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Warm Fuzzies

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The nicest thing just happened to me. I was at the park during my lunch, taking advantage of what may very well be the last warm sunny day for 5-6 months, practicing some slo jam tunes.


As I was packing up to come back to the office, a lady walked by and thanked me for the lovely music. She said she very much enjoyed eating her lunch and listening. I was embarrassed as hell, because I'm working on a couple new pieces (Planxty Irwin and Merrily Kiss the Quaker) and was not doing too well.


That just made my week.


Anyone else have a warm fuzzy concertina story?

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No, but I have a "cold shower" experience to share ... :(


I played a song I know about a young sailor dying at sea at a music school I go to without thinking that a friend of mine and her husband had just heard that her father had died. She very sensibly left the room before I started, but he didn't and was in tears by the time I'd finished. I felt mortified that I had upset him so, but he said that the tune was a good catalyst for his feelings. I still feel bad about it ...



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:D Another "warm fuzzie". I was staying at my Sister-in-Law's home in Liverpool, England last year while travelling to/from Ireland. I played my Jeffries in the back garden, just for self-enjoyment for several hours. When I had finished, the woman who lived next door stuck her head over the fence and told me that she was from County Mayo, Ireland, and that the music was like "going home again." Then she asked me if I could play agin that evening for her husband, who was presently at work. Of course I agreed, and we had a most enjoyable evening talking about Ireland!! "Ya never know who's listening."
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I was on vacation with my family in August on beautiful Prince Edward Island in Eastern Canada.

We went to visit the extreme western tip of the island known as North Cape.

It was very late in the afternoon and as the sun set I was felt inspired and decided I had to play as I watched the sun go down and the sky turn deep orange and deep blue.

(Click on my profile to the left to see this amazing event)


I only have a few tunes somewhat memorized and it is those I attempted to play.


I was concerned about emabarassing my wife, my 10-year old daughter, Claudia (whom I'm sure was embarrased anyway. She's at that age, you know, and I'm sure will remain there until she's an adult) and myself but decided I really wanted to do this.


Anyway one of the few tunes I have somewhat down is "Greensleeves"which I played as both I and the sunset were gawked at.


I thought I must sound terrible and must have looked like a idiot.

All I could hear in the quiet of the late afternoon were my few flubs, but continued on to finish the tune which I have down somewhat pretty well.


A few minutes late after the sun dipped below the horizon, a women (another tourist) came over to let me know how much she enjoyed my playing and almost in tears (maybe she was, it was getting dark) told me it was her late father's favorite song and thanked me profusely for playing it and letting me know how beautiful my playing was.


Man, did I feel fuzzy and I was warm!


I'll take compliments and experiences like that at any time of the day, anywhere!!!!!!


I also think her compliments put me in good stead with my otherwise questioning family.


A few days layer we attended our first ever Ceileigh in a small fishing village on the island.

Amazing music, an incredible experience.

I can't wait to go back and do it all over again!!!



Perry Werner

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What a super idea for a posting (thread, I don't know what to call these thingys to which we are attaching stuff.)


Samantha, take heart. your friend was telling you the truth when he said your playing was a catalyst for his feelings. It's awfully hard to take when someone is experiencing deep emotions, especially sad ones, but it very probably did give him some much needed relief.


Hard for you, though, when someone breaks down because you are playing.


I hope the warm fuzzies keep coming as I am thoroughly enjoying them.



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I go to my local folk music club most weeks, and people are kind enough to say they are very impressed by my playing. However, I must keep reminding myself that I am the only concertina player they see regularly. The problems arise on the few occasions when one or more of them has seen someone of the calibre of John Kirkpatrick or Alistair Anderson.


- John Wild

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Before my mother died she was in the hospital following a stroke. She was unable to communicate and probably unaware of anything. Still my brother or I would visit her every day. At some point I started to bring an English concertina with brass reeds that had a quiet mellow sound. I would play whatever came to mind trying to think of tunes that she would have known. My mother was in a private room and I tried to play quietly but after awhile the medical staff would tell me how much they enjoyed my playing. Once some visitors to the patient in the next room peeked into my mother's room and complimented me on my playing then asked if I would play something for there loved one. I'm not a particularly good player but I believe that my playing did have a positive effect on a dificult situation.

