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Randy Stein

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About Randy Stein

  • Birthday 04/15/1953

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    My Family, Live Music, Reading, Talmudic Studies, Cooking, Golf. Art, Theater. ect
  • Location
    Washington, DC

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  1. As mentioned previously, I recorded performances of Jazz, Classical, Traditional tunes as well as polyphonic arrangements of some Popular Standards for World Concertina Day. The YouTube concert will be available on Feb 6th at 9:00AM EST: https://youtu.be/m2_s6cKUl7g
  2. I use this tune in order to teach beginning players fingering on one side of the EC and offer a traditional session tune to learn. The dots are from thesession.org which called it a hornpipe though I do not remember playing it as a hornpipe in any jam sessions. I contacted two very fine Anglo players I know, Jim Besser and Aaron Bittel, as to how they play it and to see any similarities to playing it on the EC. What I received was a wealth of experience and knowledge. Below is from the string of emails: Jim: Soldiers Joy is probably English, Irish or Scottish in origin - it's the subject of lively debate - but it's become part of the oldtime and contra dance repertoire in this country, much like "Liberty" or "Whiskey Before Breakfast." I don't know why the dots list it as a hornpipe; it's played smooth, mostly, although I was at a memorable jam a bunch of years ago when we played it pretty dotted. That said, there are a zillion different versions - once I had an Ozark fiddler in a band, and he learned a very different version from his grandfather. To me, this is pretty much a classic American version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuhqSH9pTEg Here's a classic contra dance version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_IyAPAJJ54 Remember that in the New England tradition, they call lots of things "hornpipes" that don't meet the common definition - i.e. dotted. Aaron: I know Soldier's Joy as an American old-time tune too, though I think I've heard it once or twice in an Irish session. It seems to be one of those tunes that has travelled. I once found a version by Isidore Soucy in the Virtual Gramophone called Reel des pompiers (Firemen's Reel) that, in characteristic Québécois fashion, drops a single beat at the end of each section -- just enough to make your head spin if you're used to playing it totally square: https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/films-videos-sound-recordings/virtual-gramophone/Pages/Item.aspx?idNumber=1007648674 (direct link to listen: http://www.collectionscanada.ca/obj/m2/f7/15709.mp3) And I've also encountered not just New England players, but southern old time players who call lots of things "hornpipes" that just sound to me like really fast reels. Makes me wonder if those tunes once were hornpipes and got sped up and un-dotted, or if there was some other long-lost (or at least not obvious to me) distinction that made them call some tunes hornpipes and others reels. Fisher's Hornpipe, for example, seems to be played by most old-time players totally straight, and like a bat out of hell. I learned it as an Irish-style hornpipe, swung and at a comfortable pace. As far as I'm concerned they're two different tunes that just happen to share the same melody. (And then there's the Québécois way, in F and crooked in at least three ways...) But to answer your actual question, Randy: on a C/G Anglo, the A part of Soldier's Joy falls, for the first five and a half bars, almost entirely on the left hand, and the B part falls almost entirely on the right. In my way of playing it anyway, places where the range of the left and right hands overlap -- the fourth-line D for instance -- offer a choice based on what I want to do with either the phrasing or any kind of harmony or drone. Large stretches of the melody staying on one side of the instrument also facilitate playing in octaves (the octave below or above being on the other side), for anything from a note or two up to several bars. Jim: I've done it on the CG, a little different than the way Aaron does it. I play most of the A part melody on the right, but modify the last couple of measures because I don't have the high notes. Then the B part is also on the right. I do it this way because I always play in the harmonic style - i.e. with strong chords and bass lines. Can't do that when the melody sticks to the left side, at least in D. But normally I'd play it on the GD, with virtually all of the melody - except for some Ds in the A part - on the right side, and strong chords/basses on the left. Hornpipes: yes, I've encountered oldtime "hornpipes" that are indistinguishable from reels. Some - Fishers Hornpipe is a good example - are played both ways. It's a fairly common tune among very trad contra dance bands, and it's always played straight, no swing, no dotted notes. But in English ceilidh it's played as a very heavily swung hornpipe. SOLDIER'S JOY.pdf
