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 "My life with the Accordion" by Ronald E. Hodgson - Chapters 1,2 & 3

"My Life With The Accordion" by Ronald E. Hodgson Ron Hodgson - 1958 Ron Hodgson - 2008I began playing the accordion when I was seven years old. I received an accordion for Christmas 1935.

Latest updates
Accordion of 21-st century

Richard Galliano - French touch

Walshe Essential Guide to Accordion and Harmonica Events

«Harmonica forever!»

Modest Mussorgsky «Pictures at an Exhibition»

«Skomorokhi»: Music of the 20'th Century

Richard Galliano - 15 Titres Originaux

Pietro Frosini - Mariposita (Bolero)

Eugeny Derbenko - Cabman

Melodies Which Are Always With You

Concert musette for accordion

Richard Galliano quartet «New Musette»

Astor Piazzolla - Soundtracks

Boris Kovac and Ladaaba Orchestra «Ballads at the End of Time», «La Danza Apocalypsa Balcanica»

Yury Kazakov «The portrait of the great Bayanist»

A Gotan Project DJ set Espiracion

Accordion in Jazz

Astor Piazzolla - Concerto para Quinteto

Accordion in concert - Part I

Accordion Reader Trilogy

L. Desyatnikov - Tracing Astor

Russian music of the 19 - 20-th centuries

Igor Tsvetkov - Two Pieces for Russian Folk Orchestra

Popular Latin American tunes for chromatic or piano accordion

Terem-Quartet meets friends

Richard Galliano - Viaggio

Richard Galliano & Michel Portal – Concerts

Valery Kovtun - «Tango»

Richard Galliano – New York Tango

Friedrich Lips - Pictures at an Exhibition

Astor Piazzolla - Fugata

Dmitry Manchuk & Miroslav Leliukh - Musical Fantasy

Art Van Damme - Deep Purple

Richard Galliano - Fou Rire

George Gershwin - Rhapsody in Blue (for piano and accordion orchestra)

Andrew Petrov - Marathon in the Fall

Luciano Fancelli - Acquarelli Cubani

Happy Skvett - Kulturprisen

M. Kazhlaev - Scerzo

Michael van Delft - Angel Rocks a Stone Away

Jacques Reuaux, Claude Francois - My Way - Great Frank Sinatra song arranged for accordion orchestra - Parts

Richard Galliano - Tango pour Claude

''Resurrecion'' tango-quartet - Obsessed by the Sun

Richard Galliano - La Valse a Margaux

Bogdan Precz - Fusion

Jazz Accordion Book - Vol. I

Jazz Theory And Improvisation Studies for Accordion

Che, bandoneon - 10 essential tango arrangements - Vol. 1

Astor Piazzolla - Tangus Dei

Richard Galliano - Opale Concerto - Score

Accordion orchestra of 3-d municipal music school (Kishinev, Moldova)

Lithuanian Accordion Quintet "Concertino" (video live concert)

Pablo Ziegler - Bajo Cero

Pavel Smirov Orchestra - Accordion virtuosos from St. Petersburg

Albin Repnikov - Concerto ¹3 for accordion, chamber orchestra and percussions - Score

Pavel Smirov Orchestra - My Saint Petersburg

M. Blanter - In The Gardens

Astor Piazzolla - Yo Soy Maria

Lithuanian Accordion Quintet «Concertino» - Compositions from the repertoire of the ensemble - Vol. 2

B. Martjanov - Moldova Fantasy

«Milonga» Instrumental Trio – Compositions from the repertoire of the ensemble - Vol. 2

«Milonga» Instrumental Trio – Compositions from the repertoire of the ensemble - Vol. 1

«Milonga» Instrumental Trio – Compositions from the repertoire of the ensemble - Vol. 3

Jacques Reuaux, Claude Francois - My Way - Great Frank Sinatra song arranged for accordion orchestra - Score

Anatoly Lyadov - Musical Snuffbox

Yu. Peshkov - Black Eyes - Russian romance arranged as a concert piece

Charlie Shavers - Breeze in a Waste

Christine Boll – Partita Piccola

Teddy Randazzo, Bobby Weinstein - Going Out of My Head - Great Frank Sinatra song arranged for accordion orchestra - Score and Parts

Victor Vlasov - Bossa Nova

Pietro Frosini - Carnival of Venice

Victor Vlasov - I Like this Rhythm

Thomas Fundora & Morris Albert - Feelings

Mikis Theodorakis - Quarter of Angels

George Hammel - Pantoufle de Vair (concert polka for accordion)

Volodymyr Zubytsky - Omaggio ad Astor Piazzolla

In the Footlights

The Beatles Potpourri

Jacob Gade - Tango Jalousie

Lasse Pihlajamaa - Harmonikkasävellyksiä

Eddy Flecijn – Capriccio

Pascual Marquina - Spanish Gipsy Dance

Popular Waltzes

Libertango tango hits

Moon Serenade

History of Musicals

Astor Piazzolla – 10 tangos

From Bach till Offenbach

Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart - Blue Moon

Beny Rehmann - Schiffsfeger-Polka

F. Canaro - Tango

Gerhard Winkler - Toulouse

Albert Vossen - Merry-go-round

Gerhard Winkler - Serenade Napolitano

J. Rid - Last Waltz

Yann Tiersen - Le Moulin

Yann Tiersen - Naomi

Bert Kaempfert - Strangers in The Night

Luiz Bonfa - Manha de Carnival

Cajun of Luisiana State (for banjo and accordions)

George Boulanger - Da Capo

Eugene Derbenko - Rythm of Time

I. Panitski - Snowball Tree

A. Murena and J. Colombo - Indifference

Hubert Giraud - Sous le Ciel de Paris

Toto Cutugno - Soli

Fermo Marchetti - Fascination

Victor Vlasov - Boogie-Woogie

J McHugh - Black Birds (Black spiritual arranged for accordion)

S. Scott - Jungle

Tikhon Khrennikov - Moscow Windows (jazz song arranged for accordion duo)

Paul Norrback - Happy Moments

Charlie Chaplin - Limelight (waltz arranged for accordion)

Victor Vlasov - Silent Films

Victor Vlasov - Good Afternoon

Victor Vlasov - Cartoon

20 Tiny Fingers - English folk song

A. Joys - Autumn Dream

Jazz-Legato - Lerov Andersson (for accordion duo)

Vladimir Popolzin - In The Saloon

S. Scott - Ballade

Victor Vlasov – Jazz Miniatures

Victor Vlasov - Disco (from Jazz Miniatures Book)

Victor Vlasov - Let us Swing (from Jazz Miniatures Book)

Victor Vlasov - Siamese (from Jazz Miniatures Book)

Victor Vlasov - This Rythm (from Jazz Miniatures Book)

Victor Vlasov - Step (from Jazz Miniatures Book)

Unto Jutila - French Visit

Renzo Ruggieri - Carnevale

Jimmy Giordanengo - La Huette (waltz for solo accordion)

Albert Vossen - Fliegende Blatter

Vittorio Monti - Czardas

Victor Vlasov - Mood (for solo accordion)

Victor Vlasov - Syncopes (for solo accordion)

Unto Jutila - Samba

Pietro Frosini - Jolly Caballero

Karl Noack - Parade of Dwarves (for ensemble or orchestra)

Valery Kovtun - Brilliant Waltz (for solo accordion)

Pintin Castellanos - La Punalada

Finish Polka

Anne Dudley - Jeeves and Wooster

Astor Piazzolla - Four Seasons in Buenos Aires - Score

Astor Piazzolla - Four Seasons in Buenos Aires - Parts

Luciano Fancelli - 10 km. al Finestrino

Luciano Fancelli - Pupazzetti

Georgy Mushel - Toccata

Albin Repnikov - Capriccio

Paolo Pizzigoni - Light and Shadow

Grigoras Dinicu - Hora Stacatto

Eduardo di Capua - O Sole Mio!

