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Rod Thompson

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  1. Our photos from out trip to Antarctica are at last on the web. http://www.home.gil.com.au/~rodnmaria/antarctica.html A bit off-topic, but there is a concertina connection here and here, and here (on the wall of the College of Arts about halfway down the page) (There is aldo a melodian on the theatre mural on the same page), and here. Unfortunately, we have no photos or recordings of the wonderful Bandonian playing (Tango of course) in Buenos Aires. There are still a few broken links and typos I am working on, but I hope you like what is there.
  2. It certainly looked and sounded great, and Claire was able to bounce it along at an impressive speed. It would count in the top-line of instruments in my opinion.
  3. No apologies needed, but would have been good to see you. Hope your anlkle is OK.
  4. She didn't give a name, but said he was a retired silversmith. It was certainly a high-quality instrument.
  5. We attended the Toowoomba Accordion Festival over the weekend, and as usual thoroughly enjoyed it. Numbers were a bit down this year, and only a few concertina players present - but quality if not quantity. The festival explicitly includes mouth organs and concertinas, as well as button and piano accordions, and it is always a good chance to catch up with each other. I also find it gives me a lot of new ideas on what to play. The keynote was Mark Schuster talking about his research work into the music of the Darling Downs, and more particularly, the players of that music - great job!! (More details) They have an "old time and new vogue" and "bush dance" combination - not really what we came for, but we did get up and shake the trotters on a couple of each styles. The "walk up and play" was probably one of the best so far - some items a little shaky, but the average very good IMHO. The final concert was also of a very high standard - including Clair Fitzpatrick - who played the button accordion and the concertina in the Irish style. I had thought her concertina was a Jeffries when she played a few phrases in the sound check, but she explained that it was an Australian built model - also very impressive! Looking forward to next year's festival - Thanks to Alan Polley
  6. antiquated adjective: so extremely old as seeming to belong to an earlier period This I can cope with, but "accordian-like"? now thems fightin words!
  7. Limestone caves often have near-perfect acoustics - or so the guides tell us. I have played the concer in the Mammoth cave in the US, and the Cammoo caves nearer to home - the richness of sound from a little lachenal is astounding.
  8. This is true for the most part, but the lower pitched reeds of the G/D can be slower in speaking than the C/G. This means that if you play a piece on a C/G (especially across the rows - fast reel style), and then use the same fingering on the G/D, it may not sound as good.
  9. I was going to make some comment on Anglo Grinders and monkeys, and refer to a previous thread about concertina players with monkeys, but decided not to. Instead, I will say - "get well soon".
  10. "be afraid - be very afraid". or perhaps "Abandon hope all ye who enter here". (I can't think of any English word for "kolonihavehus" , but maybe the New Zealand word "batch" is close)?
  11. Point taken, but the author then goes on to use this to criticise AL Lloyd's inclusion of one in the movie of "Moby Dick". Incidently, the author's other criticism of Lloyd - having the boat crew singing while rowing after whales - is also unfair. If this is a mistake, then the mistake is surely Melville's: "How different the loud little King-Post. 'Sing out and say something, my hearties. Roar and pull, my thunderbolts! .... ' .. and so saying he pulled his hat from his head and stamped up and down on it ... and finally fell to rearing and plunging in the boat's stern like a crazed colt from the prarie" (from the chapter "First Lowering"). (This hardly sounds as though stealth was a big requirement). Did they carry any other instruments besides concertinas and melodians? It seems that in outback Australia, the ironmongers often carried concertinas and other instruments, but this was probably more the case of being the only shop in town. What I would like to know is where this link came from in the mind of the public. I think we can safely rule out any suggestion that the concertina was always aboard every ship, and likewise that it was never aboard any ship, the real question then is whether they were very common, very rare, or somewhere in between. So far, my impression is "fairly common", and this is what caused the connection in the mind of the public in the late 19th early 20th century.
  12. Slight variation of topic, but does anyone know the meaning of "Musha rig um du rum da, Wack fol the daddy-o" ? "There's whiskey in the jar" - I think I understand.
  13. "Concertina Around Cape Horn" is a strange article - it makes the case for no concertina ever having been aboard ship ("even once"), then proceeds to shoot the case down. 1: It cites A.L. Lloyd (advisor to the 1956 "Moby Dick" movie, and an "eminent folklorist") having one of the sailors in the movie playing an English concertina. 2: It states that "Marine outfitters and ship chandlers, in England at least, occasionally carried them [concertinas] as part of their standard stock-in trade to sailors." 3: It goes on to document 2 cases of concertinas that were almost certainly used at sea. The article seems to suggest that A.L. Lloyd's supposed error in "Moby Dick" is the source of the sailor-concertina link in the mind of the public. The statement by Carl Anderson, Capt A F Raynaud and Stan Hugil that they had never seen a concertina on board really only refers to the ships they were aboard, and is no more universal than the statement by Dudley Turner on the Monkbarns that "There was always someone with a mouth organ or concertina". Different ships, different long splices.
  14. Interesting, - of the 7 professional sailors I know who play musical instruments of any kind, five play the concertina. So there is certainly a current connection. What I an interested in is how far back the connection goes. It is difficult to go back far with photos, since photos taken aboard ship are a recent thing. On another subject - in most of the photos of people playing, they are playing for a dancer. Do the dances themselves survive anywhere? The mate on the Soren Larsen used to do a kind of jig, unaccompanied, starting slow and accelerating to very fast. Finally - where do you sail? (which of the seven seas?)
  15. Don't get me started - you don't know what you might unleash! We took well over 1000 photos between us, and are only part way through sorting them. Hopefully when we get some order into the chaos, we will be able to put something onto our website. Meantime, all I can say is that it was a trip of a lifetime; not always comfortable, and the weather far from perfect, but we wouldn't have missed it for the world!
  16. Picked it in one, Scott - yes that is No 14! (and it was tough enough to survive the trip). The effect on the penguins was interesting. At the first note, they all moved rapidly in the general direction of away. As I played, they came back to investigate, and when I stopped, set up a chorus of their own. When I started playing a second time, they sang along (this was when this photo was taken). Does this make them session "chanters"?
  17. Long enough to play Waltzing Matilda and Moreton Bay, and then get my gloves back on again. For a Queenslander it was pretty cold! so I played fast! (Is this a good reason for learning fast-playing techniques?)
  18. No - they keep eating them - and we are not supposed to feed the penguins.
  19. Bit off-topic, but . . . We're back from Antarctica!! Wonderful trip! The concertina connection is in 3 parts: 1. We visited Art Altenburg's "Concertina Bar" in Milwaukee. (Due to a quirk in airline pricing policy, we travelled to the Antarctic Peninsular from Brisbane via Sydney, San Francisco, Chicago, Buenos Aires and Ushuaia. Thus a side trip to Milwaukee - where my sister lives - made some sense). Art is a real character, and I would recommend anyone of the concertina persuasion to visit his bar. 2. In Buenos Aires, we naturally saw a tango show - complete with virtuoso Bandonian player. Yes - it was as good as Mike said it would be. 3. The attached photo - of me playing in Antarctica. Note my loyal fan cheering and applauding over my shoulder.
  20. Not a bad thought at all - note that in Nov 2005, Europa is doing a run down the east Coast of South America (following an Atlantic crossing). On our trip, we will be stopping briefly (2 nights) in Buenos Aires during our flights to Ushuaia, and hope to see at least some hot tangos, and hear some Bandonians in the wild.
  21. I hope not to - it sounds too traumatic - do they allow high-level violence on TV?
  22. Isn't playing the concertina cause enough? I will be going "off air" in a couple of days (for 5 weeks) - "bound for Cape Horn". Actually we are leaving from South America on a trip to Antarctica on this ship (but of course, it is not a ship, but a barque). We should see Cape Horn on the way there or back. I am taking my Kookaburra concertina, so I may be able to add to the photos of concertinas aboard ship by one. I hope to be able to learn some Dutch shanties as well. I only hope that I am not put ashore "with cause".
  23. Yes - sorry about that. If I had been following the thread more closely, it could have saved a lot of speculation, but on the other hand, we would have missed the photo of Jim's beautiful array of instruments. (Likely to stir up another epidemic of COAD - Concertina Obsessive Aquisition Disorder)
  24. I also read somewhere (but I forget where) that Shackleton played the concertina. It was this that I was trying to verify when I found this book in the library. Could it be that Shackleton had a Wheatstone in addition to this (Edephone?).
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