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What have you been doing during Lockdown


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With Festival s and Workshops all Cancelled .Up and to the start of the latest lockdown I have had the Pensans Morris players Max of 6 in my conservatory ,We all miss performing and this is the next best thing .I have also tried using Zoom  but I don't get the same buzz from it . In the latest England 4 week  lockdown ( no gathering allowed  ) , I have pulled out my numerous  song and instruction books as every time I look through them I find something new to practice. Hoping we all pull through safely . What music have the rest of you been doing /practicing ?. Bob  

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3 hours ago, Kelteglow said:

...What music have the rest of you been doing /practicing ?  

M********* Morris have been practicing via Zoom (like you, it doesn't work for me), and during the brief respite

which the current lockdown clobbered, they held 3 or 4 'live' practices with limited numbers allowed to attend.

B**** Band were holding open-air practices with up to 6 musicians in a local park, again now suspended. I wasn't

able to attend these (too far to cycle, too time-consuming using limited public transport).

 

So, for displacement activities, I've been steadily working through 1000 English Country Dance Tunes, edited by

the late Michael Raven. If I don't count the facsimiles of Playford and The Beggars Opera, I estimate there are

1008 tunes in this book - I  just looked at No. 938, so I'm getting there. The next on the list is Hardcore

English, edited by the late Barry Callaghan. I've also been 'perfecting' my program for automagically

generating concertina 'tabs'. I was a bit scunnered with music today, so this morning, I made some lemon curd

and sausage rolls, and baked a loaf of Cajun Cornbread, and I just finished coating a set of DIY 'paper-and-card'

Shogi pieces with clear varnish...

 

You did ask...😎

 

 

Edited by lachenal74693
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Local folk club once a week on Zoom (sometimes using concertina).

Local tune session once a week on Zoom (mostly using concertina).

Wife and I have been having a go at Bach's 'Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring' on two concertinas - she playing the 9/8 running figure on English, me playing all the rest (or a version of it) on duet.

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plenty of playing music with my wife and I discovered a great way to practice is take my son for a ride in the pram until he falls asleep then stop in the park, get out the concertina and play solidly for about an hour. That led to an interesting interaction with a retired royal artillery man - needless to say I played him the "train of artillery" tune which pleased him greatly. 

 

Do very much miss the sessions though. Very much, there was a very good one nearby. 

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I've been playing Jeff duet with cellist Ruth Barry in her beautiful re-purposed small Chapel in our  village north of Cooperstown NY.  After hearing the sound of the two together she has insisted we play even though I'm not classically trained.  She has me learning Bach's Sarabande from his 4th suite in Eb which has surprisingly easy fingerings on the JD although my synapses struggle to comply with the rather unpredictable melody line.  For my part I'm attempting to corrupt her into improvising an accompaniment for a brooding Waltz in Am and C as an ongoing composition.  I must say she's doing much better with her task than I am with mine!  We are maintaining social distance of course....😊

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I've been recording tunes from my Session Tunebook, played slowly to learn then faster for fun. At eight tunes a week, I'm up to week 35, so some 280 tunes recorded so far. Only 360 more to do! See https://pghardy.net/greenshoots/virtual/ . I've also been hosting weekly Zoom sessions (Virtual Greenshoots Live)  to play the week's tunes and keep our local slow session running.

 

I also co-host biweekly two-hour Zoom sessions for Chiltinas - concertina self help group (http://www.chiltinas.org.uk/). Today we did a WW1 marches medley, two parts tunes (Woodbridge Assembly,  Flowers of Ashgill), then a tune in two flats (Leaving Lerwick Harbour), and a couple of lullabies to finish.

 

Otherwise lots of walking in the countryside, some mapping of walks for the local NT estate, and a bit of fettling and restoring of reed instruments.

 

Regards,

 

 

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With all gigs canceled well into 2021, I've been a little unfocused - impending gigs and the fear of failure are great incentives to effective practice.  Partially as a response to that, I've created a decent recording setup and am using recording as a practice tool, and learning to overdub, mostly to improve my accompaniment skills.  I've been doing a couple of weekly virtual sessions - on on Zoom, with great friends but frustrating because of the limitations of Zoom, one on JamKazam, which is starting to look like a usable platform for realtime jamming.

 

Still playing an eclectic mix of stuff with Randy Stein when we can find the time, and trying out some new genres - a little Riccardo Tesi, a little Remi Geffroy, etc.

 

Doing weekly Zoom Morris practice, but mostly that means playing for jigs, or fragments of dances while the guys work out trouble areas.  We've done a few in-person, outdoor, socially distanced practices, which were great, but the onset of cold weather will put an end to that. ANd yesterday played for an outdoor, masked filming of the Abbott's Bromley Horn Dance for the Washington Revels.

 

BUt I miss my bandmates and session friends and Morris ales and the pub.

-

Edited by Jim Besser
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On 11/15/2020 at 9:29 PM, Paul_Hardy said:

That's a rather splendid resource, thank you!

 

Are you playing an English or an Anglo (I can't see an answer to this on the web page,

though I may have missed it)?

 

Thank you!