Ernesto Lecuona - Malaguena from «Andalucia» Suite

Andre Astier - Grande Valse De Concert

Andre Astier - Divertissement

Andre Astier - Fantaisie En Mi Mineur

Andre Astier, Marcel Azzola - Systeme «A»

Andre Astier, Maurice Larcange - Accordeon Steeple

Andre Astier, Yvette Horner - Polka Satellite

Volodymyr Zubytsky - Ti Amo, Pesaro

Joaquin Rodrigo - Concierto de Aranjuez, Adagio

Antonio Vivaldi - Concerto f-moll from The Four Seasons

Arnstein Johansen - Cornelli (polka)

Medard Ferrero - Averse

Polka Favorites

Latin Favorites

Joey Miskulin - Accordion Styles and Techniques (DVD)

Paris Musette - Freddy Balta and his Accordion

Teach Yourself To Play Accordion

Waltz Favorites

Metodo Per Fisarmonica (Accordion)

Latin American Dances

Richard Galliano - Opale Concerto - Parts

Vladimir Chernikov - Lonely Harmonica - Yablochko

Niccolo Paganini - Caprice No. 24 in A minor

Andrew Lloyd Webber - Memory

John A. Dallas - Helen Waltz

Maurice Larcange & Michel Mercier - Javaccordeon

Franck Angelis - Valse du Cloun

Franck Angelis - Impasse

Ole Schmidt - Toccata no. 1

Astor Piazzolla - Contrabajissimo - Score

Yann Tiersen - La Noyee

Jack Fina - Bumblebee Boogie

Vl. Zolotarev - Conteplating The Dionisian Frescoes of St. Ferapontov Monastery

Heitor Villa-Lobos - Dance of The White Indian

Filippo Marino - Cristina

Tony Murena & Louis Peguri - Joyeux Vagabond

Pietro Frosini - Spic and Span

Hans Brehme - Divertimento in F

Pietro Frosini - Accordion Jitters

Astor Piazzolla - Concerto Aconcagua for bandoneon, chamber orchestra and percussions - Score

Oscar Peterson - Laurentide Waltz (from The “Canadiana” suite)

Con Conrad & Herb Magidson - Midnight in Paris (bolero)

Samuel Barber - Adagio from String Quartet No. 1

Pietro Frosini - Love Smiles

Albin Repnikov - Concertino

Victor Vlasov - The Fest In Moldavanka

Art Van Damme - Boogie-Woogie

Albert Vossen - Brusseles Laces

Yann Tiersen - Les Quatre Pieces

Frank Marocco - Appassionato

Che, bandoneon - 10 essential tango arrangements - Vol. 2

Astor Piazzolla - Cite Tango

Astor Piazzolla - Meditango

Astor Piazzolla - Un dia de paz

Astor Piazzolla - Libertango

Astor Piazzolla - Tres Tangos

Astor Piazzolla - Ave Maria

Astor Piazzolla - Concierto de Nacar - Score

Astor Piazzolla - Tangata del Alba

Accordion in Concert - Part II

Astor Piazzolla - Double Concerto - Score

Argentinian Tango and Folk Tunes for Accordion: 36 Traditional Pieces

Jean Francaix - Concerto for accordion and orchestra

Isang Yun - Concertino for accordion and string quartet

Darius Milhaud - Suite Anglaise

Astor Piazzolla - Adios Nonino for accordion orchestra and piano

Klezmer and Sephardic Tunes

Astor Piazzolla - Concerto Aconcagua for bandoneon, chamber orchestra and percussions - Parts

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Eva Ybarra, La Reina de Acorden
Apr., 3, 2007
In a genre (conjunto) dominated by men, Eva Ybarra has done more than hold her own — she has become a master. Born in San Antonio, Ybarra is a self-taught accordionist who began playing in clubs and restaurants at age six. Her fluid style and fast, melodic runs set her apart and earned her the nickname, “la reina de acorden” (queen of the accordion). Today, after years of performing solo and with her own group, she teaches accordion and inspires the next generation of conjunto musicians.

A profile of Ybarra in today’s San Antonio Express-News covers her music, her teaching, and the challenges she has faced as a rare female accordionist in the conjunto world. If you’ve never heard her play, check out the title track from her 1994 album, A Mi San Antonio:

Eva Ybarra: A Mi San Antonio (MP3 download)

Baby Danced the Polka
Mar., 30, 2007
Yesterday at the library and I came across this children’s book, Baby Danced the Polka by Karen Beaumont (illustrated by Jennifer Plecas). It is a very cute book about a baby who doesn’t want to take a nap, but instead wants to dance… the polka! After searching Amazon, I found that the book is highly rated — 5 stars! I’m glad to see a popular children’s book about polka. Hopefully this is just the start of a huge resurgence!

Maria Dunn’s Good People
Mar., 30, 2007
Apparently no one in America is blogging about Canadian folk singer/accordionist Maria Dunn, so we’ll just have to do it ourselves. Born in Scotland and raised in Ontario and Alberta, Dunn brings characters to life in original music that pays homage to her Celtic roots and Canadian upbringing.

Her most recent album, We Were Good People, is practically a Ken Burns documentary of turn-of-the-century Alberta, painting vivid pictures of farmers, soldiers, and day laborers struggling to get by. But it’s no dry history lesson; Dunn’s sharp, inspiring lyrics are backed by eclectic instrumentation that toes the line between Celtic and bluegrass beautifully.

This track, “Can You Blame the Poor Miner?”, pays tribute to beleaguered Crow’s Nest Pass miners during Prohibition:

Maria Dunn: Can You Blame the Poor Miner? (MP3 download)

Tom Hagerman’s Breakfast Playground
Mar., 30, 2007
Best known as a member of both DeVotchKa and the Denver Gentlemen, accordionist/violinist Tom Hagerman recently released his first solo album, The Breakfast Playground. Named for a children’s playground at a Denver mall, the album showcases Hagerman’s diverse talents through original instrumentals performed almost entirely on his own.

Like the music of DeVotchKa, Hagerman’s songs have a dramatic, cinematic quality, inviting listeners on a journey. The train noises that open “So Tired” lead into a Eastern European melody that makes you think you’ve just stepped off the train in Budapest. The swirling mix of accordion, violin, and piano on songs like “Twice Told Tale”, “Home Again”, and “Charlotte Mittnacht” (which DeVotchKa fans may recognize from their 2004 album, How It Ends) call to mind Yann Tiersen’s Amelie soundtrack.

The Breakfast Playground draws you into a world where toy pianos and children’s voices mingle with soaring violin figures and accordion rhythms. Definitely a world worth escaping (and listening) to.

Buy The Breakfast Playground by Tom Hagerman

Tom Hagerman: Twice Told Tale (MP3 download)

Upcoming Concerts & Events In Houston
Mar., 22, 2007
Hey gente here are some upcoming performances & events here in Houston.Just to keep you guys informed

Hola raza q-vo. Nadamas los quiero informar y dejarlos saber de eventos que estan por llegar en Houston.

ESCAPADE 2001:
March 23rd
* Grupo Enigma
* El Rey Del Accordeon- Ramon Ayala
* Los Traileros
* Los Cadetes De Lupe Tijerina


EL RODEO:
* Los Gallitos (March 23rd)
* Sentido (March 30)



CLUB EL REGIO:
* Grupo Creacion (March 22nd)
* Grupo Zaaz (March 23rd)
* Grupo Masizzo (March 29th)
* Estruendo (April 5th)



HALLABALOOS:
* Tejano Boys (March 23rd)
* The Hometown Boys (March 24th)
* Los Cuatro Aces y (April 6th)
Impozzible
* Gary Hobbs (April 7th)
* Mando y (April 13th)
La Venganza
* Los Palominos (April 14th)
* Los Hermanos (April 20th)
Cortez
* Los Desperadoz (April 21st)
* David Lee Garza (April 28th)

EL PORTAL:
* Los Kochos De Guerrero (March 24th)

* Sabor Kolombia (March 24th)

* Atrapado (March 27th)

* Rehenes y Tropical Panama (March 31st)

* Mojado (April 7th)

* Aniceto Molina (April 14th)

* Los Rancheritos (April 17th)

* Bronco (April 21st)

* Control (April 24th)

* Cadetes De Rosendo Cantu,
El Viejo Paulino
y El Cartel De Nuevo Leon (April 28th)

* Matador De Durango (May 5th)

* El Pega Pega y Grupo Topaz (May 12th)

* Los Cachorros (May 19th)

* Los Acosta (May 26th)

* Cojunto Rio Grande (May 27th)

* El Poder Del Norte y Salomon (June 9th)
Robles

* Atardecer (June 16th)

* Sonora Santanera y (June 23rd)
Sonora Dinamita

__________________

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5 clubs get together!
Mar., 21, 2007
Pearl Fawcett-Adriano
Hi UKAO,

My name is Harry Kipling,
I am oganising a charity "5 clubs get together"
Lincoln-Sheffield-Barnsley-Hull-Wetherby
in aid of cancer research.

On tuesday 17th April

The guests artists are:-
Harry Hussey,Pearl Fawcett-Adriano,
George Syrett,Murray Grainger,
Sam Pirt, Wetherby Band and many other artists.

All this is at   The Shire Hall HOWDEN Yorks ,
1 mile J32 M62

Admission is just £6

There will be a buffet,bar,trade stand by MUSIC ROOM,and a charity grand raffle compered by the inimitable George Syrett.

The event has been organised mainly to get these 5 accordion clubs together who are close but don't meet a lot and also to raise a bit for charity!

ALL ARE WELCOME!

I am opening early at 5pm so we can all meet and look at trade stands,
Harry Hussey and George Syrett said that they will also arrive early and give informal tuition and help to anyone who wants it.

The hall holds up to 200 people so please try and make it if you can.
Tickets and flyers have been printed RING ME on 01430 860300
Or email me at  This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it "> This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

Many Thanks in advance for your time in supporting this exciting event!!!!!

Best Wishes, Harry Kipling
Foster and Allen at The Stockport Plaza
Mar., 20, 2007
Live on Stage: Foster and Allen
Tuesday 3rd April at 7.30pm
Foster and Allen have been performing together for over 25 years selling in excess of 18 million albums worldwide. The Plaza is proud to play host to what promises to be yet another sensational date on their latest country wide tour of these ever popular Irishmen
Tickets: £17.50 & £15.50
Lasarte-Oria - España - IV Accordion Festival
Mar., 20, 2007
Septembre-29 (Saturday) 2007
At 19.30 in Manuel Lekuona Culture House Lasarte-Oria.
IV ACCORDION FESTIVAL
Featuring:-
ENRIKE ZELAIA
NATHALIE BOUCHEIX (France)
ELSENE ACCORDION ORCHESTRA(Holland)
Performance of the three participant groups @ III Lasarte-Oria Festival
 
If you wish to participate
or to receive information of
this Accordion Festival of
Lasarte-Oria,
you can get
in contact with us via
the web or email as follows:-
Singing Saws and Dreamland Faces
Mar., 19, 2007
Accordions certainly aren’t the only instruments blocking the exits at our house. In fact, the first instrument I bought Anna (shortly after we first met) wasn’t an accordion at all, but a musical saw. There’s something oddly beguiling about the saw; maybe it’s the otherworldly sound, the amazing flexiblity, or the fact that (in a pinch) you could use it to fix an uneven table. Regardless, it can sound fantastic when accompanied by an accordion.For proof, check out Minneapolis-based duo Dreamland Faces, which consists of Karen Majewicz on accordion and Andy McCormick on musical saw. Together, they play an enchanting mix of original tangos and waltzes, as well as jazz and folk classics from yesteryear. Majewicz has studied with Tejano accordion legend Eva Ybarra and Russian virtuoso Stas Venglevski, and even worked on accordions at Hohner’s repair center in Virginia. (She currently offers lessons and repairs in Minneapolis.)In addition to their self-titled CD, Dreamland Faces has provided original music for theatre shows and accompanied silent films. I haven’t found many clips of their work online, but here’s a quirky music video for one of their songs:Dreamland Faces: Zawszie Bedzie Czegos Ci Brak (Quicktime video)
Zevy Zions’ Olive Blossoms
Mar., 19, 2007
A few years ago, I inherited a fantastic collection of classic accordion sheet music. The arrangers’ names read like a “Who’s Who” of accordion masters: Deiro, Frosini, Magnante, Nunzio. However, most of the pieces were (and still are) far beyond my reach, so I was left wondering how “La Mariposita” and “Carnival of Venice” should really sound.Now I know — thanks to Zevy Zions and his excellent new album of accordion solos, Olive Blossoms. Zions is a student of the great performer and teacher Charles Nunzio who, in turn, was a student of the legendary Pietro Frosini. Most of the songs on Olive Blossoms were either written or arranged by Frosini or Nunzio and it’s clear that Zions has gone to great lengths to do them justice.From the start, Zions’ playing is impeccable, even on the most challenging material. But he’s no robot either; whether it’s the bouncy “Jolly Caballero” or the dreamy “Florette”, Zions handles the dynamics and nuances of each piece with care. The album’s centerpiece is his “Klezmer Suite” arrangement, which builds from a wandering, improvisational Doina to a rollicking Freilach.Variety is key to any album of solos (regardless of instrument), and Zions does a fine job showing the accordion’s versatility across styles and genres. The album’s 18 tracks range from waltzes to tarantellas, polkas to tangos, with a unique accordion arrangement of a Mozart minuet for good measure.There are no MIDI tricks here — just pure, beautifully executed renditions of accordion classics. Whether you’re new to these songs, or an experienced player seeking inspiration, Olive Blossoms would be an excellent addition to your accordion listening library.Buy Olive Blossoms by Zevy ZionsZevy Zions: Coquette Polka (MP3 download)
Relampago en Univision y Telemundo
Mar., 19, 2007
Relampago estara del 26 al 31 de Marzo del 2007 en Miami grabando los programas de Television de Univision y Telemundo.
El Lunes 26 de Marzo del 2007 estaremos en: "El Gordo Y La Flaca"
El Martes 27 de Marzo del 2007 estaremos en: "Primer Impacto"/ Acceso Maximo(Galavision) y LaMusica.com(Cable)
El Miercoles 28 De Marzo del 2007 estaremos en:"Frecuencia"(Telemundo)
El Jueves 29 De Marzo del 2007 estaremos en: "Despierta America" y "Tu Desayuno Alegre"
El Viernes 30 de Marzo del 2007 estaremos en: Escandalo TV (Telefutura)
 
**Sabado Gigante** no sabemos exactamente que dia pero puede ser le 24 o el 31 de Marzo yo les avizo.
 
Ojala que nos puedan acompañar en su televisor que estaremos mandando saludos! Gracias por el Apoyo!!

__________________
http://www.myspace.com/Luis_relampago

http://www.myspace.com/cadenadesigns
Tejano/Conjunto Festival 2007 **SCHEDULE**
Mar., 19, 2007
I found this in the San Antonio Express with the following picture of our very own, Joel Guzman online at:
 
http://blogs.mysanantonio.com/weblogs/latinnotes/archives/2007/03/conjunt_poster.html
 

Thursday, May 10
5:00-5:20 pm Opening ceremonies & TCF Poster Contest Awards
5:35-6:45 pm Bene Medina y el Conjunto Aguila
7:00-8:10 pm Oscar Hernandez & the Tuff Band
8:25-9:35 pm Paulino Bernal y el Conjunto Bernal
9:50-11:00 pm Joel Guzmán y Los Aztex featuring Sarah FoxFriday, May 11 "Puro Conjunto Pesado: Asi se baila en el valle"
5:00-6:15 pm Gilberto Perez y sus Compadres
6:35-7:50 pm Los Fantasmas del Valle
8:10-9:25 pm Ruben Vela y su Conjunto
9:45-11:00pm Los Dos GilbertosSaturday, May 12 "Puro Conjunto Pesado: The San Anto, Laredo, Corpus Christi Connection"
11:00-11:50 am Student Recital: GCAC/Conjunto Heritage Taller/Palo Alto College
12:05-12:55 pm Los D Boyz
1:10-2:00 pm Los Conjunto Kings de Flavio Longoria
2:15-3:05 pm Nick Villarreal y su Conjunto
3:20-4:10 pm Bernardo y sus Compadres
4:25-5:15 pm Linda Escobar y su Conjunto
5:30-6:20 pm Los Texmaniacs de Max Baca
6:35-7:25 pm Ricky Naranjo y Los Gamblers
7:30-7:50 pm Conjunto Music Hall of Fame Ceremony
8:00-8:50 pm Eva Ybarra y su Conjunto
9:05-9:55 pm Los Pavos Reales/Salvador Garcia y Eddie "Lalo" Torres
10:10-11:00 pm Mingo Saldivar y sus Tremendos Cuatro Espadas
11:15-12:05 pm Flaco Jimenez y su Conjunto
Gary Blair 2007
Mar., 18, 2007
 
