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Nice videos on the Wakker Hayden duet by Jim Bayliss


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Hello everybody,

 

while browsing the recently made duet concertina videos uploaded on youtube, I stumbled on this channel, by player Jim Bayliss, on which three different concertina performances are shown - they were recorded on a 7 years span!

 

On two videos he uses a Wakker 46-keys Hayden duet, which sounds really good imho (better for instance that the same model played by JeffLeff on his famous videos - maybe the recording techniques explain the difference? Or is there something different at stake here?) :

The rich jazz harmony and the counterpoint are very good! I wish we'd see that kind of playing more often!

 

Interestingly, he also has a video in which he uses a huge 82-keys Hayden duet :

 

Curiously though, I find the 46-keys videos musically better - this instrument surely has more possibilities, but doesn't sound as good - the arrangement is less creative too.

 

Hope he'll post more videos in the near future!

Edited by ritonmousquetaire
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Interesting. Thanks for posting these.

 

Apropos your thread elsewhere in this forum on range and overlap in duets, these videos perhaps illustrate why more is not always better. The Hayden 46 has a total range of just three octaves and a tone, and on each hand C# and Eb are missing from the lower octave , yet with imagination and inventiveness it can produce great music.

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12 hours ago, ritonmousquetaire said:

 

 

 

 

On two videos he uses a Wakker 46-keys Hayden duet, which sounds really good imho (better for instance that the same model played by JeffLeff on his famous videos - maybe the recording techniques explain the difference? Or is there something different at stake here?

 

 

Though  it could  just be recording technique  differences  there  are two models  of Wakker 46  duet.  On  the Wakker website  he lists  the   H1 and W1  as  being  octagonal    6 1/3" across, but that is the earlier  model  which has  several  reeds  ( 3  on each side  if I remember correctly)  mounted in the  central area  of the  reedpan.  The revised model  has all reeds  radially mounted around the circumference. This  second  version avoids  some tonal imbalance  evident with the central mounted notes  but also  increases  the size  of the instrument  .  Looking at   Jim's  videos,  where his  arrangements  appear  to  utilise most  of the lung capacity  of the seven fold bellows,  I can  imagine the slightly larger  second version  could be preferable. Not that I know which version he is playing  here.

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48 minutes ago, Geoff Wooff said:

Looking at   Jim's  videos,  where his  arrangements  appear  to  utilise most  of the lung capacity  of the seven fold bellows,  I can  imagine the slightly larger  second version  could be preferable. Not that I know which version he is playing  here.

 

Or eight-fold bellow instead of seven (not that he looks as if he's having much trouble). I count nine-fold bellows on the big beast!

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Jim has been a longtime attendee of the Old Palestine Concertina Weekend in East Texas. Great guy and great player, and yes, that huge beast of a duet is pretty awesome!

 

Hopefully he'll chime in on this thread...

 

 

Gary

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Finally had a chance to listen to these. Given his facility demonstrated in the first 2 videos, you can hear how much trouble keeping the rhythm steady with the monster Hayden. As I said in the post from 2006 linked above:

 

Quote

Pumping the bellows took a great deal of energy, so that when I went back to my 46-key Hayden, I felt like I had a jet engine in my hands.

 

The experience left me satisfied with my 46, to the extent that I no longer have a desire for a larger instrument.

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David, I'm not sure if the problems occuring in the 3rd video have to be ascribed to the instrument. The Aura Lea/Love Me Tender tune is rather slow and could - mere for this reason - well be played with a larger instrument from my experience (albeit admittedly limited to a 7 1/4 inches Aeola which feels however quite different from the smaller treble instrument). It's rather the much-syncopating approach to the basic rhythm IMO which is making the take (as opposed to Nos. 1 and 2) sound a little odd.

 

And as to the observation that

 

On 7/8/2018 at 1:18 AM, ritonmousquetaire said:

the arrangement is less creative too

 

it might be pointed out that the signature feature of the tune - as regularly, and as well here played - seems to be the stacking of secondary dominants with seventh chords which is leaving not much room for "jazzy" harmonies with sixths, major sevenths and ninths added, and counter point as well.

 

Best wishes - ?

 

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On 7/8/2018 at 12:27 PM, Little John said:

Interesting. Thanks for posting these.

 

Apropos your thread elsewhere in this forum on range and overlap in duets, these videos perhaps illustrate why more is not always better. The Hayden 46 has a total range of just three octaves and a tone, and on each hand C# and Eb are missing from the lower octave , yet with imagination and inventiveness it can produce great music.

