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Lakeman

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    Dartmoor, Devon, UK

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Chatty concertinist

Chatty concertinist (4/6)

  1. Also, I would urge you to listen to the International Concertina Association's (ICA) worldwide concert, broadcast recently and still available on line. I am proud to say I was included.It had more than 50 of the world's leading players with an astonishing mixture of genres and styles...South African Boer music, South American tango-style stuff, every kind of trad' Irish ,English and Scottish music, Americana of every kind.......
  2. Please Google "Geoff Lakeman, concertina" and see what I do on a Crane duet, a fully-=chromatic instrument, on various Youtube and Facebook sites.In theory I could play any piece of classical music ( but I am not a " reader.")However, in a typical gig or session I might play Scott Joplin ragtime, Cole Porter or Hoagy Carmichael, English or Irish tunes, Randy Newman, Hank Williams, Jimmy Rodgers,thd Louvin Brothers, Richard Thompson,Tin Pan Alley jazz from there twenties and thirties, and self-composed songs.As someone else has already written - what limits the repertoire is the player, not the instrument.
  3. Fond memory of visiting the Button Box - just the once - and meeting the late Rich and Doug - when I crossed the pond to attend a North East Squeeze-In.Both were most welcoming and very knowledgable about all free reed instruments.I must get back out to another Squeez-In
  4. Nigel is my "Go TO" concertina mechanic - the best I. the business !
  5. One interesting little detail I left out....on trad', vintage instruments a common problem is pads falling off, possibly because they are attached with glue that should not completely not dry-out, allowing them some flex to move and fit over the hole firmly. Ed has got around this by designing ( and 3 D printing) tiny little ball-and-socket joints on the ends where the levers join the pads, ensuring a tight, perfect fit each time the pad closes over the holes
  6. OK, so here I am again trying to download something. This is Version One of "The Bluejay" Crane Duet 3- D printed concertina, with the larger holes in the end design.The tune is "The Road Together" written by Irish button-accoordeon virtuoso Martin O'Connor which I put on my debut solo album "After All These Years."Oops, dammit - computer says ":NO" , file too big, although it is only a short piece. So, folks...anybody want to see/hear it why not send me your email address and I'll post it directly to you. My email is geoffreylakeman@btinternet.com
  7. I commissioned the world's first Crane duet 3 D printed concertina from Ed Jay. Version one - which is blue in colour so we call it "the Bluejay" - was ready in January and I was very pleased with it. But, after playing it for a short while-including performing with it in public - Ed and I talked at length and came up with various " tweaks" which have improved it ( especially the sound) by 50 per cent or more ! So....it has traditional leather bellows, metal buttons and Italian accordion reeds....everything else is 3D printed.It is Eco-friendly and. biodegrabable. No hydro-carbons in the " plastic" which, as I understand it, contains rice. So it is a concertina grown in a paddy field! And, when we discussed the alterations I wanted Ed simply said " Easy...I'll just print you new ends." Which he did.Because of the sort of material I perform, with elongated full chords, I found the six bellows a little restricting so he added another fold ( 7 ).It has 55 buttons, plus air button.He provided me with a custom-made carrying box.... and, without prompting. has configured " built- in" high-standard mics on either side with a fold-away mount. Makes more sense when you see it.Version one was a little raspy and too much like an accordion sound for my liking. English concertina maestro Rob Harbron has played one of ED's instruments- which I handled - and had made similar comments.Amazingly - to my mind - Ed construed that the sound coming out of the ends would change significantly by having a different design on the ends. He reduced the design-pattern to quite small leaf-like holes, and the decreased fenestration resulted in a much sweeter, more concertina-like tone.It is mellow, but still quite loud when you want it to be- depending on bellows control.I have put a sample of Version One on Facebook previously. I am a techno-twanky, so struggle with these various platforms, but I will try and put pictures and possible sound samples up here.Ed is supremely enthusiastic about his project and very knowledgable- and approachable. Anybody with detailed questions only needs to contact him direct. To sit in his Bristol home surrounded by a dozen or so of these machines ( English, Anglo and my Duet) was impressive.A Swedish player collected an instrument from him the day before me. These machines are going to make concertina-playing more affordable, especially for youngsters- and will around the world.
