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Peter Laban

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  1. I assumed the extra work would add a bit. Water and damp getting in, I worry about those things. But it's a lovely case.
  2. Nice job although I can't help thinking you'd want a lid that fully closes over the case rather than leaving gaps open at the sides like it does now.
  3. Sorry David but I can't agree with that. Playing a variety of tunes is a way of making yourself acquainted with all sorts of situations or 'movements' if you like that will help you to to get familiar with your instrument and will also be helpful when learning new tunes. We can argue about what the most efficient way to achieve an intimate understanding and familiarity with your instrument but it can just as easily be said that practicing scales and arpeggios will get you to be good at playing scales and arpeggios. But that's just words and they are cheap. I do think scales and arpeggios will just train the mechanical side of music making while playing tunes helps develop both musical and mechanical skills. And it's important to develop both. How exactly to go about learning depends on a person's goals, type of music etc. Rome, a variety of roads to get you there and all that.
  4. Not sure this is the most recent thread on the subject, search isn't working very well. Last week, during the Galway arts festival, I found myself at an exhibition of work by Brasilian (UK based) artist Ana Maria Pacheco. Lovely stuff. ( Artist's website) Two works from the series The Miraculous Journey of a Little Vixen included a concertina.:
  5. Photobucket now seems to have ended 3d party linking for free accounts, which is a pain. Will have to find a different option now. The popstimage site above looks good.
  6. Here are a few old tunes, three of John Naughton's reels taken from various recordings of his playing, I have no names for them. Very simple and effective: T:John Naughton's M:4/4 L:1/8 R:Reel K:Edor B2 BA Beed|B2 AG FDFA|B2 BA Beed|1 BdAG FDFA:|2 BdAG FDDe||! fede fdde|fede fbba|fede fddB|ABde fdde|! fede fd d2|fede fbba|fgef dedB|ABde fded|| T:John Naughton's M:4/4 L:1/8 R:reel K:EDor EFGA BE~E2|GEBE GEDF|EFGA BABc|1 dBAG FDDF:|2 dBAG FDD2||! e2ed BABd|edef gbaf|~e3d BABc|1 dBAG FDD2:|2 dBAG FDDF||! T:John Naughton's T:Eanach Mhic Coilin M:4/4 L:1/8 R:reel K:EDor BEGE DEGA|BEGE d2BA|BEGE DEGA|BGdB A2GA:|! Beed BAGA|(3Bcd ef gfed|Beed BAGA|(3BAG dB A2GA|! Beed BAGA|(3Bcd ef ~g3a|bgaf gfed|eBdB A2GA||! And one jig Kitty Hayes played. Her husband, Josie, used to play this on the flute and named it after the woman he got it from, Nora Lenihan, sister of singer Tom Lenihan of Knockbrack, Miltown Malbay, who played it on the fiddle. It's really a low version of a tune that recorded on a 78 rpm in the US by piper Tom Ennis and fiddler James Morrison. They called it the 'Clare jig' and that's what it's usually known as. Perhaps appropriately so for this thread. T:Nora Lenihan's R:double jig S:Kitty Hayes, 15 sept 2001 M:6/8 L:1/8 K:EDor BEE cEE|dcd edB|AFE ~D3|FDF AFA|BEE cEE|dcd edB|AFE ~D3|FEE EFA:|| Bcd e2 e|efe edB|AFA d2 d|dfe dBA|Bcd e2 e|efe edB|AFE ~D3|FEE EFA:||
  7. I don't know, even if it's played here (I thin kI got it off a Padraig O'Keeffe recording). There are certain tunes associated with the older generation that were just the popular tunes of the day, all over the country. Same for tunes like the Dairy Maid you mentioned, Michael Coleman recorded it during his final recording session, Joe Cooley played it (and very lovely too) so a good tune but a Clare tune? I don't think the label is particularly helpful and you're probably better off looking into the various styles of players in the county. That said, I mentioned bodies of tunes associated with certain areas, perhaps tunes that survived in the memory of certain players that became associated with their particular location, perhaps otherwise. Anyhow, I mentioned John Naughton, who had a repertoire like that, John Kelly had tunes that are (through him I suppose) are strongly associated with the area he came from, tunes like Scattery Island, Elisabeth Kelly's, Thomas Keane's and the ones he played on his concertina but had no name for (a few called 'John Kelly's concertina reel' for that reason), the Russells (and people from their circle, the Killourhys for example) had a body of local (versions of) tunes and if you want a really local repertoire, they would be the ones to look at, in addition to the Crehans Bob already mentioned. But it's hard to apply that label to tunes, musicians are always trying to get the edge by