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Author Topic: Sessions  (Read 8278 times)

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emrock

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Sessions
« on: December 24, 2008, 02:20:14 AM »

Hi my names emma and I'm new to these forums.

I have been playing the melodeon for a year or so now and have been learning by ear (mainly john spiers, saul rose, john kirkpatrick) but now would really like to go along to some sessions. However stupid as it may sound I can't seem to find any in London, which are english not irish, and I can't find anything at cecil sharpe house specific to melodeon. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

thanks
Emma
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islawight

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Re: Sessions
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2008, 11:32:47 PM »

The 1st Sunday of the month in Borough (Horseshoe Inn, Melior St) has an English music session and they do focus solely on English tunes from the standard repertoire - have only been a couple of times quite a while back, so haven't got a really good feel for what it's like consistently. Information at http://web.ukonline.co.uk/martin.nail/Borough/Borosess.htm

Not sure if this would be handy for you depending on where you are in London, but there's a new session starting in Walthamstow on the 2nd Tuesday of the month, the first half of which will be aimed at encouraging beginners - first four dates already planned - more information at http://www.walthamstowfolk.co.uk/blog/

Ayla
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rats

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Re: Sessions
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2009, 06:47:25 AM »

Hi, y'all. For my part, I'd like to know about sessions in the San Francisco (or, even better, Oakland) area. The genre makes little difference -- any help I can get, and as far as I know I like them all. In case it affects anyone's response (or inclination to respond), what I've got is a sullen little single-voiced East German copy of a DG pokerwork. I'm not hopeless at playing the thing but close observation of someone who plays well couldn't possibly hurt.

... Could it?


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Chris Ryall

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Re: Sessions
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2009, 07:48:38 AM »

Sessions everywhere I've ever been are divided into 'the Irish session' and 'anything goes'.  There have been a few that started life as 'mixed'. They all degenerated into an Irish end playing fast stuff with the other lot more or less silent, and then the other end got its turn under the same terms. It's supposed to be about a difference between chord based music and non chord, but one suspects the Battle of the Boyne might have something to do with it too.

I think 'melodeons only' sessions don't work at all well. You do best with a balance of instruments. It's about playing music rather than playing that melodeon (or whatever). I suspect this may be where your problem lies, and my advice is just to dive in (as we all did once) to a general 'ango-french' or similar.

FWIW there's not much round here - I travel.

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Theo

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Re: Sessions
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2009, 08:44:02 AM »

I think 'melodeons only' sessions don't work at all well. You do best with a balance of instruments. It's about playing music rather than playing that melodeon (or whatever). I suspect this may be where your problem lies, and my advice is just to dive in (as we all did once) to a general 'ango-french' or similar.

If you want melodeon specific help then perhaps think about trying to get to some workshops rather than sessions.  There is Witney in the Autumn, but many of the summer festivals have melodeon specific workshops.  Our George Garside runs a series of at Whitby for example, but I'm sure there are many others.

I agree with Chris about melodeon only sessions.  I like the variety that comes from a grand mix of instruments, and preferably not too many squeezeboxes of any kind.
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Theo Gibb - Gateshead UK

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brianread

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Re: Sessions
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2009, 09:53:00 AM »

agree with Chris about melodeon only sessions.  I like the variety that comes from a grand mix of instruments, and preferably not too many squeezeboxes of any kind.

Also agree I attend one session locally and "put up with" the partly irish theme because I am normally the ONLY melodeon player, and I can hear my self play.  The others may not feel the same however as they also can hear me play!!  My Irish is getting better as well..
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Rees

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Re: Sessions
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2009, 02:08:56 PM »

How about one of these in a session? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSzTPGlNa5U

Do they make them in D/G?
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Rees Wesson (accordion builder and mechanic)
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Re: Sessions
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2009, 05:13:01 PM »

Holy jeebers. How does it happen that you knew about that rendition of "The Swan"? You frighten me, sir.

I haven't been exposed to a melodeons-only gathering, but I've been to where there were twenty guitarists trying to play together. The same situation with boxes instead of guitars would be much, much worse, one imagines.

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Chris Ryall

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Re: Sessions
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2009, 05:31:42 PM »

I haven't been exposed to a melodeons-only gathering, but I've been to where there were twenty guitarists trying to play together. The same situation with boxes instead of guitars would be much, much worse, one imagines.

Stourbridge, 1991 or so - I wandered into the session pub - there were about 20 plucky banjo players in there. Nil else. Exited pronto
« Last Edit: July 04, 2009, 12:07:58 AM by chrisryall »
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ganderbox

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Re: Sessions
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2009, 09:55:02 PM »

FWIW there's not much round here - I travel.


Out of interest..how far do some people go for sessions and the like?
Our nearest session (more of a singaround) is 16 miles away, but we rarely go as it is morris practice night (18 miles away). I used to dance with a side which practiced 43 miles away , and most of the pub danceouts were even further.
There is a monthly Cornish session 25 miles away, and apart from that just about all the sessions are over 40 miles away. Once a month we go to d'Accord (French music and dance) in Exeter (54 miles away and takes nearly an hour), and sometimes to another which is the same distance away, but takes 75mins.
Do many others travel these sort of distances?



   
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Ellie

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Re: Sessions
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2009, 10:42:10 PM »

Well, I travel up to the Walthamstow session from the close environs of Reading...and have been told that I'm completely insane (particularly the night in February I ended up playing on an almost-deserted Slough station at 1am  ::)), but happily my other sessions are conveniently local - in fact one is walking distance  ;D

I suspect we'll find that Lester travels the furthest....

Rees

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Re: Sessions
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2009, 11:41:07 PM »

Last year, I lost my driving licence after too many speeding tickets (naughty me).
Six months off the road and no other sessioneers in town to give me a lift to the nearest decent session 30 miles away.
Brainwave - I started a session in the pub round the corner. Now the music comes to me.

If you're passing through Welshpool (most people do, there's not much reason to stop, unless you need a melodeon of course), the session is at The Grapes on Salop Road, last Thursday of every month except July and August.
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Rees Wesson (accordion builder and mechanic)
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Chris Ryall

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Re: Sessions
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2009, 04:20:58 AM »

Out of interest..how far do some people go for sessions and the like?

Rippondon 'Bridge' Yorkshire music session is about an hour away. I used to regularly go to Styal (back of Manchester airport, 45 minutes, all motorway :D) till the pub threw us out. Travel overhead is big part of such a day, so you try to combine the trip with something else: eg this weekend I hope to get up Nidderdale, but can combine that with Cleckheaton and picking up my refurbished Oakwood.

Main problem is being tired (hopefully not intoxicated) at near midnight, with that journey to do. My main 'travel' is to festival fringe sessions, but does that count?
I suspect we'll find that Lester travels the furthest....

We'll see. Last year I did the month  in New Zealand I'd long promised myself and my itinerary was carefully adjusted using Web info to arrive in towns for folk club or session nights. I'll not claim the entire 16000 miles, but town to town in NZ is generally 5 hours. Strangely Tim van Eyken was at 3 of these do's. The b@$trd borrowed my oakwood, and played it far better than I ever will. The NZ folk scene is incidentally very welcoming of any new blood. Hardly paid for a drink in Christchurch D3R
 

Christchurch, more here
« Last Edit: July 04, 2009, 12:05:06 AM by chrisryall »
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Lester

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Re: Sessions
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2009, 07:00:03 AM »

I suspect we'll find that Lester travels the furthest....

I just lack friends really.   :'(
As I lead a nomadic life, Portsmouth weekdays - Aylesbury weekends and fairly regularily commute 200 miles per day travelling 75 miles to a session and back is no great shakes for me. My usuual longest travel is the ~80 miles from Portsmouth to Knowl Hill but it is worth it for a good session. Longest I've ever done was from Aylesbury to Bath and back for a friends session ~210 miles!

jonm

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Re: Sessions
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2009, 07:51:07 AM »

130 mile round trip last night to a sesh.....
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Re: Sessions
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2009, 11:14:30 PM »

Chris, you may count yourself lucky to have escaped. I've been pulled into bars, indeed into alleys, by crowds of banjo players. Individually they're fine, but when they get to running in packs they become strangers to decency.


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ladydetemps

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Re: Sessions
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2009, 12:10:33 PM »

went to my local session for first time yesterday. I got picked to start a tune first.  :o
It went well though. Enjoyed myself certainly go again.

Scallyanglo

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Re: Sessions
« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2009, 01:15:59 PM »

went to my local session for first time yesterday. I got picked to start a tune first.  :o
It went well though. Enjoyed myself certainly go again.

Excellent - LdT - glad you had a good time  ;D  What tune did you start? I'm off to Walthamstowe tonight and I've been learning Idbury Hill . . . .we'll see whether it gets an airing!!
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ladydetemps

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Re: Sessions
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2009, 01:19:52 PM »

went to my local session for first time yesterday. I got picked to start a tune first.  :o
It went well though. Enjoyed myself certainly go again.

Excellent - LdT - glad you had a good time  ;D  What tune did you start? I'm off to Walthamstowe tonight and I've been learning Idbury Hill . . . .we'll see whether it gets an airing!!
Bobbie shaftoe (twice), bear dance (twice), and donkey riding. Now I've got the book I can practice some of the other tunes.
it was quite funny when every 'old tune everyone knows' turned out to be one I'd never heard of. lol!

Owen Woods

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Re: Sessions
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2009, 03:00:24 PM »

went to my local session for first time yesterday. I got picked to start a tune first.  :o
It went well though. Enjoyed myself certainly go again.

Excellent, well done :D Very glad you enjoyed it.

Bobbie shaftoe (twice), bear dance (twice), and donkey riding. Now I've got the book I can practice some of the other tunes.
it was quite funny when every 'old tune everyone knows' turned out to be one I'd never heard of. lol!

Get used to it. :P Every session has it's own tunes that everyone knows, which seem to bear very little relation to tunes that you happen to know.
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