Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
JimLucas

Maybe "unexpected"

Recommended Posts

Over the years I have always really enjoyed playing tunes that people just don't expect to hear on a particular instrument [i.e. Metallica on my harp  :P ].

I've recently started playing around with "unexpected" tunes on my Anglo,...

 

I'm sorry, but only slightly, for this attempt to hijack Morgana's effort under a new Topic name. I know she meant it in fun, but the word "inappropriate" rubs salt in a wound gouged by the very real prejudices and just plain ignorance of too many people, even other concertina players. Once as a joke is fine, but I would feel uncomfortable contributing to a Topic with such a title, when I consider non-"mainstream" contributions to the concertinas repertoire and exposure something to be proud of and anything but "inappropriate".

 

Besides, while the majority of us here may have come to the concertina through traditional music of one sort or another, there is now and always has been much more than that. Lots of folks here and elsewhere have mentioned using the concertina for anything from baroque to bluegrass, ragtime, rock, and jazz. Some folks even have professional careers playing non-folk music on the concertina. While this may surprise some people (many Europeans associate the concertina solely with circus clowns), I feel it's dangerous to think of it -- even jokingly -- as "inappropriate".

 

Sermon over -- but still under my own "appropriate" Topic -- here are some of my contributions:

 

In concert (as well as for fun) I've played pieces by Bach, Telemann, Purcell, Villa-Lobos, and others on concertina. A few solos, but mostly in combination with violin, cello, piano, guitar, and/or other concertinas.

 

Some friends and I used to do a show of English Music Hall numbers which included several where I played concertina, and some of those (e.g., Wot Cher and The Bird on Nellie's Hat) have made good solo numbers. I also played contrabass concertina on Tipperary and we did a four-voice rendition of When I'm Sixty-Four (something we feel is definitely in the Music Hall tradition) accompanied by guitar and contrabass concertina.

 

Some other friends and I as a concertina quintet once did a concert of music ranging from Medieval to Bop.

 

I'm not really a lead when it comes to rock, jazz, blues, etc. I'm not as familiar with these as I should be. But I often ad lib accompaniments when my friends play... at their request.

 

Ragtime has previously been covered in another Topic, but I have to say that even just the melody of a simple fiddle rag like Stone's Rag really gets folks to sit up and take notice. A little more subtle -- until folks realize what they're hearing -- is a hornipipe version of Old Folks at Home, part of a series of variations composed for classical banjo. I do Henry the Accountant (a modern parody of John Henry) on Crane duet, with a rocking bass.

 

The suggestions made (in the other Topic :)) have given me some new things to consider, as well as inspiring me to take a fresh look at various things from the past, such as

..Moon River

..Tea For Two

..Lazy River

..Baby Elephant Walk

..Summertime

..Scotch & Soda

..Thunder Road (The one by Robert Mitchum; I'll get to Bruce Springsteen's later song of the same name another day.)

 

And while the English is still my main squeeze, I've just tried Wot Cher and The Bird on Nellie's Hat on anglo, and it looks like they'll work very nicely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had no objection to the made-in-jest "inappropriate" tag, but I was going to point out in Morgana's thread that, in my circle of friends, the Irish music I play qualifies as the "odd" choice of music.

 

Jim, I was glad to see someone finally mention the blues, which has seemed conspicously absent from the Forum in my time here. I suppose you solve the problem of not being able to bend notes as a piano player would.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Jim that I've heard enough arguments about what kind of music is appropriate in what circumstances to last me, but as we all realize, Morgana's topic idea was distinctly more light-hearted than this. The "odd" tune on the "odd" instrument can be very entertaining for musician and the listener. Mary McCaslin plays a clawhammer banjo version of the Who's "Tommy" that is a pure delight.

 

I read Morgana's request as more of a challenge to think of something that missed it's whole point if played on a concertina. The old popular song, "I Love a Piano" might do, but that loses it's point on any non-piano. "Dueling Banjos" has probably attracted a pub round or two for members of this board; and that is certainly not inappropriate ever.

 

The best I could think of was "The Typewriter" By Leroy Anderson. Since the lead is entirely monotone, it's not a good concertina tune, but also not for any non-typewriter. If you don't know it, or have forgotten it try

 

Leroy Anderson Official Page

 

When I found the site, I remembered "Syncopated Clock and "Plink, Plank, Plunk"

the second of which would make no sense at all on the concertina, but is no doubt possible. So I will end my personal quest for an inappropriate concertina tune by chosing ""Plink, Plank, Plunk" by L. Anderson. I promise never to try to play it.

 

:D :D :D

 

Dan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When Morgana said inappropriate I though it was going to be. . . well. . . shocking! You know like "There once was a man from Nantucket". :o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I know she meant it in fun, but the word "inappropriate" rubs salt in a wound gouged by the very real prejudices and just plain ignorance of too many people, even other concertina players.

I freely admit to being an ignorant concertina player. From what I can gather from the forum, however, those who have educated themselves on the diverse playing styles have done so by attending at least one and more often many of the major "squeeze ins." I hope someday I'll be able to join the ranks of the more educated -- that is, make it to one of these events.

 

Short of that, I read what I can on this and other sites to learn more. In an e-mail, someone on this list described a performance at a past squeeze in of a duet player and singer. I found his description very enlightening. Perhaps more of that would help.

 

I enjoyed just seeing the lists of tunes and songs in both the "inappropriate" and "unexpected" threads. I would really like to listen to the various renditions of the tunes as well. Short of getting to a squeeze in, I can think of nothing better to cure my ignorance of what concertinas are capable of. Perhaps people should attach mp3's of their playing on posts. I don’t know if that is possible or desirable, but it might be interesting.