learning tunes others may not have and will often have a surprising number of 'new' tunes alongside the repertoire that may have been handed down to them. That's the reason I baulked a bit at the Paddy Canny, Peter O'Loughlin et al recommendation. You would be hard pressed to find a nicer recording but the inclusion of Ed Reavey , Seán Ryan and other modern tunes would make me question the 'Clare tunes' labelling. Can't beat it for style though. We used to visit one of the great East Clare musicians (Mr Woooff will attest to that), Martin Rochford. Between Rochford and Canny you probably have a large part of the origins of what is now perceived as 'the' East Clare style sown up. Martin had a lovely repertoire of unusual tunes from the old local players reaching back into the late 19th century (Johnny Allen, Pat Canny and Pat McNamara, Paddy Poole etc) but at some point I realised over half the tunes he often played for us were compositions by his contemporaries and the generation after that, Junior Crehan, Paddy O Brien, Séan Ryan, Paddy Fahey, Larry Redican, Ed Reavey and many others all contributed to what some people considered a 'local repertoire'. That opened my eyes to a few things. And Rochford (and many like him) would actively pursue new tunes. There was one instance where arrived at Geoff Wooff's house. I happened to be in the other room playing a tune I had just learned, a composition by Kerry accordion player John Brosnan. Martin didn't know it and wanted it and pushed the matter until I wrote it down for him. Years later I mentioned that story to Bill Ochs. Bill immediately came out with a similar experience of Rochford's tune foraging. During the late seventies he was staying with a mutual friend, Ronnie Wathen, who was based in East Clare at the time. One night in Feakle, Bill played a tune on the whistle he had learned from a Boys of the Lough recording, the Killarney Boys of Pleasure. The next day Rochford arrived on their doorstep and wouldn't leave until he had that tune. He left happy and took the tune up on the pipes at first, playing it in the key Bill had it, ending on A, but later putting it on the fiddle in the lower key, ending on e. He passed it on to Canny. You can find the tune on the Mary MacNamara recording recommended above, part of the Humours of Castlefin/Glen of Aherlow/Killarney Boys of pleasure set. Many would call that a typical set of old Clare tunes. A tune brought to Clare by Séan Reid, form his homeplace Castlefin in Donegal, A Séan Ryan composition and a Boys if the Lough tune brought in by a whistlplayer (and piper) from New York. And for that reason, I smile a bit sometimes when 'Clare' tunes get mentioned. Tunes aren't always as deeply rooted as some would suggest, it's all in the way you approach your music, the style and the language, and a bit of time. I was thinking about this thread the other day, there were some tunes I used to play with Kitty Hayes that would perhaps fit the bill, jigs like The Hole in the Boat (there's a whole group of tunes that are developments of the air Anachuin: Hole in the Boat, the Sheep in the boat, the Killaloe Boat etc and they'd all work in this context), Winnie Hayes' (although perhaps realise the 'low' version has only come into fashion in the last decade or so) , there's a nice simple version of the Cliffs of Moher we played (Kitty had it but I was never sure it was an old version she had or one she had recently learned off the radio from a Martin Hayes recording. I think the latter actually). I like An Boithrin Cam, that Junior and Tony Crehan used to play. Anthony Frawley's is a nice one too. The Sporting Pitchfork, from the repertoire of Patrick Kelly. The Haunted house is a nice jig with a touch of the Hare's Paw about it, Vincent Broderick though it up though. As for reels, Devanney's Goat has been a popular one for the last ten years or so, it suits. Was also composed by an East Galway man though. The Virgina seems well rooted, even if the title suggests its home is in Co Cavan rather than Clare. The old Kilfenora band and some lovely ones as well, and the Tulla ofcourse. There are so many nice tunes it's hard to know where to start. Tunes like that suit the style (I believe) you're looking for well. We played the Hare's Paw as well, and the Dairy Maid see here). The Abbey reel in that one will work as well, even though it was introduced by a classical musician for his ensemble peformances in the theatre mentioned in the title (and I suspect US fiddler Larry Redican may have had a hand in that one as well, further up the line). I'll leave it at that. Need coffee, stop rambling on. Good Luck.
