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Everything posted by gcoover

  1. Reviving this old thread to happily report that Phil Ham is indeed alive and well and still playing Anglo concertina at age 91. His playing back in the day influenced both John Watcham and John Kirkpatrick, among many others. The ICA has some early recordings of Phil's from 1976 on their website, Malcolm Clapp in Australia has recently uncovered the old practice tape of his Morris tunes, and just a couple of years ago Phil recorded 90-minutes of tunes for family and friends that includes Geordie songs, sea shanties, madrigals, Carolan tunes and of course a few Morris tunes. And yes, with all this good material to choose from, look for a book sometime next year of Phil's tunes and playing published by Rollston Press that will also include QR codes linking to his audio files. It will be a both a privilege and an honor to showcase his lifetime of contributions to harmonic-style Anglo! Gary
  2. A common beginner problem on the Anglo, not to worry, it will get better with time! Pretty much everyone (including myself) starts out pushing and pulling much too hard, trying to force the tune out, which of course eats up lots of air. And when learning a tune, one tends to stop and start and make little mistakes that also use extra air. I wouldn't worry too much about it until you can play the tune through without stopping. And as Jake says, the arrangements matter too - you can use alternate buttons in different directions or play more or fewer notes in certain directions to maximize or minimize air. I'm currently working on the bridge section of "Namida no Regret" by SCANDAL where pretty much everything is on the pull in the key of Eb (on a C/G Anglo), so it's taken a lot of clever searching for any notes that can be played on the push, sometimes playing no accompaniment, or short chords, or adding lower notes that also gain more air. "In the Bleak Midwinter" can sound absolutely beautiful on the Anglo. Here's an arrangement with full accompaniment that you should be able to play through without ever touching the air button. I've also attached the sheet music with tablature. Gary 51-InTheBleakMidwinter-C-ANGLO.pdf
  3. Whoa, that is insanely hard on the Anglo! Robin Beanland would be very proud (especially since he plays it on EC). I see a few places where some button substitutions would make life a little easier - like the triplet in measures 4 & 12, try starting with #9 pull on the lefthand side instead of the righthand side #1 push. Also, there are some righthand #3's that might be easier if played on righthand #6. But, having said that, it's a masterful transcription! Gary
  4. I think this should have been a PM to me, but for anyone else interested the reason it's not in Christmas Concertina is because it is very much still in copyright and the big music houses typically want $150+ per song for permission, and that can get pretty expensive very quickly! But I did include a recording of it as a surprise QR code Christmas present on the back cover! Gary
  5. The book is also now available at The Button Box in the US, as well as Red Cow Music in the UK. Gary
  6. Hi Pete - there used to be some slow sessions in KC for Irish music, don't know if they are still going or not. Probably the best bet for concertina would be the Old Pal Concertina Weekend in Palestine, Texas, on March 24-26. There are usually about 15-25 concertina players, lots of concertina workshops and sessions, and it's a great chance to meet other players and try other instruments. Gary
  7. The Anglo Concertina Music of John Kirkpatrick is now available in paperback through Red Cow Music, The Button Box, and Amazon! 144 pages, 72 tunes, all adapted to be playable on a 30-button Anglo (John plays a 40-button Crabb Anglo), and yes, it also includes Johann Matthesons' Gigue (1714) from "Jump at the Sun" and "Anglo International". All songs and tunes are in the exact same keys that John plays them in, and most have QR code links to audio and video. Melody lines are shown in standard musical notation along with the same easy-to-learn tablature system used in all the other Rollston Press concertina books. I've attached the Table of Contents plus a sample tune from the book that you can learn to play along with the Brass Monkey album. Here is one of my favorite tunes from the book: Needless to say, it has been an absolute pleasure working with John - recently honored with an MBE for his many contributions to traditional music (and to concertina playing too). John sponsors Anglo Concertina Workshops in Shropshire a couple of times a year, as well as private lessons via Skype, so hopefully the book will give you a good head start on many of his tunes and his style of playing. A Rollston Press Credo In case anyone is curious, Rollston Press shares 50% of online and bookstore royalties every quarter with Adrian Brown, Pipp Gillette, John Kirkpatrick, Bertram Levy, Alan Lochhead, John Watcham, and will be doing the same with Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne, Roger Digby, Jody Kruskal, Pete Morton, Barbara Steinger, Dan Worrall, etc. The artists also get as many books as they want at printing cost to sell on their own to friends, students, and at gigs and festivals – and they get 100% of those proceeds. If you have the opportunity to buy a book directly from them, please do so! Some of you may know that many years ago I produced and hosted a British Isles traditional music radio show called “Shepherd’s Hey” in Houston, Texas, and I was horrified to hear the many tales of artists being ripped off by the music biz. When the Bothy Band albums first came out on CD, Matt Molloy said “I don’t care, I never even saw a dime from any of the LP’s”. Likewise, Louis Killen was never paid for his album produced by Patrick Sky. At one point Bernard Wrigley was even bootlegging his own albums. The wonderful Scottish band Capercaillie constantly fought with Green Linnet Records to get product or even an accounting, and at their behest I tricked Green Linnet into sending me a huge box of CDs at the end of a US tour so they would have something to sell on their upcoming UK tour. Dave Mattacks of Fairport Convention told me in the 1990’s, when they were nowhere near as popular as in the 1970’s, that he was now seeing not double, not triple, but ten times the amount of money in his pocket from their albums. Unbelievable. And so sad. And the list goes on and on. So, supporting musicians and artists, especially concertina players, is hugely important to me. And although none of them are getting rich from these books they are at least getting a little recognition and respect… and some much-appreciated beer money! Cheers, Gary Prince-William.pdf TOC-JK.pdf
  8. Yes, it's a 35-button stretched hexagon EC in basic black, presumably a Lachenal. EC was my main instrument for many many years so of course I had to get a bass after hearing Bernard Wrigley. But his is single-action and he told me he'd be no help at all on how to play a double-action one! Still, what an awesome sound, you feel the low notes more than you hear them.
