Music is the deepest form of expression for me. My survival requirements: breathe, music, eat, sleep. Probably in that order!
I am a singer, I bang on the guitar, play recorder and some whistle, but never found "my instrument" and figured that singing was mostly it.
I came to the concertina through my partner and soul-mate, Byron Smith. He had been playing for my morris team and recording my chorus concerts for several years, when we realized we were meant for each other. He had played both anglo and English concertina, as well as button accordion (AND guitar, AND bass, AND clarinet...).
We had 22 months together. Byron died of a heart attack in my arms on October 5 of last year.
As I worked through the devastation and grief, I found myself missing the sweet sounds of his concertina playing. One day I found myself at the Button Box playing with the wares, and came home with a rented Stagi anglo. I also borrowed a Mayfair english from a friend. I started learning just before the start of 2004.
It has been my lifeline. I have found "my instrument". I spend most of my time with the anglo, because the English has several wheezy reeds, but I seem to have about equal facility. I hope to settle on one soon, to develop some expertise. But I know I'll drift towards the other someday, since I have use for the smooth legato qualities of the English as well as the snappy energy of the anglo.
I'm waiting to see what will happen to Byron's concertinas. His sons are getting ready to decide soon; I don't think they'll want to keep them. I have my fingers crossed...
I hope I haven't injected too much of a serious or sad note to this interesting discussion. But it is how I came to the instrument.