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About Steven

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    Chatty concertinist

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    Near Philadelphia, USA
  1. My cat often gets quite happy when I play my concertina (an English), and is sometimes very insistent about jumping up into my lap as I play. Of course, that makes it kind of hard to play. He's couldn't care less about the wooden flute, and he generally leaves when I play the whistle, especially in the upper octave. No surprise there. On the other hand, my dog doesn't seem to care one way or the other about the concertina or flute, but loves the whistle and will often sing along. She just makes a very quiet little howling sort of noise. It's just so incredibly cute! That also makes it hard to play -- I can't really keep good breath control when I'm laughing! Steven
  2. I bet this is a response to all the "second-chance offer" scams... Steven
  3. It's an understandable mistake from someone who clearly doesn't know much about concertinas but did bother to do a little research. There are lots of places (including several threads on this board) where people say that if a concertina plays different notes on the push and pull, it's an anglo, and if it plays the same note it's an English. Duets, of course, also play the same note on push and pull, but they are less common than Englishes and often get left out of the equation. Steven
  4. Theo, I don't know about teams more steeped in tradition, but my wife's Boston-area rapper team has at least one six-person dance. Their musician plays a five-string fiddle, but one thing I had in mind when I took up the concertina this summer was playing for them if he couldn't make it...maybe I'll be good enough by this time next year... Joshua Oh, THAT jdms!! Hi Joshua! It's me, Steven (Rusche). Jennifer told me you had gotten a concertina. How's it going so far? (For the rest of you, yes, we know each other in the real world.) Steven
  5. Pete, thanks for the fabulous pictures. I think I would have a hard time staying inside, even in the company of a bunch of concertina enthusiasts, if I found myself in a place like that. Not that I'm very likely to get to this event anytime soon... Steven
  6. The "Black Boxes" CD is one of a couple that I keep on my desk at work all the time for when I get bored. With music that good, you just don't notice how humdrum the work is, and the day flies by! Steven
  7. Well, I also cannot speak for C/G anglo (or any other anglo), but I do play English. Most people (unless they're getting into really complex arrangements) seem to play each side with three fingers: index finger for the top two rows, middle finger for the third row, and ring finger for the accidentals in the fourth row. However, since you use the index finger for two rows (one of them being accidentals), I see no reason at all why you couldn't do the same with the ring finger on your left hand. Especially since you wouldn't be unlearning any established habits, I don't think you would have any trouble at all with an English. So, it sounds like you have pretty much all the same options the rest of us do. Time to start figuring out what system works best for you, but that's based on how your brain works, not the missing finger. Steven
  8. Yeah, but what a lovely trip it will be! Steven
  9. Hi Larry. I'll be at both Scottish sessions, so I guess we'll overlap during Scottish I. I look forward to meeting you there. Will you be taking the music class led by Dave Wiesler? He's a great musician, a fantastic teacher, and a really nice guy. I'll be the one in there with an English concertina. A lot of you seem to have had bad experiences at Pinewoods. Yes, it gets humid there some years, but it's still a heck of a lot of fun, very relaxing, and there are lots and lots of great people there. Besides, if you get too hot there are the ponds to go swimming in. As for the people running it, different sessions are run by different groups, so if you have a bad experience with one group, try a different session run by someone else. I've been going to the Scottish sessions for 15 years, and this year was the first time I ever even had to be on the waiting list (session I was apparently overbooked by 20% this year), but my wife and I got in several weeks ago, in plenty of time to make plans. I can't wait to get there! Steven
  10. Wait a minute -- you're posing there with a Wheatstone! I think the scary local was there to try and keep you from getting past the village entrance with that thing.... Steven No Problem, just send me your nice Lachenal and I'll go back and have another snapshot taken, Juliette I'd be glad to trade with you -- that looks like a very nice concertina you've got there! Steven
  11. Wait a minute -- you're posing there with a Wheatstone! I think the scary local was there to try and keep you from getting past the village entrance with that thing.... Steven
  12. The ECD group here (Philadelphia area) also has an open band, but not every week. It's generally once a month or every 6 weeks, I think. Other weeks have smaller, prearranged bands. On open band night, there are often as many as 4 or 5 English concertinas (I've never seen an anglo there), which generally outnumber the fiddles, the recorders, or any other single type of instrument. Steven
  13. Lea Nicholson, on his creatively titled "The Concertina Record," plays some great stuff in a variety of styles, including a fabulous arrangement of Bach's 4th Brandenburg Concerto. The first track on the album is a very impressive arrangement of The Liberty Bell, a march by John Philip Sousa that became famous as the theme music for Monty Python's Flying Circus. Monty Python actually used this track on a reunion show they did a few years ago. Check out http://www.jayls.com/jamring/ to find out more and buy the CD, or find it on eBay, where Lea often sells it. Steven Disclaimer: My only financial connection to this CD is the money I spent to buy it.
  14. Steven

    A China Scam

    Amazing! They didn't even wait for the (presumably) original, legitimate posting to end. Here it is In fact, they end on the same day, only a few hours apart! Steven
  15. For a similar price, the Button Box sells a very nice hard case. For a little bit more (I think it comes to about $90), they will put custom blocks in the corners to fit the size of your concertina. Again, though, I don't know that it would be of much use for a larger concertina. They do, however, also sell cases designed for Stagis, which are a good deal larger and might fit a 64-button EC. Steven
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