  9. Geoff - what a fantastic bit of research, so much appreciated. Just wondering if anyone has contacted any descendants for additional family or company history? Who knows what some of them might have tucked away in an attic somewhere... Gary
  10. A drum machine might feel more natural than a tick-tock metronome. Gary
  11. I don't know the details about the device, but a harpist friend of mine uses a foot pedal switch to turn music pages on her iPad. Gary
  12. Definitely a Jeffries Duet, home key of C. Probably first (and only) time in the movies! Gary
  13. Hi Jack - I have the book but it is just a bunch of tunes with no instruction whatsoever - it could be for any instrument, but at least it does have an accompanying CD of him playing the tunes. Gary
  14. And to add to the confusion, middle c is "C" in abc notation. Gary
  15. I would think you could push in a new spring next to where the old one sheared off? A spring broke on me in the middle of a gig - a piece of scotch tape quickly placed over the hole allowed the show to go on. But it sure messed with the concentration to hit a dead button! Gary
  16. It's different tools for different jobs. I've played both EC and AC for years, and can easily switch back and forth since the keyboards and handrests are so different, as is what I want to play and how I play it on each instrument. The really hard switch is between Anglo and Jeffries Duet, since 1/4 of the keyboard is identical, and the harmonic chord patterns are just close enough to really scramble things up in my little brain - definitely have to make sure to NOT try to play the same tune on both because the end result would be not being able to play it on either! Gary
  17. With all the recent posts about bass concertina, I just now remembered this recording from mumble-something years ago featuring the wonderfully unlikely combination of double-action bass concertina and concert harp: https://soundcloud.com/user-906796422-441231868/king-of-the-fairies
  18. This brings up one of the major stumbling blocks in trying to notate the Anglo in standard musical notation since middle C is in the middle of the left side. What to do about potentially excessive ledger lines (top and bottom) if notating both treble and bass clefs? Some use two treble clefs, some an octave low. I've made the conscious decision to only show the melody notes in real pitch, but Adrian makes an excellent point about being able to read an octave lower and being able to access a wide world of printed scores. For my limited cranial capacity I think I'll stick with numbers and overscore lines! Gary
  19. To slightly reverse the drift... the tab notation I use was initially "pencil only", a quick way to mark up existing music by notating button numbers and simply drawing a line for drawing the bellows. I had probably done several hundred tunes that way before getting the PrintMusic program so I could write the first book. And I could have easily done a pencil version with Bonnie Kirkwall Bay if the music someone posted online had not been all hammajang (Hawaiian word). It's super quick for already printed music, but takes a little longer when using a notation program to tart it up to look purty for publication. Gary
  20. FYI, the cheaper software called PrintMusic will do the same, I only upgraded to Finale because they offered a really good deal at one point. Gary
  21. Old-school manual input! I use Finale and have to draw each individual line as a SmartShape, then set it to horizontal, then come back later and adjust each one for length and exact vertical placement. Same for the dashed lines I use to show length of bass notes. Yep, a huge pain, but it's the only way I know how to do it! Gary
  22. Hi Haraald, if no one else is going to chime in I might as well take the bait - here's a simple version in C plus a harmonized one in G which needs a 30-button instrument and matches the key that Jim MacLeod plays in. This was made slightly more difficult since the one version of Bonnie Kirkwall Bay that has the dots on the internet has it in the wrong time signature (3/4?!?), plus every measure is off by one quarter note. In the immortal words of Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill, "don't believe everything you see on the internet". I hope one of these versions gets the job done and that you win the game! Gary Bonnie-Kirkwall-Bay-G-ANGLO.pdf
  23. Uploaded just a few hours ago, with Bernard in fine form as always. The bass concertina appears after 17:20 for "Fisherman's Friend".
  24. Yes, Rolf Nilsson's "The Amazing Slow Downer" program/app is exactly that - amazing. Yeah, stupid name, but it describes what it does. The paid version is well worth it, and I've happily used it almost daily for many years now. As I recall the website is www.ronimusic.com. Gary
  25. I think I'm seeing two types of Anglo tab from these discussions. For those who are "paper-trained" and can read standard musical notation, it looks like there is a desire to fully map the Anglo to standard notation, utilizing various combinations of clefs and ledger lines and symbols. This includes trying to bend various software programs to help accomplish this, including the changing of note heads, stem directions, etc. The second type is tablature for rank beginners who may have no musical training whatsoever but still want to get some tunes out of the Anglo, with a bare minimum of tab-assistance to get them started. This would also include wanting to easily markup already-printed single-line melodies, as well as notate arrangements to remember later. Both are worthy endeavors, but definitely two separate paths, one of complexity and one of simplicity. Several years ago I posted on CNET a table showing over 30 different Anglo tab systems that have been used in the last 150 years - no wonder beginners are confused! Gary
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