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Everything posted by MatthewVanitas

  1. Oddly enough, I have met a Frenchman here: Jean Francoise Chaudeurge, builds harpsichords here in Bogota (http://clavecines.com/). I'm supposed to swing by his workshop sometime this month to check it out. I don't know if he builds clavichords too, but if he does and they're remotely affordable I may be sorely tempted by that once work starts picking up. In the meantime I intend to arrange some early clavichord and organ pieces for Duet concertina. Seems we have several folks these days looking at square Haydens; I'm pretty fond of the square boxes myself, like the original Wheatstone Duett, and the Henry Harley square Anglos. With your 34 keys, is that only partially chromatic then? So far as not chording on Haydens, I'm in the opposite end of the spectrum. I would much rather have less overlap and more range at either end, since I depend heavily on low root-fifth chrods, basso continuo, etc. I play in small groups when I play in groups at all, and do a lot of solo so definitely need harmony. Looking forward to seeing your custom. Definitely seeing any makers adding Hayden to their repertoire is exciting. I found two guys with Hohner 3-row accordions jamming in a parked van, and from them got the phone# of an accordion technician in town. If he at all cobbles together locally-made accordions, and they're remotely affordable, I want to get him to make me something like a small 30-button Hayden with only a few chromatics.
  2. Hello Eddy, glad to hear that you're considering some creative takes on the Hayden system! I myself am trying to track down an accordion maker in Colombia who can maybe make me some unusual type of small, square Hayden, using accordion-type techniques. We have a thread in the General section about Stephane's other work; he has some cool ideas for merging concertina and accordion concepts.
  3. Wow, several different ways to go with this. I was thinking of something relatively more simple, ideally without having to re-drill or move anything around other than the reeds. As Geoff notes, even angle aside the Maccann keys are closer together than the standardized Hayden, but I'm pretty used to dealing with a wide variety of non-standardized instruments. So if I can get a Maccann converted without having to do major surgery (leaving it maybe even reversible if Maccanns ever become rare), that'd be fine by me, and hopefully keep the costs way down. Other than Greg (who afaik is a bit busy at the moment), what other folks are out there that might be able to do such a job if it just involves swapping around reeds, no drilling or changes to the keywork/levers? If it's at all doable, I have a few inexpensive Maccanns I've had my eye on, that I might could pick up and send for a switcharoo. It's been fun playing a small Crane so far, but I'm not convinced it's going to exceed the Hayden system in my esteem, so having a small Hayden, even in a slightly off-kilter layout, has much appeal.
  4. I just don't like being bothered on my birthday, but I'm in my mid-30s. Played a small bit of 18b English as a teen, took up Duet casually at 29, got serious into Duet last year. No idea if concertina will be my main axe for the rest of my life, but I have noted in the last few years I've been seriously pruning instruments I haven't been playing seriously, and getting more serious about the few I really want to stick with.
  5. Dana has some really good points for people wanting to get into more formal ITM, but the way John describes it I'd think that limiting himself to C and G keys, or even transposing D tunes to C and playing them through, could work fine. If he's playing just on his own he can do a given melody in whatever key, and if he has an accompanying friend they can play different chords, or capo, or choose a different key tinwhistle. So definitely to be in a pub session lacking a C# would be a hassle, but for playing solo or with friends, not so much even for many ITM tunes if you transpose. Can play D tunes in C, kick it Clare-style. Really looking forward to seeing what music you squeeze out of that Lachenal, John. Having a variety of players with a variety of styles, spread all over the world, is what makes this board so fascinating.
  6. Cool, I started up a new thread about Maccann to Hayden conversions: http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=16940
  7. In a recent thread, some members mentioned that conversions of Maccann to Haydet duet system had been done by Dana Williams and the late Neville Crabb. I found this intriguing, given the cost and wait-times of concertina-reeded Haydens, and would like to hear more about this! Inventor noted that wooden-end models are easier to convert than metal: does that imply that the conversions involve actually relocating buttons? To maintain the revertability of the conversion, is it possible to just leave the buttons in place and work the Hayden layout into the existing configuration as best as possible? Another member had noted that 6-across doesn't give one the full isomorphism of the Hayden, but then again even the extensive 52b Beaumont only has one row of seven on the right, and I've rarely found that limiting since I don't play in the deeper flat/sharp keys as much as Bb/F/C/G/D/A Is this an extensive and complex process that involves modifying the reedpans, or is it a pretty straightforward matter of playing mix-and-match with reeds of approximately similar size that can drop into each other's chambers? Any notion of what current luthiers might be able and willing to do such a conversion?