 

Kurt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Perhaps people should attach mp3's of their playing on posts.  I don’t know if that is possible or desirable, but it might be interesting.

Kurt

 

The filesize of MP3 is too big for upload to the concertina.net site. However in this forum tunes/songs there are several messages, containing links to the playing of some of us.

Check (by clicking) the following topics in this forum:

Lord Inchiquin

An Paistin Fionn

Sheebeg An Sheemore

and last but certainly not least:

The Free Music Cd Download of Alan Day, with a lot of tunes!

 

Henk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The best I could think of was "The Typewriter" By Leroy Anderson. Since the lead is entirely monotone, it's not a good concertina tune, but also not for any non-typewriter. If you don't know it, or have forgotten it try

 

How about John Cage's " 4'33'' " ?

I really think there should be more postmodern concertinist

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I really think there should be more postmodern concertinist

"Post modern"? Y'mean, like "email"? ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How about John Cage's  " 4'33'' " ?

I really think there should be more postmodern concertinist

I realise that was a joke :), but it's given me an idea.

 

There's a lovely work by Cage called "In A Landscape" for piano (unmodified, not a "prepared" piano), which is a single line for most of the piece, apart from the occasional chords. It's surprisingly lyrical and not at all what you'd expect from exposure to his more left-field work - and with a bit of tinkering I'm fairly sure it would be playable on a baritone English or large-ish duet. I'll dig my copy out and have a go.

 

The only snag is that part of the piece's effect is obtained through leaving the piano's sustain pedal down throughout... a microphone and a digital delay unit maybe?

 

Stuart

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There's a lovely work by Cage called "In A Landscape" for piano (unmodified, not a "prepared" piano), which is a single line for most of the piece, apart from the occasional chords.

.....and with a bit of tinkering I'm fairly sure it would be playable on a baritone English or large-ish duet. I'll dig my copy out and have a go.

I had a look at this piece over the weekend, and there's more counterpoint (of sorts) involved than I remembered; having played it through on the piano I think it would lose so much in the translation that it's probably a bit of a non-starter.

 

I did look at something else from my rag-bag collection of odd piano music though - the Webern Variations, most of which would certainly fit on my MacCann unaltered. It's a fabulous piece too, though maybe a bit abstract for the average audience. I once performed it on piano and the audience had no idea that I had finished... :o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How about John Cage's  " 4'33'' " ?

I'm having problems with the second movement, especially the fast section towards the end. I'd be grateful for any pointers you could give...

 

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone tried anything by Eric Satie, particularly the "Trois Gymnopedies"?

Seems like it would be very pretty. I've no Idea what instrument would be appropriate; all I know is that I can't get there on 20-b Anglo...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Has anyone tried anything by Eric Satie, particularly the "Trois Gymnopedies"?

Seems like it would be very pretty. I've no Idea what instrument would be appropriate; all I know is that I can't get there on 20-b Anglo...

At the 2003 Northeast Squeeze-In, David Barnert played Satie's Première Gnossienne on his Hayden. It was stunningly beautiful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been working on "Blue Rondo a la Turk" by Dave Brubeck. This is on an Anglo and fun to figure out.

 

 

Wow! I finally made advanced member!

Edited by Daniel Bradbury

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello,

I`m new in this forum and I`m a beginner with concertina.

About fifty years ago I learnd the accordeon. But even in this young age I shortly started to squeezed more then just a polka out of this instument. "Very strange music" my mother said (and I still playing this way - as a beginner).

The last 25 years I was fascinated by electronic and computer music. And also of atonal tunes and free-style. And I still stick to it. Beside I love to make RocknRoll and Oldies with friends and I like Irish and other Folk-Songs very much.

Last year at my 60th birthday I got a concertina (as far as you will call it so - a Stagi W15). I still do my lessions from the books of Roger Watson und Pauline de Snoo and hope the best. On the other side I could not help to use the hint of Howard Jones and placed two microphones into my instrument. And now, beside taking the concertina with me when traveling or joining parties and playing (or try to do so) "strait" concertina-music, I plugged the micros into my huge amount of electronic stuff I have collected in my home-studio and found a great synthesizer-like squeeze-instrument. My wife said "It not sounds like a concertina anymore". Shure not.

Frankly speaking, in the beginning I thought, that the whole concertina-family is a bit conservative and sticks to its roots (sorry).

In the meantime I found out (especially through Concertina.net) that a lot of "freaks" like me are out there - from building electronic concertinas (you should look at Don Buchlas inventions for this idea) till your recent discussion about John Cage etc. and transforming Jazz or Velvet Underground to concertina.

My question now is: how far can we go and still speak about concertina music?

 

Sorry for being so long right from the beginning.

 

Erich (Vienna, Austria) skrleta@chello.at

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've been working on "Blue Rondo a la Turk" by Dave Brubeck.  This is on an Anglo and fun to figure out.

 

 

Wow! I finally made advanced member!

Last year Dave Brubeck and co. came to my College and

did a joint concert with our chorus. We sang some of his

choral works (which are really interesting.) Needless to say

it was an amazing experience. Brubeck is still such great

musician. Anyway, when the quartet did some songs on their

own, one of the things they performed was "Blue Rondo a la Turk."

It was really cool. Another cool thing was that when they did

"Blue.." during the dress rehearsal, it was completely different

from what they did in concert. soo cool.

 

Patrick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...