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steven r. arntson

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Posts posted by steven r. arntson

  1. 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:

    post-6336-0-48677200-1460339916_thumb.jpg post-6336-0-25156000-1460339934_thumb.jpg

    post-6336-0-69247500-1460339948_thumb.jpg post-6336-0-87475700-1460339964_thumb.jpg


    (edited on advice to show faceplate measurement from flat-to-flat as opposed to corner-to-corner)

  2. 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!

  3. 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 ..




  4. 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.

  5. 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!



  6. 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.

  7. Btw, is that an SMLE on the wall?

    (Sporterized No.4?)



    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!) ...

  8. 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.




  9. 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.




    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. :)




  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. Steven,just wondering how you go singing with the anglo? Of course it's often used for song accompaniment but can be a bit tricky managing the push/pull aspect. And you didn't quite end up with a chromatic instrument.



    My entry came when I saw someone playing concer and singing. I knew instantly it was for me, much more portable than a guitar and could be used for song accompaniment. I made inquires and was advised english was best for singing...the rest is history.



    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!



  13. 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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