24th March - Greenock Town Hall
28th March - Kelso Accordion club
29th March - St Aloysius college
30th March - Woodside Halls glasgow
31st March - Milngavie Town Hall ( guesting with the band called '' Robbie shepherd's nightmare)
14th April - West Parish Church Rutherglen
19th April - St Aloyisius College
21st April - Kilmarnock
28th April - Melville Castle near Edinburgh
4-6th May - Scarborough UK Accordion Championships Gala Evening(also adjudicating)
19th May - Lenzie
26th May - Kilcreuth Castle Fintry
27th May - Bearsden Parish Church
30th May - Kuwait - Caledonian Society
31st May - Kuwait - Caledonian Society
1st June - East Kilbride
2nd June - Constable Country - Masterclass & Ceilidh with The Haywayners
9th June - Crieff Hydro Hotel
14th June - Seamill Hydro Hotel
15th - 21st June - USA Tour -Las Vegas Accordion Convention Nevada
29th June - Norton House Hotel Edinburgh
30th June - Pitlochry Perthshire
14th July - Glasgow
26th July - Woodside Halls Glasgow
28th July - Erskine Bridge Hotel
3rd August - Victoria Hall Dunblane
4th August - Bathgate
10th August - Kilcreuth Castle Fintry
11th August - Rutherglen Masonic
17th August - Glasgow
24th August - Greenock Town Hall
8th September - Hilton Hotel Glasgow
15th September - Glenfinnan
4th October - Caledonian University
13th October - Castle Rooms Uddingston
27th October - Moncrief Church East Kilbride
1st - 5th November - Caister Accordions International Festival Great Yarmouth
9th November - Campsie
10th November - Manchester
17th November - Stirlingshire
23rd November - London  Bankers Ceilidh
8th December - Brookfield Village Hall
29th December - St Columba Club Paisley
31st December - (Hogmanay) Stirling Castle
6th - 18th February - "9th UK Southern Tour"
Contact Information for Bookings/Enquiries 
Gary Blair Telephone Number is :- 07813 - 712594
Gary Blair Photo Album - Click Here!
Relampago en Virus Disco este Viernes 23 de Marzo
Mar., 18, 2007
Te invitamos a que este viernes 23 de Marzo si estas en Houston ao andas en Houston te eches la vuelta a el Virus Disco que esta ubicado en Spencer HWY en Pasadena TX.  para mas informacion visiten www.myspace.com/virusdisco1 Los Esperamos!!
__________________
http://www.myspace.com/Luis_relampago

http://www.myspace.com/cadenadesigns
The Accordion As A Chamber Instrument
Mar., 16, 2007
Written by:Robert Davine
Publication:Accord Magazine, USA. Reprinted courtesy of owner/editor Faithe Deffner. Back copies available.Date written: 1979
"Many people who love music never thought of attending an accordion concert, but go regularly to chamber music series," observes Frank Hohner of M. Hohner, Inc. Thus, an entirely new accordion concept is being fostered on concert-goers as the instrument finds its place in ensembles. Educator Robert Davine, himself a concert performer, surveys this role.

Chamber music may be defined as instrumental ensemble music performed by one player to a part, as opposed to orchestral music, in which there are several players to a part. Emphasis lies on the ensemble rather than the single player. Instrumental ensemble pieces already existed in the late Middle Ages by composers such as Obrecht, Isaac, Hofhaimer, and in the 16th century by composers such as Willaert, Buus, and Padovano. Musicians to this day have continued to value chamber music, primarily because it permits a refinement and intimacy of expression that cannot be derived from a large musical organization.

Since the accordion has so many attributes that are conducive to chamber music, it is particularly suitable for this medium of expression. In essence, the accordion has all of the prerequisites essential to small ensemble involvement: sustaining power, dynamic sensitivity, articulated response, timbre and texture variance, and compatibility of sound with string and wind instruments.

During the Baroque period (1600-1750), chamber music with some type of keyboard instrument (small organ, harpsichord) became prevalent with trio sonatas. This kind of chamber music is written in three parts with similar range and design and a supporting figured-bass part. The trio sonata is usually performed on four instruments: two violins for the upper parts, a cello for the bass part, and a keyboard instrument for the bass part with the realization of the thorough bass (harmony) accompaniment.

The accordion, in the role of the keyboard part, maintains the clarity of sustained lines that are essential to the character of this kind of music. Playing the keyboard part on the accordion requires little or no modification - especially if performed on an instrument, which has the extended potential of a free bass system. Since the trio sonata was the most important type of Baroque chamber music, almost all composers of this period wrote for this medium. My performing experience has included the Trio Sonatas by Bach, Handel, Telemann, Corelli and Arne.

In the past 25 years, composers have utilized the accordion in a chamber setting with particular emphasis on its explosive dynamic power coupled with transparent sustained qualities. Examples of this kind of writing are found in Carmelo Pino's Concertino for strings and accordion, Night Music for string quartet and accordion by David Diamond, Movements for accordion and string quartet and Duell for accordion and percussion by Torbjorn Lundquist, Mosaic for flute and accordion by Normand Lockwood, Trio for guitar, violin and accordion by Jindrich Feld, Introduction and Allegro by Mathyas Seiber for cello and accordion and Trio for accordion, piano and cello by Ted Zarlengo.

For the serious accordionist, it is difficult to conceive of a more challenging and satisfying musical effort than the involvement in chamber music. Working with other instruments gives one a completely new perspective about the accordion's unlimited musical resources and sound control, as well as musical understanding of how one's own part contributes to the overall shape of the composition. The accordion's function as the sound producer and controller within the ensemble must be thoroughly understood to be used most efficiently as the medium of expression, since music, by its very nature, is a living, breathing art.

Among the benefits to be derived by utilizing the accordion in a chamber music setting is not only the musical content gained by the performer, but the fact that it also stimulates further special interest for other musicians. The use of the accordion in chamber music, for the most part, has remained obscure; its importance as an ensemble instrument has sometimes been misunderstood and many musicians, whose contact with this instrument has been limited, are unaware of its scope. To introduce the accordion to musicians and scholars, thereby removing the misconceptions about its quality and appeal, two things are necessary: musical understanding and sensitivity to and about playing a part, which while independent, should be amalgamated within the sound balance of the whole ensemble.

Obviously, there is no one formula of requirements to become a fine chamber player, simply because music is such a personal experience - a quality to be much esteemed in our mass production age - that each player and listener draws a different benefit from it. For the accordionist, a completely new and untapped medium of expression is to be uncovered through the performance of chamber ensemble playing. The challenge is even more exciting because this medium as not yet been fully explored.
The Accordion Plays Jazz
Mar., 16, 2007
 Publication:General Date written:09 December 2000 The Accordion Plays Jazz - Italy Traditionally relegated within the confines of popular and entertainment music, the accordion suffered throughout the years a singular fate: as an outcast both in the world of "serious" music, which regarded it as not being noble enough, and in the world of popular music consumed by young people, who saw it as old-fashioned. To escape this situation the accordion has often had to pay a very high price.

While the bandoneon gradually came to be perceived as the instrument of tango in Argentina, the accordion was brought from Europe across the Atlantic ocean towards the end of the nineteenth century. Italian expatriates took it to the United States, where it found its cradles in San Francisco, Chicago and New York.

At the turn of the twentieth century, the accordion was used primarily in orchestral groups, although it also had its niche role in the ragtime genre. The pioneers of this early movements are Charlie Creath (who actually played a number of instruments) and the Italian-American Tito Guidotti. In neither case, however, we can talk about jazz yet.

