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About Paul_Hardy

  • Rank
    Chatty concertinist
  • Birthday 08/20/1953

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  • Gender
  • Interests
    English concertina. Computers. Walking/rambling/hiking.
  • Location
    Cambridge, UK

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  1. Paul_Hardy

    Highs and Lows of concertina playing

    Unfortunately, I didn't do any meaningful recordings at the high altitudes, so I've no upper bound to compare. Thinking about it, I was recorded up at Green Valley Lake playing some contributions to a CD by a local group (Childgrove comes to mind), but we never did the same think down the hill, so no direct comparisons. Regarding pitch, I used to be the instrument playing the introductory A for people such as fiddles to tune to, so any conflicts might have been hidden. Mind you, there were some instruments there like hammer dulcimers that I think were tuned to digital tuners, so given that the ensemble was reasonably harmonious, it couldn't have been too far off.
  2. I've finally got round to writing up a short illustrated memoir of my experiences of the highs and lows of concertina playing. It's available at http://www.pghardy.net/concertina/highs_and_lows/. It's a somewhat frivolous story, not a serious scientific study!
  3. Paul_Hardy

    my first Anglo recording :)

    I like them both, and i'm impressed with your delicate ornamentation on the English. The EC version is more legato, without the 'snatches' that punctuate the Anglo version. I'm sure you could make them more similar by including more bellows reversals on the English - Rob Harbron had us practising tunes reversing on every bar, then again every strong beat, then finally reversing every beat.It felt strange (I'm used to using bellows like a bow on longer phrases), but gave us different tune textures to choose from. Regards,
  4. Paul_Hardy

    New British £50 note.

    Google for "Natural Units", or see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_units.
  5. Paul_Hardy

    Hornpipe and polka rhythms?

    I don't disagree with what is said in the trail above. Just to clarify my position about tunes in my tunebook: I use the rhythm designation Hornpipe for tunes in 4/4 time, that I feel should be swung - lengthening the first and shortening the second of each pair of quavers (eight notes) to sound like Thursday. . Often these have 'Hornpipe' in their title, but by no means all. Many I first encountered, written out as 'dotted quaver, semi-quaver' pairs, but that makes the first note three times as long as the second in each pair, which I feel is too much. When playing I go for about a 60/40 or 70/30 split. It's one of the weaknesses of classical music notation that there isn't a simple way to express that. Most reels can be played as hornpipes, and vice-versa. The other tunes which are in 3/2, and often with Hornpipe in their title, I annotate the rhythm as 'Triple Hornpipe', and these are not swung (much). Instead, the tunes often use the ambiguity of having six crotchets in the bar, to shift between three strong beats, to having two triplets. Many of these tunes went out of fashion but have regained interest recently. Remember, Hornpipe originally meant any tune played on an instrument made of horn!
  6. I was there for the first time. An enjoyable afternoon. There were I think 17 concertinists, and at least 30 concertinas! Format was round the room, twice, with coffee break in between. We finished by all playing a set of WW1 marching songs that I’d brought. Thanks for welcoming new attendees.
  7. Paul_Hardy

    For Armistice Day

    It works OK for me at 9:55 GMT. Download size is 2.8MB. Opening resultant PDF shows a white on black shaded drawing.
  8. (modestly) Thanks for the thanks. We enjoyed having you and Lori to visit. The English concertina fraternity is small enough that meeting distant cousins is welcome and refreshing.
  9. For one restoration recently, I used a damask red woven material - a sort of artificial silk, that was the nearest that my local department store fabrics department had available on a roll. I had to buy a metre length, and the width was about a metre, so I have enough for several concertinas! It seems to work well, being decorative, keeping out the dirt, but not blocking the sound.
  10. Paul_Hardy

    my first Anglo recording :)

    Being pedantic, I think that should be Monck's March, named after General Monck (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Monck,_1st_Duke_of_Albemarle). He was famous for turning up late for battles, and the somewhat erratic rhythm of the tune is supposed to represent the way he slowly marched his army! I agree that it is a good tune though - quite common in sessions. It also turns up in Irish sessions as Proudlock's Hornpipe, with the usual hornpipe swung rhythm. Both tunes well played, and its interesting the effects that playing it on the anglo makes - it would be good to hear the same tune played sequentially and similarly on Anglo and English.
  11. Paul_Hardy

    New British £50 note.

    I wasn't trying to belittle Stephen Hawking. One of my lifetime memories was hearing him give a lecture in 1973 on the thermodynamics of black holes, and whether they could be a portal for interstellar travel. He had just got his first voice synthesizer, and used that for the main talk, but when it came to questions he answered in his own voice, with the aid of an interpreter. It was I think the last time he did so in public. In his introduction he said that in his work the usual units of metres, kg, seconds weren't appropriate - he dealt with objects at least the size of the sun, during the most minute fractions of a second, at incredible temperatures. So if you set the speed of light (c)=1, the charge on the electron=1, and, Planck's constant=1, then you got a set of units that were "damn hot, damn heavy and damn fast", and his equations became a lot simpler! Anyway, we are straying away from concertinas ...
  12. Paul_Hardy

    New British £50 note.

    I've also nominated him. Surely he should be a good candidate, with his major contributions to science in acoustics, optics and electrics? However I suspect that Stephen Hawking will win because of the recent obituary and prior film publicity!
  13. I hope to attend the MCG meeting this time. I've not been to previous ones. I note that you start at 1pm, and I'd be coming up from Cambridge - is there any general gathering for lunch before the meeting?
  14. I play English, and I don't find it difficult to hold. I keep the thumb loops tight, so they take most of the weight and force of bellows pressing. Although the little finger remains in the pinky rest, its primary role is to provide stability and a reference point, with bellows pressure being a secondary role, and taking weight as tertiary. So there isn't a lot of force applied through it. I usually keep one end of the tina on my left knee (I'm right handed), which also helps reduce weight stress on thumb and pinky. There are some tunes however that I can't play unless I'm holding the tina in the air and moving it in time to the music for expression - not to Alistair Anderson level, but significant motion! I do think that some people (particularly beginners) get problems with the English because they tend to grip the instrument too tightly - my little fingers are pretty relaxed during play. Regards,
  15. Paul_Hardy

    Paul Hardy's Session Tunebook

    I’ve not done so, and I’m not aware of anyone doing such a mass conversion. I’ll put it on the ‘investigate’ list, but no promises.