  8. Distribution of tunes is often much more complex than a label like 'Clare music' would suggest. There are ofcourse bodies of tunes that are distinctly associated with a specific place, often because they survived in the memory of an influential player, but even then there are a lot of different factors involved. It's interesting stuff to think about though but perhaps it's better not to divert this thread by nitpicking through the nuts and bolts. So I better leave it at that. I'd suggest looking at the archive recordings at Clare library website and look up some of the music there. John Naughton had some lovely and rare tunes for example, I'd recommended giving him a look, but many others there as well.
  9. They're tunes played by Clare players, not sure they are Clare tunes for that reason alone. It's a bit of a nebulous concept.
  10. I believe it was up for auction a few years ago but didn't sell (or didn't make the reserve). This is the house the Russells built during the sixties, their birthplace is lower down, beautifully restored and for rent as a holdiday cottage. I don't know, 8 acres of bare, poor land, house along the main road with the tourbusses whizzing by. You have the view on a good day but no shelter the rest of the time. I took this one about two years ago, nothing much has changed there since:
  11. Adobe Acrobat reader on my machine is just under 250MB. Do you have the full acrobat version (and do you need that)?
  12. This, the subject of style and ways of learning, is perhaps worth exploring, although maybe not on the current thread. The same thing occurs occasionally at the Willie Clancy recital, I remember thinking after the most recent one that it was a good one (overall) and I enjoyed it on the night, but some years we went home before the last player came on, not able to take any more of it. The thing is, the concertina is well suited to producing what I call 'typewriter music'. My wife has in the past responded to that particular concert by saying things like all these men were playing notes while the women were playing music. While I don't think the lines are that clearly drawn it sums up to an extend what the problem is. I believe a degree of tuition is a good thing (see above) but the difference with musicians of former generations as I see it often, is that most of the great ones I have met, were mad for music and were mad to hear and play it. Music was in their heads and on their minds and they used their instrument to bring that out, whatever way they could. Which is a distinctly different angle from first learning the techniques in order to get at the music, and get at it in a prescribed/taught way at that. Reminds me of the man selling concertinas out of one of the empty shops during the Willie week one year, he kept giving out to me that Kitty Hayes had come into the shop earlier and tried some concertinas 'She has it all wrong. She doesn't know how to play the concertina properly..' and that sort of thing. He laughed away my response that she played lovely hearty music, whatever way she got it out of the instrument. It had to be a certain way to be right for him, anything away from that norm wouldn't do at all. I suppose he was 'taught'.
  13. She was out in the Catskills some years ago wasn't she? The Concertina Cruinniú is another option, cheap flights during the winter and pleasantly uncrowded, a wide range of teachers to: Jacqueline McCarthy, Edel Fox, Hugh Healy, MAry MacNamara, Jack Talty, Cormac Begley, Claire Keville, Caoilfhion ní Fhrighil, Liam O'Brien and Francis Cunningham It was on last month so perhaps next year? One woman flew over from Tokyo this year to attend, that's dedication for you. Roisín Broderick & Noel Battle Michael Tubridy & Gerald Haugh
  14. Hill's tirades against video recording have been a feature of the Willie Clancy concertina recital for a number of years now. I half joked above in reference to that, but I don't know if there's any connection at all. I would imagine not wanting videos posted is more about a desire to have control over what is out there and curating a public image. I can understand that and empathise with it to a degree, even though, given the reality of how things are these days, that desire is perhaps less realistic.
