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Everything posted by chiton1

  1. Dear Alan, I am sorry to have missed you at the session. I asked my host to go there around 8, but because of children problems etc. we were there only at 9.45 and you were already gone. Afterwards I thought I should have gone with you and have my host pick me up. It was a pity that you was already gone. I played along on my flute till the end and my friend sang two songs. Anyway thanks, Hermann

  2. Thanks Bellowbelle. I think I just take my wooden flute with me and leave the concertina at home. I will just see what is going around when I am there.
  3. I will be in Boston between 19 and 24 of this month. I was wondering if there were any sessions during that period? If not I prefer to leave my instruments at home....
  4. All this talk in the thread makes me believe the people are trying really hard to skip the learning process. Playing with only two fingers on the English is justified only if the rest are missing. You disrespect the instrument. Try switching to guitar, but don't forget to play only with the right hand. Why try harder? It's so difficult! And only right hand sounds so rich and full. If you are playing with the EC in the air - use whatever available: 3 fingers per side. If you are playing sitting with EC on your lap - 4 fingers per side. And why would you do otherwise? Oh, I know, because it's so difficult. (which is actually NOT) I know that Wheatstone intended the instrument to be played with to fingers, and I do play all the notes and chords, so I do not think there is much need to change my method of playing. I think I do well enough and have fun playing that way. I do not have the time and the wish to change. But I can assure you I do play the wooden flute with three fingers per hand, and depending on which keys I use even up to 4 or 5!
  5. I play with only my two (strongest) fingers, and therefor playing in C is easiest for me. In the beginning I have thought about having a concertina build in "D" for me, but when several other keys (including D) proved not too difficult to play in on a regular instrument I skipped the thought. Still from time to time there is a tune that is much easier played in C than in D and at such times the old longing for a "D" concertina comes back to me......
  6. So big brother is watching me?...... I will say nothing more, from now on my lips are sealed.
  7. Do whatever you want, but it seems silly to me to undervalue an instrument on which the customs charge is zero, by virtue of it being more than 100 years old. Especially since confiscation is not the only possible penalty, nor is it always invoked. Substantial fines can be levied for attempted evasion, even if the applicable tax was zero. If there are no charges there can not be any fine (even if the value is not correct) if I am not mistaken...... Considering how many Customs officers there are in the US, it wouldn't surprise me to discover that there are several who know the difference. I used to know one who was a collector and player of bagpipes (especially uilleann pipes) and an expert on many esoteric items. In fact, I think some of their agents are employed specifically as experts in particular fields, from fine art to medical equipment. OK I will be carefull when sending bagpipes, but I would be highly surprised if there is an officer with an expert knowledge of concertinas. Books are much easier to evaluate but they do not bother. I think you are over estimating their officers.
  8. I am declaring low to very low values on the books I sell for about 17 years now (many to the US), and not one was ever seized. This for books that are sometimes worth more than the average vintage concertina. Do you think that there is one customs officer who knows if this metal ended Boyd Lachenal is worth more than a beautiful mahogany Lachenal with bone buttons? Lets put it this way; I will do whatever the customer wants...
  9. Now I know why Jim Lucas has become a Ineluctable Opinionmaker But to try to answer your questiion. According my Universal Currency Converter 2200 euro equals 3153 USD (at today's rate = 1-1-2010). I will put low value on the instrument when sending it so to avoid import duties, and shipping is free as I stated. If you make a bank transfer your bank will charge you for that, but these question you have to ask your bank, they should be able to tell you how much a bank transfer of 2200 euros will cost you.
  10. I have too many concertinas ( ), and one has to go. So I am looking for a good home for the following: Top quality English concertina. A metal ended extended (56 buttons) treble Boyd Lachenal new model. Series number 41487 (ca. 1905). Note that this is not a tenor treble, the extra notes (extension) are in the upper registers. It is in concert pitch. A few improvements were made on this concertina. It has now completely new riveted action (made by Wim Wakker in 2003), and a new 6 fold bellows (made by Wim Wakker in 2006), instead of the original somewhat rigid 5 fold bellows. There are two (one on either side) air buttons. There are four tiny holes on the sides to fasten wrist straps if desired (which I have filled and closed, but can be opened again if one uses wrist straps). A very small chip of the veneer has come of (see photograph). Compared to other concertinas the Lachenal new model has buttons which are not as high elevated and seem to be a fraction closer to each other, which should enable faster playing. It has a very clear, crisp and strong sound, with very good dynamic range (from quite soft to as loud as an Wheatstone Aeola). A good response and action (riveted). The metal reeds are of great quality as they respond even better as the metal ended Aeola Wheatstone I have (and as good as the wooden ended Aeola). But concertinas made for H. Boyd were always of the highest quality. It comes with the original leather box (not in best shape), but better use a new box (as I do for all my concertinas). My asking price is 2200 euro. The price includes registered air mail shipping for all destinations (+ donation to Cnet if sold here). I include 4 photographs, and if desired I could make a sound file.
