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Some accordion with your Pad Thai?

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CarolC 03 Mar 03 - 01:16 PM
CarolC 03 Mar 03 - 05:26 PM
catspaw49 03 Mar 03 - 05:33 PM
Jack the Sailor 03 Mar 03 - 05:38 PM
catspaw49 03 Mar 03 - 05:44 PM
Rick Fielding 03 Mar 03 - 06:05 PM
mooman 03 Mar 03 - 07:48 PM
jets 03 Mar 03 - 08:01 PM
GUEST,Peter T. 04 Mar 03 - 08:49 AM
GUEST,MTed 04 Mar 03 - 03:24 PM
CarolC 04 Mar 03 - 05:35 PM
CarolC 04 Mar 03 - 06:14 PM
Peter T. 04 Mar 03 - 06:31 PM
Mark Cohen 04 Mar 03 - 10:20 PM
Rick Fielding 04 Mar 03 - 10:39 PM
open mike 05 Mar 03 - 02:17 AM
Mark Cohen 05 Mar 03 - 02:19 AM
Nerd 05 Mar 03 - 01:26 PM
Peter T. 05 Mar 03 - 05:47 PM
Lepus Rex 05 Mar 03 - 11:06 PM
Lepus Rex 05 Mar 03 - 11:17 PM
CarolC 06 Mar 03 - 05:16 PM
Rick Fielding 06 Mar 03 - 06:06 PM
Lepus Rex 30 Mar 03 - 05:16 AM
Mark Cohen 30 Mar 03 - 06:27 AM
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Subject: Some accordion with your Pad Thai?
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Mar 03 - 01:16 PM

Jack the Sailor and I had a lovely dinner at a local Thai restaurant yesterday evening. It was our first time at that particular restaurant.   As one might expect, I tend to notice whenever there is an accordion playing within my earshot, anytime, anywhere. Last week we were eating at a local Mexican restaurant and, of course, I had to make sure everyone at the table with us was aware that the music being piped in for our enjoyment featured an accordion. It's what I do.

Anyway, by the end of our meal at the Thai restaurant, the only people left in the place besides JtS and me were the employees. (In Columbus Georgia, on a Sunday evening, everybody eats at the Texas Steakhouse.) The hostess (who may also have been the owner) was quite friendly, and we got into a very interesting discussion about music. During our meal, I had been listening to the restaurant's piped-in music, and I noticed that it featured some beautiful accordion playing. JtS said he figured the music was Thai "pop" music.

I mentioned the accordion to the hostess. She didn't know what I was talking about until I pantomimed the motions of accordion playing to her. She said she had never heard the name "accordion" before, and then she told me what they are called in Thailand. Phonetically, it sounded like she said "Pei Pay", but I have no idea how it would be spelled. She then told me about a wind instrument that is traditional in Thailand that has some things in common with accordions. She said she didn't know the English name for the instrument, and I neglected to get the Thai name for it. I'm thinking it was probably this instrument, called a "Kaen". Here's some interesting information about the Kaen from a website I found in a Google search using the words "Thailand" and "accordion":

Musical Instruments of Southeast Asia (Scroll down to "Thailand & Burma Kaen; Thai Mouthorgan")

"The Kaen is the oldest form of the freereed family, the great great grandaddy of the harmonica and accordion. This type of instrument goes back to at least 1100BC (the harmonica and accordion only go back to the 1830s). Made of bamboo with a brass reed in each tube. All the tubes are affixed in a wooden body with black pitch. You blow and suck on the mouthpipe on the body and cover the holes on the tubes to play melodies and chords. Powerful sound and you can play western music as well as Asian."

I think that's really interesting.

So I've been thinking about freereed instruments around the world. And I've been thinking about accordions around the world. I don't think I heard any accordion music at the Ethiopian restaurant where JtS and I ate in Georgetown (Washington DC) a couple of weeks ago (which isn't to say they don't have accordions in Ethiopia). But it seems like most of the international restaurants we go to have some sort if accordion in the music mix being piped in.

So which countries have them and which don't? Anybody know? Anybody have any interesting stories about finding accordion (or other freereed) music in unexpected places?


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Subject: RE: Some accordion with your Pad Thai?
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Mar 03 - 05:26 PM

I ran across this site in my search for the Thai accordion:

The Connected Traveler

It's about the The Cotati Accordion Festival, which apparently is held in northern California. I like the quote from a t-shirt there, "Accordions don't play 'Lady of Spain,' People Do".

This site has posters from the festival for purchase. I particularly like the Mona Lisa playing the accordion:

Cotati Accordion Festival Souvenirs


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Subject: RE: Some accordion with your Pad Thai?
From: catspaw49
Date: 03 Mar 03 - 05:33 PM

Very cool Carol!!! An interesting topic worth your research! Neat way it came to you as well............gawd, I love Phad Thai......do they have mee grob there as well......? I have a few books I'll have a look at for you.....Maybe nothing, but they may have a starting place or something.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Some accordion with your Pad Thai?
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 03 Mar 03 - 05:38 PM

mmmmmmm Pad Thai mmmmmmmmmm

rrrrrgggggggllllrrrr


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Subject: RE: Some accordion with your Pad Thai?
From: catspaw49
Date: 03 Mar 03 - 05:44 PM

ohhhh yeahhhhhh..........

