Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Evil Diane

Parallel harmonies are not so much traditional for contra dance music, but this one was kind of asking me for one. It made me see some of why they aren't traditional. It's hard to play a harmony well going that fast, and even if you can really pull it off- well, that's a great chord but it's over already. Even so, I think this works.

Here's my recording.

I learned this tune playing in the open band for one of the BIDA dances this January. I've really wanted to play it on accordion, and I've worked quite a bit on it. I had the following exchange with my roommate about this tune:

Ruthie: I love this tune. I think it sounds great on accordion.
Ruthie's roommate: Yeah I noticed. It seems kind of repetitive to me.

I unfortunately think it will be a while before I'm happy with how this tune sounds when played up to speed on accordion, partly because I think I need to be better at accordion in general before I have the control to really pull it off. Also, I have some wrist sadness mostly caused by typing, but accordion seems to make it worse. We'll see how much this actually discourages me, but I do have another instrument I can play.

Other news in my musical life: the nyckelharpa I ordered last fall is done, and I only have to pay for it and then it will be shipped. And then it will be in the mail for 1-4 weeks. So no breath holding.

Friday, February 3, 2012

I decided to do change it up this time and record something on accordion. This is a piece called GrÄtvalsen, which I think translates directly to "tear waltz," so it should be a kind of melancholy tune. Here's my final recording.

When I did my first recording for this, though, I noticed something interesting. This is what my typical fiddle recording looks like

So pretty curvy and varied.

This is what my first accordion recording looked like:

So pretty square. This is what that recording sounded like. Also pretty square and boring. So my second take I tried to play so that the recording looked curvy like my fiddle recordings. In the end, my recording looked like this: