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adrian brown

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About adrian brown

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    Heavyweight Boxer

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    I play anglo concertinas with the 38 button Jeffries layout. I tend to play in a more legato 'duet' style, rather than the more bouncy anglo style, but it depends on the repertoire. I play a lot of "early music" - lute music, broadsides ballads and so on and I try to sing too. With my wife, we play as a duo "Dapper's Delight" named after the area in Amsterdam where we live. We play mostly 16th - 19th century music in our own arrangements and do some singing too.
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    Amsterdam, NL

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  1. adrian brown

    Two recent Dapper's Delight videos

    Thanks, I'm really glad you like it - I was a little reluctant to post it, since I obviously can't get anywhere near his vocal abilities and style, but I've wanted to do it for a long time in homage to his wonderfully idiosyncratic playing. Adrian
  2. No, I realise Wolf that I’d sort of jumped in mid-thread as usual :-) I suppose I just wanted to point out that it’s as much an issue on anglos too, although one might not realise it from an EC or duet perspective. Cheers and hope to see you in the Wenland again next year… Adrian
  3. Here are a couple of videos taken during our recent trip to Australia - our live version of “John Barleycorn”, without the recorder overdubs we used on the studio recording: Plus my solo of The “Trees They Do Grow High” - I’d be happy to hear from fellow Bellamists what they think of my version…. Adrian
  4. I completely agree with you Geoff. I think on the anglo, it’s an easy trap to fall into to use the frequent bellows reversals to give the tune “lift”. This is of course a strong point of an anglo, but if you rely on it too much, it can limit your expression to what you can achieve via the reversals - in other words, your “lift” starts to sound all the same. I’ve always found on all squeeze boxes that finger control is just as capable of adding "lift" as bellows reversals, you just have to work at it a lot more. For practice, I sometimes try to use a repeated “bouncy in/out” sequence, mimicking in the repeat, the sound of the first sequence while going in only one bellows direction. It’s quite a revealing technical exercise and I think it can teach you a lot about finger control. In the end, my feeling is that it’s best to be ever alert to your phrasing and try not to get stuck in a rut by always doing things the same way. Adrian
  5. adrian brown

    Reed Chamber Length Experiment

    That's true enough, but the data you would accumulate would prove invaluable for your subsequent designs. What I admire in your approach is the "hands on - ears open" method you're using, rather than trying to get all theoretical about it - it's certainly the way I've dealt with woodwind acoustics over the last 35 years... Good luck and thanks again, Adrian
  6. adrian brown

    Reed Chamber Length Experiment

    This is a very neat modification Dana, but what slightly puzzles me is that using this divider, the chamber volume is approximately halved, if we compare it to the chamber immediately above it in this photo, which seems to me to have the same size reed frame. Does this mean therefore that it's the length of the chamber, rather than the volume that is a determining factor in the response? How do the two reeds in question compare in tone and response? Cheers, Adrian
  7. adrian brown

    Reed Chamber Length Experiment

    Thanks for getting this going here Alex. One question that immediately sprung to my mind is that given the bass reeds on Jeffries instruments are shorter scale (a shorter tongue length for a given pitch) than say Wheatstones, does it follow that these reeds can therefore get away with having a shorter chamber length? In other words, was the choice of a shorter scale to do with a limited range of dies to stamp out the reed frames, or rather to space concerns and the fact that shorter more heavily weighted reeds perhaps work better in a confined space? You certainly seem to be able to find the "sweet spot" using this jig, which in this example seems to be at the fullest extension of the chamber? But I wonder what happens if you continue the chamber length, is there a point where the response and sound start to deteriorate? I was also intrigued by the pad arrangement you have and it strikes me that you might be able to resolve one of the issues in the thread Wayman was alluring to above: My feeling is that the nasal sound has a lot to do with the far from optimum position of the pad hole, which lies almost over the reed in these instances, rather than at the end of the chamber. Filling in the clamp end of the chamber does help somewhat, but the hole is in most cases, just too far along the chamber, due to mechanical constraints on the action side of the pad board. Using your set up, perhaps you might be able to observe whether the sound of a given reed (say a LH reed, as these are where you mostly hear the problem) becomes more nasal sounding as the pad hole is moved along the chamber towards the tip? I once had a concertina made for me where the maker (no names!) had mounted the inboard reeds the wrong way around, so that the pad hole was over the tip. Needless to say they sounded quite horrid with a very distorted sound, and I had to do some quite drastic surgery to enable me to turn them around, whereupon they gave the usual nasal tone. Anyway, thanks again for starting such a interesting thread. Adrian
  8. adrian brown

    Embedding Test

    Bugger the embedding test Alex, this is a really interesting video and really deserves to be in the "construction" department - why not post it there because I'm sure I'm not the only one to have missed it first time around. Adrian
  9. adrian brown

    Porter's Reel

    Wow beautiful! That looks so much fun... Adrian
  10. That was my first thought too Steve, but it's really difficult to say without having it in your paws. Good luck with the restoration. Adrian
  11. I've done this myself on all my 38 key anglos, but on a 30 button anglo, it would be a really difficult decision, since the low F and Bb are such important notes. It's perhaps worth remembering that F major is the lowest key you can play in on an anglo where you have the complete diatonic lower octave and leading note. I can understand why if there is one, some might put it on the LH thumb button. Adrian
  12. and the nice thing about performing at a festival of mostly classical music, is that you can ask for surtitles on request and don't have to teach the audience the chorus... Greetings from Canberra Adrian
  13. adrian brown

    Crossing Borders

    Is it possible you placed your boxes on the x-ray belt upright, while she placed hers on it’s side? Word is a traditional English-construction (radial levers) when x-rayed from the side looks a lot like a cluster bomb. Yes, that's quite possible, and of course there were one-piece recorders in the bag too, but I still rather like the idea of an anti EC X-ray machine :-) Adrian
  14. From the liner notes to "Indoors" (the first Dappers Delight album; scroll all the way down to the bottom, then go up a few pages), in describing their instruments: "The recorders were made by Adrian Brown between 2004 and 2011 to suit the concertinas." I believe their instruments are about as precisely tuned to one another as is technically possible! Of course! I knew that. I have the CD and read the notes. I’ve even been in Adrian’s workshop. I just wasn’t thinking. With recorders and other historical wind instruments, temperament is really concerned with setting the instrument up to be 'comfortable' for the player, since the fixed temperament you have on keyboard instruments doesn't apply to woodwinds. Ideally a player should not have to make huge corrections to play in the situation they find themselves, whether it be in fixed temperament, while playing with a harpsichord for example, or flexible (ideally just temperament!) when playing with other winds or strings. Adrian
  15. adrian brown

    Crossing Borders

    Flying down to Sydney last week from Hong Kong, my three anglos passed through the x-ray machine without comment, but Susanna's single Aeola EC needed closer inspection. Funny to see these machines have a concertina system bias :-) Adrian