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BruceB

Squeeze-in?

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I've been waiting for a post from NESI. What's happening on Sunday this year? Is it a full day with some people lingering until Monday?

bruce boysen

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I've been waiting for a post from NESI. What's happening on Sunday this year? Is it a full day with some people lingering until Monday?

bruce boysen

 

I just got back from the Squeeze-in. It was great fun as always. The weather kept us indoors but aside from that a good time seemed to be had by all. Some of the regulars didn't make it this year but there were a number of new faces who joined in with great enthusiasm. The highlight for me was the pub sing on Saturday Night Led by Tony and Lynne Hughes and David Cornell and Bob Beaman. I don't know how many people stayed on till Monday. I know that there were a at least a few who signed up for the extra night. I hope that Rich or others post some photos. Howie Leifer

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I got back a little while ago, too- all the way home my head was reeling from my latest concertina epiphanies! And lots of good company, though just a little bit sparse. I enjoyed spending time with 3 first-timers, Lynne Cullen, Heather Tilton, and our own Barbara Worley- lots of fun with good folks all around.

 

Epiphanies:

I learned that I have a G row on my C/G concertina. Well, actually, I learned how to use it more efficiently! :rolleyes:

And I learned more than I thought possible in one hour with Jody Kruskal about chords and how to use them.

 

My head is still spinning, so I'll try to give myself some time to reflect, but thanks to all who were there- if I try to list all the CNetters I won't be able to do it! Jody, Ken, David B, Howie, (how can I begin to describe his wonderful "side kick" at last night's concert?)... oh, yeah, I said I wasn't going to try to list everyone.

 

I'm sure they'll all check in at some point!

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I got back a little while ago, too- all the way home my head was reeling from my latest concertina epiphanies! And lots of good company, though just a little bit sparse. I enjoyed spending time with 3 first-timers, Lynne Cullen, Heather Tilton, and our own Barbara Worley- lots of fun with good folks all around.

 

Epiphanies:

I learned that I have a G row on my C/G concertina. Well, actually, I learned how to use it more efficiently! :rolleyes:

And I learned more than I thought possible in one hour with Jody Kruskal about chords and how to use them.

 

My head is still spinning, so I'll try to give myself some time to reflect, but thanks to all who were there- if I try to list all the CNetters I won't be able to do it! Jody, Ken, David B, Howie, (how can I begin to describe his wonderful "side kick" at last night's concert?)... oh, yeah, I said I wasn't going to try to list everyone.

 

I'm sure they'll all check in at some point!

The place was packed, with great folks and some fine boxes of all varieties. My favorites were the concert and pub sing. David's workshop on Morris, I almost learned Dearest Dickie, will have to keep practicing... it sounds best with his Hayden. Rich played some of his great compositions in the "new" workshop, and somebody at that one did a medieval piece that was haunting, right before Rich. Doug with his checked jacket was the MC for the concert and did a super job with the limericks. I voted for Jody's limerick "If love be the food of music then SQUEEZE ON" but the judges gave it to somebody else, goll darn! Bob gave me some great advice on getting a hand strap for my English, says they can do it at the Button Box, and it doesn't cost much, so I will give it whirl soon. There was one fellow there who was a real spark, played with his whole body and soul, I think his name was Tim, I remember seeing him at Andrea and Geoff's (for the local enthusiasts here in MA) last year. There was a really unusual fellow who did a human faced puppet with a concertina and green boots that had everybody rolling. Tony and Lynne were just fantastic at the pub, also enjoyed their rap around the table this morning after breakfast. I need to get my names straight, but there was one fellow there who had terrifically funny songs, you all know who I'm thinking of, the one about "the Folk," and the "little Startreks..." Allison is setting new cultural habits for the NESI, I will try to follow suit next time! Lynne was a perfect roommate, and brought her great story telling and singing voice to pub shenanigans; she has a Morse Ceili on order, and I'm jealous! I tried one out, it's beautiful. There were some really interesting old boxes on display in the bar, and the bar lady was heavy handed with the whiskey, and several of us had a good time ordering Johhny Walkers (alas, no Talisker or Lafroaig ... have to wait till I can go to Aran!). Bucksteep is a beautiful place, and the food was delightful, especially the pear soup.

 

Room #2 where Lynne and I stayed

 

room2large.jpg

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Well, another NESI has come and gone. Nobody wound up staying Sunday night. I had posted a "Playing By Ear" workshop for the late afternoon slot on Sunday and there were no takers, which suggests (to me, at least) that the event was pretty much over by then.

The big news of the weekend (again, from my perspective) was the presence of a newly available Wheatstone Hayden instrument with 82 keys.
post-65-1157381047_thumb.jpg
The 48 keys on the right side contain the entire range of a standard treble English. The left keys are an octave lower (but there are only 34 of them) and include a low F and F# below the G. The instrument is fully chromatic from the bottom to the top of its range. Notes that are repeated as enharmonic equivalents on the same side (D#/Eb, for instance) are represented as two pairs of reeds and two complete lever/pad assemblies, rather than linked keys. The Button Box is offering it (on consignment) for $15,500. I found playing it fun (in a novelty sort of way) but a bit disorienting. It was easy to get lost in the expansive sea of buttons and difficult to be sure that both hands were oriented over buttons that corresponded to the same key. Pumping the bellows took a great deal of energy, so that when I went back to my 46-key Hayden, I felt like I had a jet engine in my hands.