I've said before that if I could only have 2 foods the rest of my life, they'd be extremely rare rib-eye and Phad Thai...........

And Carol, please notice that when you said, But it seems like most of the international restaurants we go to have some sort of accordion in the music mix being piped in.......I made no comment about "Lady of Spain."

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Some accordion with your Pad Thai?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 03 Mar 03 - 06:05 PM

Got some feedback, but just remembered that I got a radio show to do! Will be back.

Nine months underneath a 140 bass Dallipe


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Subject: RE: Some accordion with your Pad Thai?
From: mooman
Date: 03 Mar 03 - 07:48 PM

Interesting stuff CarolC! I have one of those Thai kaens lurking amongst the instruments round here and have even, on occasion, managed to knock a tune or two out of it!

Best regards to you and JtS

moo


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Subject: RE: Some accordion with your Pad Thai?
From: jets
Date: 03 Mar 03 - 08:01 PM

In Rockland Maine there is a resturant called The Thai Kitchen. there is a piano player and a female vocalist playing and singing American swing and jazz to a packed house. I am scheduled to play the two row accoedion there this summer. Finnish music in a Thai resturant.You realy have to call it full intergration. Right?
On a diffrent note: There is a busker who plays the Thai Kaen pipes .in Portland Maine's Old Port area. Very nice.
PS The piano player is my son.


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Subject: RE: Some accordion with your Pad Thai?
From: GUEST,Peter T.
Date: 04 Mar 03 - 08:49 AM

There is an excellent record called "Global Accordion" (don't have it to hand at the moment) which has 20 different recordings from the 1920's of accordions in a whole range of cultures, from Switzerland to the Caribbean, illustrating the spread of the accordion around the world, and what each culture did with it. Completely fascinating. The musette wars in France between the Auvergne musette and the Italian accordion should be made into a movie.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Some accordion with your Pad Thai?
From: GUEST,MTed
Date: 04 Mar 03 - 03:24 PM

Accordion figures prominently in Arabic music--of course, it is a big part of Balkan music(though a lot of it is button, not keyboard).

My unexpected accordion find was years ago--I was recruiting a stage band for folkdance stage ensemble--we had a Ukraine wedding suite, and needed someone who knew the traditional wedding repertoire--there were no Ukranian ethnic enclaves in the particular city we were in (the nearest was a thousand miles away), and everyone had given up and decided to find a regular accordionist who was willing to learn the stuff from records. One day I was looking through the flea market shopper and saw an ad for a rock keyboardist who was looking for people to jam with--we talked and it turned out that he played accordion, "Not polkas or anything" he apologized, "My family are Ukranian, and I grew up playing at all the community weddings"--


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Subject: RE: Some accordion with your Pad Thai?
From: CarolC
Date: 04 Mar 03 - 05:35 PM

I did notice that, Spaw. I'm very proud of you ;-)

I guess your particular unexpected accordion find was when you found Sam playing one in your own house...

;-)

;-)

Looking forward to your feedback, Rick. Really, 140 basses?

Thanks, mooman. Does your kaen sound at all like a harmonica?

Interesting post, jets. Some day, maybe on our way to Newfoundland or something, I hope JtS and I will have an opportunity to come hear you play. (Finnish being my favorite music to play on the accordion and all... )

Thanks for the heads-up about that stuff, Peter T. I think I'll have some fun checking it out.

Great story, MTed. And thanks for the info. I'll be looking into it.


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Subject: RE: Some accordion with your Pad Thai?
From: CarolC
Date: 04 Mar 03 - 06:14 PM

Yesterday, JtS was chatting in a guitar related on-line forum. One of the people he was chatting with is a Pakistan national living in Pakistan. They were talking about different kinds of popular instruments, and he said that the harmonium is very popular in Pakistan. The harmonium (also sometimes called a "melodeon" or "reed organ") is another of the freereed instruments. It has a keyboard, and the bellows is operated either with the foot, in the case of the pedal harmonium, or by hand, with the bellows being located at the back of the instrument. The harmonium looks like this:

Harmoniums with foot pedals

Harmoniums with bellows in the back

According to this site, it was invented by Alexandre-François Debain

And according to these sites, it also appears to be popular in Nepal and India.

