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Wexford + Third Carol


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Wolf

 

Very nice!  I don't think it needs stronger harmonies, if by that you mean more voices.  For Wexford it sounds that you have mirrored the harmonies from the earlier recordings and I think that lets the melody shine. 

 

But listening to both versions I am struck at the dufficulty that solo concertinas have in keeping the volume down for the accompaniment.  Maybe Didie has the right idea, to use separate mikes for the left and right hand sides, but that won't help with an EC.

 

Don.

 

BTW.  Can you please say which you are playing in your recordings.

 

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Hi Don, thank you for listening and commenting - I'm glad you like it.

 

I chose the Model 24 (56b extended treble) over the TT Aeola here because of its superb presence, with fiddle and pipes in mind, even at the cost of having to go without the lovely root note of D minor for the first tune (and possibly giving the second tune a try in the lower octave??).

 

As to the earlier recording I tried to reflect the meditative mood and harmonical restraint, albeit I already cautiously expanded the harmonies. Still "richer" harmonies would not necessarily mean more voices (perhaps even less, as in one of "my" verses), but perhaps less use of the drone note on the one hand and more application of parallel major modes on the other.

 

I agree that where I just tried (and achieved I guess) to be tight and atmospheric with the first tune, the melody of the second ("third" actually) is to some extent drowned out by harmony or bass notes. I'll thus have to elaborate more cautious ways for the accompaniment (and replace a few valves too I reckon).

 

Best wishes - ?

 

P.S.: I'm throughout indicating the instrument used for a specific tune in the respective notes at SC - it's very annoying that still, several years after the introducing of the new mobile phone app, these remarks are invisible to the listener who doesn't care to switch to his or her notebook or desktop computer...

 

Edited by Wolf Molkentin
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3 hours ago, Wolf Molkentin said:

Hi Don, thank you for listening and commenting - I'm glad you like it.

 

I chose the Model 24 (56b extended treble) over the TT Aeola here because of its superb presence, with fiddle and pipes in mind, even at the cost of having to go without the lovely root note of D minor for the first tune (and possibly giving the second tune a try in the lower octave??).

 

As to the earlier recording I tried to reflect the meditative mood and harmonical restraint, albeit I already cautiously expanded the harmonies. Still "richer" harmonies would not necessarily mean more voices (perhaps even less, as in one of "my" verses), but perhaps less use of the drone note on the one hand and more application of parallel major modes on the other.

 

I agree that where I just tried (and achieved I guess) to be tight and atmospheric with the first tune, the melody of the second ("third" actually) is to some extent drowned out by harmony or bass notes. I'll thus have to elaborate more cautious ways for the accompaniment (and replace a few valves too I reckon).

 

Best wishes - ?

 

P.S.: I'm throughout indicating the instrument used for a specific tune in the respective notes at SC - it's very annoying that still, several years after the introducing of the new mobile phone app, these remarks are invisible to the listener who doesn't care to switch to his or her notebook or desktop computer...

 

Sounds lovely.  My only (subjective of course) suggestion would be not to play the same roll in the same place every time and use phrases of the tune without ornament on occasion.  The harmonies are beautiful but the melody might flow more.    ?

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1 hour ago, wunks said:

Sounds lovely.  My only (subjective of course) suggestion would be not to play the same roll in the same place every time and use phrases of the tune without ornament on occasion.  The harmonies are beautiful but the melody might flow more.    ?

 

Thanks a lot for your comment, I'm glad you like the track - and as to the flow I guess I'll have to plead guilty and try to follow your amiable and well-balanced suggestions (which I will treasure as it has turned out to be hard to quit this entranched habit, and "not every time" and "on occasion" sounds viable even for me)... ?

 

Edited by Wolf Molkentin
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32 minutes ago, Wolf Molkentin said:

 

Thanks a lot for your comment, I'm glad you like the track - and as to the flow I guess I'll have to plead guilty and try to follow your amiable and well-balanced suggestions... ?

It occurs to me that part of my difficulty is that this (Wexford) is a song as well as a tune and when the two are paired it's very smooth.  For me the ornamentation puts the melody in a strait jacket and it just sits there unable to move.

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I like this kind of slow and simple melody on concertina and it's nice to listen to both versions. Don is right when saying that it's difficult to find a good balance between melody and accompaniment on solo concertina, and maybe the problem is more obvious with duet concertinas which are made to play melody and accompaniment together. After talking about this problem of balance with Harry Geuns he gave me some leather baffles to put especially inside the left hand and it's better but not enough. Amplification is another solution but the main interest of the concertina is to be a small and simple instrument, so it would be great if concertinas makers could work on this problem and find acoustic solutions.

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4 hours ago, soloduet said:

I like this kind of slow and simple melody on concertina and it's nice to listen to both versions. Don is right when saying that it's difficult to find a good balance between melody and accompaniment on solo concertina, and maybe the problem is more obvious with duet concertinas which are made to play melody and accompaniment together. After talking about this problem of balance with Harry Geuns he gave me some leather baffles to put especially inside the left hand and it's better but not enough. Amplification is another solution but the main interest of the concertina is to be a small and simple instrument, so it would be great if concertinas makers could work on this problem and find acoustic solutions.

I think any acoustic solution should be internal because the instrument is so beautiful.  What comes to mind is the banjo tone ring.  The examples of concertinas with perforated ends recently shown here don't in my opinion improve the looks of the instrument and aren't constructed like a tone ring.  For an excellent article by Barry Hunn on the function and materials of banjo tone rings see: blog.deeringbanjos.com/what-banjo-tone-rings-do .

Edited by wunks
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My first EC, a Lachenal Excelsior, was really well balanced, like none of my Wheatstones. However, the Model 24 is producing just the sound I wanted for the Wexford Carol, and there's not much to desire in this regard IMO. The second tune,  in d minor, is a different thing. The melody is rather high, and the instrument lacks impact in this range (partly because the valves are tired I reckon).

 

OTOH I don't see a technical (construction-wise) solution for the EC (and am not sure if I would want one for the Duet, at least no muffling, possibly amplification as you seem to suggest). The player (me) has to (further) devolop his or her skills, that's all I guess.

 

Best wishes - ?

 

Edited by Wolf Molkentin
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I have tried using EVA foam as a baffle, it is acoustically neutral (does not act as a low-pass filter) and does attenuate volume, but only by a little bit so, to make a real difference, you need more EVA foam than you can fit inside the ends of a concertina.   There is only enough room for 2-3 mm of foam.

 

Wolf:. Time to send that Excelsior off to a fetler (maybe before Brexit happens next year...).  You know that you owe it to the old lady.

Edited by Don Taylor
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1 hour ago, Don Taylor said:

Wolf:. Time to send that Excelsior off to a fetler (maybe before Brexit happens next year...).  You know that you owe it to the old lady.

 

Yes Don, and I would gladly do that had I only found a reliable repairsperson who is interested in carrying out such work already... ?

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  • 10 months later...
On 12/11/2018 at 3:54 PM, Don Taylor said:

Wolf:. Time to send that Excelsior off to a fetler (maybe before Brexit happens next year...).  You know that you owe it to the old lady.

 

Hi Don, albeit having been able to acquire another beautifully-playing wooden-ended instrument (my very special "model 6") in the meantime, with which I am very happy indeed, I have now left the Excelsior with a repairsman who I know (because he overhauled the "model 6" for the seller, and perfectly tuned my "model 24" too at some point later) is truly reliable (Nigel Sture of Devon), and am much looking forward to have her shipped back to Germany, which surely will happen within the new "flextension" timeline (given the "flex" part will not be applicable in the nearer future).

 

All the best - ?

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