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CrP

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Everything posted by CrP

  1. Nice little quartet, called "Naches, "with a lively rendering of a Bulgar on clarinet, bass, violin & English concertina (playing chords on the off-beats). I think the group is either Czech or Slovak. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jCw7djJJbE
  2. Yes, I play a great deal of klezmer (and Yiddish & E. European) music on anglo. Without getting into a definition of klezmer [the best succint version of which I found in Mark Slobin's introduction to the book, American Klezmer, 2002, U of California Press. ISBN 0-520-22717-4], I can tell you that an anglo concertina can sound really good for this, IMHO. It works very well as accompaniment for singing. If you play with other musicians, then you can find a role for concertina that may vary from melody to chords to harmony, depending on the sound that the band is aiming at and you skill with the instrument. Here's the caveat: A great deal of the music that many klezmer musicians play winds up being in Dminor and Gminor, so a concertina player will need to be able to play in those keys and to find work-arounds for the chords that don't fall easily, e.g., Cminor, C7. I just came back from a practise and recall the frequency of this modulation: D major C minor, D major and then you'll need Eflat (major) sometimes for the G minor stuff -- that's hard to get in the right register on a C/G instrument. So, I am fortunate to have 2 concertinas that serve well -- one is a 44-key in Bflat/F, so its related minor keys are easy & handy -- Dm & Gm. I also have a modified 34-key Jones on which I had Greg Jowaisas substitue push Bflat/ pull E and C#/F# reeds for the "novelty noise" buttons [baby cry, etc.] so I can esily play G minor, C7 and some other combinations that you can't do or can't do easily on a standard C/G 3-key anglo.
  3. Allow me to add a summary of what I see happening in the Washington DC area, where FSGW [Folklore Society of Greaterr Wahsington] continues to find a huge range of folk musics & musicians to perform at the annual 2-day Washington Folk Festival [not to be confused with Smithsonian Folklife Fest], 1st weekend of June each year -- something that has been a big folk event for waaay over 30 years. For instance, there are ethnic groups as diverse as Scandinavian; Greek [Karpouzi trio], tamburica music from former Yugoslavia [Šarenica]; Hungarian táncház music [Tisza]; Macedonian [Luk na glavta]; Bulgarian [Lyuti Chushki]; French [a lot of really fine musicians playing Bal Folk], Moldavian Szikra; more klezmer bands than one can count and these are only the ones I personally know about. Since my introduction to the folk music revivial at Obelrin College in the early 60s, I've seen many changes to the music, to the level of musicanship [generally rising], and especially to integration of that music into people's lives outside of commercial venues. Money in folk music there isn't a lot of, nor venues where performers regularly appear -- but energy and lots of scholarship, reclaiming of ethnic heritage(s) -- those there certainly are. For those of us of the older folk revival generation, we're seeing a lot, I think, of interest in passing along the traditions to subsequent generations. Books to consult: Mirjana Laušević, "Balkan Fascination" Oxford U.P., 2007; Neil Rosenberg, "Transforming Tradition: Folk Music Revivals Examined" U of IL Press, 1993; Carol Silverman, "Romani Routes: Cultural Politics and Balkan Music in Diaspora" Oxford U.P., 2007 -- lots of the Romani music discussed is happening right there in NYC [Oxford has published several really interesting books in its "American Musicsphere" series about folk music. Enough from me.
  4. Lovely music-making; certainly made me want to dance because it moved well and had a good energy. Thanks a lot.
  5. Truly a splendid case worth treasuring! If it were mine, I'd feel torn beteween fixxing it for continued use as a protector and cleaning it up so as to render it as beautiful as before, possibly at a sacrifice of its more protective aspects. An alternative might be to find a case maker here in the USA who would duplicate it (or come very close) to achieve a brand-new protective AND beautiful item. I'd consider seeking a good leather-worker who might do custom work (I have suggestion). Also a fine cabinet maker, which reminds me that my cousin's husband is such a cabinet maker, who lives in upstate NY. May I ask him about this kind of thing, without mentioning your name or anything? Then, if it looks like a possibility, you could contact him to pursue it?
  6. CrP

    Nadiejda - 2ManyButtons

    Jim & Randy: In addition to your playing having a very clear sense of the proper "feel" (or maybe emotion?) to the melody, a nice sense of mood, it was almost perfectly danceable. That was a fine, melancholy waltz, if ever i heard one. More, more, please.
  7. CrP

    Secondary Key: Ab/Eb vs Bb/F

    A major consideration for me is the type of music I play, so ask yourself that question, namely, what type of music do you play (or want to play)?. Much of the klezmer music, which I'm playing a lot these days, involves D minor and G minor, so my Jeffries Bflat/F is my favored instrument. That said, I find D minor is also an easy key for my (male, low tenor, high baritone) voice, so C/G can easily cope with D minor and its associated chords -- F, Bflat, C(7) when it comes to accompanying singing. These chords + keys fall easily on a C/G; they fall more even more easily on a Bflat/F. instrument So one consideration I would offer is to consider what role you and your concertina want to play -- in a band, where you'll need an instrument that has tonal & volume power enough to compete with other instruments? Or one that works with your voice and its range when there's little or no other (additional) instrumentation. Is there/are there common keys that you keep thinking you can't easily play on your C/G? Hope this helps.
  8. CrP

    Christmas songs... in Yiddish

    Pretty good song salesmanship, altho' I daresay it's the piano accompaniment that really makes this one work. Can we say "only in America....?
  9. CrP

    George Jones 26 button

    My preferred instruments are by Jones -- I have several concertinas from the house of Jones. They vary in responsiveness and it's difficult to generalise about, let's say, Jones reeds in contrast to reeds in Lachenals or Crabbs or Jeffries. My 26-button G/D Jones is one of the best concertinas I've ever played-- fast, strong, loud, even tone from bottom notes to the top -- it's a joy to play. I also have a 44b Jeffries --a really fine B♭/F, and a very good 36b Lachenal. So, my point is that over the course of years of manufacturing, who knows how many reed makers, reed tuners, parts suppliers might contribute to the instruments of any given maker. Generalisation based on a limited sample, from particular instances is a fraught activity. Manbe all your Jones needs is a visit to a good repair person.
  10. CrP

    34 button anglo - Maker and date

    Thanks for the photos of reed pans and action. The longer I look and the more I compare those photos with the inner workings and other evidence of my Jones instruments, the more similarities I see. For instance, the posts on which the levers operate look identical to those on my Jones instruments. Similarly, the lettering/numbering styles of the numbers stamped into the wood look awfully similar. I grant that the makers and stampers of concertina parts may have obtained their tools from a very small number of manufacturers and nobody particularly cared what typeface was used for those stamps. However, my eye sees similarities between the shapes of the numbers and their placement on the outer edge(s) of the reed pans. So, circumstancial evidence like this tends to make me think the instrument was from G. Jones. My wooden-ended, 34-button anglo that is most like it bears the serial No. 17021. So, that's my small contribution to the mystery.
  11. CrP

    34 button anglo - Maker and date

    As an owner of a couple of Jones instruments, I thought that the bellows papers in the photo were the same as those on one of my instruments. Beyond that particular clue, tho', I can't say I notice anything that looks especially "Jones-y."
  12. Several more by the same group -- "Naches" -- the note indicates the performance occurred in March 2008 "Doina & Skočna" : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbZoETZrhp4 "Obodivker dance & Chasidic happy tune [meaning, most likely, a 'freylakh']" : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdKmM58FR-EThe video for this one has problems but the sound is OK and "Fun der chupe" with a nice melody intro on English concertina before the band picks up the tempo. The bess player does a really nice solo shortly into the piece : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9oR97KIu04
  13. I think there may be a problem with my participating in the messaging section. For one of the participants in C.net, the red "Block" entry appears. Does that mean I've accidentally Blocked receiving messages from him (unintentional) or has he blocked my messages?
  14. Thanks for the reply. I hadn't considered the possibility that the red "block" item would allow me to block someone; Rather I was thinking somone had blocked receipt of my messages to him. Anyway, end of problem; we have regained communication.
  15. CrP

    31 Button 5 3/4 Inch C/g

    In reviewing all the photos of your various creations, I caught myself saying, "I like your sense of style and invention" Are there any soundclips available anywhere to get a sense for how these sound? I guess your comment about sound sums it up nicely: judging "an instrument by its sound and playing characteristics if they are great, I give the wood some credit. If they are bad, the maker gets the blame." Good for you!
  16. Perhaps pther sellers, repairmen, and so forth can add commentary/ experience to this subject. As for me, I've recently had a late-19th-century Jones, rosewood-ended anglo sent here from the UK.. I don't recall there was any customs or other governmental hassle resulting. Who knows? Maybe the officials on duty were feeling generous that day?
  17. Looks like a lot of careful work. Hope it turns out airtight and handsome for many more years of playing.
  18. CrP

    Wanted: George Jones Plaque

    For what it's worth, I have ordered small engraved brass-colored (actually aluminium) plaques for insertion into the fretwork behind the ovals on a couple of my Jones concertinas. It took some careful measuring and some thought about what typeface looked good, but I wound up with something that's (I think) tasteful (black lettering on brass-colored background), albeit not authentic. There's probably a place in your vicinity that makes plaques for trophies, presentation pieces, cases & boxes or the like that will do the job for $20-30.
  19. The sound of the Dipper is quite extraordinary and the playing does a lovely job of bringing out the musical lines. Bravo.
  20. CrP

    Jones 34 Button G/d Anglo

    I'll send you a pm about this. CrP
  21. Chris: You might try contacting Greg Jowaisas (a member of this C.net forum) who has lots of experience working on Jones instruments, some of them mine, in fact.
  22. Am I right in thinking that the buyer of the Wheatstone will need to consider possible problems taking the concertina out of the country and then re-entering because of the tortoiseshell veneer? I recall some serious complications that other musicians have run into from the Fish & Widlife agents' enforcement of recent legislation about importing certain materials, e.g., ivory, totoisehell, rare woods, and the like.
  23. Thank you posting the link to those photos. I scrolled thro' them to see what all the instruments look like and was really impressed. How many different examples of leather + wood combinations have you done? Very impressive!
  24. CrP

    Hearing Yourself In A Group

    Haven't tried earplugs. Thanks for the suggestion. There may be several aspects to the question besides the seemingly simple "can I hear myself"? For instance, I know that my music-making depends to varying extents on what use I make of the aural feedback. For instance, am I relying on the sound to tell me that I'm playing the correct note or chord? Do I rely on it too much, perhaps at the expense of musicality, by adjusting dynamics, chording, pressure, etc. __after__ I hear the sound, rather than, say, knowing how loud I want it to sound because I decided that was what i want before I commenced playing? What I've tried to build into my music-making is the intentionality of my musical choices, developed during and as a result of practice, repetition, experimenting with variations in my notes or chords in search of a sense of sequence and phrasing -- that kind of thing. So, I'd rather be an intentional musician than a [let's call it] "reactive" musician, always (and maybe overly) dependent on the aural feedback that comes from listening to myself . reactive in this sense might mean trying to adjust my musicality after the notes have sounded.
  25. May I offer a comment on relative button spacing (between rows) and distance-between-buttons (side-to-side)? These 2 factors affect the feel of an instrument beneather the fingers and there is no single industry standard that all the concertina manufacturers adhered to over the 150-odd years that folks ahve been mass-producing said instruments. As I occasionally play a Lachenal, a 44-key Jeffries, and a couple of Jones instruments, i find that several factors affect the speed with which I can play any given instrument and the accuracy [meaning how reliably finger X presses the intended button solidly and cleanly enough to control the resultant musical note]. Not least of these is the amount of practise time I have put into playing on 1 instrument and the proportion of that pracvtice time that is recent. Perhaps this discussion ought to continue in the "ergonomics" section instead of or as well as here. Other important factors to consider: The surface area of the buttons, i.e., button diameter; height of button above the wood or metal surface and definitely -- most definitely -- the distance from handrest to the rows, along with the optimum hand and wrist angles that best suit the player+instrument combination. Seems to me as soon as one encounters any significant discrepancies in any or several of these factors between 2 or more instruments, one's muscle patterns will have to change to adapt to those slight (or major) differences. Comments?
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