  8. Massive thanks and congratulations to you Daniel, and the other three in the ' core' team for putting this together. Must have involved many hours of work. A truly impressive mega-concert of brilliant players and varied music from around the world.Fantastic to think it is now going to be ' out there" and more and more people, hopefully, will visit and discover our amazing instrument."Let the music keep your spirits high."
  9. Ed Jay has made me the very first 3 D printed Crane duet concertina ( I put a video up on Facebook ). It is 55 button, six-fold and BLUE !( my choice) He is currently working on Prototype number 2 - a few tweaks to buttons, seven-fold etc. I'll post new video when I get the machine back.I gave the "BlueJay" Prototype 1 a live World Premier a couple of weeks ago at a Bodmin Folk Club gig and people were intrigued.I'm sure it is the way forward for concertina construction - if only for affordability. Accordion reeds, I know, but an interesting sound/alternative to add to my arsenal; of traditional vintage Wheatstone and Lachenal instrumentments.Particularly ideal for Americana stuff, along with the banjo of my duo buddy Rob Murch.
  10. Thanks for putting these up Daniel/Alan. Recordings a bit dated now, although I'm pleased enough with them. I'll try and post some of the more advanced stuff I'm doing in my new duo now with banjo virtuoso Rob Murch. We've managed three festivals since emerging from lockdown.On Weds, Sep 22 we are at Llantrissant Folk Club near Cardiff for anyone in South Wales who is interested.
  11. Why so many bellow folds? ( 11) You could use this one for skipping.
  12. PUSH BUTTONS - I play jazz .I find a 55 -button model - whatever the make - is needed to give the spread of notes you need on both sides.I have two Lachenal 55 Cranes...my better, 58 button Wheatstone , is my main performance instrument.Other instruments include a 48-button Wheatstone which has beautiful reeds v- but I sometimes pick it up, play something and realise halfway through the song/tune that I have run out of notes.I also have a metal-ended 55-button.... which has a different tone.You would think the metal ends would suit jazz and have more "edge." But it is a quietter instrument, so I will grab the Wheatstone and Lachenal wooden-ended models first.I love playing the 48 - which was recently overhauled by the "Concertina Doctor" , Nigel Sture. But I limit my playing on it and stick to the larger models so my wrist muscles etc are " up to speed."(Bit of arthritis etc) Another factor- not always considered by inexperienced players - is the number of bellows, which affects the dynamics of the way you play a tune. My main instrument has eight-fold, the two Lachenals are 7.
  13. David - oops, of course Cranes don't have thumb straps. Got carried away there.I meant the point at which the thumb is at the top "outside" the strap.Must be fiendish for people coming to all this for the first time..I have Jeffries-playing duet mates...now, they are brain-scrambling.
  14. Rob - For example, the Crane system (which I play and would commend) has five buttons in each row - from top (thumbstrap) to bottom (little finger.) Don't be confused by the " spare" right-hand air button, operated bu your thumb ,used to reverse direction of bellows travel.( Not used that often, because it is an unisonoric instrument i.e.: same note when bellows are pushed or drawn.Also, my " best" instrument has seven-fold bellows which allows for very long, drawn-=out chords or note progressions
  15. Geoff/Alan... I too met Tommy Williams at an ICA meeting in London...might have been the same one as you two.Early seventies... he was an old man then, and as you say a tiny chap. Not just short, but spindly... but massive hands which covered his huge " machine."Harry and Neville Crabb were there too.. Funny enough I was clearing out some stuff yesterday and found some letters/notes/valuations spares etc from both Harry and Neville ( after his dad had died.).I remember Tommy playing his " hit ", 'Springtime in Battersea" at that gathering.
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