J’ai un Petit Voyage à Faire (Valse)

Proven: wearing a mask will NOT impede your ability to play a French waltz! Also, if you want to play accordion, be pandemic safe, AND fight crime, I think I’m onto something. This is #112 in the Bal Folk Tune Book. One of those tunes you pick at while going through the book figuring out what to play next. Then you get to the end and it washes over you, “That was delightful!”

Sunshine’s Bourrée Set

Two bourrées in honor of the impending four month mensiversary (#notamadeupword) of my marriage to Sunshine! The two bourrées are La Bourrée des Dindes (#166) La Bourrée á Six de Briantes (#164) from the Bal Folk Tune Book.

And if the second tune sounds familiar, it’s because de Briantes is identical to one of the Youp Nanettes. Yes, the identical tune (in a different key) is in the book twice.

Scottish Nérondaise (plus another one, #11 and #8)

Dedicated to Arch Stanton!

Two scottishes from page two of the book. Just a reminder for US listeners, a scottish is NOT Scottish. And it’s not a schottische. It’s a scottish, a French couples dance, medium tempo, in four. These are two scottishes played on my A flat organetto.

Valse à Bargoin with Brigid

This is #94 in the Bal Folk Tune Book Project. A beautiful three part waltz that is very much in G, until you get to the third part and there’s an extended bit in D minor! I ask you! So fun.

Recorded on June 20, 2020, this is the first time I played with another human since the shut downs started in March. Brigid came up the day before Father’s Day and — though it wasn’t her intention — it was her gift to me. We used two phones to record, one near her facing me, and the other near me facing her. This way, both instruments can be heard well — I am very pleased with the outcome!

Love on the IV Chord (Bal Folk #26, 131, 132, 140)

Something of a theme for this entry in the Bal Folk Tune Book Project. I noticed that a number of mazurkas I play have a characteristic of beginning the B section with the IV chord. It creates a lovely sense of levitation and, if the song were telling a story, I think that’s when you would know the two of them were really in love!

Mazurkas for love

It happens often enough in mazurkas that I am beginning to think this is a defining trait of a subset, but it doesn’t only happen in mazurkas. As I was recording the mazurkas, I remembered the tune, “Mominette” (by Maxou, in the tune book as untitled #26), which also goes to the IV chord at the B section and is quite lovely (especially as the A section has a ominous tone. Will things work out??? Yes, yes they will. You know because of the IV chord.)

Also, with the mazurkas, the first is a sans nom tune that I began to call “Hannibal’s Mazurka” some years ago (I was teaching the ancient Romans at the time). If anyone knows a different name, let me know. I can be taught!

“Excursion (Huaka’i) Waltz” (#114)

Actually, this is “Villapourçon,” which I have used as the soundtrack for an excursion (huaka’i) on the Parker Pond Headlands. It’s an interesting tune, with the A section in D, but being played on the G/C accordion (the Mory), and then it changes to G for the B section and seems to have this amazing feeling of levitation.

I have been learning video editing during the quarantine, and I used this 1:36 to experiment with a bunch of stuff. It ended up being very time consuming. If I continue down this rabbit hole, I will never get through the Bal Folk Tune Book Project.

Bourrée d’Aurore Sand (#155)

This one was actually in the process of entering the Le Bon Truc repertoire thanks to Steve Gruverman. We tried it in a bunch of places on a bunch of accordions, and think we ended up in G minor. Here, on the G/C Mory, it fits on the pull minor (Amin), but I’m playing it here on the push minor (Emin), as notated in the Bal Folk Tune Book. My harmonies are simple Emin to Amin and back again (repeat). For the video, I tried something different. Doing a slide show of Auvergnat postcards. I did this at a performance at the Hubbard Library in Hallowell a good number of years ago — projecting the slideshow behind me while I played. It was nice, I think, for the audience to have something to look at besides me. Part of the Bal Folk Tune Book Project.

And for a bonus, here’s a troupe from Berry doing the same piece, probably with more authenticity, and certainly with nicer hats.

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