Yes, indeed! Especially if more means getting an instrument whose size makes it difficult to play. I still think a bit larger range would be better - but as you say, fantastic arrangements can be made even with a small range.

 

Geoff > I didn't know about these differences in Wakker's instruments, thanks for pointing them out! At a first glance I thought the instruments looked pretty similar in their dimensions, but it's difficult to say without some proper measurements.

 

On 7/10/2018 at 12:32 AM, David Barnert said:

 

I discussed this same instrument in this post from 2006.

Thanks a lot for this post, David! It's really interesting to have a look at this instruments' layout. Your observations on the impact of its size on this concertina's playability also make a good point for the need to keep the instruments small. Have you ever tried some other big concertinas? (>80 keys MacCann for instance?)

 

1 hour ago, Wolf Molkentin said:

it might be pointed out that the signature feature of the tune - as regularly, and as well here played - seems to be the stacking of secondary dominants with seventh chords which is leaving not much room for "jazzy" harmonies with sixths, major sevenths and ninths added, and counter point as well.

I guess you're right - my knowledge of harmony is quite limited, I'm not sure I understand everything here. But by creative I don't necessarily mean jazzy.

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25 minutes ago, ritonmousquetaire said:

my knowledge of harmony is quite limited, I'm not sure I understand everything here. But by creative I don't necessarily mean jazzy.

 

- of course not. ?

 

It's just the tune, which I used to play some times ago myself and now have resumed a bit. The best that can be done seems to be:

 

1. weaken the "strong" secondary dominants by replacing them with the resp. minor chord (which would be ii, and iii and vi to be considered) from time to time,

2. creating bass lines, rising or decending.

 

A more ambitious or sophisticated counter point would have to be faster, which does not seem to fit with this tune IMO.

 

As to secondary dominant(s): the dominant seventh chord (Gmaj7 in the case of Cmaj) includes two "leading" notes which are urging back to the tonic (Cmaj here). This concept can be expanded, finally resulting in a progression as follows: III7 - VI7 - II7 - V7 - I (Emaj7 - Amaj7 - Dmaj7 - Gmaj7 - Cmaj). Even the first expanding (using II7/Dmaj7) is deemed debatable re playing folk music (however rather modern forms such as the Polka may very well include a thing like that). Every further expanding makes the harmonies sugary if not brutal in a way, but I like it here nevertheless.

 

Best wishes - ?

 

 

Edited by Wolf Molkentin
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11 minutes ago, ritonmousquetaire said:

Do you have a recording of your playing of the piece anywhere?

 

I don't seem to have recorded it as yet - guess I will in the near future, probably pairing it with the "Tennessee waltz", which I did record once in  2015 (and which has secondary dominants, albeit to a lesser extent, to it as well).

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8 minutes ago, Wolf Molkentin said:

 

I don't seem to have recorded it as yet - guess I will in the near future, probably pairing it with the "Tennessee waltz", which I did record once in  2015 (and which has secondary dominants, albeit to a lesser extent, to it as well).

Very nice self-accompaniment work on that tune. Great rendition!

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14 hours ago, Wolf Molkentin said:

David, I'm not sure if the problems occuring in the 3rd video have to be ascribed to the instrument.

 

You’re right. He’s doubling the length of each bar by playing every 2nd note three times as long. That is, where the melody is usually played in equal quarter notes, he’s playing every pair of them as a quarter and a dotted half. When I first heard this I thought it was because it took that long to change bellows direction. But now I see that he’s doing it even when he’s not changing the bellows direction.

 

11 hours ago, Wolf Molkentin said:

I don't seem to have recorded it as yet - guess I will in the near future, probably pairing it with the "Tennessee waltz", which I did record once in  2015 (and which has secondary dominants, albeit to a lesser extent, to it as well).

 

Aura Lee and the Tennessee Waltz? Aura Lee is in 4 and the Tennessee Waltz is, well, a waltz.

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3 hours ago, David Barnert said:

Aura Lee and the Tennessee Waltz? Aura Lee is in 4 and the Tennessee Waltz is, well, a waltz.

 

Well, David, I‘m doing things like that from time to time deliberately, as I‘m not playing for dancers (and in fact this waltz is not the tune to demand a change of this approach IMO). ?

 

Why would a pairing of triple time and four-four not work in general then?

 

Best wishes - ?

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