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Peter Brook

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Everything posted by Peter Brook

  1. I may be very wrong but i think we have had our own version of what is called contra in England since Ashley Hutchins first plugged his bass guitar in. (Morris On 1972) Previous bands mentioned, such as the albion band, home service, flowers and frolicks, gas mark 5, etc. have been playing ECD with considerble stomp over the past thirty years or so. This mantle has been taken up and adapted slightly by the excellent Brass Monkey. If you have not heard of Brass Monkey try and get a CD or go and see them live. They are a five piece band incorporating trumpet, trombone, concertina/melodeon, mouth organ, percussion and guitar.
  2. I present this evidence! This line from Jim Besser and this one from Brian Humphrey
  3. Valmai & Brian are also the mainstay of Concertinas Anonymous which is a fantastic informal support group for all of us with a serious concertina habit to support. Next meeting Monday 7th June 8pm Lewes Arms in Lewes, East Sussex (English South Coast). I went along for the first time last month and had a great time. We had 3 English, 1 Anglo, 1 Duet, 1 Dulcet Anglo (not really a concertina - it's a melodeon inside). 5 players in total. Maybe see some of you there next week if you are not too far away?
  4. No it doesn't really matter I was just curious. I don't mean to be a complete baffoon but is Contra the same think as Zydacote (or however that is spelt)? If so is it similar to Cajun music? I have never heard of Contra (in a musical context) except for on this website.
  5. So it's definitely nothing to do with Iran or South American rebels then? How did it arrive at such a weird name? Is it an abbreiviation?
  6. Henk, Go for it man this is fantastic! Keep up the good work
  7. Terence Carolan or Turlough O Carolan or Toirdhealbhach O Cearbhallain if you prefer, probably met Francesco Geminiani in Dublin (they both lived in Dublin at the same time for a period of 5 years) and was an admirer of the italian style popular in Ireland from 1700 to 1741 when Handel arrived. The main italian composers that were favoured at this time were Corelli, Vivaldi and Geminiani. Carolan's own musical publishers erected a hall "for the practice of italian music". (These facts and many more including over 200 tunes are in the book "Carolan: The life, times and music of an irish harper" by Donal O'Sullivan.) Carolan is said to have enjoyed the italian style, and to have written a piece "Carolan's Concerto" inspired by this style. Carolan was influenced by everything around him. A number of tunes attributed to him, were infact written by earlier harpists and he adapted them to the times he lived in. To sum up my point is this. If we take morris dance, irish music, ecd and put them all in glass cases for the sake of keeping the "tradition" pure, they will each die. We have got to learn from Carolan. Music and concertina playing have to continually evolve to stay relevant. So you should have been allowed to compete on equal terms!
  8. I've always understood a triple jig and a slide to be the same thing. Irish music is incredibly regional though in terms of styles and names for things. I was chatting with a guy from County Clare who played "Off to California" on his melodeon. I said I liked the tune and I often played it, he was however adamant it was called "the Galway Hornpipe". As an aside a non-musical friend on hearing me play "off to california" asked me to play "the Trumpet Hornpipe" so to his untrained ear it is another hornpipe. Slightly off topic the Morris Tune (6/8) "Sweet Jenny Jones" when played about half pace is called "Cadir Idris".
  9. Should be fine in the open air even in direct sun light. Just don't leave it alone in the car on a sunny day. No instrument deserves that ever! A friend of mine left his violin in the car for an hour last summer (OK it was the hotest british summer for 28 years) and in that time all the glue and resin melted, leaving him with a very nice flat pack violin kit!
  10. "Mothers Day" is an interesting development in England. Certainly for many years we had "mothering sunday" usually in March and usually (I think) two weeks before Palm Sunday. However initially the purpose of the event was sort of a parish census rather than any celebration of motherhood. So people would return to the parishes of their birth for one sunday in the year, to the place where they were "mothered" and had their start in the Christian Life. This has changed over the years to become Mothers Day where we infact celebrate motherhood (which I think was an American custom). I prefer the later development where we pay respect to our mothers and thank them for their kindness to us. Anyway I'm all for thanking mothers all year round so it does no harm to celebrate twice a year!
  11. Being new to concertina ownership I'm uncertain of whether the bellows should need leather food or anything? Does anyone else put anything on their leather bellows? I have a Norman Anglo which was made in February 1997, so it is 7 years old. advice greatly appreciated. thanks, Peter
  12. Well my tip is from the bottom of the musical stave the lines are Every Good Boy Deserves Favour and the spaces between the lines are F A C E or Face! You also might like to try "The right way to read Music" by Harry & Michael Baxter $8.95 ISBN 0-7160-2008-4 I'm not on comission! good luck
  13. Hi Alan, Like you I am relatively new to the concertina, and it really annoyed me at first that I couldn't find a definitive method on how to play or even which instrument to purchase. All the morris musicians I spoke to told me I needed a G/D Anglo, and all the Irish/session musicians told me I needed a C/G Anglo. In the end I went for C/G Anglo as it suits my singing voice better. Anyway, what I have basically found is that morris anglo musicians are often (but not always) converts from the melodeon and want to go up and down the rows, whilst vamping chords on their left hands. Session/irish players tend to use the C row as their main row to play in G major, A minor etc, and use the G row and accidental row just for sharps and flats. They often want to play just the melody line and don't worry so much about chords. They also use alternate fingering to get more air in or out of the concertina, so cross over to different rows to do this. What I did initially was to play morris music on the G row an octave above the normal tune - then I switched to playing the tune with my left hand so I was in the right register. Now I generally use the C row using both hands and call on other rows as required. As other people have said it is about what is comfortable to you and what you can fit in whilst playing the tune. The Anglo is amazingly versatile - I love playing in Eb and seeing the look of surprise on English concertina players faces followed by the comment - "I didn't think you could do that on an Anglo"! All the best, Peter
  14. Even to a concertina fanatic like me, that sounds rather boring. ... I like my music to be about music, not about dominance. Well I agree with you actually. In this country though there are so many melodeons and violins that they get very annoying - especially when the two violinists in my side are having a race with each other and the melodeon player is deaf! I don't want to blast anyone away. In fact I would rather we played slower, quieter and all together, to produce something musicaly appealing and supports the main event - ie the dancing.
  15. Well Jim that is another "can of worms". Purists in this country maintain that only one musician should play to cotswold morris dancers so that the music can be tailored to fit what the dancers are doing. However in practice and partly due to North West Morris traditions of having a brass band to accompany, most sides typically have upwards of three musicians. On May day we had five musicians, and as more and more alcohol was consumed the less we played together, which resulted in several "crashes" where we all had to stop because no one was sure where they were in the tune. It doesn't seem to be so much of a problem when playing inside. Of course if it were down to me only concertinas would be allowed!
  16. What keys is it please? C & G or G & D? thanks, Peter
  17. thanks Geoff, that is what I have decided to do next in my practice (I did it for the first time on Sunday) - play octaves of the morris tunes. I think once I am reasonably competent at playing in octaves, I should be able to shove the extra harmonising note in here and there. Norman Anglos have a very fast action and have a bright loud tone so I can usually be heard above the other instuments. cheers, Peter
  18. Thanks for all your replies. Looking back on it I still find it hard to believe that Father Ken let me even breathe on William Kimber's concertina - I guess I was too young to appreciate it at the time. Even John Kirkpatrick hasn't had the privilege (yet). I am keen not to get stuck in a rut on the concertina. I enjoy playing across the rows (and up and down) but I'd like to add some punch with the occasional bass note or notes. I just wondered if anyone had a method of doing this or if it was just a trial and error/practice thing. When I play for morris we have a small "band" comprising myself on concertina, a melodeon, two violins and a serpent! So I have to play in G or D when with this group. (We dance mainly Adderbury, Fieldtown and Bampton tradition). Also I appreciate that people are all around the globe but is anyone going to concertinas anonymous on Monday 3rd may in Lewes (East Sussex)?
  19. So you can play dulcimer then!? However many times you tell people they hear what they want to. My non musical friends always ask me how my accordian playing is going.
  20. Trust those Lancastrians to try and nick it - it's actually in Yorkshire!
  21. Hi everyone! Please be gentle with me as it's my first post. I have been playing concertina regularly for about a year when I bought an Andrew Norman 30 key C/G anglo. Previously I had been messing about with a cheap old german anglo which is a family handme down of great age, and weird tuning (it says Dulcet on it). I have been after a "proper" concertina for the last twenty years since I saw Father Kenneth Loveless at the local folk club playing Mr Kimber's concertina - and he let me play it (for about 10 seconds!) Anyway to get on to my question I always wanted a C/G as that to me is the "authentic" anglo tuning. However to play along to morris dancing in the right octave you need to play "across the rows" (so that you have your left hand largely free to play bass). Does anyone else do this? And if you do, how do you then develop your bass harmony? Also how did Kimber and Father Ken and the others do it? Was Morris music played in C in their day? thanks (in anticipation of your help), Peter
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