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Author Topic: Melodeons At Witney  (Read 5585 times)

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Fi

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Melodeons At Witney
« on: November 11, 2007, 06:25:39 PM »

Wel, I thought it should have a topic! I had an absolutely  brilliant time this weekend, lovely to see everyone, and sad to miss those who couldn't make it, Lester!.

My other half (not a squeezer, and writing for non squeezers!) likes to come to the evening concerts, he did a great review of it elsewhere, which he said he didn't mind me posting here (slightly edited, but here 's the original on talkawhile):

"The evening concert was last night and it was very good indeed! The deal at Witney is to offer two days of classes with top players as tutors. The tutors then put on a concert in the evening. Fi goes along to play, I go as a ligger, just for the gig  ;D

Issy, Geert and Brian all played interesting and entertaining sets. Geert put in some interesting pieces in other European (Basque, mainly) styles which are very different to the trad British style you hear most here.

In the interval Simon Care confessed his nerves at playing solo rather than having a band behind him - interesting because exactly a year ago, Squeezy said exactly the same thing! No worries though as played a marvelous set. Dancing the Bacca Pipes jig while playing the Concertina was pretty impressive too.

I can safely say that Saul Rose is hysterical, uber-talented and quite, quite mad. He played a box that was about as big as Issy and with at least 50% more buttons than can be good for you. Saul and Simon played a few duets too which was really good to see - imagine seeing Jimmy Page and Richard Thompson sharing the stage. It was kind of like that, only with bellows instead of strings.  8)

After that, all five came back on to play a set of tunes together. Then, as a finale, Simon whacked Saul on the back of the head with a concertina  :o. You had to be there... "


« Last Edit: November 11, 2007, 06:28:39 PM by Fee »
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BruceHenderson

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Re: Melodeons At Witney
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2007, 07:13:13 PM »

Wel, I thought it should have a topic! I had an absolutely  brilliant time this weekend, lovely to see everyone, and sad to miss those who couldn't make it, Lester!. 

__.  Alas, my luck with MAW continues (but not as bad as 2005, when I had to cancel due to my Mother coming down with pneumonia and her subsequent death the week after MAW weekend).  I had hoped to come this year but I got caught in the US "passport trap" -- they're requiring passports for new things (one-day shopping to Canada and Mexico, flights within North America, Canada and the Caribbean, etc.) so there has been an upsurge in passport applications (some sources say 40 million!) and the Bureau is *waaaay* behind.  And, of course, I was one of the first to get a 10-year passport when the US Government switched from 5-year to 10-year passports in 1997 -- so there's a surge from those of us wanting renewals.

__.  So, I renewed at first opportunity but there was no guarantee (or even indication) that the passport would arrive in time and no passport would have meant "no flight - no trip - no refund". 

__.  I had to miss this year, much to my dismay.  Next year .... in Jerusalem!!!!
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Alison Scott

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Re: Melodeons At Witney
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2007, 08:09:07 PM »


My other half (not a squeezer, and writing for non squeezers!) likes to come to the evening concerts, he did a great review of it elsewhere, which he said he didn't mind me posting here (slightly edited, but here 's the original on talkawhile):


My, that's an interesting thread that post is in -- a John Spiers masterclass in Cleckheaton. I will be somewhere else that weekend but otherwise it would be tempting to go along. I loved what must be the understatement of the year -- "Members of the audience do not need to bring an instrument".

I had a splendid splendid time at Witney, oh yes. I'm very tired now after all those exhortations to make my playing punchier, not to mention the stepping.

Martin Milner

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Re: Melodeons At Witney
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2007, 10:21:35 AM »

I had a splendid time at my second Witney, in both Simon Care's workshops. He's a lot of fun, a very genuine and easy-going guy, and I know that I've got a lot of great tips and ideas if I can just remember everything!

Many thanks to everyone who made this such a great weekend!
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Steve_freereeder

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Re: Melodeons At Witney
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2007, 04:17:38 PM »

It was my 8th Melodeons @ Witney and, I have to say, one of the very best I can remember. What a wonderful atmosphere! Great tutors, great music and lovely company. It was a pleasure to be among my friends again. :)

The first person I saw was Lester. So pleased to see him on the Friday evening, even though sadly he was unable to attend the MAW weekend.  He was heading, as I was, into the Friday night session at least 50 minutes ahead of the scheduled time. We both had an inkling of what it would be like at the advertised start time (i.e. standing room only). So let that be a lesson for you all next year!