Significant appearances of the accordion took place in this period thanks to Joe Smelser and Charles Magnante, two swing soloists who played in very prestigious orchestras, including those of Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington. More or less all of the musicians mentioned above preferred a style ranging from the musette (a term which indicates a specific French accordion style) to the swing which was at its most popular in this period.

Other important artists of the time include Gus Viseur, Toni Murena and Joe Privat.

In Italy the jazz accordion is historically confined to the work of Gorni Kramer, a swing accordionist whose contribution was picked up, among others, by Wolmer Beltrami and Peppino Principe. The most important contribution to the modernization of the instruments was given by June Garner and Alice Hall (1917). The latter, Belgian by birth, might be considered the first "be-boy" accordionist, having played with Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, and was famous for the amazing energy that she used to put in her improvisations.

This takes us to the first real exponents of the jazz accordion era, and who deserve this label due to the fact that they were real leaders, capable of drawing to this newly introduced instrument a range of musicians of great calibre. The accordionists in question are Art Van Damme and Mat Mathews.

Van Damme recorded more than forty albums, and still plays live from time to time, while Mathews, the least "be-boy" of the two, heralded a style of evident Californian origins. Both accordionists have played with jazz musicians of international stature, including Joe Venuti, Archie Shepp, Kenny Clarke, Art Farmer and many others.

Italian-French accordionist Richard Galliano is currently the prime exponent of the jazz accordion world. His main merits consist in the ability of finding a balance between tradition and innovation, and of mixing several different genres: from French musette to Argentinean tango (which he knows full well, having been a student of Astor Piazzolla's), all filtered through his extraordinary virtuoso skills and trademark accuracy. The jazz accordion scene in Italy is currently represented by the opposing styles of Gianni Coscia and Antonello Salis. Coscia, formerly a student of Gorni Kramer's, has largely drawn from the accepted academic tradition of accordion interpretation; while Salis has taken a much more non-conformist approach to his style of jazz accordion and piano performance, and his moulding these instruments to his artistic goals.

The considerable distance that still separates traditional and avant-garde musicians suggests that the possibilities of the accordion within this musical genre are still largely to be explored.

In this sense, the main problem is that the accordion has been used very little so far to produce modern jazz and true innovation. Beyond doubt, the most influential avant-garde jazz accordionist of today is the Slovak-born American Guy Klucevsek (b. 1947). Klucevsek started experimenting with jazz in the seventies alongside John Zorn before achieving notoriety in the quartet led by Bill Frisell, and collaborates nowadays with the most important avant-garde jazz musicians of our time (as well as with Frisell and Zorn, he plays with Antony Braxton, Don Byron, Dave Liebman). In a movement whose territory is still largely uncharted, with an instrument whose potential is yet to be fully realised, there are many non-specialists and pseudo-accordionists who are taking advantage of a situation which (from the point of view of modern jazz) is still dominated by profound ignorance, and whose main lines of development still grow out of the traditional and surpassed roots of the accordion.

The main issue is that the accordion over the years has built its own "personal" world, largely isolated from the key instruments of jazz (trumpet, saxophone, etc.) which should in fact taken as a model both for their historical importance and for the personalities who managed to ensure their continuous growth.

Simone ZanchiniBack to
Air New Zealand Accordion Orchestra 1984 Tour U.S.A and Canada
Mar., 16, 2007
Written by:Fay Schaw
Publication:Accordion Federation of North America NewsletterDate written: 1984
When President Aglora asked the New Zealand Accordion Orchestra for a "story" on its activities, he didn't dare hope for an odyssey. But here it is, a delightful and interesting account of the group's recent adventures.

A few years ago, this group, on its first tour in Europe, developed the concept of the camping/bus tour. Their bus is large enough to carry all their instruments as well as their camping gear, which certainly beats high hotel rates.

No one was named as the author of this report, but we assume it was a joint effort by the three directors: Harley Jones, Heather Masefield and conductor, Fay Schaw.

This, the third International concert Tour for this group, was a wonderful experience for all who took part, for the warm friendships that were made and the many memorable sights seen.

The party left New Zealand in the cold of winter and walked down the steps of their aircraft into the sweltering heat of the Hawaiian summer. It took a few days for us to acclimatize. For our first concert, held at the Ala Moana Shopping Center, it was like playing in a sauna, with the temperature at 95 degrees. Three of the young players had to be carried from the stage. Never mind, we survived and the audience gave us a great reception. Our time in Hawaii was spent in sight-seeing and giving the final polish to our programme, prior to AFNA.

For most of our members, the AFNA Festival was a keenly anticipated highlight, since competitions here in New Zealand are on a much smaller scale. Our individual players did very well and our sponsors, Air New Zealand, were more than happy to carry our trophies home free-of-charge, a great relief for us as our baggage volume was an ever-present worry and the beautiful trophies certainly added to it.
 
Los Angeles
We were delighted with the audience's reaction to our performance at AFNA. Receiving a standing ovation in the middle of our programme certainly made all the long hours of practice and fund-raising worth while. Many friends were made amongst the accordionists and it is hoped that many will visit New Zealand so that we may return the friendship and hospitality that we received. Thank you, to the executives of AFNA for hosting us so admirably.

While in Los Angeles we performed at Disneyland, a most exciting experience, not only to visit and enjoy the wonders of Disneyland but to be part of the entertainment as well. We also performed for the Pacific Travel Agents Association at Lawry's Out Door Center. This location is right next to a railway line and a long freight train went past for almost the entire length of the "Marriage of Figaro," an interesting experience. Our final appearance in Los Angeles was at the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena.

The group received an invitation to visit a luxury home in Huntington Beach and were taken on a "house hopping' boat tour of the canals, visiting the homes of neighbours, a most enjoyable day.
 
Seattle-Vancouver
Our tours are a little different from other orchestras' tours as we travel "under canvas." From Los Angeles, we flew north to Seattle to begin this part of our journey. At our first campsite, sleep was a little difficult to come by, as not only were the airbeds a trifle unfamiliar but it so happened that our camp was located in a commuters' triangle. On one side was Sea-Tac Airport, on the other, the railway line and on the third, the freeway. By morning we were convinced that Washingtonians didn't sleep, or at the very least had conspired to keep us awake.

Morning came and we packed away our tents and headed for Vancouver travelling through lush green valleys and forests of tall spearmint-coloured pines. As luck would have it, our camp for our first stay in Canada was run by - wait for it! - an accordionist, and he traded us a performance at his weekly salmon bake for our accommodation, we were able to enjoy our first taste of fresh salmon, before it is crammed in to 425 gram tins, Yummy! In Vancouver we performed for the local New Zealand ex-patriots at a function organized by the America-New Zealand Society, and during the day took time to visit the famous city sights, such as Stanley Park.
 
British Columbia - The Rockies
From Vancouver we made an early start because we had a 12-hour bus ride to Prince George, way in the north of British Columbia. The Prince Georgians treated us like royalty and it was lovely to stay with the locals in their homes. A mayoral reception was given prior to our concert which was given to assist the local children's hospital. It was a proud moment for us as the audience rose for our National Anthem, this for the first of many times on our tour. We also made our first TV appearance here in Prince George.

Our next journey was eastward to Jaspar National Park in the Rockies, where everyone after being scared silly by the ranger on arrival, regarding the BEARS, ended up being disappointed at not seeing one at all! In Jasper, the night temperature fell to -5 degrees, and our orange tents were turned white. The next day saw the arrival of more than one or two new sleeping bags and warm jackets in camp. Our concert was given at the Jasper Park Lodge, for the opening dinner of the famous golf tournament. We had the guests dancing in between the tables during some of our more lively numbers.

From here we moved on to the Banff National Park where we made the mistake of pitching our tents on the rather sparse patches of grass. After they were all pitched and anxious warden told us that the grass had taken THREE years to grow. This was completely beyond our comprehension as in New Zealand grass grows like the proverbial weed, up to two inches a week. For the record, we shifted our tents. While in Banff we gave a concert at the majestic and world famous Banff Springs Hotel.
 