Edited by lachenal74693
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During the summer I went to several outdoor folk club and open mic social distancing events. As the weather has cooled down and the Covid has heated up, I do not do so now. I am interested in traditional maritime music and some of chanty sings are now via zoom.  Of course with Zoom they are more like open mics. While a poor substitute for live, they do tend to draw participants from all over the country and many from the UK. South Street Seaport in NY hosts a monthly one as does the Portsmouth Maritime Music Festival in NH.

 

I continue to monitor other traditional venues looking for more Zoom opportunities including ones in Minneapolis. Seattle and San Francisco. Does anyone know of other Zoom open mic type opportunities?

 

 

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17 hours ago, lachenal74693 said:

Thank you. That's an impressive collection of concertinas you have there - makes my

small collection of Anglos look quite inadequate...😎

 

I sold one, and recycled one as a Midi instrument. Two are out on loan at present, one has just come back from loan, two are still awaiting fettling back to playability,  One is still in old pitch, one is a baritone, one is a very loud modern one, two are very quiet brass-reeded tutors, two are Anglos, and one is a melodeon currently in pieces. So that only leaves three English trebles that I play regularly - an Aeola, a Lachenal New Model, and an old George Case brass-reeded one!

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On 11/18/2020 at 2:00 AM, Syncopepper said:

During the summer I went to several outdoor folk club and open mic social distancing events. As the weather has cooled down and the Covid has heated up, I do not do so now. I am interested in traditional maritime music and some of chanty sings are now via zoom.  Of course with Zoom they are more like open mics. While a poor substitute for live, they do tend to draw participants from all over the country and many from the UK. South Street Seaport in NY hosts a monthly one as does the Portsmouth Maritime Music Festival in NH.

 

I continue to monitor other traditional venues looking for more Zoom opportunities including ones in Minneapolis. Seattle and San Francisco. Does anyone know of other Zoom open mic type opportunities?

 

 

Can you tell us more about your Maritime Music eg Do you play along with Chanties etc .Stay Safe  , Bob

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On 11/15/2020 at 9:29 PM, Paul_Hardy said:

I've been recording tunes from my Session Tunebook, played slowly to learn then faster for fun. At eight tunes a week, I'm up to week 35, so some 280 tunes recorded so far. Only 360 more to do! See https://pghardy.net/greenshoots/virtual/ . 

This is a fantastic resource, thank you so much! 

As for what I've been doing in lockdown; I bought my first concertina and am learning to play it. Our morris side was doing socially distanced practice when it was legal but has stopped again now. I miss all my folkie friends; our club is not doing any music but we are getting together for a Zoom drink from time to time. I'm doing a certain amount of reading and crafting, and working from home (my business is only somewhat affected). My house is no tidier; funny, that. 

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I live in Brooklyn, NY, USA.  All the cancelled festivals, sessions, contra dances and school, wedding and bar gigs etc. have left me bereft. My Autumn UK tour of folk clubs that I should be doing around now is long gone.

 

Two bright sides have been that I have started bicycling around Prospect Park every day since the summer. Sometimes twice around, and those trousers that stopped fitting me 10 years ago... now I can button them at the waist again.

 

Also on the bright side, since March, I’ve been playing nightly with Pittsburgh autoharpist, Cindy Harris on Jamkazam and we are making beautiful music together as a duet and sometimes with fiddlers joining us too. English, Irish, Shetland, Canadian and American tunes all work well for us.

 

Jamkazam has drastically improved in the past few months and has been a lifeline for me. It’s gotten almost as good as playing face to face. Cindy and I have even been recording using Jamkazam and the results have been astounding. Listen to us play Grand Picnic here:

 

I’ve done zoom events too, both as a concertizing performer and as a listener/participant. Zoom rarely fulfills me but it’s better than nothing.

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On 11/22/2020 at 5:39 AM, Kelteglow said:

Can you tell us more about your Maritime Music eg Do you play along with Chanties etc .Stay Safe  , Bob

For many years I lived near the Chesapeake Bay area but now live near Lake Michigan. Over the years I have been to Maritime Music Festivals and am a folk club regular. I play several instruments including EC.

 

Early this year I was organizing a Chanty Sing at the Michigan Maritime Museum Campus during the annual South Haven, MI Harbor Fest in June. Of course that didn't happen - maybe next year.

 

Chanty Sings are held monthly in some metropolitan areas. Usually there is a Sing leader who performs the dual role of master of ceremonies and sponsoring representative for the Sing. The Sing leader coordinates with individual song leaders who volunteer to lead the rest of the participants in a song.  Sometimes the Sing leader leads some or all of the songs. These songs are often call and response work songs with the leader singing the calls or refrains. Ideally this all happens in a large backroom of a pub. These days some are doing Zoom but with the delay they are just doing round robin.

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20 hours ago, Jody Kruskal said:

I live in Brooklyn, NY, USA.  All the cancelled festivals, sessions, contra dances and school, wedding and bar gigs etc. have left me bereft. My Autumn UK tour of folk clubs that I should be doing around now is long gone.

 

I’ve done zoom events too, both as a concertizing performer and as a listener/participant. Zoom rarely fulfills me but it’s better than nothing.

 

Yes, JamKazam is improving rapidly, and we're learning to navigate its non intuitive settings. I am wondering about the maximum number of players on a JK session; my experience has been that each additional participant adds a degree of instability.

 

 Zoom sessions are nice as social gatherings but unfulfilling musically.

Edited by Jim Besser
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