La Françounette (Free Reed Liberation Orchestra)

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

Josefin’s Dopvals (by Roger Tallroth)

One of my very favorite waltzes, by Roger Tallroth of Väsen. I learned it from the version by Dervish, which is very winsome and almost sentimental — but goddammit it always gets me the third time through when drum kicks up! Very inspiring. This is specifically NOT a sentimental version. Trying something different. A straight-ish French waltz at French-waltz pace.

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!”

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!

“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.

Two Waltzes: La Marianne (#115) and Brezon Valse (#100)

I’ve always assumed “Brezon Valse” meant “Breton Waltze,” but I don’t know that for a fact. I learn in the comments below that Brezon is a valley in Auvergne, and I feel a little foolish. But thank you Emmanuel Lazinier, for letting me know! I’ve only heard it played by Auvergnat players, Gentiane and Michel Esbelin — it’s a great tune with an ABCB structure, which means you practice the B section twice as much as all the other sections. “La Marianne” is a Frédéric Paris tune from his fantastically important Carnet de Bal cassette. I’ve recorded it a few times, including once playing with my Dad.

Had to switch computer systems last night and went back to old video editing software, not such a fan. In the old software I would have cropped out the vacuum cleaner.

This is part of the Bal Folk Tune Book Project. Go check it out and buy the tune book!

L’Aurillacoise (Bal Folk #122)

I was wearing a great hat in this one. But then cropped it out so you could spend time with the trees.

Here’s a deep dive. This is a great one that I have in a number of sources, and have been playing for years. You may not hear, but the third note is a sharp 4th (E, in this case, because it’s played in Bflat), and it’s such a fleeting note, but so essential!

It’s part of the Bal Folk Tune Project. Here’s Jac Lavergne playing it, on his wonderful AMTA cassette.

 

And here’s Henri Momboisse, from back in the day. Much ornamentation. Chromatic Button Accordion. A swifter instrument for a swifter time.

Also, the tune has a lyric, and here’s the group Wazoo doing a fantastic arrangement.