  15. Thank you, Wes. Getting faster is not a skill you can obtain by attending a class. A class will hand you the tools of the trade, the nuts and bolts that make the music you want to play work. A class may (if you're lucky) inspire and help you form ideas on what to do with your music. But after the class, you go home and put what you have learned into practice. And it's there you learn to play. Over time I have taught and have had people come to me with the notion I was going to turn them into accomplished players. I have always been clear that I can't do that, that it's up to them to do that. All a teacher can do is hand the tools, plant seeds, help nurture ideas and approaches but the task of putting it all together in a meaningful way, that's the students job. And, as Jackie Daly always puts it, it's dark and lonesome work. As I said earlier, nobody can make the choice which class to attend for you. You know your own situation and aims and goals and all that best. I do think Noel Hill is very good at analysing a student's playing and putting across what is (or what he thinks) right or wrong and he's also very adept at putting across what he wants you to do (I took my young son to Hill two weekly class for three years). I know more than a few very fine players who feel he opened up the concertina for them by teaching way to go across the rows but these players appreciated the tools given to them and moved away from the style he taught them. I believe that's a good way to go about it, use the tools you're handed to accomplish or develop your own musical ideas. If you have strong stylistic preferences , for example you really want to play like Mary McNamara, it would in my mind make perhaps more sense to take some lessons with the player of your preference (or someone stylistically similar). From my own point of view, I think one can take too many classes, at some point the time comes you have to learn think for yourself, but the company of musicians and the churning around of ideas can offer inspiration to take home and work on for another while. It is listening and taking inspiration from other players that will help you form your own musicianship, and in my experience I have learned more from extensive listening to (recorded) music and being in the company of musicians who had the music I was striving to learn, than I could have any class. Again: tuition will hand you the basics and this helps identifying and analysing what is going on in the music you're listening to. Putting it all together and make it work, that's really the job each of us will have to do on our own.
  16. Yes, I did ignore the OP and I explained above why. You were just rude. And I'd shrug it off, it's the internet after all, if it weren't for the fact this forum is usually a pleasant place and when something like this occurs, it stands out like a sore thumb. But enough of that. Carry on.
  17. I suppose it depends on how you read and interpret the reply. I think Geoff provided an opinion on the issue, indirectly, in my reading of the post. I responded to his post with my view of the wider situation. There are some questions someone will have to answer for themselves, knowing better than anyone else what their circumstances and aims are. I don't feel I can help the OP with their decision but I'll happily discuss issues that interest me, things I have experience with. It is a discussion forum, people take their own angle, according to their own experience and opinions. Others dismiss them out of hand as 'personal pet peeves'. it's the internet.
  18. I couldn't agree more (as you know) and I believe it is true across the board in Irish music, most instruments suffer from this. It is popular, and probably rightly so to an extend, to blame it all on competitions, the style that wins is the style everybody will follow. I believe session playing is also a great leveler, not at all conducive to developing personal styles. On the other hand, I still get to hear players with enough individuality to make them stand out. I hope it is all a phase, fashions come and go. We used to say piping in Ireland was becoming too homogenised, with players sounding like 'they have been taught'. In recent years though I have seen signs that's changing, more people are exploring other styles and there's definitely a development of new directions. The concertina is riding a wave of popularity in Ireland at the moment, eventually more individual approaches will emerge. Cormac Begley is definitely one trying to find a different approach (and even Noel Hill said it was an exciting development). Given time, individuals will open up new pathways and branch out, away from the one style.
  19. I saw a related thread on Mudcat earlier
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