Sunday, May 26, 2013

Rémi Geffroy

A beautiful piece by Rémi Geffroy's trio. I'm not sure what this genre of sweet, folkish, instrumental music should be called. It's like an amazing soundtrack for a movie that has yet to be made. There's so much story going on in it. It's based in his traditional Aveyron upbringing, but there's a lot there. This piece is from Geffroy's recent, fantastic album, Entre-Deux.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Welcoming Baffetti

The plan unfolds slowly! Made arrangements for sale of the Nik, yesterday, and arranged to purchase a Dino Baffetti, Tex-Mex II/34 from the Button Box. As it happens, both the buyer of the Nik and the Button Box are right near Sunderland, Massachusetts.  Saturday, I'll be making the pilgrimage.

Here's a picture of the Baffetti, and there's a video over on the Button Box site. It's a three-row, MM box, tuned American Tremolo (as was the Nik), with rows in F/Bb/Eb. Baffetti has a stellar reputation as a maker. As the name of the thing suggests, it was made for the Tex-Mex market, but its wider tuning perfectly suits all of the French musics I'm obsessed with. This decision has been a long time coming. I've loved that Nik, but have felt the redundancy of its G/C tuning many times at gigs. Also, working in a chanson trio with Barbara Truex and Joëlle Morris, the need for key flexibility is urgent. Finally, I've wanted a three-row quint tuned box for ages. Now I get my chance. I'm already thinking of the new possibilities for across-the-row madness and right-hand chords.

Here's hoping it all goes off as planned!




Sunday, May 19, 2013

Castagnari Nik (G/C) for Sale (SOLD)


UPDATE:  Arrangements for sale have been made!

In order to meet my wider musical goals, I'm putting my beloved Castagnari Nik (G/C) up for sale. It's in perfect condition, comes with original straps, and the Castagnari box. A two row, 8 bass machine, two-reeds tuned MM, "American Tremolo." What does all that mean? It means an amazing simple box with a lovely sound.  I love this box, but having two quality boxes in G/C doesn't serve my needs. I'm asking $2000 for this box. A new box of the same type goes for $2365 at the Button Box. I would also take a good quality F/Bb/Eb (Baffetti, for example) box in trade, if one were offered.

Contact accordeonaire@aol.com.

Here's a video:



And another:

Saturday, May 18, 2013

La Chavannée Videos

The magic that is La Chavannée is on display in some quality videos on YouTube. Here is an assortment. Thanks to Mitch Gordon, and Phillipe Wurlgue and Jeff Dantin (of Morvan Productions) for posting these.







Monday, May 13, 2013

Petite Rosalie (Hanter Dro)

A tune written by Sylvain Piron. His version -- with a traditional lyric -- can be found here.


Monday, May 6, 2013

Bruno Le Tron and François Heim

Intersection (Compagnie Balagan) is an excellent example of the genre that has been co-created by Le Tron, Heim, Didier Laloy, Wim Claeys, and their compatriots in Accordion Samurai. Two accordéons accompanying each other. Interweaving melodies and counter melodies. Extended harmonies. Virtuosic performance. Very rhythmic with much syncopation. A fascination for odd meters, sevens and fives. It sounds like it's French, at times rural, at times Parisian ... with some Hot Jazz happening. Yes, that's swing. It sounds like it's Balkan, with those wonderful meters and scales and melodies. For some reason it's associated strongly with Belgium. An intersection? A crossroads? Pan-European? This isn't "more-eclectic-than-thou" post-modernism. Out of this many, come one voice from two men. Heim and Le Tron are very good at this.

Listen to two excerpts performed below.



And another.


Friday, May 3, 2013

A New Polka Wot I Helped Write

Here's a new polka written by myself and clarinetist Steve Gruverman. I improvised the theme in connection to a recording project, a song called "The Ballad of the Bachelor." Steve took the theme and morphed it into this, "The Bachelor's Polka." I did mess around just a bit with Steve's harmonies, which I hope he doesn't mind. Here's the tune. The sheet music is below.