  8. I'd thought of getting a Maccann converted to Hayden before, but hadn't seen much discussion of such before. Any reason I shouldn't start a thread in the tech subforum about this? I already bug Greg enough as it is, but if this is doable I'd love to get a little 39b or 46b Maccann converted. Maccann have six buttons across, which is just what Hayden needs, but the downside is that the rows are often not straight, and also instead of being staggered the 5ths would be right above one another, which isn't insurmountable but not as convenient as "fourths are up and left, fifths are up and right" of standard Hayden.
  9. As mentioned above, Gary Coover's new book of Civil War Concertina, which has accompanying videos online, this this favorite of mine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCPG9hItLTU Then of course there's the online Playing the Anglo Concertina in Bush Music Style. For Irish, back when I was messing with Anglo I looked around for similar resources, and wasn't finding as much as I like. My vague impression is that 20b Irish players are people that already play Irish on another instrument, or are kind of self-taught. I can try to dig around, because I might have some older posts on Cnet where I compile links to earlier dicussions about 20b concertina. At some point I'd made a list somewhere of famous 20b Irish players, most notably Kitty Hayes. Between Cnet and the ITM forum The Session, there are a scattering of good threads at least discussing 20b Irish, "along the rows", etc. I believe County Clare being the center of what remains of that tradition. Dan Worrall did some research and interviews/recording on the topic in Clare, the Irish German Concertina Project, resulting in a recent album of pre-Hill style playing. Even though I don't play Anglo now, I do have friends I've gotten into playing 20b, and I for one would certainly enjoy seeing more books or online tutorials showing folks how to play Irish on 20b. In the meantime, I'd imagine just picking some tunes that don't have a C# in them, and just feeling them out by note "along the row" would at least get you started. So pleased to see you've found yourself a good solution at attainable price, and are drawn by the minimalism of the smaller Anglos.
  10. Good luck with your 20 buttons concertina hunting! Please once you find one let me know here or by PM what you got and how much you paid, if you don't mind. I'm really curious about the market for 20 buttons... Azalin, have you contacted Greg Jowaisas down in the US? He's the fellow I got my 20b from, and he had a pretty cool selection, as well as some 22/24/26b Anglos that were pricier than 20b but notably less than 30b, and presumably 95% sufficient for Irish trad. I don't know if it'd be cost-effective for John to order from Greg, but Greg does have afaik a solid understanding of customs/import issues for various countries, and at least in some cases vintage concertinas can qualify for reduced customs fees in some circumstances. Failing that, for John I'd reckon there must be a good scattering of 20b Anglos floating around, given its past relative popualrity and the relatively niche (or so I would assume) popularity of Bush concertina these days.
  11. Since you are interested in doing some Irish tunes within the key limitations of 20b C/G, you may find interesting this 2003 thread where a member analyzed a tune archive of Irish music and concluded that 40% of Irish tunes in said collection could be played without any missing notes on a 20b C/G. The thread has some other useful commentary on the 20b in Irish, and is part of the reason I got said Jones 20b, though again I eventually settled on Duet concertina to be able to do more organ/keyboard-esque stuff. Other Irish Music Stats: 20-button V. 30-buttonStarted by caj, Dec 15 2003 08:04 PM http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=490
  12. I hope I and a couple others aren't confusing John with tech-talk, since he hasn't mentioned how much music background he has or hasn't. One abstract way to summarize it: the more you want to play a fixed and formal genre with a larger number of people, the more standardized your gear must be. - If you want to play in Irish sessions, and attend workshops of ITM, you almost definitely need 30b or close to it - If you want to play general folk music in smaller groups of friends, C/G 20b would probably do you fine since you could nudge them to lean towards playing in C, G, Am, D Dorian, Em, etc. And you could work around songs in a few other keys by just avoiding one or two notes and using an alternate harmony. - If it's mostly just you playing and occasionally a buddy, you could probably have a 20b in a different key, like Ab/Eb, because you could ask your buddy to accomodate by capoing his guitar, putting down his D tinwhistle and picking up his spare Eb (a Generation Eb costs $10), etc. - If it's going to be just you singing and backing yourself up, it could something weird like a 20b B/F# that's pitched a quarter-step off the standard tuning, and so long as it's in-tune with itself, and you match your voice to the instrument, you'd sound great. Once you get all your questions pondered out and make a decision, I'll be most interested to hear what you end up coming to.
