Month: March 2011

Castagnari Nik (Photos by Brigid Chapin)

More photos from Brigid Chapin of the newly acquired Castagnari Nik. Brigid’s portfolio can be found here.

Castagnari Nik Encomium!

Photo by Brigid Chapin. So I got it. Officially. Paid for and everything. Had to sell two other accordions and Fender Telecaster with amp. Worth every cent. Don’t expect an objective review. Rather, expect a panegyric, an encomium, an elaborate laudation. I have brought…

Accordion Speak 101: Reeds

Over at Gumshoe Arcana, Monk has written an excellent and brief comprehensive explanation of how the reed blocks in an accordion work.  Very clear!  Check it out.

My Trip to Alsace (Part Two)

In 2004, my wife, Bethany, and I were given the gift of a trip to Alsace, France, to visit my accordion teacher, Sylvain Piron, his wife, storyteller Catherine Piron-Paira, and their family. I wrote the following shortly after the trip. It appeared some time later in Wolf Moon…

What Are They Playing In Alsace This Year?

Corrupting the youth at the pique-diatonique.Photo by François It is with envy that I follow the Pique-diatonique, an occasional gathering of diatoniste and their closest allies in Alsace, France. My friends, Sylvain Piron and Catherine Piron-Paira, are regular attenders, as are many of the players I met…

Building Materials

Photo by Knut Utler In comments on the Accordion Workshop post, the inquisitive TomB wrote:The most striking thing to me about these photos is just how much metal is inside these instruments. Has that always been the case?Building materials are not my forte, so I asked…

Le Roulier

The tune is “Le Roulier,” a traditional piece that I first heard on Frédéric Paris’ Carnet de Bal. The images are photos taken by my daughter, Brigid.

Lady Cassili’s Lilt

Off topic from the usual French stuff, the Melodeon.net Theme of the Month is music from Scotland. I’ve loved harper Robin Williamson for years. This tune, “Lady Cassili’s Lilt,” is on Williamson’s Legacy of the Scottish Harpers. UPDATE: A listener over on Melodeon.net supplied…

Accordion Speak 101: Breton Music

I pulled this out of the Patrick Lefebvre post because I thought it would stand better on its own. Apologies if I’m wrong. As always, comments, questions, and corrections are welcome. Bombarde and Biniou Duo:Piercing and Piercing-er Breton accordion music is not something I mentioned…

Tribute: Accordéon Gavotte

Listening to the new (2008) Patrick Lefebvre recording, War Hent Skrigneg (Accordéon Gavotte), I am transported back about five years to my first Button Box sponsored Squeeze-In, in western Massachusetts. It’s after reasonable hours and the accordions and concertinas are still going. Wife is asleep…

Accordion Building Workshop

In February, in Norway, at the Rauland International Winterfestival, international folk music doings were abundant. Among these doings, accordionist and singer Emmanuel Pariselle led a “build your own accordion” workshop for twelve extraordinarily skilled crafters. Norwegian photojournalist Knut Utler, who has a fascination with…

A Brief History of French Accordion

The information in this post comes from some disreputable sources (liner notes and websites), and from conversations with musicians during my trip to Alsace. Any comments, corrections, or questions are welcome. In fact, I’m very aware of the gaps in my knowledge. I would…