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About RAc

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  1. RAc

    Push vs Pull - why?

    I happen to aside with John here in full. Let's not forget that concertinas have been around for > 200 years, and entire life times have been devoted to exploring the instrument (regardless of layout) to its maximum. So if there *was* some kind of systematic asymmetry that would influence the tone as with the fiddle (as I seem to deduct from the violinist's contributions), it would be common knowledge*. I rather tend to think of it as the master musician's ability to compensate for all clear tone deficiencies in a given instrument through technique. A simple example that comes to mind is to make up for lesser air volume; a good player will make a 6 fold cheapie sound almost like an 8 fold vintage jewel by adapting the bellows movement to the available air volume. Likewise, if a given instrument will indeed expose some asymmetry in tone between pull and push (I tend to believe that this is not inherent in the physics of the concertina if it happens but an attribute of a given instrument), the master musician (which does NOT include myself which goes without saying) will almost intuitively adapt by either subtly changing the attack in one direction or preferring one direction in their playing. The broad range of answers I got in my "resting" thread seem to support the theory that there are a lot of dynamics involved; the playing technique involved at any given moment seems to be a rather complex function of the player, his(her) preferences and the instrument played at the moment, with concertina physics playing only a minor role in the equation. *I do seem to observe, though, that a good number of players appear to not want to be confronted with such issues at all, as you imply. I do not know why that is the case.
  2. RAc

    Push vs Pull - why?

    I believe this is an issue worth discussing separately, so I opened another thread:
  3. In another thread, Lucasz wrote: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Another reason is because I operate bellows with my melody hand and pull direction is stable ballance wise (you go away from pivot point) and push can become unstable with higher volume and requires more controll. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I believe this is worthwhile discussing (hoping it hasn't been addressed before, at least less than the two dozen times that would qualify me as a Dinkeldorff...). I recently switched to playing while standing, meaning among other issues there is no fixed resting point for the concertina. I find some tunes difficult to play in that position which probably supports Lucasz's proposition (although I tend to believe that in my case the problem is more of a different tilt of the concertina). Anyways, before that I used to rest my concertina on the right (melody hand) knee and operate the bellows actively with the left hand. If Lucasz is right, then this Position would be more natural for a duet Player (it would appear to be more important to help the melody side with the additional stability). Well, given that EC players frequently Play their instruments free floating (or not rest a side on the knee as Rob Harbron does it I believe), another interpretation would be that ideally, the concertina would not need the added stability on one resting place at all? How do others of the community deal with that? Is there a method to your concertina playing Position, in particular as to where you rest it? Thanks!
  4. Actually, there are a number of dead links (404 errors) on your home page, in particular the four links "About Us," "Delivery Information," "Privacy Policy" and "Terms and Conditions" in the bottom tab "Information." You may want to fix that asap as these are not only vital to the overall reliability impression of the shop but also legally required. Other than that, it's always interesting to see new players in the field. Looking forward to the first reviews of your instruments!
  5. Inspired by Daniel H.'s wonderful rendition, I learnt Rios na Banriona and eventually added it to my Soundcloud collection:

    Lios na Banriona


    I wasn't able to get hold of the composer to ask for permission. In case of any reservations. I'll remove the tune from there.


    Following Alan Day's PM suggestion, I arranged the accompaniment to include some more intersting style elements such as diatonic runs, legato patterns etc. The arrangement still falls short of  Daniel's, but I keep on trying.


    This was performed with violinist Klaus Roehing on the 2019 German Folk Camp in late July/early August in order to introduce Alex Holden's #3 Crane concertina.


    Thanks for listening!

  6. Why, Mike, is this a call to arms? Nice and a wee little bit on the raunchy side. What did you consume before you wrote this? May I have some? I love Christine's final song, but it falls a little short of the cowboy stereotypes promised in her initial question. So here's another one put together real quick. Any takers for a melody below it? John (Anglo-Irishman)? Jody? Anyone else? --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Title: The So-No-WHAT? His buddies are cowboys named Rodney and Curt Their camo pajamas sport spurs They breakfast on sawdust and spit in the dirt If you look at them square you'll get hurt. Himself, he's a sociable fellow His manners polite and quite mellow Yet all of the toughies will rush in and yell "Oh!" When he starts working his bellow-s. Chorus: He's a So-No-Sonopneumatic He doesn't ask rifles for answers When he squeezes his box, the effect is dramatic: See Rodney and Curt turn to dancers! Now Curt fancies Betty and Rodney woes Sue But the way to court both of the two involves more than cursing and violent ado - just see what our Hexman will do: Chorus: He's a So-No-Sonopneumatic He don't need no saddle for leathers When he fingers the buttons, the effect is ecstatic: See Betty and sue dance like feathers! Chorus: He's a So-No-Sonopneumatic You won't find him prodding no cows When he pushes and pulls, the effect is climatic: There's two couples pledging their vows! (admittedly, the ending is a little corny, predictable and anticlimactic. I didn't put a whole lot of work into this. Anyone feel free to make the necessary adjustments!)
  7. RAc