  11. Just a small notice that I have added three names to the list (32 now). Eric Hardy from France, Jim Norman from the USA, and Val from the UK. I know that Val is playing Irish music because I met her in Paris a few years ago. I emailed her to know her family name. For the moment I have added the name of the group she is playing in (The Flying Toads, sort of almost anagram of the Irish hornpipe The Flowing Tide). See first post for total list!
  12. Every year Irish music workshops are organized in the south of Brittany (Le Bono). Le Bono is a lovely small town near the Sea, and workshops are great and there are sessions afterwards. The concertina (Anglo of course) workshop this year will be given by Cillian KING from Limerick. Very young but very promising. The following is said about him (in French I am afraid): ''Cillian est sans doute un des plus jeune musicien jamais invité au festival. Ses influences de jeu tendent vers Peg Ryan, Noel Hill et plus récemment Pádraig Rynne. Il est compositeur et joue actuellement avec le groupe Éalú, d'autre part, il étudie la musique à l'université de Limerick. Lors d'une discussion avec Colm Delaney il y a deux ans, ce dernier me dit : "...tu vois Eddy, ce jeune garçon, c'est le futur". Je pense qu'il a raison. Il a déjà été invité dans de nombreux festivals, Lorient y compris, maintenant au Bono.'' Anyway there are concertina players who regard him as the future.... To know more about the ''Bono Winter School of Irish Music'' see: http://bono-winter-school.chez-alice.fr/index.html See you there perhaps, Hermann
  13. Here in Brittany innovation of traditional music is done for decades, at a level that surpasses everything done in Ireland, Scotland or other countries I know of. But most of the people involved have a good knowledge of the musical tradition; originate from this tradition. For instance Jean Michel Veillon, now considered one of the best wooden flute players in the world, has introduced the wooden flute to Breton music (and the techniques needed to do so). But he started by dancing the traditional Breton dances and playing the bombard (one of the typical traditional instruments in Brittany), and acquired a profound knowledge of the Breton musical tradition. Now there are hundreds of wooden flute players around, and flutists are included in many of the groups that play dance music. I respect the fact that tradition is conservative, it has to be otherwise it would not be tradition. If everybody started to do whatever they wanted, without written or unwritten rules, traditional music would be diluted to a point it would cease to exist. That is also essential for blues, different forms of Jazz, different forms of classical music, ska, dixieland, rapp, rock etc. Within tradition or any other style of music change is always possible but will need a certain degree of general consensus of those involved with it. So when I say that the EC is capable of playing within the Irish musical tradition, that may be so. But to really enter the Irish musical tradition I will have to convince that community of people that sings, plays or listens Irish traditional music.
  14. First of all (although I do not play Duet) I see no reason why you could not play Irish music on it (dance music included), although it can take some time before you find the right way to give it an Irish feel to it. Although I recently submitted a few pieces that were labelled as having a ''relentless drive'', in fact I play loads of (slow) airs, and I can play without my ''relentless drive''. Nothing wrong with relentless drive (I will stick to this label!) anyway as long as it is not the only thing happening (I will submit at least one slow air next time). One of the main reasons why only fast dancing music is played, is that most people going to sessions do not have the patience to stop playing and to listen to somebody else; they are much to eager. You can not play a slow air with 15 people (well you can, but it will not sound nice ...). If there's a singer people have to stop playing and listen, my god what a waste of time (we could have played another set of reels instead...). I prefer sessions were a bit of everything happens, and from time to time such a session comes along, and some of them were moments of pure bliss to me
  15. It is well known and commonly accepted that Irish music is impossible to play on a duet!
  16. I personally find your grandfather's little book more fascinating than his concertina (although they make a fine ensemble!). It would perhaps be good thing if at least a photocopy of this book (with some biographical data about your grandfather) went to the Horniman Museum or to one of the more serious collector's/historians of our little concertina community.
  17. I do that too on my English, but only when improvising (I did not find any use for it when playing Irish music). The second method (variant) I never thought of and I will try, thanks. I never thought about it as being tremolo, but you are quite right! The problem is that you have only a few notes you can do it on.
  18. I have added to my list (see initial post - as suggested by Peter), and there are now 29 people on the list. I am sure there must be some more, so I will keep on adding as new names come along. It is interesting to note that players from the US make up almost half the list. I would have loved to add Madeline O'Dowd, but if she does not play anymore...... She would have been the first Irish player on the list! If somebody finds recordings of her I would be most interested to hear them!
