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National Windjam


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The National Windjam was held for the first time in Evandale, Tasmania last year. It attracted about 20 box players from mainland Australia and an equal number of players from Tassie. Most of the Tasmanians players thought that they were the last of their breed as they were all good solid dance players but sadly the dancing no longer happens.

What we did find was that there were some very talented musicians all with a sense of humor. The winner of the National Button Box Championship had not played in public for about 20 years.

This festival is open to all boxes, accordions, concertinas, gum leaves and saws and occurs every second year. Being the odd year this year, we are having a one day event called the nOtional Windjam Festival.

I have just completed a website on the windjam. It can be found at www.celt.com.au/wind/index.htm

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The gumleaf is altogether more primitive as a musical instrument, since it consists simply of a leaf from one of the various species of Eucalypt trees growing throughout Australia, which held against the lips using the fingers of both hands. It does, however, have a long tradition and culture. Although it takes a good deal of trial and error for a beginner to even produce a sound from a gumleaf, a skilled player can control the pitch with good accuracy over a range of more than an octave and play simple tunes with ease.

 

http://www.janesoceania.com/australian_abo...usic/index1.htm

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The gumleaf is altogether more primitive as a musical instrument, since it consists simply of a leaf from one of the various species of Eucalypt trees growing throughout Australia, which held against the lips using the fingers of both hands. It does, however, have a long tradition and culture. Although it takes a good deal of trial and error for a beginner to even produce a sound from a gumleaf, a skilled player can control the pitch with good accuracy over a range of more than an octave and play simple tunes with ease.

 

http://www.janesoceania.com/australian_abo...usic/index1.htm

 

 

so it is like what we called as kids a grass whistle, if you found the right leaf, you could get a few different notes out of it. Brome made a decent choice.

 

Alan

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I guess the gum leaf and the musical saw were added to the festival as there are very few opertunities to play these instruments in public. The Festival was described as quirky just like the gum leaf and saw.

There are recordings of Australian gum leaf playing competitions and the playing is amazing.

The festival also included a harmonica workshop that was taken over by the audience as players brought with them some rare and interesting harmonicas.

Next year we will do the same with button accordions and concertinas.

Should be fum.

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