This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
and work with it to overcome manuscripts, helps render modern been referring. So, the best way head. Don’t bother differentiating
some of your musical inhibitions. performance a viable force under to approach sessions is to pay between classical, traditional or
You can’t allow others to steer the Act, so that herding elements due regard to the capability of the other at this stage. After playing
you off course. Stick with what into some pseudo-academic other players, especially the ones the whole thing for a while, one or
you’re doing, or want to do, shedding ring for anorak who are effectively at the centre two tracks may irritate, but even
and remember that you have dissection can no longer impact of it. If you stay at the back, you then stick with it if you can. Only
every right to venture musically on its future. If you stand far can watch, listen and learn and let certain tracks go when they’ve
wherever you like. Your journey enough back you can actually see steadily become proficient enough finally convinced you that they
into the music is as viable and the whole machinery of it slowly to then qualify for a move forward offer no inspiration whatsoever.
as legitimate as anyone else’s, working and moving the genre towards the centre. It’s a very The majority should certainly
including the most famous along through time. Admittedly, sociably rewarding, natural and inspire.
performers you can bring to you’ll need to have been around enjoyable process.
mind. In many areas, sport being for quite a while to pick up on What you will then have absorbed
an obvious example, the mental it, but there it certainly is and English International will be far more than just the tunes
state of a performer receives a you can have a piece of it all for So, what can English International on a number of tracks. You’ll have
great deal of attention. As far as yourself. That’s an extremely offer the aspiring English spent time listening to some of the
I know, there are no workshops attractive and persuasive concertina player? Well, the best players around, learning their
for the riddance of demons argument for encouraging would- answer to that is, an awful lot. phrasing and how they control
and uncertainties that threaten be musicians to get stuck in. The album is a broad take across their instrument. How can you
a musician’s confidence and many styles. Some tracks are know about delicacy of touch,
potential accomplishment. Plenty When it comes to playing, there’s newly recorded, but others are without listening over and over
of people will offer support and no better starting point than your taken from recordings made to the best exponents of the art?
encouragement, and probably local session. The Dressers Arms, throughout most of the last Comparing different performers
you’ve already discovered the near where I live, has a session century. It gives a stimulating will give you a balanced feel of
odd detractor, too, but I doubt every Sunday night that’s been insight into the versatility how you would like your own
that whatever level of support is going for nigh on 40 years. Many and development of English playing to sound. You’ll pick up
offered, it will touch on the inner players become agitated once concertina playing from classical little details from many of the
struggles that threaten your ability they embark on a discussion performance, music halls, players that will metamorphose
to achieve the music you’re after. about sessions. Their main bone concertina banding, Irish and into your own style. Even the
A bit more on that later. of contention - a universal sticking- English regional dance music classical pieces offer a great deal
point in all human interaction, and even song accompaniment. of technique that’ll influence your
Playing traditional music surely - is that of courtesy and It’s an incredible and exciting playing, whilst there are many
English International covers a respect. There’s a phrase which collection of stuff. Spread traditional tunes to learn. The
fairly broad spectrum of musical crops up often in these situations over its three discs, English aforementioned online facility for
genres, including a good and that is ‘Session Etiquette’ - it’s International has 80 tracks, not accessing old traditional players’
proportion of traditional music. the natural hierarchy of respect every one traditional, played manuscripts, by the way, is at
Bearing in mind the declared aims offered by the not-so-proficient by 39 performers (including www.village-music-project.org.uk/.
of this magazine, that’s the most to the much more proficient. It Alf Edwards). Two different With ABC software, you can also
predominant one from our point of allows the reciprocal response concertina bands, multi-instrument hear the tunes on your computer.
consideration. Traditional music of inclusion and guidance and a bands and a novelty concertina Check it out.
is brilliant, don’t you think? It’s platform from which developing quartet augment this album
stimulating and exciting and very musicians can absorb the skills of packed full of real English All the time this absorbtion
much alive and in rude health. It’s the more established players - the concertina virtuosity. I have my process is going on, pay attention
become so well established that, very means by which tradition favourites amongst them, but I to your psychology. Keep
mercifully, no-one can legitimately functions. A few years ago, a shall leave you to discover your focussed. The English concertina
lay claim to its exclusive chap turned up to our session with own. is your friend and will not demand
extraordinary skills from you until
“So, the best way to approach sessions is to pay due regard to the
you wish it yourself. Its button
layout is beautifully logical and the
capability of the other players, especially the ones who are effectively
notes will fall under your fingertips.
The one to watch is yourself.
at the centre of it. If you stay at the back, you can watch, listen and
Don’t allow those negative
thoughts to creep into your head.
learn and steadily become proficient enough to then qualify for a move
Find a session immediately rather
than sit at home playing in the
house. The quickest way to fall by
forward towards the centre.”
the wayside musically is through
not applying your music. It’s not
ownership. In the context of an English concertina. He’d never meant for sitting alone with, it’s
‘traditional’ it has existed for a very played before and was keen to When I was getting to know a social vehicle in all its forms.
long time and is now subscribed learn. He intuitively understood traditional music, I was given Sessions are the learning ground
to by a vast majority of people, these considerations and has now some tapes (don’t ask, it’s and home is merely the place
none of whom can produce a become a proficient player as well old technology) of traditional where you work out the hard bits
single living relative able to knock as a good friend. musicians, pirated out of the deep ready for next time. Also, look
out an old tune learned from a archive of the EFDSS. I didn’t try out for that someone who might
grandparent. Anyone who wishes For a lot of musicians, the irritation to learn each tune, but rather I mentor you and help dissipate
to assist in the perpetuation of comes from witnessing aspiring played the whole thing endlessly, any thoughts of abandoning the
this music is perfectly within their musicians mistakenly believing day in, day out, week in, week out, mission. And remember, this
rights to assume full card-carrying that they have reached a level of until it was all transferred into my music needs you - it won’t survive
membership of the National proficiency or performance that head by aural osmosis. They are if it isn’t played. q
Association for the Advancement somehow sets them apart from still there 35 years on. On English
of Indigenous Music. everyone else, thus releasing International there are 3 hours and
English International
them from any obligation of 49 minutes of English concertina
A history of the English
The present day permeation courtesy or respect. They are music to enjoy and my advice
concertina with some of the
throughout interested society of then exhibiting misplaced, or would be to listen to it day in, day
best players from around the
the repertoires of past musicians, blind, confidence, not the genuine out, week in, week out, until it’s all
world. Folksound Records
via online availability of their self-effacing type to which I’ve installed on the hard drive in your
FSCD 80 (3 CD set)
The Living Tradition - Page 21
Issue82.indd 21 24/2/09 13:55:26
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