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  1. I am very sorry to disappoint those who were looking forward to Concertina Camp 2023 but after much consideration in the past couple of months, I have decided to no longer run this event. Concertina Camp was the successor to the Arran Concertina Event (ACE) which I originally set up in order to bring concertina players nearer to me when I lived on the Isle of Arran, Scotland. A second, and equally important, reason when I started the event was to generate income for our local village hall through using it and the bunkhouse attached to it. I moved away from Arran in 2019 and I managed to run one more ACE that year before Covid disrupted shared music making for far too long. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of running Concertina Camp at a new location in 2022 as it gave me the opportunity to meet new squeezers and reconnect with some old friends. However, neither of my original aims are fundamental to the event now, and so the impetus to keep it going is not the same. I am particularly grateful to Paul Schwartz for allowing me to publicise the Arran event on this forum in the early days. Without that support I doubt it would have got off the ground at all. I run a monthly online session on the first Sunday of the month, 3pm UK time. If you would like to be included in the mailing list for that, please let me know by provate message. I hope very much to meet up with you all at other events around the UK - Squeeze On!
  2. There are still a few places left at Concertina Camp (the successor to the Arran Concertina Event) 9th to 11th September 2022 - booking deadline 22nd August please The event takes place at a private venue dedicated to music events near High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire For more information contact Samantha Payn by email: concertinasam@gmail.com
  3. until
    Concertina Camp weekend is a relaxed and informal gathering of concertina players of all abilities, and anyone else who is concertina-tolerant. Other instrumentalists, singers and non-players are welcome. The event takes place at a private venue dedicated to music events near High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. The cost of the event is £45 inclusive of pitch and all meals from Friday supper to Sunday afternoon tea. For those not wishing to camp, there are B&Bs and guesthouses nearby, and a Premier Inn in High Wycombe – the cost of attending will still be £45. The venue will be shared with one other music-making group. The main feature of the programme is that there is no programme! Themes and groups will depend entirely on the wishes and abilities of those taking part. This may or may not include “workshops” on tunes, song accompaniment, playing for dance, choice of material, particular styles of music or basic harmony/theory/instrument maintenance. A popular feature each year has been the concertina band, for all systems and all abilities. Please let me know if you are interested and I will arrange to send music files (dots and soundfiles) to you in advance. Participants arrive on the Friday afternoon to check-in from around 6pm. In the evening there will be a relaxed jam session/singaround, and the programme for the weekend will be finalised. All day Saturday, and Sunday morning are devoted to informal workshops on themes and subjects suggested and led by the participants. The weekend is rounded off with an informal run-through of music to share with the other group at camp and the cooks. To preserve the informal, friendly, “house-party” feel of the weekend numbers are limited to a total of 20, so please book early to avoid disappointment J. Although this is a Concertina Camp, please feel free to bring any other instrument you play as well. At various times we have been delighted to include uillean pipes, hurdy-gurdies, recorders, a glockenspiel and a sousaphone in the musical mix, as well as the more expected whistles, fiddles and bodhrans!
  4. It is with great regret that I have decided not to organise another concertina event on the Isle of Arran, Scotland. The triple whammy of Dave and I moving away from Arran, Covid, and the increasingly unreliable ferry service to and from Arran has led me to think long and hard about the practicalities of continuing to run the event and I have decided to call it a day for ACE. When we moved from Arran I had every intention of continuing to run the event indefinitely. Even after a Covid-enforced two year gap that was my plan: but the appalling cancellation rate for the Arran ferry service has been the final nail in the coffin. It means I cannot guarantee that those who come to Arran can get away when they need to, and as I personally underwrite the event, I can’t afford the risk of having to pay the accommodation and catering costs to providers if people are unable to actually get to Arran for the event. I cannot see how CalMac will be able to improve their performance and, in fact, things are only likely to get worse in the foreseeable future. I am very sad to have had to make this decision, so to console myself I have decided to try and transplant the event to a new location, in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. These things will remain the same: a focus on concertinas of all sorts, devising the programme ourselves as we go, sharing tunes, techniques, songs, stories a concertina band playing a Bach chorale and other things, good, home-cooked food, beautiful and relaxing surroundings, mucking in with some of the domestic chores, numbers capped at 20, and that “concertina house party” vibe. These things will be different: The location: a private venue dedicated to the running of music events, accessible by car and public transport (High Wycombe station, then taxi); The sleeping accommodation: to stay on site you will need to bring your own, a tent, campervan, caravan or whatever you wish. There is plenty of room for pitches (no EHU), and adequate loo and washing facilities. Alternatively, there are B&Bs, guesthouses, a Premier Inn etc in the area, and you can, if you prefer, arrange to stay "off site"; The venue will be shared: with one other music-making group; The duration: from Friday supper to Sunday afternoon tea; The date: this may vary from year to year. This year, 2022, it will be Friday to Sunday 9th to 11th September; The cost: if you stay on site, this will be considerably lower, at £45 per person, for all meals and use of facilities from Friday supper to Sunday afternoon “tea”. I am sorry to have to make this decision, but hope that some of you will be able to come and try the new venue for size, and the spirit of ACE can live on in new surroundings. For now, I'm calling the new event "Concertina Camp Weekend", but that may change. Keep squeezing, and I hope very much to see you at a squeezy event, somewhere, some time!
  5. Oh, I see..., had considered her as well... Well then I'll double with West Ruislip as the weather seems to be sufficiently fine for a wintertime picnic on the beach... ...