    Reed Sounding Badly

    I don't think so unless I misread the OPs post. He implies that the problems shows only on push, not on pull, which would hint against a pad problem, no?
  8. RAc

    Reed Sounding Badly

    I'd not so much suspect the valve but rather the reed. It's easy to pinpoint the issue (after you got out the reed pan) by swapping the push and pull reeds; if the problem remains on the push, it's the valve, otherwise it's the reed. Interestingly enough, I had a similar issue just recently. In my case it turned out that one of the two screws that hold the clamp against the frame had turned loose. Trivial fix!
  9. It's a trade off, as usual. Alex pointed out to me one disadvantage of thicker papers: Unless the outer rim of the paper design is white, thicker papers (assuming white paper) will visually add a white outer outer rim which probably won't look good against the gussets and outer runs. On the other hand, thin paper won't do as good a job in smoothing out uneven gusset and run edges (which means that if you look closely, you can see where the edges run below the papers because thinner papers snugly replicate whatever the surface below it does). Of course there's also the issue of overall instrument weight (though the papers very likely won't contribute significantly). Alex simply asked me to provide "journal thickness" papers (slightly thicker than newspaper/regular printout - 80), so I picked 90 and it worked for him (he's extremly patient and good with his hands; I'm sure less skilled folks like me would have killed half a batch during cutting and glueing on). Of course, very high quality papers will eliminate all of the issues. I did a good deal of shopping only to discover that printers who can deliver exceptionally high quality papers won't be interested in the small quantities that papers for a single concertina yield, or even half a dozen (all of the papers for my hex bellows fit onto 4 A4 sheets).
  10. RAc

    Duet Recordings

    This one appears to work: http://www.mellish.eu/Audio/Nick%20Robertshaw.zip
  11. Hi Roger, I designed the papers for Alex's #3 myself (you can see a picture here). I had it laser printed in a professional print shop on 90g/m2 acid-free paper and asked Alex to coat it with uv-resistant and moisture repellant finish priot to cutting and applying. Even though the concertina spends most of its life in its case and hardly ever sees the sunlight even when out, I was sort of paranoid about bleaching. But I do conduct a comparative test w/ two sample sheets (one unfinished, one finished) resting on my window sill and another set resting in complete darkness, and I regularly compare the four against each other. So far (about 6 months) no visible color changes. Hope that helps!
  12. Hi Ami, the usual piece of advice would be to get a copy of "the book," which is David Elliott's "The Concertina Maintenance Manual," if you haven't already done so. It covers (among many other things) the issue of repairing cracks, so depending on your own craftsperson skills, you'll be either able to do it yourself or at the very least estimate how much of a job it is. Of course, as Chris pointed out, the exact amount of work and skill required depends on the nature and size of the cracks.
  13. RAc

    New to Concertina and music in general

    Hi Łukasz, great to see you are back! your contri here is very intriguing. My own musical socialisation included standard notation, and I've come to believe that it is the easiest for the brain to translate into music for the simple reason that there is a correspondence between pitch and position on a staff. I am originally a guitar player and I can also read guitar tab, but I still find standard notation the easiest to translate "on the fly." I'm still a fairly poor translator from dots to an instrument keyboard, but one of the things I can do fairly reliably now is look at a score and decipher the corresponding melody in my head. But your testimony again proves the point that the brain is a marvelously adaptive organ. With enough practice and some "anchor" to start the process, apparently every notation can become second nature and provide a good bridge between the eye and the ear. This would also be my advice to the thread opener: Look around and find the translation system that makes most sense to you and then keep practicing that until it has seeped into your brain stem. That said, it's also important to understand that music also has a "swarm" component as Don has pointed out. The more individuals are familiar with one system, the more material will be available in that notation and thus the most music will be accessible to you. In one or two generations there may be more abc scores out than traditionally transcribed music, by which time it may make more sense to educate Newcomers with ABCs. Until then, I'd recommend standard notation for the pool of music available through it will be the biggest. And finally, it should be understood that every visual music notation system must by definition by a crutch because music is acoustic, not optic. So learning by ear is still a very important and indispensable way to approach music.
  14. yes. Would it be possible to continue the file format discussion (relevant as it is) in another thread and leave this one on topic which is duet recordings? Thanks!
  15. RAc

    The Devil’s a Sonopneumaticist

    Fantastic, Christine! I was sort of joking about the challenge, but you took it, and oh so well ye did! We need to make this the c.net anthem...