Visitors of the exhibition can borrow a headphone with an iPod at the entrance to the exhibition. You can walk through the parc, look at the works of the other artists and listen to the history of Lady Louisa Hope and the English Concertina, but also to the concertina music of that period, specially recorded for this occasion by Pauline de Snoo.
Daniel Hersh, a member from California, rivised some of the titles of the “Son of Reader’s tapes”. They are now much more correct. “Son of Reader’s tapes” is the second compilation of home cassette-recorded readers’ contributions. The complete collection is in our sound archive. Thank you for the corrections, Daniel!
While there I gave talks at the National Folk Festival as well as at a Melbourne Irish session on the history of the concertina, as well as a workshop on the old octave style of playing the instrument…a style that was so well suited to the old-style dances in England, Ireland, South Africa and Australia at the turn of the last century.* I was thrilled to see that a few more experienced Anglo concertina players who we met, who are direct descendants of old-time Anglo players, are still playing in that old double-noted style in the key of C for Australian dances; most more modern players there (especially those who mainly follow Irish music) have adopted a more modern Irish single note style. I’ve begun to collect old recordings of players who used the octave style for dance music, and with help from friends hope to publish recordings and notes in future months.
My thanks to all we met there; these folks are too numerous to mention but the photo essay will give you some idea.
* More information on octave-style playing as well as the history of the Anglo concertina can be found in my 2009 book on this subject; please see my website.
This year’s Swaledale Squeeze promises to be as good as ever – a convivial weekend of concertina playing, meeting friends, a concert, a ceilidh, sessions, Black Sheep bitter, walks, the comfort of Grinton Lodge and fantastic scenery – what more could one want!! As usual, everything will be centred on Grinton Lodge (a former shooting lodge), now a Youth Hostel, based just outside Reeth, in the picturesque setting of Swaledale in the Yorkshire Dales. The venue is excellent for our purposes and we are made to feel very welcome. All accommodation is in bunk rooms (bedding provided) and meals are included for those in bunks (with or without the Friday evening meal which will be served at 7.30pm). Campervans and tents are also welcome but, because the dining room is relatively small, campers are asked to use the self-catering kitchen. There are also many B&Bs in the area if you would like more comfort/privacy – please let me know if you’d like a list. You are welcome to bring your own alcohol to the ceilidh but not to consume at Grinton Lodge.
This three day course is aimed at helping players of the Anglo concertina discover the full musical potential of their instrument. John will be looking at all the various technical aspects of playing, but will mostly be exploring what can be found in the way of chords and harmonies in the left hand to support melodies in the right hand. This is all very physical stuff, and teaching will be in terms of patterns and finger memory, rather than a more abstract intellectual approach. Although a broad grasp of the complexities of music will naturally grow out of the work involved, the ability to read musical notation is by no means essential, and may in fact be a hindrance!
The sessions will not be suitable for complete beginners, and as they are very specific to the instrument they will not be suitable for players of the other kinds of concertina either – the English or the Duet. And please note – the small twenty button Anglo will not be adequate for this course.You’ll need an Anglo concertina with not less than thirty buttons, and ideally a keyboard chart of what all the buttons are. If you haven’t got a chart, John will help you to knock one up, and, thus equipped, whether your interest is in beefing up your tune playing or adding floating parts to accompany your favourite song, Mr Kirkpatrick will be able to bring a lifetime’s experience to bear and help you along the way.