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Alan Miller

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About Alan Miller

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  • Birthday 12/12/1939

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    Boston, Massachusetts U.S.A.

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  1. Alan Miller

    Use Tax

    A couple of years after I received my Dipper, I received a notice from Massachusetts seeking payment of use tax, interest and penalties. Based on my quick research at the time, it looked like the use tax was valid although in many cases it is probably overlooked--such as purchases on the internet. I hadn't even thought of it. They based the notice on a review of import duty documents which listed the sales price. I paid the use tax and interest, and they waived the penalty. It is not as high, however, as VAT in Europe. I think Massachusetts was about 6.25%. Other states will be higher or lower. Let us know how you resolve it with Illinois. Alan
  2. Was your County Clare the Small wooden ended 30b model? Mine has already sold but I have to admit that if it was older that 2007, it had never been played. Looked brand new and stiff like new.

    Thank you for looking out for the c.net members. It's a good thing.

    s2maur (steve)

  3. For what it is worth to any buyer on this site, I offer the following information re dating of Dippers. Mine entered the U.S. (as a new instrument) on October 19, 2007. It is a County Clare Model 3, #476. The badge is pearl and it does not include the Heytesbury address.
  4. Steve: There are sessions in the Boston area virtually every night. One good example is at the Green Briar (in Brighton-about 4 miles from downtown Boston). On Monday, there is an intermediate session at 7 which sometimes has over 40 players and an advanced session at 9 led by Larry Reynolds who was Comhaltas musician of the year a few years ago. Another good example is the Groton session on Wednesday (http://www.thegrotonsession.com/) that often includes a "name" leader. Or the session every Friday at the Irish Cultural Center in Canton. On most Sundays there is a session followed by a ceili in Watertown. On Tuesdays there is a session at Skelligs in Waltham,and also one at Stones (http://www.stonespublichouse.com/) in Ashland. Some of the pubs in Dorchester & Jamaica Plain have regular sessions. What days of the week do you expect to be in Boston, and where in the area will you be staying? I'll be happy to give you leads when you know more. Alan P.S. Steve, when I wrote the above, I focused on Irish Traditional Music. If that is not your interest, there are many other opportunities for music in Boston including frequent concerts at Berklee College of Music (http://www.berklee.edu/). Berklee is known for jazz but it promotes many different styles including Celtic. There are many folk music sites in the area and also many venues for great classical music. I don't know, however, where you can go for sessions other than Irish Trad, but I am sure you will get suggestions. .
  5. David: I am taking lessons from Flo Fahy when she is available. She is just back from a couple of weeks back home, and she is working 5- 6 days a week. Chris Stevens is teaching at the Comhaltas Music School on Saturdays again this semester. Both Flo & Chris are excellent. George Keith is not teaching concertina, although he does teach fiddle at Comhaltas school. I can put you in touch with with Flo or Chris. As I say, both are great players and excellent teachers. Alan
  6. Dear Alan, I am sorry to have missed you at the session. I asked my host to go there around 8, but because of children problems etc. we were there only at 9.45 and you were already gone. Afterwards I thought I should have gone with you and have my host pick me up. It was a pity that you was already gone. I played along on my flute till the end and my friend sang two songs. Anyway thanks, Hermann

