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David Barnert

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About David Barnert

  • Rank
    Ineluctable Opinionmaker

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Interests
    46-button Hayden Duet Concertina
    Morris, English Country, Contra Dance Music
    Classical and Early Music
    Day job: Anesthesiologist

    YouTube channel ("Dr. Sleep"):
    http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZIVVA2D4DjWDhw8dc5o-vA

    SoundCloud channel ("Dr. Sleep"):
    https://soundcloud.com/dr-sleep-1/tracks
  • Location
    Albany, NY, USA

Recent Profile Visitors

978 profile views
  1. David Barnert

    20-Year Anniversary of Concertina.net

    Actually, that link takes you to an early version of the modern forums, but I think what Chris is looking for even predates that, when the forums looked like this.
  2. David Barnert

    Jodey Kruscal UK 2018 Tour

    “... and in England they think 100 miles is a long distance.” 😉
  3. David Barnert

    Forgive me if your looks I thought

    Yeah, that’s it. I wouldn’t say “ineptitude.” You went out on a limb, and reasonable people disagree on whether the limb is sturdy enough to hold you. In any case, thank you for answering my question.
  4. David Barnert

    Forgive me if your looks I thought

    Sounds great, Adrian. Tell me... There’s an awkward sounding moment at the beginning of the 2nd half of the tune that I’m tempted to think is a result of the historic temperament your instrument is tuned to. I don’t really know enough about the specifics of how the different temperaments work. Is that note indeed a wolf?
  5. David Barnert

    Sous le Ciel de Paris - David Barnert

    I am, but I’d think you could hardly tell from my “concertina face."
  6. David Barnert

    Da Slockit Light in winter and summer

    Wow. There’s so much there that I’ve never tried or even heard on a concertina. The “when troubles melt like lemon drops” inner voice that isn’t afraid to sing a I chord while the melody is singing a IV chord, for instance. I have to listen to it a few more times!
  7. David Barnert

    Sous le Ciel de Paris - David Barnert

    I assume somebody official will take some photographs of the production (maybe the dress rehearsal) and hopefully make them available to the cast. The audience is not permitted to photograph the performances. Double. I tried dropping the melody out, but it didn’t work well. She needs the backup.
  8. David Barnert

    Sous le Ciel de Paris - David Barnert

    Stuart Dean photo’ed and video’ed the whole weekend and just posted the results today. Here’s my (imperfect) performance.
  9. David Barnert

    Belle qui tiens ma vie

    Great stuff, there, Adrian. I’ve just spent too much time watching them.
  10. David Barnert

    Sous le Ciel de Paris - David Barnert

    Minimally. I engage the waitress when she begins to sing. I laugh with the others when the rag picker makes a joke. My only spoken lines are as part of a crowd, the jury in the mock trial. We all say it together. “Guilty.” “Yes, Countess.” That sort of thing. I am under strict instructions not to engage the audience. Adapt it to a different key from the one it is published in or from the one I have already arranged/learned it in? Of course, I did both. A bit of both. First I found many youtube recordings and listened to them over and over for ideas. For instance, the descending bass line in measures 5 - 8 I heard here and appropriated for my arrangement. Some of the chords I took from here. Of course, material from both sources had to be transposed into the key I was working in (initially, A minor). Finally, I fell back on my favorite trick playing the Hayden (also the guitar): follow the melody with a parallel bass line a 10th (that is, an octave and a 3rd) below. Sometimes that is all I need for accompaniment, sometimes I add a middle voice or two to make a chord.
  11. David Barnert

    Sous le Ciel de Paris - David Barnert

    Thank you, ritonmousquetaire and Didie. I have really enjoyed arranging and learning this tune. It is a first attempt for me to play anything like this. I was planning to do a youtube of it soon, and had forgotten that I did the soundcloud. I was baffled by the title of your post (How did he know? Where did he get it?) until I read it. Here’s how it came about: In April, I was contacted by a woman who was directing a play for the Schenectady Civic Players (some 20 miles from my home in Albany) and wanted a concertina player as part of the cast. Somebody gave her my name. The play is “The Madwoman of Chaillot,” which takes place at a sidewalk cafe in Paris. The script calls for a “street singer” and doesn’t mention a musician, but this director wanted me to play and other characters to sing. I am not an actor and have very little experience appearing on stage in theatrical productions, but here I am. We are well into rehearsals now and open in two weeks. https://www.civicplayers.org/the-madwoman-of-chaillot I will be playing a lot of French music, mostly small snips of a measure or two, to comment on or punctuate the action or dialogue. When the curtain rises on Act I, I am playing this tune and the waitress sings and some patrons join in (in English, “Under Paris Skies”—the English lyrics tell a very different story from the French). I made the recording early in the process to give the cast something to practice with. However, I recorded it in A minor (when I made the arrangement, I didn’t know anybody would be singing along), which is a fine key for the instrument, but not for singing. So I re-arranged (and relearned) it in E minor for the actress playing the waitress. She wanted F minor, but that’s awkward on a 46-key Hayden, so I got her to drop to E minor. I was able to use much of the A minor arrangement on new buttons (that’s the beauty of Hayden’s system) but had to push some octaves around in the left hand. But the actress had to leave the production and another actress was brought on who had learned to sing the song in C minor. Same problem as F minor for me, so I proposed D minor and she went for it. Fortunately, playing it in D minor is exactly like playing it in E minor, just one button to the left (thank you, Inventor). After the production has played and closed, I will record a youtube, probably in D minor. I performed it in D minor last week in the talent show at the NorthEast Squeeze In. I heard people in the audience humming along, and I was complimented by Randy Stein, so I guess I must be doing something right.
  12. David Barnert

    NESI 2018 at Chimney Corners

    Hi, Wendy. I’m sorry we missed each other except for a brief “Hello.” I was looking for you later, but now I know why I didn’t see you again. Are the cabins heated? The lodge was, and this was the weekend for it. Not all the rooms have double decker beds.
  13. David Barnert

    Da Slockit Light in winter and summer

    I also agree. In the summer version, one almost hears the lights coming back on 🔦. One has to ask: To what degree is the difference between the two versions due to the calendar? FWIW, here’s my version, also on a Hayden. I recorded it in May (2015). Does that make it a spring version? The notes of the accompaniment are perhaps more like the summer version, while the tempo is more like the winter version.
  14. David Barnert

    Concertina Bow Arm

    Just back from the North East Squeeze In and I’ve been thinking and observing things about this topic. Here’s what I’ve got: Like others, I am right-handed and play (when seated) with the right end of the instrument on my right knee. The left hand is not working any harder than the right or exerting any more control on the bellows. Following Newton’s laws of physics, both hands are pushing or pulling with the same force at all times. Otherwise, the instrument would fly off my knee in the direction of the vector sum of the hand forces. It is easier to play seated, particularly on complicated tunes, because the knee keeps the instrument from drooping forward from the hand straps, whereas when standing, the hands are not only pumping the bellows and pressing the keys, but also stabilizing the weight, which decreases the efficiency with which I can perform the other two functions. Newer, stiffer, tighter hand straps may make this less of an issue. At some point soon, I will replace them. They are getting old and worn and stretched, and in places look like they may tear through someday.
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