A big "thank you" once again to Dave Townsend and Mandy, and all the fine body of stewards who make this event such a huge and enjoyable success.

And I'm not even going to mention airborne concertinas....


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Andy Next Tune

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Re: Melodeons At Witney
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2007, 06:29:14 PM »

My second MAW - a brilliant weekend. Its great to walk into a session and a sea of familiar faces from last year. It was great to see you all.

My brain and fingers are still aching from Sunday's TexMex special. I did think about having a few margaritas when I got home to stay in the groove and ease the pain, but no tequila! (Apparently it went with daughter No1 back to Uni!)

Negotiations are already going well for next year, so see you all in Nov '08.

Andy
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Sue Lawrence

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Re: Melodeons At Witney
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2007, 08:44:50 PM »

Mike & I had a brilliant time at our first Witney. Simon Care's workshops were really helpful - lots of information and suggestions for things to try out. Really enjoyed hearing what everyone else was getting up to in the afternoon Squeezes & really enjoyed the evening concert.

Plus good meals & beer--what else can you want!!

Thanks to all involved in the organisation of the event.

Sue & Mike
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islawight

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Re: Melodeons At Witney
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2007, 12:26:27 PM »

Just to add my good reports - had a great time this year - enjoyed it much more than last - maybe because I had a little more confidence (and also knew a few more people) Sessions I did with Simon Care and Saul Rose were excellent, looking at ways to experiment and do things differently - and also I found both their approaches very confidence-boosting, even when faced with their obvious talent. Other sessions seemed to go very well based on the showcases. And it was nice to meet Sandy from Scotland in my B&B who'd come down to meet and play with other melodeon players (not many of them north of the border) - hope you find your way on here Sandy! Meal on Sat nigh was great, thanks Steve again.

Ayla
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Claire Abbott

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Re: Melodeons At Witney
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2007, 05:30:42 PM »

I had a wonderful time at my 2nd MAW too. 

It is difficult to describe to people who were not there why it was so very good, save to say it is like having an annual extended family reunion, seeing and talking to so many familar and friendly faces, friends both old and new.  The tutors were brilliant too, Issy on Saturday and Brian on Sunday have both given me so much inspiration. 

The concert was completely unforgettable too!

I have already put the dates in next years diary...
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melodyman

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Re: Melodeons At Witney
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2007, 01:41:28 PM »

Pleased to report (together with so many others it seems ) that my 2nd Melodeons at Whitney was wonderfull.

Saul Rose and Simon Clare both wonderful tutors/talented musicians and able to remember what it was like to have just a couple of years playing under your belt.

Thank You Dave Townsend and his tireless band of helpers.

Thanks also to Steve for organizing the Saturday Meal.

351 days 2 hours 6 minutes till M @ W next year - well something like that anyway.


Davied Rowe
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James Fitton

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Re: Melodeons At Witney
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2007, 08:41:29 PM »

Not sure where to post this, as it stems from this event, but it's also a general fingering question. I wasn't in the Tex-Mex session with Brian Peters, but I've since been trying the pieces which were played at the final session. In one of them, there's a rapidly alternating to-and-fro between G and B, and then A and Fsharp both in the high octave of a DG. How was it suggested that you finger that? I've tried several options, but none seem very comfortable.
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Brian Peters

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Re: Melodeons At Witney
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2007, 05:02:48 PM »

"there's a rapidly alternating to-and-fro between G and B, and then A and Fsharp both in the high octave of a DG. How was it suggested that you finger that?"

Hello James - this would be 'El Alacran'?.  The whole sequence is played on the pull, with the A/F# played with index/middle on the inner row, and G/B with ring/little fingers on the outer row.  Doing it that way it falls under your fingers, though you'll need to practice to get the rapid alternation between the two.  A similar fingering applies, only an octave lower, in the second part of the tune.  I explained to the class that in Tex-Mex an awful lot is played on the pull, especially if you have a three-row box like the masters of the style usually do.
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