Posts posted by StuartEstell
...all of which nitpicking doesn't detract from the fact that those particular smaller Wheatstone Maccanns can be very nice instruments indeed.
The Jeff duet has rows rather than columns, I'd say. Mine does, anyway
AKA "what the hell is this and who thought THAT was a good idea?!"
And at great volume, from what I've heard. His playing isn't to my taste but it would be churlish to suggest that he's anything other than a very capable musician.
Been a while since I was on cnet. Nice to see an interest in circus arts.
I was a former circus performer and used my music and the concertina as part of one of my acts. The ICA Magazine did an article not too long ago about me and my circus experience. It has a couple of photos though I have plenty more in boxes at home. Bello & Stein was a musical acrobatic clown act. At one point I actually did a flip off Joe's shoulders while playing the EC to the tune of Stumbling. In hind sight it was crazy!
I find this sort of thing fascinating -- I'd be terrified of tearing the bellows apart, but then I've never done any kind of "flip". How do you go about rehearsing something like that, Randy?
You know you're coming at things from the wrong angle when your first thought is to wonder whether it was a piano accordion or one of the continental chromatic systems. Or even a melodeon.
Thank you Frank -- much appreciated.
It's hard to believe, from a vantage point in 2016, that these sorts of songs were selling well enough to be in the top 40 singles chart. With the exception of Lana del Rey I'm not sure anyone mainstream enough to receive radio airplay is writing similarly literate lyrics these days.
A shoegaze classic from 1988 (blimey, that went quick...) - Mercy Seat by Ultra Vivid Scene.
Played on Jeffries duet, in the key of B, which sits quite nicely on that keyboard.
A bit more blurb about the recording on the soundcloud page.
Both on the Jeffries system and Maccann, I find it useful to learn something in a fairly friendly key, and then once it's fluid, transpose it into a really challenging key instead. The benefit is that when you tackle the real horrors you already know all the pitch relationships. I recently learned Dylan's "Desolation Row" in Db for that very reason.
Yes, this is exactly the sort of thing I had in mind. Keeping it moving steadily lessens that slight feeling of hesitation that I think the previous recording has -- and it lets those lovely melodic lines really sing and feel like much longer phrases.
Really pleased you're still using this version, Wolf -- the use of a higher key really works well and you're right, it has more time to breathe now. Great stuff.
I agree, the accompaniment is lovely -- I enjoy the way you develop quite robust chordal arrangements on the treble EC.
My only comment would be regarding the rhythmic feel. For my taste it could flow just a little more while remaining slow and stately. I realise that's a difficult thing to quantify but I think that would really put the icing on the cake.
See my suggestion for a 40 button Anglo type instrument on the "General discussion" section under the "Brian Hayden" section.
For a 44 button instrument you might add a (c#/Bb) ( ) ( ) button to the bottom LHS row;
and (c#'/bb) ( ) ( ) (c'/d') (e"'/d#"') buttons to the bottom row on the RHS.
This gives a comprehensive C/G/D/A instrument. Set a tone lower you get a Bb/F/C/G instrument. two Anglos for the price of one.
Brian -- a 4-row diatonic wouldn't work with the way I play anglo, but thank you for the thought.
Many thanks for your input -- yes, I'm aware of these issues and will be working with a very "highly skilled concertina repair person" on this.
My wish is not to make any changes to the instrument that are not reversible, and where possible not to retune any reeds any more than getting them from old pitch into concert pitch.
Tremendous, thank you for your help. both.
I am currently considering the purchase of a rather lovely 44-button Jeffries anglo which I tried out over the Christmas period. At the moment its layout is, shall we say, rather individual.
In order to work out what is both feasible and sensible from a playing perspective, I have noted its full layout, and have the layout of one other 44-key, which I'm finding of some use in shunting notes around on an Excel spreadsheet.
My request: given how variable they are, would any other owners of big Jeffries anglos be willing to share their instruments' layouts? It would be of great assistance as I try to work out how best this box might be reconfigured for my purposes without making any irreversible changes to it. Although the instrument I'm considering is a Bb/F, it doesn't matter whether your box is C/G, Bb/F, G/D or anything more exotic -- I'm happy to do the transposition myself!
Many thanks in advance
I suppose somebody who played a Jeff. duet already must have thought they could "improve" it, but that left hand layout makes even less sense than the standard. I find it really helpful that the F# is normally well out of the way on the LH thumb; on this layout a combination of bass runs and chords would give lots of opportunities for terrible entanglement
Thanks, Gary -- that's really interesting. I see what you meant about the geography; those inner rows look _very_ close to the handrest.
Very nice Wolf -- I will listen in more detail this afternoon.
Thanks Don. Yes, I just topped and tailed it -- it was recorded with a Zoom H1 propped up at an appropriate angle on the lectern!
Yes, it's on Jeffries duet. I use this sort of feel a fair bit, and tend to have a bluegrassy rhythm in mind when doing it. The sort of fingerpicked patterns used on, say, clawhammer banjo don't translate at all idiomatically to duet concertina so this is an attempt at getting the feel without being too literal about it - I keep the notes themselves fairly sustained and use the bellows to accentuate the rhythm.
Yes, it's a pig, and a constant subject of debate among jazzers as to whether it's in B or E flat. (I favour E flat as all the chords leading up to it are chained - albeit modified - II - V - Is) And you're right, maintaining any kind of intelligent melodic line over those chord changes is supremely hard at speed on any instrument -- I used to play it both on piano and on tuba (!) but that was in a former life when I practised difficult things a lot more.
Some of the other tunes on that LP might be less of a stretch -- Naima, perhaps, or Mr. P.C. for a nice blues?
And there's always his version of My Favo(u)rite Things...
Thanks both -- yes, the chapel I recorded in has a lovely acoustic, and I did no post-processing on the recording at all.
Good stuff. I wish there were more people doing this sort of thing.
I reckon Coltrane's Giant Steps would be amazing on concertina but I'm not sure I have the technical chops to do it.
A recording made back in the summer of one of the very grimmest of ballads, in this rather jaunty version from the singing of Lisa Null.
It's always very entertaining to perform this live -- there's always an audible gasp after the line "he has cutted off Lucy Wan's head"
Very nicely done! I look forward to the D minor Chaconne
Remember Juliette Daum? She hasn't posted here in several years, but here's her Bach D minor Chaconne on English Concertina.
This is absolutely stunning. Thanks so much for sharing.
Juliette is a fantastic musician, isn't she?
Great Iranian/scottish Player
in General Concertina Discussion
I respect that approach to listening and appraisal, Jim, and completely agree in this case -- Amini is clearly a very capable player so it seems reasonable to assume that he's thought in some depth about what he does and has put a considerable amount of effort into making music in the way he wants to make it.
Also, I'd much rather people were doing things with the instrument that aren't to my taste than not doing anything at all! I'm no great believer in the idea of "how things should be done" as many of you who have listened to my recordings have no doubt realised. Time will tell whether different styles of playing are adopted or not.