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The "Andy Cutting" of the Anglo!


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I'm surprised no-one has mentioned Brian Peters yet. He is an absolute master of the anglo.

See here....

http://www.youtube.c...#!v=blZeRHg6RUM

 

I agree with you 100% about Brian's mastery of the instrument, he is a fantastic player. However the original question, as I understood it anyway, was about players who had extended the scope of the instrument in some way. Brian, in my opinion, plays in a fairly standard style - which he does extremely well - but I don't believe he has broken new ground. The same can be said for a number of other superb players, and it is by no means a criticism.

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I have to agree John Kirkpatrick with Gigue and John Watcham (not mentioned), Andrew Blakeny Edwards and Fred Kilroy have paved the way for style changes for future players if Duet style Anglo playing is the direction you wish to go. English style has developed to cater for dancing, it requires the off beat.

It is the interest in new directions of music to be played on the instrument which is what leads to experimentation. Ragtime, Jazz and Blues ( Harry Scurfield), 20s - 60s, Rock the list goes on. We are not just playing for Morris or Country Dancing the direction is slowly changing and the playing can only get more interesting.

JK has always been in the lead, many may get near, but nobody has got in front of him.

Al

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With surprise I found that Russians generally are much better educated about the West then other way around. Much of English language literature was known and some widely popular in USSR. Many film directors were also very popular. Folk music from around the World was promoted (as opposed to pop) and propagated. There were (and still are) many song books of English, French, Spanish, American folk music, professionally arranged with notation and chords, lyrics translated, in music stores. Weird, isn't it?

 

I think that's very true. Propaganda works both ways, and during the Cold War our own leaders had their own reasons for presenting a particular picture of the USSR. It also illustrates how we too often take our freedoms for granted and fail to make full use of them.

 

In the early days of the English folk revival there was a greater interest in music from all over the world. Then people began to realise that there was actually a body of traditional English music, and people began to focus on that. This was also partly driven by a view (often misquoted and misunderstood) that singers should sing songs from their own culture and background. We became a bit insular and introverted - a national trait, perhaps.

 

You mention the close proximity of France, and in recent years there has been considerable interest in French music. I think this is mainly because French tunes can sit comfortably alongside English tunes in sessions. Exploring French music has made people more aware of French diatonic accordeon players and some of their techniques have been introduced. Nevertheless, I feel the main driver has been interest in the music, rather than a desire to explore instrumental technique. Where we have adopted new techniques, it is usually for the purposes of adapting them to our own folk music rather than seriously exploring other traditions. There are of course exceptions and there are some who have done their best to explore and popularise other traditions.

 

There has been a similar interest in Scandinavian music, in this case mainly among fiddlers, but again the music fits well alongside English tunes. However there is not the same interest in other countries' music which doesn't fit in so well - you won't hear many German tunes, for example, or Russian for that matter, although there is a fashion in some quarters for klezmer.

 

The only defence to this insularity I can offer is that we discovered that a folk tradition which we had assumed had died out was in fact still alive, albeit much reduced, and we threw ourselves into exploring and reinterpreting that. However I do understand your frustration at our lack of awareness of playing standards elsewhere. With the internet, it is gradually improving.

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I'm surprised no-one has mentioned Brian Peters yet. He is an absolute master of the anglo.

See here....

http://www.youtube.c...#!v=blZeRHg6RUM

 

 

He was mentioned Steve and highly ratedsmile.gif

 

 

I went back to Tom B-R's original post and we are not being asked simply about British music styles but the pushing of the envelope.

 

 

I think there is a fine line between working within your own traditions and appropriating other traditions.

However musicians will always explore the limits of their instruments and play with other musicians so in a world of music and the ease of listening I suppose we can expect innovation and gradual evolution.

I know Brian P can play cajun and ragtime etc but I don't really want to hear that much in his interpretation of our tradition.

 

I'm sure he'll respond. Thankfully he's one of the few professional British musicians who does contribute to concertina net.

 

To judge the quality of fusion music means a whole new set of criteria have to be invoked. It's where pop and trad rub up against each other.

Edited by michael sam wild
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I went back to Tom B-R's original post and we are not being asked simply about British music styles but the pushing of the envelope.

 

 

Here's what the post says:

It's a good few years now since Andy Cutting changed the world of "diatonic button accordion" players (in Britain at least) by stretching the limits of what was perceived as possible, harmonically and (dare one say it) aesthetically!

Note "in Britain at least" that pushed the train of discussion towards misty island.

In Sweden Karl Eric .....(forgot) was pushing the limits until he reached those and adapted CBA. Then he became substandard chromatic accordion player, but didn't have to push anything.

In Uruguay Hohner in C/F is a king.

In Brazil it was a king until Luis Gonzaga pushed it and pushed, then got tired and switched to PA. Renato Borghetti stuck with it, but he too, adapted Stradella on the left and added chromatic row on the right.

It's a fine balance between sophisticated use of inefficient tool and standard use of efficient tool. Depends what you want to do with it. So I'd be weary of statements like "such and such pushed the limits of what was thought is possible". In any circus they do that.

As for where are Andy Cuttings on Anglo - plenty in ITM, if you like that kind of stuff. If you look elsewhere, Anglo has developed into Bandoneon (out of necessity), but I already mentioned this.

