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I’m new here, how are you all? And a link to a video.


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Hi. I play English concertina; no formal concertina lessons but I’ve learned a lot from the playing of Alistair Anderson. (I’ve also listened to Simon Thoumire and I just shake my head.) Before taking up concertina I played mandolin for many years. My group is called Three Times Through (get it?), based here in Northern California, in Nevada County. We started interspersing popular melodies with traditional tunes and noticed that it broadened our audience, and enhanced our tip jar. Sometimes there’s a musical justification, sometimes lyrical, sometimes just too much wine at rehearsal.

Here’s a link to a recent live video- The White Petticoat/ Paint it Black/ O’Connel’s Welcome to Dublin (I think that’s its name)

I hope you enjoy it.

 

https://youtu.be/cHTPsnjMLuo
 

 

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Simon has a unique style and his own way of holding the instrument, having the thumb straps moved to suit his needs. He is a brilliant player, but hard for mere mortals to use a a role model if you are watching/hearing his concert performances. . Having said that, he does give excellent workshops that we can learn from.

Paint it black sits really well in the middle of traditional tunes. I really enjoyed the combination of instruments. You wre obviously having fun, and that counts.

Edited by John Wild
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9 hours ago, Greg Mirken said:

Hi. I play English concertina; no formal concertina lessons but I’ve learned a lot from the playing of Alistair Anderson. (I’ve also listened to Simon Thoumire and I just shake my head.) Before taking up concertina I played mandolin for many years. My group is called Three Times Through (get it?), based here in Northern California, in Nevada County. We started interspersing popular melodies with traditional tunes and noticed that it broadened our audience, and enhanced our tip jar. Sometimes there’s a musical justification, sometimes lyrical, sometimes just too much wine at rehearsal.

Here’s a link to a recent live video- The White Petticoat/ Paint it Black/ O’Connel’s Welcome to Dublin (I think that’s its name)

I hope you enjoy it.

 

https://youtu.be/cHTPsnjMLuo
 

 


Increased audience because of covers of popular songs doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. Since my first days of owning a concertina I firmly hold a belief, that what prevents concertinas from getting more recognition is sticking almost solely to trad or classic repertoire. Just look at the modern renaissance of accordion as a mainstream instrument - once it found it’s way into indie rock / folk rock / folk metal bands, there is no stopping it. We need more covers of popular music, more arrangements of game music and an overall modernisation of  repertoire. Even a single video going viral on YT can have a huge impact. Some time ago there was a game, „Sea of Thieves”. One of the goals in this game was collecting concertinas of various rarity. There were even posts on this forum looking for concertina arrangements of music from this game. Now go on YT and compare numbers of views and likes of various „Sea of Thieves” concertina covers and videos of even such talented trad players as Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne or Simon Thoumire. Or compare number of subscribers of Cohen or Simon with a guy called Concertina Joel, a channel with the most popular „Sea of Thieves” covers. 
 

Lack of new talents and young players is a subject rised quite often here, usually attributed to high entry cost. But I think that antiquated and narrow repertoire is a way more important factor. Those cover videos have one thing in common - people have fun with cheapest concertinas, like Wren, Rochelle, Elise, or even cheap chineese boxes, and complain mostly at the lack of sheets for their instrument, not the quality of their instrument. 

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Is it more pop covers ye want, then? Here’s a set that begins with the Galician tune A Bruxa, into Stairway to Heaven, finally to Emma’s Waltz. As a young guitar shop proprietor I could never dream I might someday perform Stairway, but here it is. It’s really a beautiful, clever melody. We noticed how the harmonic structure fit so well into Emma’s. If others have covered popular melodies on concertina, let’s hear them.

 

https://youtu.be/u5G40sIPqNI

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58 minutes ago, Greg Mirken said:

Is it more pop covers ye want, then? Here’s a set that begins with the Galician tune A Bruxa, into Stairway to Heaven, finally to Emma’s Waltz. As a young guitar shop proprietor I could never dream I might someday perform Stairway, but here it is. It’s really a beautiful, clever melody. We noticed how the harmonic structure fit so well into Emma’s. If others have covered popular melodies on concertina, let’s hear them.

 

https://youtu.be/u5G40sIPqNI

 

While played beautifully, most certainly popular and younger than classical music, I would like to point out however, that both Stairway To Heaven and Paint It Black are more than 50 years old now :D 

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14 minutes ago, Greg Mirken said:

Um, so am I. By a lot.

 

We also cover Hedwig’s Theme from the Harry Potter movies, and that’s only 23 years old!

 

While true, by the power of a very long and still very popular franchise, it could as well be only 11 years old. A five fold improvement over Paint it Black :D

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