Montana - Idaho - Seattle - Los AngelesFour days were spent in Montana, two at the Double Arrow Ranch and two in Missoula. While in Montana we gave five performances and really enjoyed the western ranching atmosphere: spurs, denims, ten-gallon hats, log cabins and all. We all managed to survive a horse ride or two, and our thanks must go to our great friend Tom Collins for arranging this portion of our tour.

For our stay in Idaho we camped in Coeur d'Alene, beside the lake. Here and in Spokane our hosts were the local Folk Clubs. They put on some most interesting functions, including a Square Dance. While in Spokane we were fortunate to be able to spend a day at the inter-state Fair. This was so interesting for us, as coming from a farming country we were able to see and compare the different breeds and machinery and of course we loved the atmosphere it was so American.

Our final stop in the northwest was Seattle, back at our rather noisy camp site. However by now we had learnt to deal with airbeds and sleep was not so evasive. Well-known accordionist Joe Spano arranged a most successful afternoon concert and we were filmed at the Seattle Center by TV Channel 5 for live 6pm NEWS broadcast. Our luck held contrary to all projections and the weather was crystal clear for the three days we were in Seattle. This allowed us to pack away all our camping gear ready for the flight home.

We spent the final two days in Los Angeles before the long flight back to New Zealand. For two years we had worked and saved for this tour and it had been even more successful than we had dared to hope. In five weeks we had given 23 performances and received 22 standing ovations. Thank you Air New Zealand for the support that made this tour possible. Thank you America and Canada. You have given us five weeks of memories that will stay with us forever, warm memories of beautiful scenery, of memorable occasions and most importantly of friendly people.
The Contest Learning Experience
Mar., 16, 2007
Written by:Faithe Deffner
Publication: Accord Magazine, USA. Reprinted courtesy of owner/editor Faithe Deffner. Back copies available.Date written: 1979Monica Slomski, the 1979 U.S. champion representing the accordion teachers' guild, previously won this title in the American Accordionists' Association's 1975 championship, after which her virtuosity earned her the silver medal, second place, at the 'Coupe Mondiale' in Helsinki. She took her bachelor's degree with accordion as her major in her hometown of Bridgeport, Connecticut, and is currently pursuing her doctorate in Kansas city, Missouri.

The 1979 U.S. champion representing the American Accordionists' Association, 17 year old Don Severs, from Des Moines, Iowa, has studied accordion since he was six. For the past few years, he has traveled 400 miles to make the round trip from his home to the Kansas city campus of the University of Missouri for lessons in the school's music department.

Van Cliburn became an overnight American culture hero after winning the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1958. His spectacular musical career was launched by a contest victory, confirming that competition has frequently been the springboard for the highest echelon of young instrumentalists.

Competition is known to bring out the best in us, to set goals and create standards, to goad us on to break existing records. History verifies that societies, which eliminate competition, invariably slip into mediocrity.

The accordion community has long been a staunch advocate of competition. For years, contest concepts have been employed to elevate standards at the international, national, local and intramural levels. The phenomenal growth of accordion competitions may well be a result of the instrument's yet undeveloped exposure possibilities in other areas.

Whatever the reasons for the importance contests have assumed among accordionists, substantial benefits have been derived through this activity. There is an obvious correlation to be found in the relatively rapid elevation of accordion playing standards over the past few decades, during which time competition has been a major source of musical input.

Educators cite many valuable learning benefits, which the student may gain from accordion competition. Teacher-accordionist Frank Mucedola of Auburn, New York, says there is no better application of the adage "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again." Educator Tony Dannon of Dearborn, Michigan, whose students are frequent contest winners, stresses that youngsters learn to function under pressure and this experience is then invaluable in all areas of life. Composer and concert accordionist Anthony Galla-Rini of California notes that a student is subtly propelled toward advancement in knowledge and technical ability as he progresses to the next higher contest category each year.

Tito Guidotti, a Los Angeles teacher, composer and accordionist, points out that students benefit from exposure to different types of literature which is frequently encountered for the first time at competitions. Frank Gaviani of Boston, a renowned composer and teacher, observes that competition helps the student because he is compelled to practice more intelligently for this special event.

The contest learning experience is indeed multifaceted. There is little question about its musical significance, but comments by sociologist Dr. Douglas L. White of the Henry Ford Community College, may shed light on aspects of personal growth which the contest offers to young competitors.

The sociologist sees a relationship to attitudes with respect to perseverance. Children learn to persist in the face of adversity. It is heartbreaking not to win a prize when one has practiced long and hard. And, it is at this time when the love and support of family is so meaningful. The family has an opportunity to demonstrate just how important each member is by being supportive of the one experiencing disappointment. Such introductions to, and development of persistence is of inestimable value. It teaches children how to lose gracefully

"Accordion competition helps to develop modest aplomb in youngsters. When one wins big in local, regional, or national contest, victory may go to one's head. Learning that one can never be too certain of his position, tends to temper excesses. To take the plaudits of the public graciously is an important skill. In other words, Sociologist White concludes, "children must also learn how to be winners". Contests stimulate and sustain interest among the younger musicians. Their far-reaching impact generates enthusiasm among students, teacher and parents, while creating educational and entertainment opportunities galore.

"Accept your losses proudly, acknowledge your winnings humbly and above all, continue to strive for the greatness with which you are blessed," says accordionist Ray Lewis, who teaches in West Covina, California, and believes that lessons in living, as well as in music, are to be learned from the contest situation.

Accordion contests today sport more than 100 competitive categories, some of which require prior qualifications and others are open to all accordionists. Classifications include solos, duets, combos, ensembles, bands and orchestras, representing all styles of music from classical to pop to ethnic, at age and study levels tailored to meet the needs of thousands of participants who receive cash prizes, trophies, medals, ribbons, certificates and lavish dollops of self-esteem.

In the United States alone, music school, state, regional and national contests bring together tens of thousands of contenders in accordion competitions and festivals which provide the place for young people to display their musical accomplishments while contending for prizes and distinctions in their "struggle for superiority or victory," as the dictionary defines "contest."

Aldous Huxley, the prominent English author said, "There is the greatest practical benefit in making a few failures early in life." This statement is certainly borne out by the vast numbers of six, seven, and eight year olds who plunge fearlessly into accordion contests.

Why do thousands of accordion students spend countless hours in preparation for contests? Why do they travel hundreds and hundreds of miles by car, bus, train, or plane to enter competitions? Why do teachers devote substantial amounts of time and energy preparing soloists and groups for competition? Why do noted educators, composers, and performers offer their services as adjudicators? Why do parents plan holidays, weekends, and vacations to conform to contest schedules so they may accompany their youngsters to these events? Why do scores of local, state, national, and international associations become enthusiastic sponsors of regular competitions? The most apparent answer to all these questions is simply that contests offer spectacular returns. Indeed, contests stimulate and sustain interest. They generate enthusiasm among students, teachers and parents. They create educational, social and entertainment opportunities. There are significant benefits derived from contest-related travel, exposure to new and exciting experiences, and the lasting friendships found through contest camaraderie.

Composer and concert accordionist, Dr.William Schimmel, who wrote the 1979 world accordion championship test piece, The Spring Street Ritual, says, "It's true, there has been an increase in virtuosity due to contests, but not necessarily in artistry."

Most educators, however, concur that new heights of artistry and virtuosic standards have been attained in the accordion world largely through the stimulus of competition. In fact, young students today are proficient at playing many of the works, which only the most accomplished artists were competent to perform years ago.

Donald Balestrieri, a noted composer, editor, concert accordionist and faculty member of San Diego State University in California, is emphatic in stating, "Contests inspire students to strive for, and attain, better musicianship by focusing greater attention on musical details such as accuracy, phrasing, technique and other interpretive aspects. The younger student's interest and awareness is often intensified through exposure to advanced players at competitions."

Some teachers conclude that regular lessons can only point out weaknesses; contest preparation and adjudication indicate a more forceful demand for correction. Moreover, a deadline is set; the piece must be ready for perfect concert performance at a specific time.