  7. My Dipper County Clare is Number 476 completed October 15, 2007. It is 30b rosewood finished end frames with ebony moulded banding, green bellows, and is 5 7/8 across the ends. It is a Model 3 in the County Clare series. Colin used gaskets to match the humidity conditions here in the U.S. It has acclimated beautifully, and I have had no reason to open it for at least the last two years. Colin told me that it is the third version of the County Clare, and that it has become quite popular. He cannot use the County Clare for other tunings such as Bb/F because of the size of the reeds needed for those tunings. I love the tone on mine, particularly in the left hand buttons. To my ear it has continually improved with age (or hopefully it is also me that is improving with age). It is incredibly fast, and has been played and admired by many of the top Irish players during lessons and workshops that I attended. Many of them have ordered a similar model. My appreciation for it continues to increase, as does my thanks for having such an instrument to play. Alan
  8. I strongly encourage you to bring your concertina. There are sessions of varying levels every night. I attend a "slow" (but not really) session on Monday night, and there is a similar session nearby on Friday night. There is a great learning session in Groton on Wednesday night. http://www.thegrotonsession.com/ I would be happy to take you there if you are staying near downtown Boston. I live in Back Bay--essentially downtown--and am 15 minutes from the Monday night session. Last night (Tuesday) I went to a strong session in Ashland, a suburb, but also could have gone to another strong session closer on in Waltham. If you send me a PM, I will be happy to try to hook up with you, or at least steer you in the right direction for sessions. Where will you be staying? Alan Miller
  9. Leo: It worked!! It sure helps me in keeping up with topics. Thanks so much for this technical assistance. Alan
  10. I used to be able to scroll though the posts on a topic. Now I only see the posts in outline (tree) form, and I have to click on specific replies. The "help" feature says that there is an option box on the top of the forum page. I can't find an "options" choice on my topic heading. I use Safari (on a Mac), but also tried Firefox with the same result. So, how do I change the way I view the posts? For convenience I have copied and pasted the info from the "help" feature below--but I just can't find that damn "options" menu. I assume that it is in front of my nose and I will be embarrassed by the answer but I am getting frustrated. Please help. Alan this is from "help" At the top of each topic, there is a 'Options' menu. Clicking this menu will expand the options menu. From this menu, you can select from the following options: Track this topic - this option will allow you to receive e-mail updates for the topic, see the 'Email Notification of new messages' help file for more information on this Email this topic - from here you can email a link of this topic to someone by entering their name, email, and desired language. Print this topic - this will present the current topic you are viewing a printer friendly format, removing most images and using a standard layout. Download this topic - will show the topic in a number of different formats. 'Printer Friendly Version' will display a version of the topic that is suitable for printing out. 'Download HTML Version' will download a copy of the topic to your hard drive, and this can then be viewed in a web browser, without having to visit the board. 'Download Microsoft Word Version' will allow you to download the file to your hard drive and open it up in the popular word processing application, Microsoft Word, for viewing offline. Subscribe to this forum - will allow you to receive e-mail updates for any new topics posted in the forum, see the Notification of new messages' help file for more information on this You can also select one of three topic display modes: Outline - shows you one post with a list of the remaining posts at the below it, in tree format. Standard - this display mode shows the topic in the standard layout of one post above another, in the order selected by the administrator. Linear+ - is similiar to standard with the added benefit of having the first post of the topic always shown at the top, no matter what page of the topic you are on.
  11. I am sorry that I can't attend but I would like to put a plug in for Florence Fahy. I have seen her play, mostly at Winkles (now gone) in Kinvara. She is a typically excellent County Clare player with great rhythm, phrasing, and quite enough ornaments. She played with her father Martin, also an exellent concertina player. The two of them blended great together. Martin is still playing in Kinvara. I saw him ealier this year at Connolly's. Connolly's is a small hidden gem at the quay in Kinvara. I saw Tim Collins there in April this year, and Claire Keville and Jackie Daly last month. If you are in the Galway/Clare area, I recommend it for great music. Alan
  12. I play exclusively Irish. When I ordered a Suttner almost 5 years ago, I went with the 38 button A4 in C/G. In the interim, I was able to buy a couple of great C/G's with 30 buttons, including a new Dipper. So, I felt that I had no use for another C/G, even if it had 38 buttons. One additional factor was the spacing of the buttons. Juergen said they were closer together on the 38 button model. So when my Suttner order came to the top I changed to an Ab/Eb A2 (30 buttons plus drone). (I already have an excellent Bb/F from Wim, or I would have chosen that tuning.) I am very happy with the Ab/Eb, and play it often when playing alone. It has a beautiful tone that gives wonderful warmth in Eb & Bb (equivalent of G & D). The point is: no matter what you choose now, you can change your mind later, and (at least in my experience) Juergen will not penalize you in price for making a switch. Good luck, Alan
  13. This is one of the first tunes I learned, and is a nice learning tune. After trying several different fingerings, I ultimately settled on playing the first phrase all in the C row (except obviously the F#) then on the B c# d I switch to the G row (except obviously for the c#.) It works for me. So basically you play the F# on G row and go to the C row up to the B c# d, which is played in the usual fashion--all on the push. Then stay on the G row till the B a couple of bars later. Then it is back to the same pattern. Use the B on the C row except when it is part of a B c# d series, then use the push B on the G row. I also think this is the way that Noel Hill would recommend.
  14. Thank you to Rich and everyone who offered an opinion. All of your responses were very helpful. Humidity is indeed a problem here in New England, and I have suffered a bit with concertinas in the past in terms of slight gaps in the reed pan from the frame, and even in a pivot post becoming loose. So it is good to learn that steps taken to reduce the problem of excessive dry and humid conditions can be addressed, at least partially, without sacrificing tone. Two issues were raised in the responses that are interesting. 1) Does the use of fabric as a filter make a difference, and in particular, can it take some of the "edge" off of notes such as the high A & B? One of the reasons I like a Bb/F (other than in sessions) is that those notes are not really in play. Although, what I hear as a bit of a screech in thoe notes is not necessarily heard by others whom I have asked to listen. 2) Rich makes the point that the ends are just filters, and not resonators like the reed pans. So I wonder whether the wood in a reed pan makes any difference. I have heard of mahogany, maple and spruce used for that purpose. Alan
  15. I would appreciate thoughts on the respective qualities of rosewood and ebony. Ebony is reputed to be the hardest wood, and to sound the best but is there really a difference between it and rosewood? Even if ebony sounds marginally better, I suspect that it is more susceptible to humidity changes and problems such as cracking in areas like the Northeast U.S. where the humidity swings from 10% indoors in the winter to over 50% indoors in the summer. So I am curious as to what people with either rosewood or ebony think about its sound and is compatibility with humidity swings. I ask because I expect to have an opportunity to get a Bb/F in the next year or two and will have a choice. Alan
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