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steven r. arntson

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Everything posted by steven r. arntson

  1. He's certainly an oddball, but I've always admired the efforts of S.K. Thoth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrXCzsWcK5Y There's a great movie about him and his life, which was nominated for an Oscar a few years back: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thoth_%28film%29
  2. I should have mentioned that the glass pictured is a diminutive American 16oz pint glass, thus underscoring the smallness of the instrument!
  3. I'm selling my Tedrow 30B Zephyr Anglo, with Wheatstone note arrangement. It's a wonderful instrument, and I played the living heck out of it for about eight years. I wore out the first set of bellows and handstraps. The bellows were replaced by Mr. Tedrow, and are played in, but in excellent shape. A local (Seattle-area) leatherworker produced the hand straps, still in like-new condition. This is a "hybrid" style instrument with accordion reeds. The bellows are 7-fold, which is helpful because the instrument is unusually small in dimension (6" between opposite flats on the faceplate). I'll prefer a U.S. buyer if possible (I'm in Seattle), but will entertain other locales. I believe these are presently selling for $2.5K, and I'm asking $2K in view of the visible wear (especially cosmetic flaking of the finish) but otherwise excellent playability. Please PM me if interested. I'll entertain reasonable offers, but am hoping to stick near to this price partly in the interest of paying the tax man. Here's some video of me playing the instrument with the ensemble The Toy Boats, and here it is with a pint of beer (for scale): A few other shots: (edited on advice to show faceplate measurement from flat-to-flat as opposed to corner-to-corner)
  4. The diatonic aspect of the low range is something that kind of drives me crazy about the concertina. I switched from Anglo to Hayden Duet a couple of years ago for more access to chromatic harmonies (which I have enjoyed), but there are still missing notes at the bottom of the range of my 42-button Peacock (no C♯ and no E♭). Anyway, it's fascinating to learn what you all are putting into your arrangement decisions. The work pays off!
  5. Great playing and singing, you guys! I continue to really enjoy your output. Just out of curiosity Adrian, do you use all of those concertinas lined up behind you there during the set?
  6. I've just listened through and I think I haven't yet heard a more compelling argument for art music on the duet. Very nice arranging and interplay between the piano and the concertina. Also, the chromatic flexibility of the duet is clear. One could certainly do something like this on a big Anglo, but it would be a strain in certain keys, with bellows reversals necessitated that would break up the legato flow of the lines. How many buttons are there on the instrument you used here? Looking forward to the studio recording, and I would not mind seeing the dots, either .. Best! steven
  7. I'd put in a "second" on looking for a Rochelle. When I was starting out, these didn't exist, but I wish they had! They're good starter instruments that play well enough to make playing fun. I play a duet now, and encourage my students to use the Concertina Connection Elise. Concertina Connection also has a trade-in policy, where you can get credit for your introductory instrument if you decide to move up to a nicer model later on.
  8. Yes, I remember! I'll be sorry to miss his set; would have loved to see it. Have a good time at Folklife, and I hope you're doing well! -s
  9. So it turns out, at the last minute, that I will be performing at Folklife this year. I'll be at the "Center Stage" on Friday, from 4:40-5:15. (There was a cancellation, and they asked if I could step in to fill it.) If you have any interest in hearing a Concertina Connection Peacock duet, that's what I'll be playing! https://2015northwestfolklifefestival.sched.org/event/e315dde56a2caa9670f088edcc58bc8a#.VVuOkflViko
  10. I will be at Folklife this year as simply "one more attendee," but my wife's vocal duo, The Lonely Coast, will be performing on Monday. They sing repertoire from a variety of world traditions, with some focus on the many musics of Eastern Europe.
  11. I transitioned last year from Anglo to Duet, and have found the duet much easier for this kind of playing. The Anglo was a constant puzzle: "I need a G# in my RH melody, but then can't keep playing the F in the harmony ...". I'm using a 42-button Peacock duet now, and the main limitation for me is the hard and fast distinction between right and left hands. On piano, you can of course play a "left hand" note with the right hand, and vice versa, but not with concertina. Secondarily, the piano has a considerably larger range---I find myself often playing LH lines an octive higher than written. Overall though, it's been enjoyable. I've been trying to (very slowly) play some Bach 2-part inventions, and have had much greater success with duet than I did when I tried with Anglo.
  12. Thanks to everyone who's been posting on this great thread! I played the Soundcloud recording of "Polska efter Pål Karl Persson" for my wife just now, and she noted that it's in 9/8 time ... is that a common dance form in Sweden?
  13. My wife inherited that when her father died. We don't know much about it other than that it belonged to her grandfather, and a friend of ours told us that it's a reproduction of the actual version of whatever it is supposed to be (I forget!) ...
