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  1. If you're interested in a possible crowdfunding project for a 'Concertina Nova' - a new design of concertina for beautiful tone but under $US 1,000, please join me in the Google+ community at the Concertina Design and Repair Community at https://plus.google.com/communities/104174908489357489215 It's just an idea, but the aim is to see if we can use very new ideas, and today's technologies and materials, to rethink and create a better concertina by about 2015. English concertina, but possibly ideas directly applicable to any concertina. Crowdfunding means people agree on the expected total cost of the project (e.g. $50,000) and conditionally commit a contribution towards it (say, $1,000 each, to a trusted escrow) on the understanding if the project doesn't raise the project total cost, all money is refunded. Crowdfunding has been extremely successful in many projects like the Oculus Rift video glasses project. Often the project cost is surpassed many times over, leading to greater investment and results. Lately I've had minor success by making my Stagi tenor's thumb strap swivel-anchored (for flexible reach to the buttons), by moving the anchor point higher (easier reach), and this week by affixing cords from the concertina to my feet so that it is firmly set on my knees for stability. But the Stagi is pretty poor - e.g. the valve lifters have about 2mm of sloppy play, and the button sleeves are ridiculously conical (for easy assembly, but making them wobbly during playing). And I want a nicer tone - it's a bit tinny instead of sweet, mellow like a top Wheatstone. Let's find out how it might be achieved. I'll listen to all ideas, regardless of how eccentric they may be. After 30 months of playing I can 'feel' the ergonomic weakness of the instrument (I have three, Lachenal, Stagi, Hohner). Today, don't laugh, we have 3-D printing that might help with some of the parts. The main aims are: Beautiful traditional sound like a top Wheatstone, much easier playing than any existing concertina (so that the concertina becomes much more popular in schools, as guitars are, robust strength and easy, cheap repairability, cost under US$1,000, visual beauty. The strategy is: Gather stakeholders, mostly aspiring to own the Nova, but also one or more experts in concertina repair and design who, after conferring with us all, would be contracted to build the new instrument to meet the requirements specification and its performance indicators. I'm not in it for money, I personally want an excellent instrument (for me and everyone else) without having to pay $10,000 for it. I'm no expert myself and would need help in this endeavour. Feel free to comment here, but the working discussion of the Nova will be in Google+ and you can contact me directly as shown below. Bruce (Tomo) Thomson 20 Lyndhurst St. Chelwood Village, Palmerston North 06 357 7773 021 176 9711 palmytomo@gmail.com
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