  19. Thanks everybody again for their remarks (I have some homework to do the coming weeks!). Before replying I have to stress that in these three videos I just wanted the English to be played with more energy and drive, less legato and slurred as usual, and to give the music an Irish feel to it. So the energy part is somewhat accentuated. Mark: Ooops I think I have to carefully reconsider my rhythm on Polkas and Hornpipes. Strangely enough nobody ever said something about it before (perhaps they didn't listen carefully). It could be that my foot tapping along with the music (here added to give more drive) should be omitted or changed. The effect is much less when you tap with your toes instead of your heel (which I am doing now). Also the position of the concertina on your leg/knee will make a difference (on the tip of your knee or more towards yourself). I am afraid that when I was visiting Simon Thoumire this October the one thing he said was that I should not tap my feet...... Concerning my relentless playing; part of it comes from what I was about to demonstrate when I was making these videos (mentioned above), but part of it comes from what I like myself. I think if played again now I would be somewhat less relentless, but these nice little melodies need power and drive as well (at least that is what I like in them). This said I also like to play reels and jigs (depending on which ones) slow, and when so relentless is out of the question in my book. I heard you and ratface play wonderfully but it will never be my way/style of playing (not on the dance music anyway) and that's no criticism but just different taste and approach. Dick: I think I will have to do a workshop foot tapping, or totally quit tapping with my foot. I will give this rhythm thing of me some thoughts and discuss with others around here. Anyway there is no need to use half of your reply to excuse yourself for something I asked for . So you sold your Jeffries , no regrets? ''Boney'': Thanks. Jeff: Thanks as well.
  20. It's not a bad thing to hear that Irish music is payed on an English I think. I do not wish to sound exactly like an Anglo (if that is possible), I just want the English to be played with more energy, less legato and slurred as usual, and I want the music to have an Irish feel to it. Strange that you think the polkas are off rythmically. I do not know how to play them otherwise and dancers are satisfied... You are quite right, unfortunately sometimes the ornamentation does not come out of my fingers as I would want to. Double notes and chords I did use very little in the beginning but I am getting more and more at ease with them, and now I try to let them come naturally without to much pre-thinking. So probably the use of doubles and 3-4 note chords will increase somewhat with time.
  21. More names have been added to the list. Thanks again to all for their contributions and remarks! Chris's name is revealed , but for Australian Marc I have received two different names..... I met Jonathan Taylor during a session on Arran Island, Scotland in October, and was impressed by his playing. Unfortunately that day I climbed Mount Goat Fell and I was very, very tired . I was wondering if Sandy Winters from Chicago should be included in this list. I received a recording of him with some very interesting personal compositions (with guitar and banjo playing dubbed, he is equally a very good guitar/banjo player), at the end he plays some Irish reels. He is a member and I will contact him. English System Concertina Players Who Play Irish Music Marc Anderson or Markus Dow (Australia) Dirk de Bleser (Belgium) Robin Beech (Canada) Tom Ryan (Canada) Jim Lucas (Denmark) [American or English?] Christine Jordan (England) John Leavey (England) Simon Skelton (England) Jean Louis Auneaud (France) Hermann Strack (France) - [German/French/Uruguayan] Geoff Wooff (France) - [English] Fernando Durbán Galnares (Ireland) - [spanish] Dick Miles (Ireland) - [English] Henrik Müller (Sweden) - [Danish] Dick Abrams (USA) Ed Delaney (USA) Rick Epping (USA?) Mike ''Fidlersgreen'' (USA) Matt Heumann (USA) Tim Jennings (USA) Denise Martin (USA) David Paton (USA) Larry Stout (USA) Ken Sweeney (USA) Randal Wolfe (USA) Jonathan Taylor (Switzerland) [English]
  22. I think that technically Simon is one of the most capable concertina players around. I am sure that he could play in a convincing Irish style if he wanted to, but the fact is that he does not want to. He is perfectly happy playing his own style, more influenced by Scottish music and .Jazz
  23. Thanks everybody for your comments, they are greatly appreciated. Replies to all I give here underneath. I must admit I put a little too much emphazis on the energy side and lost somewhat musically. But my main goal was to show that ECs do not always have to sound legato, slurred, and nice but too smooth. It took me some time to find out how. My first concertina was purchased (in 1982 I think) because I heard Noel Hill play and quite liked the sound of the concertina. I did not know there were different types, so when I asked a friend of mine in England to buy me one, he came back with an old wooden ended Lachenal English concertina with bone buttons. If I had known then that Irish music was almost excusively played on Anglo, I surely would now be one of the many Anglo players around! This instrument sounded nice but was very quiet and to get the most out of it (to shake the bellows) I started to use two fingers in the pinkierest for more grip. Concertina was just a little thing on the side