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Anglo-Irishman

Concertina As Flight Luggage

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Glad you had success, and a brilliant trip by the sounds of it! Would love to see the video and hear the recording (With engine noise) should they ever surface :)

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Sounds like a great trip!

I was asked to "play something to attract the dolphins" when we were in the Moray Firth, so I played and sang "Fiddler's Green" ("... where the skies are all clear and the dolphins do play ...") - and lo and behold, the black dorsal fins appeared, and the animals showed their sleek backs.


Cetaceans are great! I’ve had similar experiences with whales in Cape Cod Bay (humpbacks and a fin whale, on separate trips) and also with the dolphins and belugas at Coney Island Aquarium (where a friend was working at the time, so I was let in to sit between the two pools). :)

... he pointed his cam at my right hand, and was rather perplexed when most of the action took place on the left. The Anglo is a conundrum, not only for musicians!


Yep. Everybody knows that with “accordions”, most of the action is in the right hand. I’ll bet an English would have confused him even more. ;)

... I decided on "A-roving", and played it for him, using the engine noise as a click track via ear-buds. Worked very well!


A Swedish friend who is into old tractors pointed me toward some YouTube videos of musicians with chugging tractors as their “rhythm sections”. I didn’t keep a list of the links, but as I recall, they weren’t hard to find.

 

I'd love to see your video if it becomes available.

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The only issue is that I am ALWAYS required to open the concertina case for inspection at security and explain what it is. Apparently it looks suspicious on the X-ray.

 

Late to this thread, as I've been away from concertina.net for a month or so. Glad to hear John had a successful trip.

 

In response to above, perhaps it's worth repeating the advice I saw years ago about taking a concertina through airport security:

 

  • Put it on the x-ray scanner upright (as you would play it). If you put it with the sides top and bottom, the radial arrangement of the levers make the image look uncomfortably similar to a cluster bomb.
  • If they ask you what it is, try to answer without saying "concertina" (say squeezebox, musical instrument, accordion, etc). The word "concertina" is on the list of items that must be confiscated, because it might mean concertina wire, which may be used as a weapon.

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I don't know whether what David says -- "The word "concertina" is on the list of items that must be confiscated, because it might mean concertina wire, which may be used as a weapon" -- is technically, legally true, but I can say that in practice I have said 'concertina' dozens of times in the past five years to airport security people in the USA, Canada, the UK, the Netherlands, and Ireland, and nobody has batted an eye.

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I don't know whether what David says -- "The word "concertina" is on the list of items that must be confiscated, because it might mean concertina wire, which may be used as a weapon" -- is technically, legally true, but I can say that in practice I have said 'concertina' dozens of times in the past five years to airport security people in the USA, Canada, the UK, the Netherlands, and Ireland, and nobody has batted an eye.

 

Of course, Will. If it happened with any frequency, everyone would know about it. But the fact that someone thought to mention it suggests that it probably happened once, and having your concertina confiscated by airport security is what we in the anesthesia business call a "never event," something that should never happen, so if it happens once, that is too much. And if avoiding the word in front of TSA agents can turn "hardly ever" into "never," I'm all for it.

 

[Edited 6 months later for typo]

Edited by David Barnert

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Hi , I recently travelled from Tasmania to Vancouver Island and return carrying a 20B Lachenal as flight luggage in carry on bag. I expected lots of searches and queries but in fact there were none. It went through scanners at Devonport Tas, Melbourne Aus, Los Angeles ,San Francisco and Seattle USA and Victoria Can . without once being opened or questioned. Maybe just lucky. Geoff.

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In the early days of TSA I got a lot more questions and had to show my instrument several times. Lately they never ask. I wonder if it hasn't finally got into the training or practice they get, or so many of you travel that they now know what they look like.

 

I have encountered literalists just often enough in the system that I follow Dave's advice to be on the safe side.

 

Ken

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On my flights to Scotland and back, I was rather disappointed that I didn't get asked to play my concertina to prove that it was a bona fide musical instrument, rather than a cluster bomb! :(

 

However, I once had to translate a brochure on the training of operators of the airport scanners of a manufacturer of repute. Training involves setting the trainee at a screen on which stored X-ray images of pieces of luggage are displayed. Some of the images include "threats", some don't, and the trainee has to learn to react accordingly. I assume that the database of images is continually brought up to date, and that, at some point, a concertina was included as an example of a bizarre-looking "non-threat." This would explain why we used to be asked to explain and play, but no longer are.

 

Cheers,

John

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I just went through security at Logan airport in Boston with three anglos in my rucksack, and ... absolutely nothing was said. I picked up my bag, put my shoes on, and walked away. This has never happened to me before. I'm not complaining!

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I just returned from a long trip in South Africa and no problem with the concertina in hand luggage at all - except for Dubai on the way back. Ended up playing for the security queue at 01.00 in the morning - hilarious.

cheers

Mart

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The other day as I was passing through US Customs in Boston, the official asked me to take the concertina out and demonstrate that I could play it. After a successful demonstration the official explained, a bit apologetically, that if I were trying to smuggle drugs inside the instrument I probably wouldn't have known how to play.

 

Dubious assumptions about the musical abilities of smugglers aside, it looks like the tina narrowly escaped having its bellows knifed by the DEA!

 

Lincoln

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Glad you had success, and a brilliant trip by the sounds of it! Would love to see the video and hear the recording (With engine noise) should they ever surface :)

Unexpected update to the Puffer and Concertina topic:

 

Well, just the other day I received a letter from the puffer's skipper, reminding me that I had given the cameraman verbal consent to use the recordings of my music, and asking for confirmation of this. Apparently the video is finished and will be available soon. He'll send me a copy when he gets one.

Of course I confirmed the consent! When I get the CD, I'll see if I can copy relevant excerpts of the video and make them available to Cnet members.

 

But don't hold your breath ...

 

Cheers,

John

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