The first waltz is an original by Le Bon Truc member Barbara Truex. She has a talent for writing extraordinary melodies, and this is only the latest. I imagine my harmonies aren’t exactly right to the composition, since Barb wrote it on a mountain dulcimer, which, because of its drones has all sorts of incidental (if not accidental) harmonies.
This is a fast waltz (that’s what they said it was when I played it in Alsace) that I wrote a good many years ago. I don’t actually write many tunes, but this one had legs. Although one of my goals is to show off the sound of the Mory, I seemed to slightly overdrive the mic for this recording. Maybe time to buy new equipement.
|Barb and Gary rehearsing. Steve is off to the
left, also rehearsing.
On May 29, Le Bon Truc Trio (Steve Gruverman, Barb Truex, and myself) presented a concert at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Augusta, Maine. Barb recorded the evening and it came out great! So, I’ll be posting those recordings sur le blog. Here are two waltzes, each composed by a band member.
Saturday Night in St. Andrew is a beautiful waltz composed by Barb Truex. The dulcimer is well featured, but the accordion comes in and the trio as a whole really shines.
Saturday Night in St. Andrews by Le Bon Truc
Dill Waters Run Steep is a fast waltz I wrote many years ago, but which I still find very fun to play. People who haven’t been playing it for fifteen years seem to find it intriguing. Notice that I’ve left in the false start. It goes on for quite a while as I try to get back on the rails. Finally, I bring the festivities to a halt and restart. Just a little bit “you were there” verisimilitude!
Dill Waters Run Steep by Le Bon Truc
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)
Here’s a humble but wonderful waltz, found in Mally’s Bal Folk tune book (actually, I found it in the Massif Central Tune Book, pink volume). Playing it on the Baffetti almost entirely on the F row.
Here’s a waltz in 5/4 (count 1, 2, 1, 2, 3 …) for the melodeon.net theme of the month. It’s a very basic tune found on Patrick Bouffard’s Rabaterie recording. Of course, when he plays it, it’s not basic at all.
Frédéric Bordois’ waltz, from La Chavannée’s Le Long de la Riviere (and also in their tune book).
I’m playing at the Water Street Cafe this afternoon and compiling a set list. At the same time, I’ve begun recording a CD, and putting together a set list for that. It’s interesting that the live set list is much longer than the recording set list (which is continuing to evolve). Tunes that I feel completely comfortable playing in a bustling cafe, don’t meet my standards when committed to recording — and both of those are small subsets of the large group of tunes I play in my living room. So here’s the live set list. Links, in some cases, to videos.
This waltz, played by Marc Perrone on one of his early recordings, has been a standard since the mid-70s. I recorded it for the mel.net Theme of the Month, which, for August 2012, is waltzes.
UPDATE: Originally, I said the tune was written by Perrone. It wasn’t.
My Dad (aka Parker Chapin) and I don’t get to play together that often, so it was especially nice to be able to record this waltz with him. It’s from Frédéric Paris’ Carnet de Bal cassette. I remember we played it together for the first time a few years ago at a cousin’s wedding.
Tomorrow is May 29, and therefore time for the long awaited Pique-diatonique in Dahlenheim, Alsace. Though, I’ll be thousands of miles away, I plan to have a picnic tomorrow and play a bunch of tunes from the Pique-diatonique tunebook. To get into the spirit of things — pour les absents — I thought I’d post recordings of a few tunes from that tune book. The first two are MP3s by the inestimable Sylvain Piron. The first is a traditional piece that I’ve heard in a number of versions, “Le Maitre de la Maison.” The second, “Le Chemin,” is a mazurka written by Sylvain himself.
Sylvain Piron, “Le Maitre de la Maison”
Sylvain Piron, “Le Chemin”
Sylvain’s albums are available as downloads for free here.
Finally, I thought I’d include one of my favorite Pique-diatonique waltzes — actually, one of my favorite all time waltzes — “Sur les Bord de la Riviére.” Played on my Salterelle, this was my second post on YouTube, four years ago.
So that’s the plan. Find a picnic. Record some accordion tunes. Ready, set …