Personally I don't think small bodied concertina with stringent tone and compromised dynamics will attract serious talent. I think it should be a bit larger, with more overtoned and rich sound. A compromise between what it is today and Bandoneon. Still small and portable, but with larger voice (not louder). Then we'll be talking.

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Hi Mischa

 

I was thinking last night that, if we want lots of fancy stuff, we could develop the Anglo into a Bandoneon but for the kind of music I want to play- British and Irish with odd forays and explorations into old and new popular music and bits of the classical canon - I don't want more than about 38 buttons and I still want that Anglo bounce. It's the reason I play a melodeon not a Stradella button accordion or a Piano Accordion. The Anglo is not suited to all tunes and group settings which is why I play various instruments other than concertina

 

I will still eagerly listen to all styles to see what can be achieved on an Anglo which is still a recognisable Anglo within Dan Worrall's technical and cultural survey

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Someone asked about Michael Jary. He's still playing and tutoring occasionally, living near York, but heavily involved in music technology and computers. He uploaded the latest batch of songs on the Yorkshire Garland website www.yorkshirefolksong.net which incidentally has some songs anglo accompanied.

Still in Yorkshire:

No-one mentioned yet Chris Sherburn amongst the younger players. Whilst Irish-style predominantly he has been pushing the boundaries of song accompaniment for several years. Gav Dav is also putting in some interesting stuff with anglo and there's a young lad from Selby, Joe Richardson, we should keep an eye on.

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No-one mentioned yet Chris Sherburn amongst the younger players. Whilst Irish-style predominantly he has been pushing the boundaries of song accompaniment for several years.

 

Didn't detect any pushing from Youtube clips. Perfectly right there, on the ITM shelf, properly labeled.

Nail Valley (sp?), on the other hand, is definitely in his own class, having fun with the instrument.

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It's a fine balance between sophisticated use of inefficient tool and standard use of efficient tool. Depends what you want to do with it.

 

That's it exactly. The melodeon is a limited instrument. It has certain strengths (which suit the music I play, which has itself evolved partly to suit the melodeon) but it can't do everything. The anglo is also limited, less so than melodeon, but again it can't do everything. Stuff which is difficult on melodeon or anglo may be straightforward when played on something else.

 

However the nature of these instruments gives the music a certain gutsy character, which can be attractive. Part of the fun of playing them is exploring what they can do within their limits. If you want to play certain types of music, sooner or later you'll have to switch to a different instrument, but that still leaves plenty of music which these instruments can do, and do well.

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However the nature of these instruments gives the music a certain gutsy character, which can be attractive. Part of the fun of playing them is exploring what they can do within their limits. If you want to play certain types of music, sooner or later you'll have to switch to a different instrument, but that still leaves plenty of music which these instruments can do, and do well.

 

Absolutely Howard, that's key to my original question. Take the route dicated by logic and you may well end up with a Chromatic button accordion, (or one of the other "logical" keyboard layouts.) * What I was interested in, in asking the question, was effectively, does anyone know of players who are exploring the harmonic potential of the Anglo, whilst accepting its limitations? [Optional subtext - within the context of Franglonavian traditional music.]

 

(* As I understand it, follow logic and you certainly won't end up with a bandoneon, whatever its strengths, and fascinations, may be!)

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What I was interested in, in asking the question, was effectively, does anyone know of players who are exploring the harmonic potential of the Anglo, whilst accepting its limitations? [Optional subtext - within the context of Franglonavian traditional music.]

 

Niall Vallely

 

(* As I understand it, follow logic and you certainly won't end up with a bandoneon, whatever its strengths, and fascinations, may be!)

 

Yea, it's a good onebiggrin.gif

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  • 10 years later...

This is an old thread but I think it is both an important and interesting one. And I'm sitting here waiting for UPS to deliver my new Clover and since I cannot play concertina right now, I am trying to devour as much as I can about it.

 

I got into concertina a while ago, conflating the "little octagonal monkey grinder accordion" with "french cafe music" and somehow ending up on a road I've enjoyed and don't want to get off, yet. I'm also choosing to specifically invest in trying to use the anglo as an "inefficient tool" or the "poor man's duet" but there's a charm to it that can't be replaced with unisonoric instruments, and admittedly the attitude of "the anglo isn't a good tool for that" makes me want to say, neener neener, we'll see about that.

 

In 2020 I'd like to point to both Adrian Brown doing things like four-part polyphony:

 

And Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne making this "poor man's duet" certainly sound like a rich man's duet:

 

And as most of us have seen, his final university performance is something of a watershed moment for the Anglo's capabilities in this era of players:

https://livestream.com/uol/final-recitals-17/videos/157705262

 

Luke Hillman plays a nice klezmer on his Anglo:

 

Anglo International was 10 years ago, and while my CD copy is coming from the UK, my hunt for anything else like it is more or less running dry. I don't even have a CD player anymore to put the compilation into when it finally arrives!

 

John Kirkpatrick's famous Gigue is impossible to find online, being an LP from the 70s. Obviously we are still not catching up on digitizing and archiving all that we should, which seems to me a big issue.

Edited by perspiration
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