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Dipper Baritone Anglo - More Renaissance Polyphony


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I’ve had my Dipper Baritone for 6 months now and I feel I am slowly getting to grips with its enormous dynamic range. A few weeks ago, I had the chance to get a bit of solo studio time and managed to record and film my latest effort at playing Renaissance music on the anglo concertina.

 

https://youtu.be/p5i6QI7u870

 

It’s a fantasia by Philip Van Wilder, Henry VIII’s lutenist and court composer, which is my most ambitious piece to date. It’s quite a challenge to try to smooth out the natural tendencies of the anglo and to play in a more measured, restrained way than I’m used to. It being advent already, I hope this goes down well with the odd mince pie and/or glass of mulled wine in front of the fire and I’d certainly appreciate any feedback.

 

Adrian

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Adrian, just "WOW" !!

Fabulous. Your playing is wonderful and listening to that lovely bass line is pure

pleasure.

And I KNOW why you have that wry smile on your face as the last chord fades away to nothing..................you are still astonished by the tonal range of the anglo Colin Dipper created for you. I'll bet it thrills you each time you do it !

One question though...........the sound quality on my Youtube version is "meh". Is there a platform where we can hear it in high quality ?

Bravo !

Robin

 

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Wow thanks for your comments - I'm pleased to hear you like it!

Robin, I'm not sure how to do that - I have an m4a file, but it's about 9Mb - perhaps if I uploaded it to soundcloud, the resolution would be better than on youtube? I'll try to work out something in the next few days.

Steve, this piece only goes to G at the bottom of the bass clef - I have a whole 5th (admittedly only a diatonic one) below that! I'll try to find a piece that goes to low C or D next time…

Mike, no, that's way beyond me! I used a modern clef transcription from John M. Ward's "Music for Elizabethan Lutes". It's sadly out of print, but I found a copy in our local music library. It's a great collection of transcribed lute tunes which are very accessible for the concertina. I find that a lot of music of this time arranged for virginals, is far too hard to do any justice too, whereas lute music is typically written more vertically, with less voice independence, which suits the anglo a lot more!

Thanks again for your feedback,

Adrian

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I’ve had my Dipper Baritone for 6 months now and I feel I am slowly getting to grips with its enormous dynamic range. A few weeks ago, I had the chance to get a bit of solo studio time and managed to record and film my latest effort at playing Renaissance music on the anglo concertina.

 

https://youtu.be/p5i6QI7u870

 

It’s a fantasia by Philip Van Wilder, Henry VIII’s lutenist and court composer, which is my most ambitious piece to date. It’s quite a challenge to try to smooth out the natural tendencies of the anglo and to play in a more measured, restrained way than I’m used to. It being advent already, I hope this goes down well with the odd mince pie and/or glass of mulled wine in front of the fire and I’d certainly appreciate any feedback.

 

Adrian

 

Just gorgeous - the instrument and the playing.

 

Is this a C/G?

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Adrian - This is inspiring. So I"m wondering: can you suggest other Renaissance pieces that might work well on a C/G baritone Anglo - that are not as challenging as the one you played? Playing classical music is pretty foreign to me, but I'd like to explore - in a neophyte's way, of course - the path you are blazing.

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Thanks for all the kind comments - Jim, I'll have a think about it and send you something. How many buttons has your baritone got? My Dipper has 39 + air and yes, it's a CG

 

Adrian

 

Thanks.

 

Yeah, I could tell you weren't limited by a mere 30 buttons. I am, which will require some comprises when playing this kind of music.

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I'm also in awe at the tone and execution of this recording. Fine musicianship all around.

 

For those of us who aspire to this sound... may I suggest that recording techniques including the judicious use of EQ in post production can compensate for most of the tonal deficiencies in any concertina. The amazing sound of the Dipper Baritone played by Adrian could be yours too, if you EQ your recorded sound that way. That being said... his musicianship cannot be created except through live performance.

 

Since we are sharing our playing online here through recording technology as opposed to live listening, it makes sense to take advantage of all studio tricks to make our playing sound as good as can be. Easy on the reverb though, please!

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I'm also in awe at the tone and execution of this recording. Fine musicianship all around.

 

For those of us who aspire to this sound... may I suggest that recording techniques including the judicious use of EQ in post production can compensate for most of the tonal deficiencies in any concertina. The amazing sound of the Dipper Baritone played by Adrian could be yours too, if you EQ your recorded sound that way. That being said... his musicianship cannot be created except through live performance.

 

Since we are sharing our playing online here through recording technology as opposed to live listening, it makes sense to take advantage of all studio tricks to make our playing sound as good as can be. Easy on the reverb though, please!

Thanks again Jody,

 

Somebody pointed out that there are 5 microphones to be seen in the video - we had been recording some songs earlier in the day and one of them was a vocal mic that was still standing around. However, in view of Jody's comments, I thought I should point out that most of the sound you hear is from the two microphones directly about the concertina, and our engineer used the ones standing at the ends only to add a bit of 'bite' post-production, particularly on the bass side. Interesting for me, who has only a limited grasp of recording techniques, was the fact that the sound from the end mics was far too nasal and hard sounding - almost accordion-like, whereas those on top were more sweet, and much closer to what I experience as a player. There's been a lot of discussion here about microphones and most of the set ups I have seen have the mics pointing directly at the ends - has anyone tried positioning them above the instrument instead? And does that result in a more 'natural' sound than having close mics at the ends?

 

Adrian

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It's taken a little while since I've not logged in recently but let me be the next to commend you on the concertina and the musicianship. Wonderful.

 

On mics, I only use one in my home environment studio. It's a Sennheiser MK4, a condenser mic set up straight in front. Seems to work OK to my ear. No doubt a professional sound engineer would have issues.

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One could always have a better concertina, more buttons, better mics, better mic placement, a better room, a more experienced sound engineer, superior editing... and the recording would improve. Regardless, the performance of the music tops the list of things to get right.

 

Adrian, your playing is eye opening.

Edited by Jody Kruskal
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One could always have a better concertina, more buttons, better mics, better mic placement, a better room, a more experienced sound engineer, superior editing... and the recording would improve. Regardless, the performance of the music tops the list of things to get right.

 

Adrian, your playing is eye opening.

 

That's again really kind of you, but to avoid my head getting any bigger, perhaps I should make a few points:

 

I think that because this sort of music has been so rarely played on concertinas in the past, let alone anglos, I do have the distinct advantage of a lack of comparison!

 

I still worry that my bellows control is not totally adequate to deal with the demands of this music - there are too many surges on bellows reversals which are not called for in the score or the style. A few ornaments are marked - "shakes" which would start on a note above the written one. These were so difficult and clumsy to execute with the fingers I had left over, that I left them out, thinking this is a lute and virginal tradition that I couldn't properly do justice to. I am sure that with help (maybe from the Irish players) I could manage to do them better - the problem is they often go between the right and left hands and are then far too present and dominant to work convincingly.

 

I should also add that I sometimes wish I was the sort of player who could join in with sessions, improvise on tunes by ear, play in every key and have an encyclopaedic repertoire of tunes - I'm not and I think we are all different as players and in what we want to achieve. I'm very much on the performance side, in that I need to get everything worked out in advance, either by ear or reading and I practice to perform. I'm honestly really useless when things start to go off in an unexpected direction!

 

I hope this puts things in a bit of perspective.

 

Cheers!

 

Adrian

 

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