Esteemed teacher and jazz accordionist Tony Dannon believes that students might "not remain long enough on one selection to learn it properly," were it not for the more stringent requirements of contest performance.

"The accordion is portable - marvelous as both a solo and a group instrument - ideal features which enable students to play with other musicians. The musical benefit and social stimulus of playing music with others is a unique advantage," says Harley Jones, who has frequently adjudicated at the Coupe Mondiale, the international accordion championship, and is a well known performer and teacher in his native New Zealand.

In recent years, members of the music community have been thinking deep thoughts about competitions in general and their very validity. Rosalie Leventritt, one of the principals behind the prestigious Leventritt International Competition (established in 1939 in memory of Edgar M. Leventritt, a New York lawyer and music lover), recently stated that "Competitions are breeding a kind of artist we are not eager to foster."

Ms Leventritt believes that competition winners all over the world are developing into skilled technicians who play everything by the book without imagination or commitment. They play for the jury, and they are not going to take any chances. Jury members, most of whom are teachers and, regrettably, sometimes pedantic in their musical outlook, get disturbed when a flaming temperament comes up, interprets in a highly personal way, drops notes, aims for a big line rather than precision. This is not musical playing, and adjudicators may frown upon such liberties being taken, according to Ms Leventritt.

All too often, contest hierarchies have been less than happy with some of the winners selected by adjudicators. The feeling was that they were talented but not yet ready for a major career. Sometimes, non-winners have been viewed as potentially superior. More and more contest sponsors are beginning to think that the maturation of a young musician may be of greater significance that the strongly technical skills which appear to impress many adjudicators.

No matter how loudly serious musicians may decry the concept of competitions, it is a fact of life that glamour, suspense and excitement are an integral part of the concert-going experience. One of the problems about musical life today is that we have too many serious musicians and not enough exciting ones.

Elmar Oliveira, who recently won a gold medal for his violin virtuosity at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, has found that both his schedule of concert engagements and his performance fees have tripled. Yet with all this, Oliveira faced a problem common to many skilled musicians - making a living. To help support himself he played in the pit orchestras of three Broadway shows, Irene, Applause and The Rothchilds.

"I've done a lot of freelancing," he comments. It's part of earning a living. It's not always easy - you have to keep the discipline of caring about how you're playing. Whether it's the Beethoven Concerto or Alice Blue gown, every note is important. If you have that attitude, the quality of your playing will keep up. When I was in Moscow, I discovered that some of the other American competitors had never played a commercial job in their lives.

"That seems unrealistic to me. Many great musicians have played in cafes and jazz bands. You learn from those experiences - you can't just sit in a practice room and develop into an artist. You grow from exposure to as much diversity as possible. I'm constantly being surprised at musicians I meet - and good musicians, too - who don't know who Thelonius Monk and John Coltrane are. They have no idea of what they can draw from their own instrument. I admire a man like Andre Previn, who's a tremendous jazz pianist, who can write scores, who's an all-around musician. That's what it's all about."

While Oliveira obviously appreciates what contest victories have done for his career, he stresses his own desire for a feeling of individuality. "Today there are more people playing more notes than ever before. I sometimes think that the element of a player's own style has faded. I try to draw on traditional playing and also on the phenomenal modern schooling that has developed." This 28-year-old musician believes that one's personality should be evident in one's playing. He wants people to say, "This is this guy playing - not just another good musician."

Some believe that the maturation of a young musician may have greater importance than the publicity and fuss over winning a major competition. Competition formats are in flux as other possibilities are being scrutinized. There are those who advocate a national jury selecting several highly talented musicians, giving them cash awards and performance opportunities, and hand-tailoring all events to the performer's needs. Others favor concentrating on young artists and subsidizing their careers for at least a period of time.

In some countries there is considerable subsidy, under government auspices, available to budding artists. Musicians receive special guidance and a great deal of performance exposure with everything geared toward developing them as top-flight artists.

The Western nations, however, have hardly matched Russia and other Eastern countries in providing a notable support system which can foster major careers through concert appearances, recording exposures and performance opportunities. Very recently, the American Accordionists' Association launched a modest but noteworthy program to bring its U.S. championship winners to public attention through concert exposures at world-famous Carnegie Hall in New York City. Dubbed 'Young Artists' Concert Series," the first program spotlighted the 1979 U.S. Accordion Cup champion, Don Severs, prior to his trip to Cannes, France, where he represented the United States at the Coupe Mondiale. Concert Series Chairman Frank Busso said that the AAA plans to further maximize its winner's performance opportunities by initiating numerous concerts across the country in collaboration with affiliated accordion organizations. It is hoped that other fraternities in the world of accordion competitions may follow this precedent.

Prominent music critic Harold C Schonberg recently evaluated the many aspects of competitions in an elaborate New York Times article, in which he examined the pros and cons before reaching his decidedly pro-contest conclusions. "Of course all competitions have built-in inequities. Of course justice is not always done. Of course there may be a severe psychological jolt to non-winners. Yet there still is a case to be made for competitions. They have many positive factors going for them.

"Entering a competition is, after all, a matter of free will. Nobody in the West has to enter a competition. Nobody is dragged in to it kicking and squealing. And competitions do help launch careers. Publicity has never hurt an artist. It may be that competitions do not themselves make careers. Only artists make careers." Schonberg concludes that first prize in a prestigious competition focuses a good deal of attention on a hitherto unknown (to the public) musician, and there is nothing like the bright light of publicity to make his face and his art familiar to all.
 
Creativita: la Forma "Fantasia" (1) (2)
Mar., 16, 2007
Written by:Renzo Ruggieri Publication:"Strumenti e Musica" (Ancona)  Submitted from::Fisarmonica elettronica e MIDI Date written:
Aprile/Maggio 1997
PREMESSA

"L’insegnante vero non si vede con allievi di talento, ma in quelli mediocri".

Ho sempre bene in mente questa frase, che mi spinge continuamente a cercare le vie più efficaci e le soluzioni più durature per tutti i miei allievi, indipendentemente dalla loro predisposizione musicale. Dico questo per introdurre un tema pochissimo affrontato e che personalmente ritengo fondamentale per tutto il mondo dell’arte: la creatività.

Diffidate sempre da chi propone solo schemi e tiene poco conto dell’unicità umana.

L’elettronica si presta particolarmente ai nostri scopi per le immense potenzialità timbriche; infatti, tutti gli allievi hanno, prima o poi, proposto qualche situazione personalizzata elettronicamente.

Un altro vantaggio della musica elettronica consiste nella mancanza di un confronto diretto con i grandi compositori del passato; questo permette a tutti di poter, in qualche maniera, esprimersi senza l’improponibile paragone.

LA "FORMA FANTASIA"

Vi sono molti esercizi possibili per sviluppare la creatività; io ne uso uno in particolare che credo possa essere di comune interesse, per l’adattabilità alle varie circostanze e per fini strettamente didattici: la "Forma Fantasia" è il suo nome.

Ho pensato di definire una serie di consigli, per aiutare i giovani musicisti alla comprensione dei parametri fondamentali della musica e per l’uso della loro creatività.

Brani troppo lunghi non erano adatti, erano meglio brevi momenti musicali, che potevano descrivere una storia inventata dagli allievi stessi, ma guidata e corretta da me. In breve, ho dovuto organizzare una forma musicale, con un minimo di logica interna e con un rapporto tensione/rilassamento funzionale anche per l’ascoltatore finale.

Dalle prime prove venne fuori che cinque piccoli momenti, di circa ‘30 secondi ciascuno, erano una giusta soluzione; ogni parte doveva essere autosufficiente e quell’entrante doveva creare maggior interesse della precedente. Tutto questo, però, era inutile senza fissare precisi scopi didattici, per questo ho stabilito che ogni parte doveva sensibilizzare l’allievo ad un elemento strettamente musicale.

Con il primo momento parlo d’armonia e il ragazzo deve comporre una successione d’accordi concatenati liberamente; suggerisco d’usare nella mano destra tre-quattro note contemporanee (accordi liberi) e con la sinistra una sola nota per il basso.

