Thursday, December 20, 2012

Noël pour l'accordéoniste

Fa la la la la ...

What does l'Accordéonaire want for Christmas?

Je suis content, usually, and I don't spend a lot of time desiring things, and when I do, I make sure it's an important thing that will improve my quality of life.  Something related to accordéons. But Christmas invites the question: what do you want, darling?  Here are four things that seem especially cool to me.

Vent de Galerne: I don't know how it is that I don't already have this CD, but I don't. What I've heard is gobsmackingly beautiful. The latest endeavor by La beloved Chavannée is focused on a nautical theme. There's a lot of synergy between Vent de Galerne and the river boat built by the clan last year. Free samples can be heard over on myspace (of all places), and the CD can be ordered from the Chavs themselves, here.

The Early Andy Cutting/Chris Wood recordings: more stuff I should already have, but they seem to be hard to find, especially on this side of the pond. The relatively few recordings I can get -- Albion, Handmade Life, Andy's eponymous recording, etc. -- have become the soundtrack for this six month of my life. What an amazing thing that two such talents should have found each other in the world.

A Trip to France:  Yeah, well ...

A Wesson Melodeon: I decided some months ago -- probably just moments after playing my Nik for the first time -- that my next box would be a one row in D. I've done a lot of looking, and have gotten my heart set on a box by Rees Wesson in Welshpool, Wales. My goal is to use it to play some of the French Canadian repertoire local to Maine, and to start dipping back into the reels and jigs (flashback to the tin whistle, Irish session days in Minnesota ...) Actually, I've always loved Irish on the one-row (no, that's not me). One-rows also have a tradition in East Anglian music, and, of course, in Cajun music. Here's Rees playing the Bristol Hornpipe:


Oh, my.  That is a beautiful thing that would improve my quality of life.

All right, so I guess I'm not all that great at producing the list o' stuff to buy, a la Oprah or Rachel Ray. Cross marketing? Not for me. One thing I'd like, no one can give me: time to make more music! What do you, dear reader, want for your accordion Christmas?

Maybe I'll do better for New Year's Resolutions ... or Yom Kippur penance.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Castagnari in the Wild

This Nik approached us on a trail in Vaughn's Woods, in Hallowell, ME. Considering how skittish they usually are, this box was extraordinarily friendly and docile. Notice that the straps are fastened, indicating that it may have once been domesticated. Anyone else with sightings to report. Images will be published here.