People REALLY like the concertina… I mean, A LOT!
I will never forget the first time I heard the concertina. It was in an old Comhaltas video back when I was first learning the music. I thought it was lovely, but I didn’t initially have an interest in learning it. However, over time that appreciation developed into an obsessive compulsion to make this unique free-reed an active member of my musical experience. There were even points when I thought I was loosing my mind because, to me, I was becoming frighteningly infatuated with it’s bright and chirping sounds. After all, passion is just obsession in a healthy context, and it doesn’t take much at all for the former to become the latter.
Well, in this infatuation of mine, I thought that I was also unique; That is, unique in just how much I adored the tone of this instrument. To me, it has the affect that songbirds have had on poets over the centuries. But over the years I’ve noticed that it has been exceptionally received as it’s become a more regular part of my repertoire.
Being a caregiver allows me to work sometimes in a musical capacity, and one of my clients asks me every time I come to see her if I brought my concertina with me. She asks me to play tunes for her throughout my shift every visit. At one of the local parks, a few families have made it a routine to come out to hear the concertina. One gentlemen was reeling, and appeared to have enjoyed himself more than the children. Even my “Dungeons and Dragons” group liked the concertina so much, that they’ve requested that I open and close our roleplay sessions with a set of tunes to set the mood. Of course, there are dozens of more stories I could share of brightened eyes, intrigued minds, and lifted spirits, when it comes to how people respond to the instrument. The concertina is just it*.
When I decided that I wanted to learn three main instruments, I never expected a free-reed to be one of them. But there‘s some kind of power and influence in the tone of the concertina. Something of youthfulness and innocence that just brightens a day and lifts a heart. I don’t know what it is, but I am grateful that I’ve been given the privilege of sharing it’s joys with others.