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About RatFace

  • Rank
    Chatty concertinist
  • Birthday 11/23/1973

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  • Interests
    Rats, Concertinas + Programming. Often all at once (quick tune whilst compiling some code, with a little beast on my shoulder :o). Also cello and looking for dragonflies... ravens.... magpies... anything with wings really.
  • Location
    Oxford, England

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  1. RatFace

    A Bizarre Concertina Gig #2

    Congratulations - it's funny actually, because I supervised the two guys who implemented the physically based animation for characters in that game - technology we (at NaturalMotion) called "Euphoria". I guess that means if it's possible to shoot the character whilst he's playing the concertina, I'd have to take some responsibility for that. English vs Anglo
  2. RatFace


    There's a handful of "clarionet" concertinas around. These have "fishtail" reeds (i.e. narrower at the base than the tip), each of which sits above a tuned chamber which then resonates. I don't know which of the two features is most significant, but together the sound is pretty nice - much more "woody" and interesting, if I remember correctly. It's been about 20 years since I played one... The downside is that they're pretty big and single action...
  3. RatFace

    Help Requested - 48 Ec Arrangement

    Here it is pitch shifted (electronically) down into Gm - sounds great there (though it shows up the mistakes more!): https://www.dropbox.com/s/xg6v3h67p5k14tj/ShostakovichWaltz2InG.mp3?dl=0
  4. RatFace

    Help Requested - 48 Ec Arrangement

    OK... I sneaked in one quick recording session whilst my family popped out for a few minutes (leaving me lots of jobs to do - guess whether any of them are done yet!). This is the first (and currently only) time I actually managed to play bars 21-24 - I was so surprised I decided to do the repeat and got lucky again! Apart from the bum notes, I would have liked to have got the transition from bar 4 to 5 smoother. ShostakovichWaltz2.mp3
  5. RatFace

    Help Requested - 48 Ec Arrangement

    It's rather nice. I've made some small modifications, mostly to the middle part. I'd say that bars 21-26 definitely county as extremely awkward, but they're playable. The changes preserve the movement in 6ths in the upper part, which I think is important (actually in the notation I would clarify that by making the d stem go up in bar 23, and the e stem go up in bar 26). The last two chords are a bit odd in your arrangement as they're both missing the fifth - is this intentional?! My inclination would be to add it. The big thing though is that the bass minims need to be played as (long) crotchets. The sound is better, and it's the only way that the fingering is really practical. In order to keep the "long-short-long" phrasing in the bass, you can try to avoid jumping with the same finger from the first to second beats... but in some cases you just have to (e.g. bar ll left-3 needs to play the E long, and then the Bb) I'll try to make a recording - but still need to get those bars 21-26 secure! For anyone else who tries, the G# is easier played as an Ab. And if you could transpose it down a fifth to give a version for us tenor-treblers, that would be great!!
  6. Excellent - Bach always sounds like Bach whatever the instrumentation! Hope you'll post the rest here when it's done, and are enjoying the process.
  7. I just treated myself to a new portable recording device - the Zoom H4n Pro. I thought I'd try the multi-track recording capability (which is pretty easy to use so long as you don't try to read the crazy instructions) and turned an almost random book open at an almost random page, to find quite a nice little duet by G. F. Handel, arranged for two guitars by Fredick Noad. One of the problems with guitar music is that it's written an octave above actual pitch, so on the concertina tends to be rather squeaky. However, the concertina sounds rather nice (like a clarinet) when pitch shifted down: https://soundcloud.com/mrrowl/menuet-by-g-f-handel-concertina-duet Here's the original for comparison: https://soundcloud.com/mrrowl/menuetorigmenuet-by-g-f-handel-concertina-duet And if you want to play along: https://goo.gl/photos/MMMQj9cCX6mTwKgi6
  8. I didn't really understand the original post, but it mentions YouTube and not being able to keep up. Click the gear/cog symbol at the bottom right of videos on YouTube and change the speed to 0.5 (0.25 cuts the audio) for a quick/easy slow-down. In general, don't worry about playing fast - concern yourself with playing well, at whatever speed you can play well at. As you play more, you'll find yourself able to play well and play at the speed you like (whether that's fast or slow). It's not a process you can rush.
  9. RatFace

    Hearing Yourself In A Group

    The aim should be to get to the point where you don't need to hear yourself - the physical action of pressing the buttons, or even just the thought of pressing the buttons should evoke the sound of your concertina in your head. If you know exactly what it will sound like before you press the button, you don't actually need to hear the physical sound. If you don't know what sound it's going to make before pressing the button and squeezing... well that's a problem isn't it?! Yes... this is a slightly idealistic position to take... but it is something to aim for. I can't help but "hear" the exact sound of my concertina in my head when I imagine playing it - even when imagining playing something I've never played before. If you can develop this association it works the other way too - being able to hear a melody, whether audibly or in your head (e.g. improvising), and immediately being able to play it.
  10. I think if you listen to T&M expecting to agree with everything you hear, you're making a far bigger error of judgement than Milligan!
  11. RatFace

    Henk Van Aalten

    The last time I met Henk was up on Arran for the concertina gathering in 2012. We stayed on for a bit afterwards, and so did Henk and his friends, so we met up once or twice to play music: https://goo.gl/photos/xmHgj5p71NMKZPxB6 Sad to not be able to do that again, but happy to have the good memories.
  12. RatFace

    Tune Of The Month Offspring

    Thanks for the prompt to dust off my concertina again! https://soundcloud.com/mrrowl/the-new-anything
  13. RatFace

    Concertina Mute/muffler

    It's unclear whether you mean they want you to play in a different room to the one in which you normally play, or in a different room to the one in which they're trying to occupy. Actually - your family might be offering the most sensible solution - why don't you just practise in another room?! Or place - e.g. garden shed, or even the car. I used to use the apartment's storage basement when I was living in Germany - no neighbours on any side, and empty offices on the ground floor out of work hours. The external baffles I made (see Myrtle's cook post) primarily change the tone than reduce the volume (reducing higher frequencies), but might be worth trying. Unfortunately, I think that making them thick enough to have a substantial effect will involve so much weight that it would affect the playability a lot. Another option is to play silently when other people are around. So long as you're above a certain level, you can get your fingers working and learning techniques and tunes without moving the bellows enough to make any sound at all. I used to do this when living in student accommodation, for example. You can also continue this practise technique when in the same room as other people, and even when they're talking to you, especially is the conversation is of the type where only an occasional nod is required Obviously such practice should be backed up with some proper bellows work too!
  14. RatFace

    Praeludium By Dowland On Tenor-Treble

    Oh and also - if you record close and add reverb, you'll end up with more clicking sound than if you record slightly further away and add less reverb. This is because the clicking sound comes from a very small/localised source, but the "concertina" sound comes from the whole instrument/end vibrating. Sound from small sources will decay with distance faster than from bigger ones.