  6. It is with great sadness that I have to tell concertina.net that Henk van Aalten died on 8 March 2016 after a short illness. His funeral was today. I attach two images from his funeral notice: the quote from Henk, just a week before he died, on the card says “I am in a thousand little things”, and his family pay tribute to his warmth, peace, love, caring, wisdom and creativity which will be sorely missed. If you wish to share your own memories of Henk with his family you are invited to do so at the online remembrance book at http://www.uitvaartverzorgingkramer.nl/condoleanceregister/
  7. Posted Today.04.53pm First my apologies for spelling Nikolai incorrectly, and also note that my name is spelled Hayden. Первым делом, прошу прощение за то, что я неправильно написал Николай, и прошу Вас заметить, что моя фамилия пишется «Гаиден». It is a long time since I had Nikolai's prototype in my hands, but I will describe the few faults as accurately as I can. Я долго не держу в руках Николаин прототип в руках, но постараюсь описать недостатки как возможно подробнее. 1) The Hand-rest was not in the quite the right place. The correct place is a little closer to the button arrays. This is shown in the diagram that I supplied to Samantha and you show above. The hand-rest is also a little high. I had to cut a little off the top of it diagonally, with the space which was under the forefingers about a half inch higher than the space under the little fingers. Опора для руки неправильно вставлена. Должна быть чуть ближе к кнопкам, как показана в схемах которые я передал Саманте, включены Вами выше. Опора слишком высокая, немного. Мне надо было отрезать немного сверху по диагонали. Пространство под указательными пальцами на сантиметр выше,чем пространство под мизинцами. 2) One pair of reeds on the left hand side was placed on the reed-plate the wrong way round, so that the tips of the reeds were immediately under the sound hole. These reeds should have run the other way with the rivets closest to the sound hole: as did all the other reeds on the instrument. The sound from these reeds while absolutely awesome, was much too loud and did not match the much more mellow and warm sound of the other notes. На левой стороне одна пара язычок вставлена не в ту сторону: кончики язычки оказались прямо под звуковой отверстии. Их надо было вставить в дорогую сторону,наклепками ближе к звуковой отверстии как все остальные язычки в инструменте. Звук от этих язычков хоть и потрясающий, был слишком громким и не соответствовал более сочному и тёплому звуку других нот. 3) On one side of the instrument the links that connected the Abs & G#s and the Ebs & D#s connected to the opposite sound hole that they should have. I cannot now remember if this was the left or right hand side as it is now about 15 years since I had the instrument in my hands. На одной стороне инструмента рычаги которые соединяли ля бемоль и сол диез, ми бемоль и ре диез были связаны не с должной звуковой отверстии. Сейчас не помню на правой ли или левой стороне так как 15 лет прошло как я держал инструмент в руках. 4) The wood in the fretwork of the ends was very thin and could easily have been broken, perhaps you have corrected this on your new instrument. Дерево резного украшения каркаса слишком тонкое и его легко разбить. Может быть Вы уже скорректировали это в новом инструменте. On the acoustic problem: Nicolai himself mentioned that the lowest two notes ( F a G ) did not have enough air. I think he meant that the tone-chambers for these two notes was not large enough. On concertinas made in England it is usual for the reed-pans to run at a slight diagonal so that the tone-chambers of the lowest notes are somewhat deeper than the higher notes. I can see another solution to this problem but it would involve a little re routing of the action and making the whole instrument 0.25" (6.35mm) wider. По поводу акустической проблемы: Николай сам заметил, что два самых низких нот не имели достаточного воздуха. Я думаю, что он имел ввиду, что звуковые камеры для этих двух нот – узковаты. В концертинах сделанных в Англии обычно язычковые планки идут наискосок для того, чтобы нотные камеры самых низких нот были немного глубже, чем те у высоких нот. Вижу другое решение для этой проблемы, но оно потребует переустановка механизма, и инструмент становится чуть пошире (на 6.35мм). I do hope that Samantha will come forward to supply an accurate Russian translation of my highly technical language that I have written above. Надеюсь, что Саманта появится и даёт точный перевод моего довольно технического объяснения выше. Inventor. Изобретатель.
  8. I've wanted to go to the ACE since they first started, but as Jim points out, I won't be able to leave that early. You'd be most welcome anytime!
  9. 94 views and counting. Obviously there is some curiosity out there. PM me to let me know what y'all think. Too expensive? Too far? Too complicated? Too soon to tell?
  10. Jim is right in pointing out that this event will be of interest not only to Enflish system players. I addition toRussian players of Anglo and other systems concertinas, it will, I'm sure, be possible to get acquainted with some of the myriad rural Russian squeeze boxes, many of which are bisonoric. And songs. And possibly dances. Having been involved in a Russo-Scottish folk musicians' meet-up a good few years ago where I was the only interpreter I can assure you language will not be a problem!
  11. I am beginning to put together a plan for an East-West Squeeze-In where Russian and Western concertina players can meet and share experience, knowledge and tunes. This would be a weekend in September 2016 (over a year away), at a woodland resort/holiday camp near St Petersburg (Russia). The cost for accommodation, food and transfers (local airport to site and back), Friday evening to Monday morning, would be capped at USD 300 - you will have to pay your fares, pay for your visa and arrange your own transport to St Petersburg, Russia on top of that. Visa support will be provided (but be aware that to obtain a Russian visa you will have to give "biometrics" i.e., fingerprints at a Russian consulate). It may be possible to arrange a couple of days' sightseeing in St Petersburg after the event for those who wish to make the most of their trip. This would be at an additional, as yet unknown, cost. I have been prompted to do this by being reminded that there are a number of English system players in Russia for a number of historical reasons. There is a strong tradition of squeezing generally throughout Russia and I thought it would be a fun thing to have squeezers meet. If you think you might be interested in attending please send me a PM indicating your degree of interest. I don't expect this to be a large event (perhaps 20 souls all told), but I certainly hope it will be fun
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