then, I mainly played flute and whistle. At a moment I even sold the thing but years later I found one in a Dutch antique shop and could not resist it. This was a metal ended Lachenal and was better suited for Irish music than the previous one, and this one had wrist straps which made a difference (for grip and control). And on this one I played from time to time, until about 5 years ago when I took up the concertina more seriously and started to explore the instrument. I went on a quest to find the best suited instruments, and did workshops with Tim Collins, Jacqueline McCarthy, Edel Fox, Colm Delaney & Padraig Rynne to see what I could learn from Irish Anglo players. Went to Witney once to see what I could learn from English players (Alistair Anderson, Dave Townsend etc.). I already had considerable knowledge of (and perhaps more important - feel of) Irish music as I started of playing it on whistle when I was 17 (33 years ago!) and buying a wooden flute three years later. In fact Peter Laban (well known in this forum) started off at about the same time as me. I remember me learning him how to do a roll on the whistle (we lived in the same city). Later he immersed himself in Irish music, and there's nothing I can learn him about Irish music now, on the contrary I am certain there is loads he could learn me. [sorry Peter for disclosing this little fact on your youth - you probably forgot anyway]. At first I found out that the bellows should be used more than was common practice on ECs (therefor my whish for a better grip/control), later I understood that hitting the buttons slighty harder adds to the punch needed, and also a more generous use of cuts, and sometimes adding a little ''space'' (like a hiccup) when making rolls was important so that the music became less slurring. So these and other little tricks (like the use of bellow presure etc.) gradually added up to what is my style of playing now. Well, so much for the biography.... Fernando: I will try to keep my bellows more closed when playing and see how that works for me (I must confess that I like the feeling when I totally unfold it from time to time). Ratface: I do agree that my music here is as you say ''relentless'', my playing could be more subtle and several notes could have been given more feeling and quality (sort like of a microdynamics within a note - a thing easier done in slower pieces). Although I would not use your technique on all notes, I am afraid that I would option for the use of relentness notes or even phrases when appropriate in my view. Tony: Thanks! Azalin: Swinging phrases... Yes the phrasing is also something I have to work on (unfortunately it has less to do with mastering my instrument but more with my musicality I fear ). By the way you are not planning a trip to Brittany are you? Henrik: Delahunty's is part of my prehistoric slime also, but there are some good tunes embedded in that slime and I think this is one of them! The jigs I played were indeed a little faster than planned I think. To refind the name(s) of the tunes, I took Kitty Hayes CD and heard her playing it again and it was only then I realized that I was overdoing it in speed. She played it much slower but it sounded great. Do you think I use the bellows too much? (as David thinks I am not using them enough...) - What do you mean by: What happened to all the lines breaks? ?? David: Indeed I put a lot of presure on the bellows. Here you may be right that some variation could add to the result. The finger movements are there I think but they are needed to play the way I want it. I could do less ornamentation thus less finger movements (if that's what you mean) but that would result in a style of playing which is not mine. The attack and intensity are part of the energy needed to make the EC come to life in Irish music. Probably somewhat too much now and will gradually (partly) replaced by other musical means (I hope). I did not yet hear Dick's polkas, but I saw a few videos and was amazed how quick he mastered the EC! I played polkas with Timmy McCarthy (he only plays polkas, slides etc. - and teach how to dance them) and there's loads of energy in his polkas and I must say they are never relaxed. In my view polkas have to be played with lots of swing and energy. Michael: Thanks, and good luck with your new EC!
  24. I have put three of my videos with some Irish music (2 hornpipes, 3 polkas & 2 jigs) in the Concertina Videos & Music section. I would very much receiving feedback on these, and perhaps discuss (in the Video section, not here!) if ECs are capable of making ''convincing Irish music'' or not. In the meantime I have added to the list. Thanks to all for their contributions and remarks!. The list is growing to serious proportions but I am sure there must be more around. Chris and Mike certainly have family names but as I do not know them I have given them their alias names used in this forum. English System Concertina Players Who Play Irish Music Marc (Australia) Dirk de Bleser (Belgium) Robin Beech (Canada) Tom Ryan (Canada) John Leavey (England) Chris ''Spindizzy'' (England) Jean Louis Auneaud (France) Hermann Strack (France) - [German/French/Uruguayan] Geoff Wooff (France) - [English] Fernando Durbán Galnares (Ireland) - [spanish] Dick Miles (Ireland) - [English] Henrik Müller (Sweden) - [Danish] Dick Abrams (USA) Ed Delaney (USA) Mike ''Fidlersgreen'' (USA) Matt Heumann (USA) Tim Jennings (USA) Denise Martin (USA) Larry Stout (USA) Ken Sweeney (USA) Randal Wolfe (USA)
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