Back when I was a ninth grader – which was a few years before the invention of the wheel – I wrote a paper on Russian composer Pitor Illyich Tchaikovsky for my English class. I don’t remember much about it, … Continue reading The ‘Cordeen and Me: Episode 11 — The New ‘Cordeen
It’s 93 degrees Farenheit (33.9C) at 7:00pm, and Dallas Vietty is smiling. I’m sitting outside on a picnic table at Longwood Gardens, the lovely arboretum outside Philadelphia, and I’m listening to Dallas play gypsy jazz with his new trio. Dallas … Continue reading The ‘Cordeen and Me: Episode 10 — The Horror! The Horror! Playing in Public
They had not docked as planned in Cienfuegos, as the sea was too rough and the winds too strong and the ship’s captain made the decision not to and no one was happy. They had gone first to Key West, … Continue reading The ‘Cordeen and Me: Episode 9 – The Old Man and the ‘Cordeen
Leonardo Da Vinci did not invent the accordion. It would have been very cool if he had, however. Imagine: among the almost-possible flying machines, the frightening designs for limb-slicing military contraptions, and the portraits of young women smiling cryptically about … Continue reading The ‘Cordeen and Me: Episode 8 – In the Belly of the Beast
It has probably happened more than once to every accordion player in the United States. Upon hearing that you are a Knight or Dame of the Squeezebox, someone has asked you if you can play “Lady of Spain.” Nobody ever asks pianists if they can play Maurice Ravel’s “Gaspard de la Nuit.” Clarinetists aren’t urged by total strangers to play the “Sonatine for Clarinet and Piano” by Arthur Honegger…. No, the only other instrumentalist who has to endure a similar request is the banjo picker, who is repeatedly asked to play “Dueling Banjos”, and who at least has the … Continue reading The ‘Cordeen and Me: Episode 7 – Lord Myron: Coming to Terms with Myron Floren
According to Malcolm Gladwell, it takes ten thousand hours to achieve world-class proficiency in any field. Now let’s see. I started practicing my ‘cordeen seriously in April 2015, shortly after I turned 65. Let’s charitably say I practice an hour … Continue reading The ‘Cordeen and Me: Episode 6 – Practice, Practice, but Practice Practice
As of this spring, I have been playing accordion for two years. Given my academic background and my Accordion Anniversary, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires I do an honest assessment of my progress. Dallas, my teacher, … Continue reading The ‘Cordeen and Me: Episode 5 — Apologia Pro Vita Sua
I have a confession to make. I’m a serial philanderer. Despite my protestations of endless love, I am prone to discard my object of affection after only a few months of wild passion. Then I recklessly throw myself at another, … Continue reading The ‘Cordeen and Me: Episode 4 – Accordion Lust!
You could hurt yourself with this thing. Seriously, your ‘cordeen should come with a federally mandated warning label: WARNING: Accordion playing can lead to serious side effects, among which are low back, neck, and thoracic conditions; headache; shoulder pain; tendonitis; … Continue reading The ‘Cordeen and Me: Episode 3 — Death by Accordion.
There it was, in my house. A Genuine Hohner Verdi IA. Or a 1A. I never quite got sure about that. I guess it didn’t matter whether or not the “I” was a Roman numeral. I opened the beat-up case … Continue reading The ‘Cordeen and Me: Episode 2 — Teaching Little Fingers to Play