For anyone interested, here is the layout of the 82 buttons. Notes on squeeze and draw are the same (like English Concertina). Air vent button on the right (not shown here). Each row is an octave higher than the row two below, and the left hand is an octave lower than corresponding keys on the right. ( C ) = middle C (both hands). The bounds of the standard 46-key Hayden is outlined in slashes and underscores.

|            LEFT HAND          ||        RIGHT HAND
|                               ||
|                               ||      Bb  C
|                               ||    Eb__F___G__ A   B
|       _____________           ||  Ab \Bb  C   D\__E___F#__G#
|   Eb /F   G   A   B\______    ||    Eb/ F   G   A   B   C#\ D#
| Ab /Bb (C)  D   E   F#  G# \  ||  Ab/ Bb  C   D   E   F#  G#\
|   Eb\ F   G   A   B   C#  D#/ ||    Eb\ F   G   A   B   C#  D#\
| Ab  Bb\_C___D___E___F#__G#/   ||  Ab  Bb\(C)__D___E___F#__G#_/
|       F   G   A   B   C#  D#  ||            G   A   B   C#  D#
|                     F#  G#    ||                          G#
|                               ||
|(5th Finger)           (Thumb) ||  (Thumb)       (5th Finger)
| ==========HAND STRAP========  ||   ======HAND STRAP========

I played the beast (as a bass concertina) for the "Concertina Band" workshop and for the band's performance at Saturday night's talent show.

Another highlight of the talent show was Howie Leifer's (concertina.net's "Radioboy") surreal offering (see picture).
post-65-1157381079_thumb.jpg
All you can see of Howie here is his mouth and his hands. The puppet is only about 4 feet tall. He sang an intentionally (and hysterically) awful rendition of "He Played the Concertina as the Ship Went Down."

Other workshops I went to were a Hayden discussion/roundtable with Rich Morse, an "English Cayley" session where we played electrified swing versions of Playford Tunes, Ken Sweeny's master class-type offering, and my own Morris Tunes class, which even included a little impromptu Morris Dancing this year.

I had a great time.

[Edited to clean up button diagram]

Edited by David Barnert

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Oh, I wish I could have been at that puppet show! What a great idea, Radioboy.

 

Well, NESI next year for me, maybe. Glad it was a good one.

 

Thanks, Allison (and anyone else) for your sympathy re my headache....I don't want to keep my own personal headache ('Wendy's Headache) on top, so I'm just sticking my note here.

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Nobody wound up staying Sunday night

 

Nobody??? It seemed that half the folks I spoke with were planning to stay! What happened?

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I recall a debate here about whether Labor Day would be more popular. Because there seemed to be fewer people, I asked Craig Hollingsworth how many were signed up. This year he said 72 were pre-registered, vs. 120 for a typical recent year on the 3rd weekend in September. It is the first time (though I miss some years) I've seen concertinas in actual majority over accordions. We were missing many of the PA and BA players who work at the sheer edge of mad creativity, so between that and the rain it was a bit more subdued than some other years. On a whim I offered a beginner's encounter group on anglo Saturday (well attended, some surprise attendees), whereas one I tried on Sunday for Cajun accordion drew no takers (too early/hungover/or a slow year for accordion workshops?/conflict with Bob Snope's repair clinic). I enjoyed Doug's Quebecois session as always, though we just about blew out of the gazebo and everyone's hands (and kiesters) nearly froze.

 

I regret that I did not attach faces to the newer names here (e.g. Barbara; which one were you?).

 

There was a second huge concertina for sale, a large Maccann, which David Cornell took home with him.

 

Someone told me a funny story about the very first Squeeze-In. Somehow it involved a morris dance and an attack by a deranged visitor (who clearly didn't understand what a morris dance was) bounced out by Dom, the former barkeep at Bucksteep. I seem to recall Jim L. was in this story somewhere....

 

What I saw of the stayover list looked very short as of Sunday noon. I think if it had been a beautiful sunny weekend there might have been more takers. But the need to fill up attendance to keep the bills paid leads me to guess that the BB will move back to the tradiational weekend if they can. Rich M. will no doubt check in with comments on all of this.

 

I think I have a few photos to add later.

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Nobody??? It seemed that half the folks I spoke with were planning to stay! What happened?

