Numbers 104 and 105 in the Bal Folk Tune Book. Played quietly to suit the day.
Introducing the second Free Reed Liberation Orchestra tune, La Françounette, a waltz which also happens to be #108 in the Bal Folk Tune Book. This is eleven box players (all from melodeon.net), one clarinetist, one fiddler, and two strummy-strummy players. I said this for the last FRLO recording (which was also the first). this is among the coolest things I’ve ever done in my life, and I am very grateful to everyone playing and listening.
The Free Reed Liberation Orchestra (October 2020, pt. 2) is Anahata, Matthew Bampton, John Barber, Gary Chapin, Benjamin Hemmendinger, JohnAndy, Howard Mitchell, Helena Painting, Gren Penn, Julian Schoenfield, Janneke Slagter, Greg Smith, Steve Gruverman, Margaret Cox, Eric w. Johnson, and Barbara Truex. Performance ©FRLO 202
This improbably named tune is #30 in the Bal Folk Tune Book, a three-beat bourrée that is very addictive to play. I play with only the low reed on the Mory sounding, which made some of the bits tricky to do, but it’s a sound that I really enjoy, even if it’s usually a seasoning and not a main flavor. If anyone knows the story of this tune name I would love to hear it. (That’s what it’s called in the tune book, not a translation. The only English title in the book.)
It’s going take a long time for me to get through the Bal Folk Tune Book Project if I keeping getting obsessed with tunes like this.
Over on YouTube, brunokev doesn’t have much to say about where the name comes from, but he does do a great job with the tune on his pipes.
Many boxes, one piece. The Free Reed Liberation Orchestra is a notional (and virtual) orchestra to which any accordionist who wants can belong (and friends, like banjo uke and bass clarinet players). This is our debut upon the world. The tune is a bog norme bourrée, a tune that will get you a free drink at any Bal Trad Pub you might come across. This agglomeration of individuals are mostly habitués of melodeon.net — my home parish for diatonic squeeze matters. This tune is also known as La bourrée tourante, and is tune #32 in the Bal Folk Tune Book. This project is on the very short list of coolest things I have ever done. The Free Reed Liberation Orchestra (Oct 2020 edition) is Anahata, Matthew Bampton, Gary Chapin, Steve Gruverman, Benjamin Hemmendinger, Gren Penn, Pete (playandteach), Julian Scholefield, Janneke Slagter, Greg Smith, Barbara Truex. Video by Gary Chapin
A scary polka for the season. “Could it be … oh, I don’t know … SATAN!”
Of course not. Despite the dramatic title, this is a really cracking polka, ecumenically suitable for musicians and dancers of all faiths and ages.
Tune #180 in the Bal Folk Tune Book!
A mazurka and then a 2 beat bourrée because why not? These are tunes 169 and 133 in the Bal Folk Tune Book.
These two tunes — #212 and #214 from the Bal Folk Tune Book — are both from the “others” section. They are their own sort of set dances, i.e., dances linked to a particular locale with a specific dance associated with them. And they seem like two of the “old fashioned” tunes. The kind of tunes that folks call “the good old old ones.” The dance for Pas d’Été can be seen here.
And the dance for Cochonchine can be seen here.
Pas d’Été has this fingering sequence on the second half that should be VERY easy, but I find it so challenging to stay in time with it. Essentially, sequences where you have quick (but not VERY quick) notes in the same direction, with a sort of repetitive arpeggio vibe … I have a hard time keeping an even pace. It’s very weird.
Two scottishes from the Bal Folk Tune Book (which you should buy), “Chez la Mère Antoine” (#20) and an unnamed tune (#15). They sound old, to me. Like bog norme, as one friend described it. “Tiny,” my organetto in A flat, has been out of commission for the humid months (sticking keys) and has recently returned to mid-season form. Even though it has two additional buttons, I still play it essentially as a one row. It really is a very fun little thing, and, as I say, it plays in A flat, which not many diatonic things do.
In recordings from the 1930s polkas piquée are a type of very short polkas played very fast — really leaning into the strengths of the vielle à roue — and they’re played in groups of many, usually each tune is repeated only twice. There are a bunch of polkas piquée in the Bal Folk Tune Book, and none of them have names; they are just “polka piquée.” So here are #174, 173, 176, and 173 (reprise).
Also, I am debuting my one row Hohner in G — inspired by activity over on mel.net. The thing is a bear to play but I love the wet broad sound, and one rows have an inexplicable attraction for me.
A humble tune from the Bal Folk Tune Book; it does not even have a name listed*. I’m wondering if anyone knows the name, and even if there is a lyric. This tune has everything I love about bourrées the streams of eighth notes, the odd melodic accents that make the 3/8 meter seem like a faux pas that is not actually faux. Dedicated to Brigid Chapin, as she begins her graduate program this week!
Thanks to -Y- over on mel.net I have discovered that this is a tune called “La Ricoise!” Check out these vids of others playing same: