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Everything posted by Animaterra

  1. Welcome, Mike! What a wonderful way to welcome the New Year! Where are you on this planet? You will get good advice from many more experienced players than me, but there are lots of good resources on this site. I got started two years ago with a great book/cd combo: "The Anglo Concertina Demystified" by Bertram Levy. Read about it here (click) Good luck with your playing! And keep us posted about your progress!
  2. (bounce, bounce, bounce) In comes I! Alan, it was Chocolate Rabbit that inspired me to break out of single-melody-line playing and learn some chords and bass lines. Thanks for opening new horizons for me!
  3. I'm afraid the bug is indeed, contagious, or at least transmittable! I have a friend in Yorkshire who has made it his mission to inundate my home with concertina figurines! To date I have 21- I'll post them when I get a chance.
  4. What a wonderful photo, and what a wonderful event, Mark! You surely warmed the neighbors as much as they warmed you! It's only the second day of Christmas- blessings to all!
  5. Merry Christmas to all! I am so grateful for the connections and friendships, knowledge and information this site has given me. *Deity-of-choice* bless us every one! love, Allison
  6. What a loss. This has been a year for losing the icons!
  7. Congratulations! She is a beauty! (how did we start calling it "she"?)
  8. Thanks for the notes, Barbara- that's such a great song! What's the URL? My computer just pulls it up with no source... weird!
  9. My 31b c/g Jeffries is for now my ONLY instrument- it's priceless for personal as well as musical reasons. I had been looking for "my" instrument, and although I came to play the concertina through personal tragedy (the death of my fiance) it has become the musical joy of my life. So I guess the Jeffries is THE instrument! Even though I would love a baritone, I can't imagine acquiring a finer instrument than this one.
  10. Tony wore a fetching calico bonnet, Eastern-European-style flowered shawl, and what looked like a pointsettia-bedecked tablecloth over his lap for a skirt. I saw them in Dublin, NH on Friday evening and they were in fine form. John had about 6 concertinas lined up and I'm pretty sure he used all of them. Tony has moved from the scooter to an all-terrain chair. This year he never moved from it; in past years he'd make his way to a tall stool. But the energy and spirit, and outstanding blend of harmonies, were as vibrant and inspiring as ever! They sang their original "holly and ivy" which I heard for the first time in 1977 as a performer in the Hanover Revels- which was the first time I ever performed with John and Tony and Jack Langstaff. And instead of "Rudolph" they encored with "Lord of the Dance" I'd arrived too late to find a decent seat, but friends insisted on squeezing me into their pew in the very front row! A fine time was had by all.
  11. That's a lovely song, Bill, David, et al, but I'm not sure I'd put it on the "classics" list. A Russian friend of mine told me it was a Russian (Soviet) pop hit in the '70s. Seems the songwriter saw a young boy hopping in and out of puddles chanting the words and was moved to write the song. There's a lot more to it, but only the refrain was translated and transmitted across the English-speaking world (it may have traveled to other languages as well, but I'm only aware of its presence in mine!). It became something of an anthem in the peace movement before it found its way into American general elementary music textbooks!
  12. Awwww, poor Rhomylly! I can sympathize with the voice, and don't know what I'd do if the concertina wasn't available. Actually, yes I do, I'd play the recorder. Got one? It really isn't the same, but you can make actual music with them when nothing else is available. Don't use your voice more than you absolutely have to- don't even whisper, it can strain your voice. Drink lots and lots of fluids. I avoid dairy, but it doesn't seem to affect some others. My friend Alouette recommends hot spiced red wine with some honey, but alcohol doesn't work for everyone, either. The best (and most frustrating!) solution is: rest. And give it time!! Hang in there, sweetie. Play your Revels recordings if it helps!
  13. "Yesterday" was my first guess, too, but it seems a little creepy to hear it as you get anesthetized....
  14. Oh, my friends, this is so very moving, hearing your stories and sharing your emotion. Rhomylly, my life too is what it is today largely because of Jack and Revels. I was in the Hanover Revels in 1976 and 1977, and in the Cambridge Revels from 1978 to 1996- with lots of gaps, but a continuous community. In my constantly fluctuating and unstable life of moves, divorce, bereavement, and the like, the Revels have been a constant. Peter Smith's quote is familiar- I'm sure I read it back when. But it hits me now like it never did before, having lost my soul mate and many other beloved ones since then. And now Jack. What an image - the hand reaching out, pulling you along into the dance. Better bring a box of kleenex to choir practice tonight-
  15. Sounds like a wonderful experience, Alan! Are you sure you can't make it to my school before the end of next week? I'm sure we could fit you in, and you can play all the Christmas carols you want! This week I've thrown all the "work"- note reading, rhythmic dictation, etc- out the window, and have handed them "holday song booklets" that I've created (fit to satisfy the state standards). these are devoid of the commercial songs (no "jingle bell rock" or "grandma got run over etc"), but have lots of appealing songs from, well, a few different cultures. Yesterday my biggest, burliest, toughest 11-year-old carefully perused the whole thing and wailed "Ms. Aldrich!! You forgot to put in "Silent Night!!" (I'd deliberately left it out as a hot-button song- but next year it's going back in- I'll tell the story of the broken organ and the children's choir accompanied by guitar in the tiny town of Oberndorf)
  16. That's amazing, David! It's too early in the morning for me to guess, but I'd say probably a Beatles' song?
  17. Jack Langstaff was a musician who inspired many of us here, and although not a concertinist, he certainly helped many of us along in our musical ventures. He was my earliest inspiration- when my father took me to see the Revels at age 13 I was entranced by his energy and vowed to make people feel about music the way he made me feel. Any of you who have seen me with my chorus have seen his muse at work in me. He lived a long and full life, and it's just like him to leave at Christmas time. His obituary in today's Boston Globe: http://www.boston.com/news/globe/obituarie..._revels/?page=1 (with a perfect quote by Gayle Rich:''Jack was amazing to work with," said Revels executive director Gayle Rich. ''He was never a person who appeared to have a strong ego, or a sense of 'Do-it-my-way-or-else.' And yet you knew he had a clear idea of how he wanted things to be. I learned so much watching how he worked with people, how he encouraged them, and created community. He knew how to let people blossom.") And a little about the Revels for those who don't know: http://www.revels.org/about_revels/about.htm He's singing in glory now, but the world is a little colder and darker today.
  18. Aw, Mark, how sweet! On the subject of your musical children, you should know perfectly well in a household of such accomplished musical parents, that the only way to get your kids to become musicians is to categorically forbid them to learn an instrument or sing! ....nope, didn't work with mine, either. Oh, well.
  19. It sounds like a lovely plan for Christmas morning, Mark. How nice that your wife wants you to play the concertina. And what a treat for the neighbors, to have such an accomplished musical family serenade them!
  20. Another wonderful recording of the Kris Kringle song, complete with concertina, is on "Hail, Smiling Morn" by John Roberts, Tony Barrand, et al as part of their Nowell Sing We Clear recordings. You can see the lyrics here: http://www.goldenhindmusic.com/ I'm delighted that I'll be seeing John, Tony and the gang this Friday in Dublin, NH!
  21. Yes, but I didn't have my concertina with me- nice try, Alan! I guess I was pretty scary, though, being 'Merican and all...
  22. That sounds just lovely! Will it be available in the US?
  23. Thanks for all the good advice. The primary reason I want an Ipod is so that I can (legally of course) download songs or mix them up from cds for use in my music classroom. You can get an attachment so you can listen from your stereo (one of my colleagues at school is already doing this). A secondary benefit will be to record instantly my students' singing- "Wow, that was great! Want to hear how you sounded?" - not for archval purposes, nor to preserve them for all time. For this purpose it sounds as though the Griffin will do just fine.
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