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Anglo concertina as an expressive instrument


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The more I play anglo, the more I’m finding what an incredibly expressive instrument it is.  Obviously it naturally lends itself so very well to movement and danceability in a tune, but I’m also realising just how well it can lend itself to other moods.
 

Id love to hear any examples you might have of anything sounding sad, soulful or wistful and what ways/techniques you might personally convey that using that. 

 

Here’s an example of what I’m trying at the moment:

 

I’m also trying something new for me here in that this is largely unadorned melody (and only sparsely harmonised in the second half) whereas before I’d be trying everything in my “box of tricks of accompaniment” it seems! 

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9 minutes ago, wunks said:

It's not easy to resist opening Pandora's box......😊

 

I'm imagining a composer lifting the lid on a big old chest and rummaging around. Shoving strife to one side and jealousy to the other, mumbling to themselves, "dissonance... dissonance... I know it's in here somewhere!"

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2 hours ago, wunks said:

Your approach works quite well.  It's beautiful!  Not only the sparse harmony but a frugal melody line as well.  It's not easy to resist opening Pandora's box......😊

Thankyou Wunks! It is quite a temptation isn’t it, but easier to resist with the mood of this piece 

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I always thought that an expressive Anglo rendition was a bit of an oxymoron, you have proved me so very wrong.

Sensitive playing with a harmonisation that accentuates rather than dominates, well done indeed.

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35 minutes ago, d.elliott said:

I always thought that an expressive Anglo rendition was a bit of an oxymoron, you have proved me so very wrong.

Sensitive playing with a harmonisation that accentuates rather than dominates, well done indeed.

That means a lot, thankyou 

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10 minutes ago, richard said:

 

Thankyou for that- very interesting in that ornamentation including vibrato seems to be the main approach used to add to the mood, though there is bellows work in there (some nice use of silence and tailing off too) and sparse but telling additional notes. The contrast of tune mood is grand too

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By the way, if anyone is interested, this is a Worcestershire scene in the video - looking across to the Malvern Hills, just across the Common from the Elgar birthplace museum.  This is from one of several green tracks crossing a farm, heading down towards the River Teme. The barbed wire was an interesting shape - the farmer had been inventive in using several pieces to make it stockproof! It was a bleak old midwinter’s day

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16 minutes ago, Noel Ways said:

This piece that you wrote Kathryn so reminds of MrManfid's, "For Levon":

 

 

I adore this!

 

I love that it very much comes from the instrument and feels like an improvised, in the moment piece. Way more than mine in that mine came from some improvisation but then has really a very simple structure.  Love the bellows “breaths” section particularly. And the bellows shaking (which as an accordionist I’m well familiar with and have experimented with on anglo).
 

I am encouraged to play further and be looser. 
 

Thankyou for this!

Edited by Kathryn Wheeler
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just after thought you asked what techniques others use to express in instrument; there will be many just  as there are many  instruments to play them on.

Myself i use many methods; a sort of  or smooth lilting by partly bellows, and smooth lifting of finger from one button to other,  and near to no button clicking sound. Sometimes playing very quietly as much as can allow, until there's a whisper of sound. Its something which cannot be easily describe in words; instead only listened too.  I have no audio examples to put on, and my only video playing [birds feet tune] is all have managed tune playing anyway online. But I enjoyed listening to your rendition!  

And quite appreciate Elgar's music.. funny how his family had music shop and once he remembered a bunch of concertinas they sold at Elgar brothers being knocked over completely and the racket it made!

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Thank you Kathryn. For reasons I can't identify, your piece brought to mind the open, spacious, sinuous music of Erik Satie -- "Gymnopedies" and "Gnossiennes". Yours is seductive, meant in a good way -- I did not want it to hurry up or speed up or over-emphasize the rhythm. Do more of that, please.

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23 minutes ago, CrP said:

Thank you Kathryn. For reasons I can't identify, your piece brought to mind the open, spacious, sinuous music of Erik Satie -- "Gymnopedies" and "Gnossiennes". Yours is seductive, meant in a good way -- I did not want it to hurry up or speed up or over-emphasize the rhythm. Do more of that, please.

I have to listen to those pieces again! Thankyou for those thoughts- I know what you mean! Much appreciated 

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