comparison, was deemed by it's previous owner to be one of the better Dippers around, for whatever that's worth -- maybe he was just sellin' ). Now I'm an unabashed Edgley fan, so I'm probably biased. Therefore I decided to discount my own opinions and went to other people to ask their opinions. Primarily, other concertina players, other non-concertina playing musicians, and non-musicians in the audience. This is by no means an objective study (if I can even use that word), since the sample size is rather small and there is no control over variables, double-blind, yada yada. But I've noticed a striking dichotomy of opinion, one which I actually find rather unnerving. Basically, the concertina players prefer the Dipper with it's "real concertina" reeds, and everyone else seems to prefer the Edgley. I give an instrument over to a concertina player and the response I usually get is "It's pretty nice, but too bad he doesn't use real reeds in it... It'd be really great then." The response I get from fellow (non-concertina-playing) sessioners, pointing to the Edgley, is usually along the lines of "that one's less harsh", or "I like that better", or "that fits in better". The Dipper is sometimes considered too loud; I find it hard to play quietly because I have a punchy way of playing. Other Dipper owners in the area (more than one) have also gotten grumbling for the piercing tone. The response from non-musicians is almost universally in favor of the Edgley. They just think it sounds mellower and nicer. They can't really qualify it. And it's not that they don't like the Dipper, they just prefer the Edgley. For example, during an A/B test, one lady said, "play the other one [Dipper] again, ohh... that sounds nice, and now the [Edgley], oh I like that one better". I find this a bit disturbing because it seems like the people who matter (concertina players) are seeking out instruments which may not be their audiences best choice. I suppose one has to please oneself, but still... I don't know what to make of it. * Maybe the result is different for different Italian-reeded instruments, or different vintage instruments (e.g. Jeffries seem to be more mellow sounding than Dippers)... Tom Lawrence
  6. Heard from a Clare fiddler: Q: How do you tell a Kerry fiddler is out of tune? A: The bow is moving.
  7. Man I am soooo looking forward to this. I can hardly get any work done at work and it's still two weeks away. Argh!
  8. Yes I had lessons in Milwaukee Irish Fest from Clodagh and she's a good teacher and lives in the Chicago area. Tom Lawrence
  9. All I have to say on this topic is that I have tried this particular instrument and found no problem playing it with the depicted wrist strap. It requires so little force to play that I don't think it really matters whether the strap is "optimal" in any sense -- it was a joy to play and easy to go very fast with. - Tom Lawrence
  10. That's the wurst thing I've ever seen. In fact, I think it's falafel.
  11. Doh, I totally forgot about Tommy McCarthy. That is a brilliant CD for anyone interested in the traditional side of Irish traditional music. Really recommended. Tom Lawrence
  12. Sharron, do you think you could invent your own style? If you're trying to find stuff to listen to, perhaps you could record yourself, then listen objectively and critically and try to identify how you'd tweak your playing. After a few iterations, maybe you'd be the best embodiment of what you're looking for Tom Lawrence
  13. I take no offense From my listening to the clips of Tim it sounds like he has a pumping rhythmic way of playing, but with minimal chords and a light but strategically chosen set of twiddles. Unfortunately I've only heard O'Raghallaigh play with that kind of rhythm, and he is anything but light when it comes to twiddles Tom Lawrence
  14. Ohhh, now that is such a cute little concertina! Tom Lawrence
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