  14. At the bottom of this short blog post about my mother in law (who passed away earlier this week), is a video of me playing an original composition on my Concertina Connection Peacock. I guess you could watch it directly on Youtube too, but I thought maybe the context provided by the essay could be interesting? Best, steven http://stevenarntson.com/sandy-mathews-desk/
  15. Hi Stuart, Thanks for posting this. I enjoyed it a lot. You've got a good voice for this kind of material, and good delivery, and I also am instructed by your work on arranging for (duet) concertina. I was particularly struck by "Shallow Brown." I looked up the tune, and found this webpage. I breezed through all the versions posted there, and I believe yours is the best, both in terms of the lyrics you chose (of the many extant versions) and also your general understated attitude toward the song. I'm also impressed by that final track. I have a fondness (as both listener and musician) for longform compositions that manage to stay fresh as the minutes tick by. You did it. best, -steven
  16. At present, I think (others may disagree) that the Concertina Connection has some of the best beginner instruments on the market. Wim, the owner, also has a great trade-in program if a player wants to step up to the "next better" instrument in his line. Not to throw a wrench in, but I'm always stumping for Concertina Connection's "Elise" duet concertina. Depending on what style of music yr boyfriend is interested in, it could be a good choice. I find pop music fits it well. It has low notes on the left and high notes on the right (like an Anglo) but it is "unisonoric" like the English (same note comes out of the buttons on both the push and the draw). It also has a regular keyboard that can play in different keys without much trouble. http://www.concertinaconnection.com/elise.htm Good luck buying, and I hope he likes it! I've gotten a lot out of the concertina in general since playing it almost ten years. It is portable, and it is loud. Best, steven
  17. I'll also give a shout to Lilypond, which I've been learning to use lately. It's a music "engraver" which requires you learn some markup somewhat similar to ABC. There's a robust community around it, and also a very good semi-GUI called Frescobaldi which can help lessen some of the burden of the markup conventions. http://www.lilypond.org/ http://frescobaldi.org/
  18. I just purchased a download of "Indoors" from CDBaby (whose offices are just a few hours south from me here in Seattle). This is, without a doubt, the best $10 I'm going to spend this month. This CD is a triumph, up to and including the production values, but primarily due to the level of musicianship. I'll also say, since this is afterall a concertina forum, that the use of the concertina is so perfectly integrated into the style that if I wasn't told by the liner notes that it's "inauthentic" I would never have known. The integrity of the musicianship is perfectly attuned to the material, on the level (to my mind) of Segovia playing Bach. Congratulations on this one. I'm looking forward to the next.
  19. Wow, this is great! Thanks for posting. Out of curiosity, is your first CD still available too?
  20. Definitely! Yes, she is a local treasure. I've seen her play many times. The wonderful video on the main page of her website right now was recorded about 1/2 mile from my abode: http://www.lorigoldston.com/ best, steven
  21. This is great! Thanks for posting it. I'm always on the lookout for people playing pop tunes on concertina. You do an excellent job here---the song works really well. And you kind of sound like Lou Reed, IMO!
  22. The distance of button travel on the Elise is somewhat a result of the mass-manufacture nature of it, I think---making it a little farther ensures that it's always far enough! I play a Concertina Connection Peacock (one step up from the Elise), and have an occasional student who plays the Elise, so I've tried it. It is a little more "loose" feeling in general than the Peacock---not quite as perfectly tuned up. I haven't tried the Wakker duet that's the "top of the line" but I did read on Wim's website that "key travel" is one of the items he's willing to customize to a players' preference if you choose to buy at that level: http://www.wakker-concertinas.com/customizing.htm It does seem likely that an instrument with less key travel could play faster. But on the flipside there's also the danger of accidentally playing extra notes if you happen brush against them on your way by!
  23. Hi Steve, Like Stuart, I also found that the bellows directions eventually became part of the fingering. As for the Anglo being "not quite" chromatic---that really did bother me! This year, I finally switched over to a "Peacock" Hayden duet from Concertina Connection. There are still a couple of holes in its 42-button chromatic scale, but it is a huge improvement for my playing style, and I've very much enjoyed it. Interestingly, possibly a side-effect from being an Anglo player for many years, I still am very strict about bellows direction changes with the duet. I program them into the piece as I learn it, and almost never deviate! -steven
  24. I played piano in college, but when I graduated I no longer had access to one. I went through a diagnostic to determine what kind of instrument would best met my needs. It must be: 1) Portable (I wanted to be able to take it to the park, or to shows) 2) Chromatic (I like to modulate) 3) Allow for singing (because I like to sing!) 4) Have fixed pitches (I have a middling sense of intonation) There weren't many instrument that met all of the creteria. I thought about ukulele, but it seemed kind of trendy in my surroundings, and that set me against it. I saw a cheap Anglo for sale in a local music shop, bought it ... the rest is history.
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