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Irene S.

Whatever Happened To Duet International ?

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This may be a topic which will cause Al Day a bit of a headache, but it occurs to me that it is now several years since he started following leads, obtaining recordings and encouraging various duet concertina players to make recordings for the mooted compilation which was supposed to follow English International and Anglo International. I personally enjoyed both of the previous compilations, but as someone who had only fairly recently then taken up a Maccann duet concertina at the urging of my late friend , Ralph Jordan (himself, of course, a leading exponent in the UK of the Maccann) I was eagerly anticipating the eventual release of the next one in the series, as I know Ralph himself was. Sadly as he passed away in January it's something he will not now hear, although he made his own recordings for it (versions which I believe from what I recall were not the same as those which he finished up with on his own CD Eloise).

I know that many other fellow duet players (and others) were expressing great enthuasiasm for the promised compilation, and I am pretty sure that that enthusiasm is unlikely to have waned . I personally would like to hear the recordings of those like Maccann himself, Alexander Prince, more modern players such as Iris Bishop, Pam Bishop, Ralphie himself, Gavin Atkin, just to rake up the names of those that I know best ... and am aware that many others of different vintages and nationalities had been obtained.

So, what has happened to the recordings, and when can we expect to see the promised release? Everything seems to have gone very silent on the topic for some time now. Lately I have noticed more postings from duet players, and new entrants into the world of the duet concertina, so I am sure that the interest is still likely to be out there.

Am I the only one sitting here and still wistfully hoping to hear those recordings? My money is ready and has been for some time.

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When I was just getting startedplaying Anglo, I bought a copy of Anglo International and loved it. This past year I switched to duet, and only last week did some searching around to see if Duet International had ever come out. My interest is still high!

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Irene,

 

I think your ' several years' is one of those quaint English understatements!

 

Alan Day has been on here several times trying to explain this long delay, from which I assume the cause is Financial.

 

You would know, better than most, that Ralphie sold almost all the copies of his Solo Duet CD and claimed it to be a monetary success but perhaps he did not make any sizeable profit as such that could be construde as paying his wages for the work.

 

Whilst it is easy to imagine that Duet International could be a more costly project than any of the plethora of 'homemade' CD's that are produced each year I feel that there must be some here who would comment on the financial aspects of such an undertaking.Perhaps musicians absorb the cost of publishing recordings because they use them as 'calling cards' and promotional material although I have heard it said that some make better money from selling the Cd's at the end of a gig than they do from the engagement fee.

 

Did the first two 'Internationals' make insuficient funds for the continuation of the run ? We have heard from Al that he wanted to continue with other Concertina related recordings so there appears to be no lack of willingness on his behalf.

 

What say you Mr. Day ? Will the War be over by Christmas ?

Edited by Geoff Wooff

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Might I suggest some sort of print-on-demand service like CD Baby might be the way to go? There's no need any more for large print runs to make it economical, but which usually leaves you with boxes of unsold CD's under the bed for the rest of your life.

 

Of course, there still is the upfront cost of selecting and mixing the tracks and producing the cover and sleeve notes.

 

Perhaps we need a Duet Concertina Kickstarter campaign?!?

 

 

Gary

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Might I suggest some sort of print-on-demand service like CD Baby might be the way to go? There's no need any more for large print runs to make it economical, but which usually leaves you with boxes of unsold CD's under the bed for the rest of your life.

An interesting thought - I didn't realize that CD Baby offers this service, but I see now that they do.

 

Please be aware, everyone, that Alan has a partner on the "International" projects. I suspect that Alan may not be in a position to make these decisions on his own. See this thread for a bit more info on this.

Edited by Daniel Hersh

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Does CD Baby actually offer print-on-demand? What I see on their website is that they offer small-run manufacturing (which could be as low as 1!), but what I understand by print-on-demand is that the order is generated by the customer.

 

Apart from the cost, which I suspect is relatively high per unit for very small runs, CD Baby is based in the US whereas the individuals behind the "International" series are based in the UK. CD Baby is great for distributing digital music worldwide but its services for handling physical products seem to be confined to North America.

 

One of the problems with creating a CD is that all the costs must be incurred up-front before any income can be generated. If cost is indeed the problem then perhaps crowd-funding might be a solution.

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Am I the only one sitting here and still wistfully hoping to hear those recordings? My money is ready and has been for some time.

 

Of course not. I have contributed a few tracks to the project [edited to add: in 2007], and would love to hear the whole thing.

 

Two + years ago, in anticipation of a trip to England, I posted this.

 

 

 

Edited by David Barnert

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I have written to Graham Bradshaw about this thread and before I make a full comment I would prefer to see what he has to say.

Al

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I'll add my name to the hat as an interested party. I have a copy of Anglo Int'l, which I found to be one of my most valuable resources learning to play the Anglo. I've since picked up a Wicki/Hayden duet, and would very much like to have the Duet edition!

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Of course it could be seen as being polite to all those who spent time and effort making the recordings for Duet International if the thing was released sometime!

 

PS, where's Dirge when we need him ?

Edited by Geoff Wooff

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Since he put in a recording himself I know he'd be interested?

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My first introduction to the Duet was hearing and watching Tommy Williams play at the ICA meeting in London.

I have enjoyed listening to Duets ever since.

Come on Graham !!

Al

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The subject of finance for these projects has been interesting because they continue to sell and I think they always will.

The main idea was to show the versatility of the instrument and it explains why a number of people were not included, not because of their playing ability ,but because of an overlap of style.

I am really pleased so many of you have learnt new tunes and techniques from some of the selection of players.

Duet was to follow the same pattern, with some vintage and some current players.

At the time I started this gathering of Duet music many Duet players were unknown,some you now know, there are a few however that will amaze you.

Let us hope it happens one day.

Al

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I also recall listening to Tommy Williams at an ICA meeting in London, perhaps it was the same year Al ? Probably 1974 or 1975.

 

How different it was for us Folky types to wander into the world of previous générations and see how Concertinas were used by them, how they percieved the types of music that were for the concertina.

 

Tommy Williams, a diminutive fellow in his 80's, smelling strongly of Pipe Tobacco, Standing on the stage and playing his 72 key MacCann Aeola... mind you he had brought a chair up behind himself just in case he could not manage the strain of holding 3 kilos of Concertina in the air whilst he played one of his more complex arrangments.

 

I recall several other impressions from that day, other players and meeting Alf Edwards, though he was too ill to play, but Tommy Williams and his Duet stands out as the clearest memory.

 

And yes he did have to take to the chair half way through his performance... perhaps that was a relief to some in the audience who may have been thinking like myself that Tommy might topple off the stage at any moment..... still it was wonderfull to listen to and a great opportunity to get what appears to be now as a window on the past.

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I'm still very much looking forward to hearing this - it was a source of no small amount of regret that I wasn't able to contribute at the time!

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