  13. John, just a little clarification regarding "Irish"? Are you referring to playing like jigs and reels, such as played in a pub session with flutes and fiddlers, or more backing up singing Irish ballads? If the latter, same as most ballad work a 20b is likely to suffice fine. If the former, that does recommend 30b, and that also explains a lot of the price differential. The currently overwhelmingly popular school of Irish Traditional Music (ITM) concertina was established by Noel Hill middle of last century, on a 30b C/G, and the massive proportion of Irish players now play that style on that gear. There are a ton of Irish-style players in the Anglosphere, they almost all want to be Noel Hill, thus the price difference. Even though a savvy player could probably do just fine with a 26 or even fewer, and generations of Irish folks played dance music on 20b G/Cs; one of our members even put together a series of recording on just that topic, tracking down examples of the pre-Hill style. Similarly Gary Coover's recent book of US Civil War songs is all written to be played on 20b. I'm just a little a contrarian, and for the limited time I played Anglo before focusing on Duet I had a grand time on a little 20b Jones that I paid US$700 for (and easily sold to someone just 15m drive from me for the same price), and it was a great player and very small compared to modern hybrids, really distinctively concertina-style tone vice the mellower hybrids. If playing jigs and reels in session is your priority, that almost requires 30b, but if you're doing vocal accompaniment, and more casual play with friends where limiting the range of keys isn't a problem, 20b is a neat creature. Similarly, you can do Irish music just fine on your own in the "old style" playing the 20b C/G "along the rows" for keys of C and G, and related keys.
  14. Hello John, what kind of music are you fixing to play on it? Irish trad jigs and reels, English country dance stuff, or traditional Aussie bush music? Maybe a fringe opinion, but if you're not doing something like Irish trad where the current styles all but require 30 buttons, perhaps instead of a Rochelle you could spend just a little more and get a vintage 20-button? Iirc, the website of Bush concertina music is all for 20b, and 20 suits some folks who want to do "sea chanties" and other simpler folk songs where there's less need to play in a wide variety of keys. http://www.bushtraditions.org/tutors/concertina.htm In the US at least, you can get a decent refurbished Lachenal 20b for maybe US$500. Disregard if you want to play challenging fiddle-type music, jazzy stuff, etc but 20b vintage could be a very affordable way to get the old-school concertina sound/handling, and in a very compact small frame.
  15. If I'm back in the US next year I hope to make it. I've been really surprised and pleased by the people who've taken my Afghan clip as inspiration to get an Elise. I feel remiss I didn't get any Beaumont clips done before leaving the country. I'll just have to shoot some cool Crane clips in Bogota.
  16. Pondered attending, but my move overseas is this coming week. Also was a bit hesitant since at 34 I'd imagine I'm in at least the youngest quintile of attendees, so might feel a bit out of place. And/not not sure the more conservative ends of the folk scenes enjoy war vets with visible piercings or tattoos, regardless of musicality.
  17. Genuine question, not trying to sound snarky: on the CC line, what are the parts least needing replacement? That is, how to you make it good without making it a Ship of Theseus (in American parlance, George Washington's axe that has survived centuries and is in great shape because "the head's been replaced twice and the handle replaced three times"). Is it the wooden core of it that's the real keeper, the soundboard and walls and all? Replacing the action sounds one of the trickier operations, but Łukasz got great results by replacing and bushing the buttons, and your reed drop-in looks easier than that, so that seems a way forward. If I can find an affordable accordion tech in Bogota, I may bring down my Elise next time I go to have the new reeds dropped in, buttons replaced with metal or Delrin and with bushings. Just have to see how Colombian skilled labour costs come out compared to US where it's just not cost-effective to have a pro do it. Definitely would really like to hear any opinions from folks as to what the advantages of the new reeds are. Better tone? Smoother playing? More air-efficient? I actually find the stock reeds pretty good-sounding (barring a few that are a little buzzy), so curious about potential improvement.
