Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Ex Libris

Billy Rielley - Devil's Rock 1938

Recommended Posts

Hello C'Netters.

Following a request from the British Film Music Encyclopedia to the ICA, I asked on facebook for information relating to Billy Reilley, or the tune he is playing in the 1938 film Devil's Rock. Devil's Rock was the first film to be made in Northern Ireland, it also featured an all Northern Irish cast. About 25 minutes into the film there is a concert in which the miniature English Concertina is played - possibly by Billy Rielley. Does anyone know anything about the player, or the tune he is playing? The clip can be found at the link below.

https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/film/watch-devils-rock-1938-online

Many thanks for your help.

Jeremy

post-7661-0-60822100-1514457213_thumb.png

Edited by Ex Libris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But I loved the three 'tinas in the photo!

 

So did I Mike! Does anyone have an idea how you might describe the large Aeola? Apologies that the photo isn't clearer, but it was the best screen grab I could get of a fleeting view.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone have an idea how you might describe the large Aeola?

To get a complete button count, I would need to see the other side. 38 buttons on the visible left hand end. The same or nearly the same on the other end would give it a 5½-octave range. The end is a bit larger* than my 56-button bass Aeola, which leads me to suspect that the bottom note is "cello C" (2 octaves below middle C), or maybe even lower.

 

The configuration of the lower buttons adds a constraint, but it doesn't remove all ambiguity. E.g., it matches the configuration of a standard treble, standard baritone, tenor-treble, etc., but not a standard "bass" (like mine mentioned above). This suggests that either it's a bass-baritone (laid out like a tenor-treble, but sounding an octave lower for the same fingering) or a "G-bass" (laid out like a treble, but sounding 2 octaves lower for the same fingering). I'm inclined to favor the bass-baritone, since I expect the G-bass variant would have to be even bigger than that instrument appears. (In comparison to my 56-button bass, the added size might be attributed entirely to the additional 1½ octaves of range. Even though those would be higher, smaller reeds, there would be nearly 50 of them.)

 

* Exactly how much larger, I'm not sure, since I measured with my fingers, not a vernier. (10"? 10½"? My bass is 9½" across the flats.) I compared the distance from the edge to the finger plate with the distance across the array of buttons.

Edited by JimLucas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many thanks Jim. Fascinating information. I've never seen a bass-baritone in the flesh (in the bellows??). I believe that's what Juliette Daum plays and it's the only other bass-baritone I've ever seen. There can't be many people who own one.

Edited by Ex Libris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many thanks Jim. Fascinating information. I've never seen a bass-baritone in the flesh (in the bellows??). I believe that's what Juliette Daum plays and it's the only other bass-baritone I've ever seen. There can't be many people who own one.

 

Not many, but I've seen a few. Juliette's, if I recall correctly, is the same size as my own baritone-treble... 8-5/8" (22 cm) across the flats. I believe that's unusually small for a bass or bass-baritone. Of course, hers has far fewer buttons (56? 64? I don't recall) than the one in your photo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All other things aside, the Devil's Rock is noteworthy for its closing sequence which features R.O'Meally playing the pipes. The only existing footage of him playing, as far as I am aware.

 

I didn't recognise the tune played on the concertina although it sounds, in part at least, somewhat familiar.

 

Video played fine in Ireland, by the way.

Edited by Peter Laban

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Video played fine in Ireland, by the way.

 

In Germany it didn't.

 

Nor in Denmark.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×