Good question. I was jamming in the front parlor with the "big phat" crew from Philly. Barbara found the list of who was staying on the registration table behind me. She said there were only a few names on it (I never got a look at it). Before I knew it, she was leaving. The Philadelphians soon had to go, so I looked around and there were only a few people still there. This was around 4:00. I found Rich and asked who was staying and it was just him and me. He said he was planning to stay in his car, but he had to pack the whole "oddity" museum into it also and he wasn't sure how he was going to do it. That's when I decided not to stay. Before I left, I heard the woman who works there saying she was going to lock up soon and Rich said he'd have all his stuff out by then.

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Whew, things finally getting back to normal around here. This year's Squeeze-In was good even though lightly attended. Bucksteep had inadvertently (a staff newbie) given away "our" weekend to a wedding party. Buy the time we found out about it our only other time choices were the 3rd weekend in October or the the Labor Day weekend. We've since made sure that we've secured out usual spot for the next few years! For anyone making extensive plans, NESI '07 will be held September 14,15,16.

 

Being light in attendance didn't seem to affect the fun we had much. The concert was a little shorter and the dance a bit smaller though the quality of everything was right up there. Even the limericks were great. There was some flap about censorship which I didn't understand (I don't have anything to do with the judging) though when I got back from the event I looked over all the entries and found that a number of the not-aired ones were "not appropriate" for our younger audience.... I think the judges call was a good one there.

 

Despite the remnants of Ernesto, we all had a good time - which seemed to go surprisingly quickly for me this year probably due to us having less BBox staff on (so I was busier in that direction). I was looking forward to kicking back later on Sunday and spending time that evening in small jams, going 1-on-1 swapping tunes and just being social - though didn't happen. Just before the event I had a list of 6 confirmed and 4 maybe stayovers for Sunday.... that swelled a couple more during the event... only to dwindle during that day. By mid afternoon it was down to just David B and me with the innkeep making motions like she'd want us both to leave so she could lock up rather than have to stay on with things open.

 

For those who weren't able to make it I hope to post a review this year - that is, with the help of others! Last year I just couldn't pull it together by myself (much to the disappointment of more than just a few). I'd appreciate it if those so abled would chip in send your thoughts/review/photos/videos and anything else you'd like to share, to me, and I'll put them together for everyone to see. As a placeholder - here's a photo of us on that wind-whipped and overcast Saturday. I'll have a larger version of it on our review page.

 

06group-s.jpg

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We made it, despite having the hand written directions at home. In the above picture, my head is to the right of the sweet Allison, and my wife has some how ended up next to Richard, which was probaly his doing, as he was taking a lot of the group pictures, then ran in to have a picture taken with himself in it. Had a good time, and whenever my computer is finished being repaired I will try to write a proper report.

 

Alan

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I recall a debate here about whether Labor Day would be more popular. Because there seemed to be fewer people, I asked Craig Hollingsworth how many were signed up. This year he said 72 were pre-registered, vs. 120 for a typical recent year on the 3rd weekend in September.

 

 

I know that threre were at least four of us who would likely have gone if it hadn't clashed with the Toronto Ale.

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06group-s.jpg

 

What a great pic of everybody! So many people look familiar, but I wish the photo had the names, too!! I see Allison (Animaterra) right there in the middle with the red sweater, next to Doug Creighton (light green sweater) on the left, and Lynne Cullen (pink sweater, green jacket) on the right. That's me (red jacket) sharing a concertina with David Barnert (white shirt, blue jacket), and Jody Kruskal next to him (black jacket, red shirt, white hat). There's Rich Morse, sitting in front with the autumn-colored plaid shirt. And Frank Edgley squatting, on the far right, second one in, with the dark jacket. I think that's Bob Snopes in the back row with a light blue hat between two other hats. The folks who drove all the way from Columbus, Ohio are squatting next to Rich, both wearing blue jackets. Lynne Hughes is in the front row (green jacket) surrounded by three gigantic piano accordions, one of which is a woman who drove from Philadelphia (the red piano accordion) and Lynne's husband Tony Hughes is the big guy straight behind her, in the back row with all the white curly hair facing to the right. The guy with the really funny songs is the tallest person there, in the back row, just behind Allison.

 

It's too bad the Toronto contingent couldn't make it, they are a lot of fun.

 

Can anybody else fill in on some of the names??

Edited by greenferry

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The guy with the really funny songs is the tallest person there, in the back row, just behind Allison.

 

Most of us call him David Cornell.

 

Ken Sweeney with sailor hat in red sweater near far left end, back row; looks like Matt Heumann kneeling directly in front of Allison; I'm (dark blue shirt; looks like my combover is sticking up in the wind) holding my Cajun accordion on the other side of Jody K. from David B. Jody isn't punching me yet because I think it was only later I told him I have the review of his last CD that I haven't gotten posted even though months have gone by! Better go do that.

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Just wanted to say how much fun I had at NESI this past weekend.

As a new (and isolated) concertina player it was overwhelming and incredibly inspirational to encounter so many other players, and to learn about this site.

I kind of felt like the alcoholic who wanders into there first AA meeting, Hi my name is Jim and I'm a concertina player.

I stayed around to the bitter end on Sunday and was a little disappointed others couldn't stay, but can't wait till next year.

All the best Jim

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