I am not a big holiday tune kind of guy, but I’ve been asked twice by people I respect to post something along those lines. I have been playing like mad since acquiring the Mory, but haven’t been gigging, or recording. It’s the woodshed for me. Perhaps, as the sun is reborn, so shall my accordeonaire-ing.
From our gig at Jay’s Last Church on the Left, in Portland, Maine.
Every Monday, I will be posting a new or newly discovered (newly by me, anyway) video of French accordionistics. If you would like to draw my attention to something out there that should be posted, or want to submit one of yourself playing some French tune (including Breton) on accordion, email me here.
Presented here is a French Scottish (not a reel), performed by Serge Carrier on a three-stop one row. I love that one row sound, and continue to obsess about it.
Every Monday, I will be posting a new or newly discovered (newly by me, anyway) video of French accordionistics. If you would like to draw my attention to something out there that should be posted, or want to submit one of yourself playing some French tune (including Breton) on accordion, email me here. This one features Patrick Lefebvre on CBA. He’s one of my heroes. I wrote a tribute to him in 2011.
Feels like it’s been a very long time since I’ve posted. It hasn’t been very long, but it feels that way just because so much else has been going on. With the divorce, and moving, and my brother being ill … after the end of “Folk Dance Season” in New England, I put down the box for a few months and just didn’t think about it. But now I am in the new place. There is space and light, and the Shadows seem to have fled from the land. Let’s hear it for new beginnings, which, as usually, I celebrate by playing old songs.
UPDATE: Yes, I have shaved my head. And, no, I did not realize my legs looked like THAT.
Gregory Dyke, on his dance blog Movement Creates Connection has posted an amazing set of videos of French dance and music, along with a great essay on the state of tradFrench music today. I urge you to check it out here. If you scroll further down, you’ll see an entry for a post called, Expression (in Dance and Music), also worth reading!
|The An Dro snakes through! Pic by Chris Ryall|
UPDATE: I’ve gotten some push back on this post from folks (great stuff in the comment section), essentially saying that some of these videos are not exemplars of their regional styles, but are just examples of dances done at the Big Bal. I think that’s fair, but still think it’s interesting to see these as documentations of what’s going on at the Big Bal, especially for those of us who would have a hard time ever making it there.
Following up from the post of French Dance Field Recordings, here is the second half of Chris Ryall’s amazing collection of videos, or dance as he found it in the wild. Chris writes, “Breton dance is often done in lines, traditionally snaking around the floor intertwining and ‘meeting people.'” Here is the repository:
Rond St. Vincent – a very simple village dance that has become a standard
An Dro (An Dro = “the turn”)
Another An Dro – Wild at the end!
Tricot (mixed An Dro and Hanter Dro)
Plinn (Simple, very peasant, gets wild improv from musicians)
Suite Plinn (Same rhythm. Couples dance with fast and slow parts)
“Standard” Gavotte” (Danced as a suite with varying speeds)
Gavotte de l’Aven (small valley in the Cornouaille with it’s own “dreamy sway” style – this is just part of a “suite gavotte”
Bangor Daily News photographer, videographer, blogger, and box player Troy Bennett (who I corresponded with here) is producing a series of short videos about Mainers and their tattoos for the BDN blog. Last week he came to my home to talk about my tattoo and French accordeon music.
Part Two is here.
Melodeonist Chris Ryall spent August of 2013 at Fête Embraud (La Chavanée) and Grand Bal de l’Europe St. Gervais. He shot a lot of video. He writes:
“The collection was intended to inform some of the … shall we say, ‘different’ … versions of these dance rhythms heard in UK pub sessions. The general focus on the dancers and their movement is intentional. If your play of a melody ‘informs the feet’ … it is probably about right!”
Some of the videos are posted on Facebook (possibly requiring Flash); others are on YouTube. The first batch of videos presented here focus on French dances. Breton dances will be featured in the next post.
French Dance Videos
Basic French Waltz (played faster and smoother than English waltz)
Scottiche (note “skip”)
Another Scottiche (delightfully light – Accordzéâm)
Mazurka current “Bal” style (generally 9/8)
Another Mazurka — Accordzéâm – great accordion solo
Mazurka Morvan style “simple, straight 3/4)
Circassian Circle – same as UK – sometimes even to the same tunes!
Another Circassian Circle
Medley of Various Dances (Lucas Thebaut says this set was made up = non Trad)