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The new “Elise”, a 34 key Hayden Duet model


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I am deeply concerned that the 'Duet Messiah', the kid whose destiny is to show the wide world the truly amazing things you can do with a duet, may be lost forever because he stopped playing in frustration when he couldn't get a decent instrument instead of being seized by the magic of the thing and compelled to breathtaking new spectacular heights as fate originally intended. And all because some well meaning soul sold him the Hayden dream, probably in turn because they had found it 'easy to get started' and didn't want to admit or hadn't realised, that the lack of larger instruments badly limited the potential of the thing.

 

Perhaps I should add that this is the nearest I get to religion, the belief that this prodigy will appear. I await the coming with keen anticipation. Consequently, actions likely to impede the early start of his/her glorious triumph are close to heretical in my book.

 

Very deeply religous speak! Still I guess people who play the Maccann are to be a little 'off beam' .... :blink:

Dave

Edited by lawton_dave
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That's my whole point. Where the Hayden is concerned, once the magic begins the supply of instruments lets you down.

 

This is the logical equivalent of saying no one could excel on a 20-button anglo, when numerous counterexamples exist in both Irish and morris playing. More generally, do the limits of the 12 bar blues form inevitably cause musicians who try it to give up the form and move to jazz? I fully expect that many new players will now take up the Elise and soon be playing excellent music within the limits of their instrument. Some will quit; some will upgrade; some will stay. Thanks to the Wakkers for giving them the opportunity to find their own path. Why discourage their potential market by putting up theoretical barriers that can't be agreed upon even among ourselves?

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That's my whole point. Where the Hayden is concerned, once the magic begins the supply of instruments lets you down.

I agree that the supply of Haydens has been a sore point, and limiting factor, for many years. However, things are looking up.

First, Wim has introduced a decent, if limited, entry level Elise. In our instrument-starved condition, that's big news (where "our" refers to us Hayden players).

 

At the middle-high end is Bob Tedrow's 52-key.

At the very high end are Wim Wakker's 46 and 65 key models with real concertina reeds.

 

At the middle end, ISTR Wim saying he hoped to market a line of hybrid instruments, in Anglo, EC, and Hayden forms. (Or maybe someone else was hoping/expecting he would; if so, excuse me). When, I don't know. Maybe in time to catch those who got hooked on his Elise? Chicken-and-egg argument again ... Build it and they will come.

 

Also in the middle, Rich Morse's untimely death has certainly dealt a blow to the Hayden future. But it appears that others may take up the slack.

 

And, if the "Duet Messiah" can't scarf up $8550 for a Wakker 65, he's in the wrong religion :P Though honestly, I've heard some Maccann players who were close to divine, so a dazzling Hayden virtuoso may be around already or on the way.

 

Of course nothing can change the fact that, even with the best time-travel technology, you cannot beam back 75 years and buy Wheatstone and Lachenal Haydens for 5 pounds apiece. Or any amount of money -- they just weren't/aren't there. I enjoy playing and operating antique and vintage gadgets of all sorts, and yes it would be nice to aspire to a 1914 Hayden, but I'll just have to settle for a playable out of the box Tedrow or Wakker -- or maybe a B-Box Morse someday.

 

After all, those vintage instruments were all brand new once. --Mike K.

Edited by ragtimer
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Thanks for straightening us out.

 

Yea, it's a clear case of "trigger" response.

Would be adviceable to read the post more carefully.

With this cleared, yes, in my post I did state exactly what I meant. Don't see any opportunities for misinterpreting.

Hayden is NOT the easiest system, be it for beginner or not, and praise it under this sauce is unproductive. For Duet one of the main qualities is, as I see it, compactness. It's why MacCann was so prevalently popular at high end of players. (thanks Dirge for explaining it to us in early posts) And that is single reason why Crane and Hayden may not produce players of above amateur level, and those inspiring musicians may be advised to look at MacCann instead.

For those who feel that above statement inhibit your attempts to play well and in sharper keys on Hayden, please take a big breath, concentrate on navel button, bring your shoulders up to your ears, and with the exhale relax/drop shoulders down. Do it 5 times and notice that your playing will immediately become better.

Edited by m3838
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[

And, if the "Duet Messiah" can't scarf up $8550 for a Wakker 65, he's in the wrong religion :P

 

Ah, poo. I perform at least twice a week on the Hayden (other days I perform on upright bass) playing everything from jazz to pop to classical, and there's no way I can shell out $8550. Maybe a rich hobbyist can, but I'm a working musician ( == not quite homeless :) )

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[

And, if the "Duet Messiah" can't scarf up $8550 for a Wakker 65, he's in the wrong religion :P

 

Ah, poo. I perform at least twice a week on the Hayden (other days I perform on upright bass) playing everything from jazz to pop to classical, and there's no way I can shell out $8550. Maybe a rich hobbyist can, but I'm a working musician ( == not quite homeless :) )

That calls to mind two things. One is an encounter with a "working musician" my father had, which I have mentioned before. Said musician had recently remortgaged his house to buy an 18th century violin, and sold his car to buy a bow, because he reckoned you just couldn't progress as a professional violinist without such instruments these days. Makes me think one is blessed if a top quality realisation of one's chosen instrument can be bought for a 4-figure sum of dollars. The other thing is what Brian's mum said in that film. All together now...

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Ah, poo...

Hey, Jax!

 

Long time no read. (Looks like your most recent previous post was in 2007).

 

Welcome back.

 

Any new sound files so we can hear what you've been doing?

 

Thanks, just dropped in to get an update on life in Concertina World :) .. Rich Morse died!? Hadn't heard. How sad!

 

Sound files ... I have a couple for demo. I have a jazz act now. Just haven't been recording much because not dreaming of pop stardom based on my own compositions. However, my stuff is a good example of what you can do with Hayden. I don't know about posting because, of course, all those legal issues. Any tips?

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  • 1 year later...

I am waiting for my Elise to arrive on Tuesday, and I am very excited by it! I used to play a little Anglo and also tried English and Crane Duet, but in those days I think I tried to learn too many systems at the same time. Now the Elise will be my only concertina, for the time being at least!

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... there's no way I can shell out $8550. Maybe a rich hobbyist can, but I'm a working musician ( == not quite homeless :) )

 

Hmmmphf!

 

I'm reminded of the old luthier (read concertina maker/repairer) joke:

 

Q. "What would you do if you won a million?"

 

A. "Oh, carry on working exactly the same, until it was all gone..." :rolleyes:

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I have only had mine a day, and have not completed learning my first tune yet (Chris Drinkwater's "Gardener's Delight"), but it already feels like I will not feel constrained by type of tune or key. In particular, sequences of notes fall into a "natural" feeling pattern for the fingers, and the left hand also feels easier than Anglo for playing chords in various styles. Elise - I love her! : )

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