Con il secondo introduco il concetto di melodia e lascio inventare una linea melodica a piacere. Paragono la melodia al parlare, limitando i miei interventi a piccoli aggiustamenti per l’eventuale quadratura musicale. L’allievo suona con la mano destra la linea melodica, mentre con la sinistra accordi ribattuti o arpeggi; naturalmente suggerisco qualcosa, qualora egli non proponga nulla d’efficace. Nei casi più disperati, preparo io stesso uno schema di otto-sedici battute usando giri armonici semplici e tutto si semplifica.

Nel terzo parlo di ritmo, mettendone in risalto la regolarità degli accenti. In questa parte evito di dare suggerimenti; chiedo soltanto di creare uno o più ritmi fra le mani, senza badare all’aspetto musicale in senso stretto.

A questo punto, avendo esaurito gli elementi fondamentali della musica, invito il ragazzo alla realizzazione di qualcosa di fortemente creativo. Suggerisco, di frequente, una forma moderna (es. un Blues) o scrivo un giro facilissimo di accordi diatonici. Lo studente sceglie uno stile musicale che trova nel proprio strumento elettronico e inizia ad improvvisare liberamente. Naturalmente la sinistra esegue gli accordi per l’auto-accompagnamento, mentre la destra cerca nuove melodie. Suggerisco qualche scala da usare o indico le note che sono fuori tonalità (note da non usare) per incoraggiarli. È incredibile come i ragazzi sono straordinariamente diversi l’uno dall’altro da piccoli e come con la crescita tendano ad uniformarsi: ecco la mia prima grande soddisfazione.

Per l’ultima parte parlo di tecnica strumentale chiedendo a loro d’organizzare qualcosa che è di difficile esecuzione. Questo naturalmente aiuta a chiudere il brano, ma soprattutto fa capire al giovane studente che la musica è fatta anche di questo elemento e che occorrono sacrifici per ottenere risultati. Suggerisco in genere qualcosa di rapido.

UN PROBLEMA INASPETTATO

Quando mi sembravano risolti tutti i problemi, ne ho incontrato uno nuovo ed inaspettato: "Ai ragazzi manca la scintilla per accendere la propria creatività".

Era necessario un nuovo elemento per l’ispirazione: una storia...  

(seconda parte)

Il mese scorso ho accennato all’importanza della creatività e a com’essa può stimolare e aiutare gli studenti di strumenti elettronici (e non solo), nella comprensione dei parametri fondamentali della musica. Chiedevo a loro di scrivere cinque brevi momenti, per mettere in risalto alcuni elementi musicali come:armonia, melodia, ritmo, creatività e aspetto tecnico.

Evitavo accuratamente di suggerire melodie o armonie, limitando i miei interventi alle sole correzioni.

Nonostante tutto mancava ancora qualcosa che li spingeva attraverso il mondo della fantasia (nell’accezione meno musicale possibile, proprio per la mancanza d’obiettivi artistici, in senso stretto):mancava una storia.

LA STORIA

Non potevo inventarla io ma neanche lasciare che la cosa si allontanasse troppo dalle mie intenzioni; per questo decisi di fissare dei punti dal quale loro sarebbero partiti. Diversi tentativi mi convinsero che la storia doveva descrivere una possibile situazione reale, scelsi, quindi, il seguente motto: "Con i sacrifici che fai oggi puoi essere musicista domani".

LA REALIZZAZIONE

Descriverò, per una maggiore comprensione, il lavoro di un giovanissimo allievo - Diego di dodici anni -.

Armonia: i ragazzi sentono una successione di accordi come un qualcosa d’ampio e rarefatto. Suggerisco loro di iniziare a pensare ad una grande valle senza colore che essi devono riempire con il loro preferito. A destra (DX) devono suonare tre note contemporanee e a sinistra (SX) un basso. Diego mi ha proposto una valle piena di colori che lui ha musicalmente realizzato con timbri di voci elettroniche, usando in prevalenza accordi dissonanti e minori. Ha inserito sia crescendi, sia diminuendi che cambi di tempo. I problemi maggiori li ha affrontati quando ha dovuto collegare fra loro le triadi; dopo avergli suggerito di tenere i bassi in gradi congiunti è arrivato ad una situazione che lo soddisfaceva.

Melodia:indico che la melodia è come parlare, ad una frase deve corrispondere una risposta connessa. Per la storia, loro devono immedesimarsi in un personaggio o in un animale immaginario che cammina per la valle; quest’amico si dirige verso una direzione o un qualcos’altro che rappresenta la meta finale: la realizzazione di un loro desiderio. La SX esegue un ribattuto regolare di accordi (o un arpeggiato) e la DX crea una melodia. Diego ha inizialmente proposto una serie di frasi dal quale ho scelto le migliori; quando in seguito ha trovato la sua successione armonica, l’ho aiutato a combinare le cose. Qualche correzione finale per la quadratura musicale e la sua formichina passeggiava per la valle colorata.

Ritmo: un piccolo discorso sulla regolarità degli accenti e la proposta di creare problemi alla formichina, sono state le premesse per parlare di ritmo; la storia ha un riferimento alle difficoltà che incontrano gli allievi quando devono affrontare diverse ore di studio. Normalmente lascio, in questa sezione, completa libertà per la scelta delle atmosfere e delle sonorità. Diego, con un timbro di fiati digitali, ha creato il suo ritmo alternando seste fra le mani; ha concluso con due glissati (asc./disc.) e qualche grappolo di note ottenuto con i pugni chiusi. Perché?... semplice: la formichina aveva incontrato la forza devastante di un terremoto.

Creatività: quando parlo di creatività, innanzi tutto insegno a non attendere mai che le cose vengano dal cielo, poi cerco di liberare completamente la loro fantasia lasciandogli suonare tutto quello che desiderano, anche quando questo non è corretto o sensato. Ho scritto un giro armonico (Diego ha scelto un Blues) e una serie di note che non andavano mai fuori tonalità; la SX ha subito attivato lo stile relativo (auto-accompagnamento) e la destra ha iniziato... (inizialmente) a muoversi. La formichina nel frattempo, guardandosi intorno, aveva scoperto delle erbe magiche che buttate in terra calmavano immediatamente le ondulazioni terrestri.

Tecnica: quando parlo di tecnica intendo, non solo velocità delle dita, ma anche di pensiero; ossia il ragazzo deve cercare qualcosa che lo porti a lavorare sodo. La storia ha ovviamente una conclusione felice, con la formichina che raggiunge la meta e può gioire, nonostante le difficoltà passate. Il nostro piccolo artista ha scelto nuovamente uno stile a lui molto vicino (DiscoMusic) e, sopra un classico giro armonico, ha intessuto bicordi in sincope e semicrome.

CONCLUSIONI

I livelli di lettura sono molti e permettono allo stesso studente di ragionare su più cose contemporanee - sviluppo della creatività e dell’intelligenza quindi -.

Il nome "Forma Fantasia" mi sembra azzeccato perché, in qualche modo, descrive le intenzioni ed è famigliare ai giovani; la conferma è venuta proprio da Diego che ha chiamato il brano "Fantasy".

Sto provando, ora, l’esercizio con strumenti acustici sperando che, nonostante le maggiori difficoltà, funzioni ugualmente.
 
LA FORMA FANTASIA (motto: "Con l’impegno di oggi puoi diventare musicista domani".
1° ARMONIA
2° MELODIA
3° RITMO
4° CREATIVITÀ
5° TECNICA
DX = accordi
SX = basso
DX = melodia
SX = accordi
ribattuti o arpeggiati Creare uno o più ritmi usando entrambe le mani
DX = improvvisazione
SX = auto-accompagnamenti
DX = melodia difficile
SX = auto-accompagnamento rapido
Grande valle senza colore che l’allievo deve colorare con il colore preferito.
Un essere (personaggio o animale fantastico) si muove nella valle dirigendosi verso una meta desiderata.
Durante il cammino l’essere ha delle grosse difficoltà a proseguire.
Dopo diversi tentativi viene trovata la soluzione al problema e il nostro amico può proseguire.
Raggiunta la meta, l’essere inizia a correre e a saltare di gioia.
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