Thursday, January 26, 2012

Two Accordeon Blogs

I've generally managed to keep my priorities between accordeon and life in order (hint: more accordeon). Until now. This has been the last year of my coursework in my doctoral program, AND the beginning of a new job as a researcher and writer for the State of Maine Department of Education. My accordeon-obsessive-cred is suffering under the weight of white hot deadlines and my damnably anxious work ethic! Which is why you haven't heard much from me lately.

To fill the gap, I present two fellow accordeon (or melodeon) bloggers. The first is the blog of Toko, a Japanese box player who keeps a prolific blog. Being in Japanese, of course, I can't read it. But the videos of Toko and other photos are fabulous. Here's Toko and Tamiko playing two bourrées. Note the infant expressing his (or her) appreciation throughout.


The second blog is that of Owen Woods, a British melodeonist who is also working towards his graduate degree, and choosing to spend scads of time gigging around the sceptred isle. An eloquent melodeonist, Owen does that thing that I love most in a writer: communicates his enthusiasm, fascination, and love for the music. Here's himself performing at the Tudor Folk Club.  UPDATE: Shout out to Lester Bailey, a devilishly good looking melodeonist himself and repair guy, who filmed this clip.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Scottish du Pere Rouxel

In French music a scottish is not Scottish, and it's not a schottische (however you want to spell that).  A scottish is a mid-tempo four-four dance. I often think of these in the same light as mazurkas: medium tempo bits of goodness and light. The best one's have a nice sort of lopey feel. They're not usually technically demanding, and thus tend to be played too fast. Resist the temptation!

Tufty, a regular debator over on Mel.Net posted a link to a Breton scottish called Scottish du Pere Rouxel, one of my favorites, followed by Scottish Jaquot, which I'd never heard before. Great job there!  Scottish du Pere Rouxel was a tune I learned from Dave Shepard's book of Breton tunes. Imagine this neophyte looking in a book of Breton tunes and seeing "scottish." Took me a while to sort that out.

Anyway, here is Tufty's great rendition.

And here is my recording of Pere Rouxel from a few years ago.