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Michael Ducky Raley

Bertram Levy Island Music center show

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Just a note that I saw Bertram Levy perform this past Saturday at Island Music Center on Bainbridge Island WA.

 

it was billed as

"Concertina and Bandoneon. Bellow visions from Appalachia to the Tangosphere"

with Michael Townsend on Guitar and Russell Clark

 

he played tunes from "Paddyrocker", "Turkey in the straw" to "Tiko Tiko" on his Dipper

and Tango peices on the Bandoneon

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Also there was a note on the door that a recording was being made.

By prearrangement with Bertram and the venue I recorded video of the entire performance. I thought it was a good show, backed by a bass and guitar Bertram drew on a wide range of material, even including a tune or two from his new Anglo tutor. In his hands a concertina has a wide range of expression and character that makes music from a broad range of genres sound at home on it. I think my favorite of the evening was an original composition of his played on concertina, inspired by the sounds of waves against the shore when he was visiting an Alaskan village. I'm amazed by the way he can switch between concertina and bandoneon, the systems are radically different.

 

Bertram held a well attended Anglo workshop in Seattle earlier the same day, with the material in the new tutor as its main theme. With a diverse body of skill levels represented among the attendees, he used the first tune in the tutor as a vehicle to illustrate how he approaches the Anglo and his recommended method for learning. After that he went through the rest of the tutor, explaining considerations in his choice of the material, providing context for the importance of the concepts involved, and highlighting key phases in the exercises, often walking the group through the proper way to play select phrases. In his discussion of concepts he often ranged well beyond tutor material. I particularly enjoyed his examples of various styles of accompaniment techniques, at one point he even shifted the melody to the left side and chording to the right.

 

If Bertram endorses it, I'll place some video excerpts online in the near future.

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I'm amazed by the way he can switch between concertina and bandoneon, the systems are radically different.

 

Well, my Anglo and my Bandoneon have a common block of 20 buttons. OK, the Anglo's are in C/G and the Bandonoen's are in A/E, but the principle is the same. I have a couple of simple pieces that I play on the Bandoneon in A and on the Anglo in C, using identical fingering.

 

My 52-b Bandoneon admittedly has a third diatonic row in G, and a lot more accidentals than my 30-b Anglo - but I wouldn't speak of a "radically different system!"

 

Cheers,

John

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