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Author Topic: Dry or wet?  (Read 1145 times)

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Pearse Rossa

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Re: Dry or wet?
« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2020, 08:33:02 PM »

When I think of a wet-tuned box played with a concertina the first example that comes to mind is Tony MacMahon with Noel Hill,
e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMwwLpHMhbE
I'm not sure if Tony's box has MMM reeds but to my ears they sound great together. Is this the sound that IanD finds so disagreeable?
In this example, the music is so fast and busy it is difficult to focus in on the intonation differences between the instruments. Most of the time the ear (well, my ears anyway) tends to focus in on the brightness of the melodeon. However, when there are the occasional long notes at the ends of phrases, the concertina can definitely be heard to be slightly flatter (perhaps perceived as slighly duller) than the melodeon. But overall, there is a spread of pitch differences, a bit like a musette-tuned box played on its own, and for the style and speed of playing in this example, it is pretty much acceptable.

A much more revealing test of these two instruments together would be if they were playing a slow air. Then, I supect the intonation differences between the two instruments would really show up and possibly (depending on your personal tastes/preferences) not in a favourable way. I had a quick listen to other tracks on the same album - You tube gives you a few other examples - and it is perhaps significant that the tracks with slower tunes are either solo concertina or solo melodeon but as far as I can tell, not both together.

In the Irish tradition, slow airs are usually played solo. I can assure you that it has absolutely nothing whatsoever
to do with what you call intonation differences between the two instruments.
I think you're being hypercritical. These guys know exactly what they are doing.
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Pearse Rossa

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Re: Dry or wet?
« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2020, 09:33:58 PM »

I'm not sure if Tony's box has MMM reeds but to my ears they sound great together.

Aye, MMM
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Steve_freereeder

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Re: Dry or wet?
« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2020, 12:29:49 AM »

When I think of a wet-tuned box played with a concertina the first example that comes to mind is Tony MacMahon with Noel Hill,
e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMwwLpHMhbE
I'm not sure if Tony's box has MMM reeds but to my ears they sound great together. Is this the sound that IanD finds so disagreeable?
In this example, the music is so fast and busy it is difficult to focus in on the intonation differences between the instruments. Most of the time the ear (well, my ears anyway) tends to focus in on the brightness of the melodeon. However, when there are the occasional long notes at the ends of phrases, the concertina can definitely be heard to be slightly flatter (perhaps perceived as slighly duller) than the melodeon. But overall, there is a spread of pitch differences, a bit like a musette-tuned box played on its own, and for the style and speed of playing in this example, it is pretty much acceptable.

A much more revealing test of these two instruments together would be if they were playing a slow air. Then, I supect the intonation differences between the two instruments would really show up and possibly (depending on your personal tastes/preferences) not in a favourable way. I had a quick listen to other tracks on the same album - You tube gives you a few other examples - and it is perhaps significant that the tracks with slower tunes are either solo concertina or solo melodeon but as far as I can tell, not both together.

In the Irish tradition, slow airs are usually played solo. I can assure you that it has absolutely nothing whatsoever
to do with what you call intonation differences between the two instruments.
I think you're being hypercritical. These guys know exactly what they are doing.

I'm not being hypercritical at all and I am absolutely sure that 'these guys know exactly what they are doing.' I am simply pointing out real tuning differences between the two instruments, as others have speculated in this thread. No judgement on their playing at all (as I suspect you well know).
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Steve
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Pearse Rossa

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Re: Dry or wet?
« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2020, 01:02:05 AM »

Quote
I'm not being hypercritical at all and I am absolutely sure that 'these guys know exactly what they are doing.' I am simply pointing out real tuning differences between the two instruments, as others have speculated in this thread. No judgement on their playing at all (as I suspect you well know).

Just for your information; Noel and Tony are mainly solo musicians. Yes, they have played and recorded with others,
and obviously together on several occasions, but essentially they are solo performers.
The recording in question is a live setting with particular emphasis on the set dancers.
(Included on that album are some studio recordings also).
It is meant to represent what an authentic traditional house party would have sounded like.
They serve it up red raw. It's the whole point of the exercise.
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gettabettabox

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Re: Dry or wet?
« Reply #24 on: January 14, 2020, 01:27:21 AM »

This particular “red raw” music would be one of the reasons why I got hold of a D/D# box a few years ago.
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Pearse Rossa

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Re: Dry or wet?
« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2020, 11:04:55 AM »

This particular “red raw” music would be one of the reasons why I got hold of a D/D# box a few years ago.
Same here. Sadly, Tony's playing days are behind him now.
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