  3. Jim Besser wrote "I'd be interested in hearing from Anglo players - I'm sure there are - who employ a more formal arranging process." I suggest, when it becomes available, listen to Aaron Bittel performing his original composition, JANUS, in our upcoming concert for WCD. Based of the compositions of the brilliant modern composer, Walter S. Hartley, it is an approach to music on the anglo that is executed and composed with great intention and originality.
  4. There is one at the Button Box www.buttonbox.com
  5. "When I was a little boy, I told my dad, 'When I grow up, I want to be a musician.' My dad said: 'You can't do both, Son.'" - Chet Atkins
  6. Seeing a list of tentative performers for the ICA Concert made the excitement for this day even greater. Thought I would share a list of the players and their instruments for the Eastern North America Online Concertina Concert as well. In no particular order: CONCERTINA SYSTEMS AND THEIR PLAYERS IN THE ENAOCC ANGLO Jim Besser, Jody Kruskal, Susan Heberling, Tom Kruskal, David Colpitts,Ken Coles, Aaron Bittle, Jerry Bryant DUET Britt Goodman, David Barnet ENGLISH David McNamara, Bob Beimers, Stewart Dean, Jan Elliot, Eric Matueswitch, Mary Roth, Carol Wadlinger, Peggy Leiby, Susan Gordon, Judith Ullman, Randy Stein, Matthew Huemann, Bob Snope, Bill Geiger, Judith Hunt
  7. I hope it is okay if I also plug my own personal concert for the day. In addition to the Eastern North American Online Concertina Concert we've put together, I was working with some bandmates on a project to video our performances. I decided to expand the project to include additional selections of jazz, classical, traditional, and popular standards which I arranged for solo EC. Here are a few screenshots. Looking forward to the whole day of music from around the world.
  8. I want to offer a quick follow-up about the ENAOCC for World Concertina Day. We are preparing to create our Online Concertina Concert. We have all but one promised video from more than 2 dozen players of Anglo, English, and duet systems. We have 3 typical American musical presentations including a ragtime piece. Other tunes include one Brenton, 4 classical, one Scandi, one popular French, one Scottish, a hymn in the players church, 2 Irish jig sets, one Morris and awaiting a second, 3 vocals, and 3 waltzes. Two players are working with piano accompaniment and we have two trios and two duos. I believe four of the tunes are original compositions. Every player plays with the love of their music and their instrument. I am incredibly proud of the work and effort my friends made to participate in this celebration.
  9. In celebration of Sir Charles Wheatstone's 220th birthday and the First Annual World Concertina Day Celebration, we are presenting the Eastern North America Online Concertina Concert (ENAOCC)! Join us LIVE on Sunday February 6th at 12 PM (noon) EST to watch video submissions from nearly two dozen concertina players. There will be soloists and small groups performing a wide variety of playing styles and musical genres on Anglo, duet, and English systems. It's also available from our YouTube channel page: https://bit.ly/enaocc2022 We will repost as a reminder prior to the concert. If you can't make the live premiere, the concert video will continue to be available for ongoing viewing pleasure. World Concertina Day is brought to you by the International Concertina Association. More information can be found at https://concertina.org/world-concertina-day/
  10. I use a Blue Yeti at home for both online and recording. Really great all things taken into consideration.
  11. MY FAVORITE THINGS was composed by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II for The Sound Of Music in 1959. This is a live recording from a performance on Feb 13, 2020 at the Restaurant and Wine Bar, Blend 111. Buco Cavar and Bill Parmentier - Guitar Alex Novak - Upright Bass Randy Stein - English Concertina
  12. Recently someone contacted me about wanting to learn more traditional music. My usual response was the best way to learn was to attend one of the many sessions or open band sessions around town. Unfortunately the pandemic has stopped almost all of those sessions. Back in early 2020 a few friends around the Mid Atlantic and Northeast suggested we do something online and we have met weekly since. To great success I might add. We pick a theme. Music is added to a shared Google doc file either as dots or an mp3. Then we meet via Zoom, some picks one of the tunes and we all join in, muted of course. I am lucky the musicians in my online jam pod are exceptional. Find a friend or two or three and start your own online jam session. It's wonderful. Or if you're aware of one that's open to others, let people know. There is a need and desire.
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