  18. Have many other members had a chance to try out the Peacock yet? I'm still really enjoying my Beaumont, and since I don't want to take something that pricey to South America I spent $500 on a 35b Crane to take down instead. Still not sure if I'll end up warming to the Crane system or not. If no I suppose I'd have to decide between muddling through with the Elise (which is a decent box but very clunky compared to Beaumont), risking my Beaumont, or getting a Peacock to be my traveling Hayden since the Beaumont is 150% the price of it. If anyone else has observations on Peacock I'd be curious to hear. Noel's observations do concern me a bit, since it would be a bit counterproductive to being a traveling-box if the Peacock is somewhat sensitive to climate change. Lots of difference between humid coastal Brazil and a dry winter in Chile. Fallback hopeful option: find a South American accordion-maker who can rig me up a little square diatonic Hayden with just a few chromatic notes that I can make work for me. Dunno how feasible that would be, but entertaining idea.
  19. Note too another commonality with Herrington: the 24-button layout, so it has chromatics with each row, even on just a 2-row. IIRC both Herrington and Edgely tried that one, but it never sold particularly well. I don't know if Stephane got his idea from that, or came to it independently. It'd take up more space, but I wonder if there's enough room there to so something CBA-ish like our Cnet member tona has. Interestingly enough, his was made by Dipper (based iirc on the 1920s Hugo Stark design), and as you can see from the pics, Stephane and the Dippers are already on good terms. Seeing a square box too made me wonder if Stephane could be persuaded to make a small square instrument like the Wheatstone Duett, but in Hayden format perhaps. Though I already have some feelers out for folks who might try experimenting with such a build, and I'll keep my eye out for a daring accordion maker down in Colombia when I'm down there, just to explore all the options...
  20. This novel design was mentioned in the "Makers" thread with some speculation, so I figured it best to just contact the maker directly. Here's his reply which he consented to have posted on Cnet: He sent a lot more detailed pics as while as a flyer (attached to this thread as a file). If you need the more detailed internal pics, fretwork, etc. you can PM me, or just get in contact with Stéphane: http://www.accordeons-du-marais.com/ His shop is in Fontenay-Le-Comte, an hour south of Nantes, if we happen to have any members in the greater Bretagne/Breizh region who can give us a hands-on report. Prospectus Mélodina.pdf
  21. Just got a reply back from Stéphane Le Lan, the maker. Will post it as a new thread: http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=16906
  22. Nah, if you want a peasant instrument, you really gotta get a square box:
  23. Speaking of whom, I've always wished folks would be a bit more daring in their fretwork offerings, and finally Seven Mount steps up and does gorgeous and modernist stuff like this:
  24. Been looking for good series of tutorials; this guy appears to have a lot of good easy walk-through tutorials for shabad (Sikh hymns). The narration is in Punjabi, but I don't think it matters too much. Though I am starting to think I need to put in the basic effort to learn the absolute basics of swara, the Indian equivalent of solflage (do-re-mi) since in some tutorials they recite the names of the notes as they play, so that might be handy. Here's a good one I found: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lc8p2tClpnA Here's a recording of a full band/orchestra/ensemble/? performing the same hymn: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lE0LhgiDKzc Personally I'd rather do tutorials of Carnatic classical music vice Punjabi hymns, but the latter seem to have a lot more tutorials. Which makes sense, since Carnatic classical players probably study under masters, go to conservatories, etc. while there's probably wide demand for adherents who can play really basic hymn music, and a religious motivation to help beginners by creating tutorials.
  25. Sounds pretty awesome, neat to see "obsolete" styles brought back to popular attention. What portion of it is playable on 20b C/G, do you reckon? Or is it pretty 30b-centric?
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