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:rolleyes: Probably one of the the most rewarding musical fuzzies I've had -- twice, actually, didn't really involve the concertina, but did have to do with playing/singing.


Years ago when my daughter was little (now she's in college), I thought she realized how 'hokey' and amateur I was, at my performing (singing, guitar, etc.). I did sing songs with her, though.


One day, when she was about...what, um, five or six years old? She picked up my copy of a Joni Mitchell album, which I'd been playing, looked at it for a moment, then at me, and said, "Mommy -- is that you?"


She also thought I was on the cover of the album made by some notable storytellers.


I don't really look much like either of these artists, but... whatever. I just thought it was cute that, to her, I sounded that good!


And that's no small compliment, maybe...lol...she's already recorded on her own CD, with her (former) rock band.


(Me, I don't really have any interest in making a CD, I just do hokey cassettes.)

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Further to John Wild,

I must keep reminding myself that I am the only concertina player they see regularly

We were playing in a restaurant and someone said - "I didn't know you were actually playing it - it sounds jsut like the real thing".

I am still confused as to what she meant.

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We have a small group (a guitarist and his wife on flute, my wife on djembe and vocals, and me on Anglo concertina) that periodically plays at a local retirement community . Our music comprises a tour of Europe, with tunes from Italy, Germany, Austria, England, and (my influence) Ireland. This time around, we even did a Tango.


The Irish numbers we played, which I found in various compilations, were

*Wheels of the World,

*Daniel O'Connell the home ruler/Tomgraney Castle medley,

*Shandon Bells/Ship in Full Sail medley,

*The Humours of Ennistymon/The Bride's Favourite medley,

*The Eavesdropper/Cuil Aodha jig/Johnny O'Leary's Slide medley,

and of course

*Danny Boy.


We also have a nice 'tina/flute version of Ashokan Farewell (I know--it's not technically part of the "tour".).


The reaction of the audience was truly gratifying--they really appreciated our being there. One can never overestimate the effect that live music has on people, even if it isn't played perfectly.


For my own part, I enjoy observing how I think in the situation where I'm both responding to the other instruments and making eye contact with members of the audience. Normally, I can't talk and play at the same time, but while preparing for this performance, I found myself able to whistle the flute part while playing the concertina and coaching the djembe! (Actually, this is a major reason I took up the 'tina four years ago--to find new ways to make my brain work.)


Greg Passty

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At a weekend music gathering last spring, an eagerly-awaited friend, a prominent fiddler, was late showing up. Then the news came: she had been killed in a highway wreck in the night on her way to the gathering. Every tune anyone played all weekend made them think of her, especially old bandmates and people who were to be in the studio with her the following Monday. Sunday morning we all put together a service. At one point I launched into Neil Gow's Lament for his Second Wife, and a harp-playing friend joined in. It was the best I had ever played it, it really hit the spot where everone was at, and I _still_ get complements about it from people who are better musicians than me.


-Eric Root

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This is my favorite topic on the Forum. Eric: your compliments probably came from those who recognized that you were a better musician than they -- at least that day. The good musician is the one who can evoke feeling, everything else is a means to that end, or irrelevant. On a good day, she or he is a conduit through which something flows that belongs to all of us.

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My dear old Aunt died about a year ago,she was a lovely lady who looked after me a lot when I was younger and even when I was older she allways wanted to fatten me up.Shortly after she died I wrote Auntie Ada`s Waltz in her memory and I cannot express my feelings when after about three times playing it in a session all the musicians joined in.Unfortunately her sister Jean my mother died a few months later and I now play the two waltzes together.One strong way I can keep their memory alive.

I am sure you feel the same way Eric whenever you play your friends tune,I can fully understand your emotions.

Kind regards


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Try Neil Gow's 'Lament on the death of his brother Donald', I found this tune two or three weeks before of the sudden death of my closest and dearest friend, played it in a club the night before his funeral. Not wishing to be morbid, but I had found it particularly haunting even before Roy died, more so than Gow's 'Lament for his Second Wife'.


Music and emotion, I don't play the tune much any more, but I would recommend it for those more introspective moments.


Interesting though, brothers have names, wives have numbers....... OooCh



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