Nepal News

Raison Band Co , Meerut , INDIA


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Subject: RE: Some accordion with your Pad Thai?
From: Peter T.
Date: 04 Mar 03 - 06:31 PM

Global Accordion: Early Recordings, from Wergo, Weltmusik (German) SM 1623 2 (2001). From Puerto Rico (Los Borinquenos); Turkey (Papatzis-Tsakiris); Finland (Aili ja Lyyli Vainikainen); Austria (Wiener Original Schrammeln); Madagascar (!) (Hira Malaza Taloha); South Africa (Jonas Mate & Kleinbooi Motaung); Poland (Stanislaw Bagdzinski); Quebec (Monmarquette & St. Jean); Texas/Mexico (Narcisco Martinez); Dominica (Grupo Dominicano) plus 10 more!!!. yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Some accordion with your Pad Thai?
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 04 Mar 03 - 10:20 PM

I may be going to hear Krishna Das tomorrow night in Honolulu. I'm told he chants Hindu prayers and accompanies himself on the harmonium. He's sharing the stage with Ram Dass, whom I've heard on tape (from decades ago) but never in person. He's had a stroke, I understand, and it has affected how he communicates. If I do manage to get a ticket, I'll let you know what it's like.

Aloha,
Mark

PS: Carol, you should be careful when you say things like a wind instrument...that has some things in common with accordions. You might provoke somebody to say something like, "Oh, you mean people run away when you take it out of its case?" Not that I would ever say anything like that, of course...after all, I own one of those things.


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Subject: RE: Some accordion with your Pad Thai?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 04 Mar 03 - 10:39 PM

Hmm ya know I probably meant 120 bass. I have no idea actually since I hadn't been born at the time. There are several promo pictures of my Mom around with that particular accordion, and she claimed to have been doing gigs up til two days before I was born, which strikes me as a tad obscene....but it was my mother so what was I gonna say?

I may well have been born hating Lady of Spain, Tico-Tico, and that Fire dance thing.

However......some of the accordion work in Bill Monroe's band (Sally Forrester) was quite interesting. Perhaps Peter T will start a band with this new accordion adventure.

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: Some accordion with your Pad Thai?
From: open mike
Date: 05 Mar 03 - 02:17 AM

how good it would be to see and hear ram dass.
I am currently reading his book-Still Here.
The one he wrote 30 years ago Be Here Now is
a classic into to eastern philosophy.
I read some of Still Here at my mother's
bed side as she lay dying..it is a very
insightful book on death and dying. He
said he didn't know how to finish the book
until he had his stroke and then he knew
what the last chapter would have to be about!
He has collaborated with Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
and others to understand and help with the
last days of life. His book was very help ful
thru this period at the end of my mom's life..
sorry-not about key boards, squeeze boxes, or
thai food, but the best part of that book was
about how not to fear death, because getting out
of one's body is a relief not unlike removing a
tight shoe. That concept was so comforting and
such an eye-opener for me.


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Subject: RE: Some accordion with your Pad Thai?
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 05 Mar 03 - 02:19 AM

Thanks. I'm optimistic that I'll be able to go. I will let you know how it goes.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Some accordion with your Pad Thai?
From: Nerd
Date: 05 Mar 03 - 01:26 PM

I was in Namibia, in southern Africa, and I met a schoolteacher there who taught music among other things. When I told him I sang, he said, "do you play the guitar, or the accordion?"

All this contributes to my theory of the world, which is:

"Wherever you go on the planet, there's some old dude playing the accordion."


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Subject: RE: Some accordion with your Pad Thai?
From: Peter T.
Date: 05 Mar 03 - 05:47 PM

Anybody know anything about Joey Miskillin? I have his accordion video, which is pretty good (not to say expensive). yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Some accordion with your Pad Thai?
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 05 Mar 03 - 11:06 PM

Carol, here's a site with an good (if short) list of recordings of Asian free-reed instruments. And here's another with some cool photos/info/sound clips.

Although it's probably not for everyone, I highly recommend "The Music of the Hmong People of Laos" (can be found on the list linked above), which features the Hmong version of the kaen. A great instrument to see played live, as the player dances, even does somersaults, while playing. The sound is the part that isn't for everyone. :)

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: Some accordion with your Pad Thai?
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 05 Mar 03 - 11:17 PM

Oh, here's a couple pages on the Hmong kaen (qeej hmoob) :) Qeej 1, and Qeej 2.

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: Some accordion with your Pad Thai?
From: CarolC
Date: 06 Mar 03 - 05:16 PM

Thanks for all of this great stuff guys! This is fantastic!

Hey, Mark. How was the concert?


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Subject: RE: Some accordion with your Pad Thai?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 06 Mar 03 - 06:06 PM

Peter if you'd like me to give Joey back his video, just leave it here tonight. I'll see that he gets it.


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Subject: RE: Some accordion with your Pad Thai?
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 30 Mar 03 - 05:16 AM

Not that anyone asked for it, but I found a cool site with info and video and sound samples of Vietnamese (mostly ethnic minority) instruments, free-reed and otherwise. It made me think of this thread, so I thought I'd link it here.

And here's some links to the individual free-reed instrument pages, to save anyone interested the trouble of searching:

Tang coi

Pi Lao Noi

Pi Lao Luong

Pi Doi

Pi Me

M'buot

Kupuot

Ding Tac ta

Areng (VERY weird)

Ala

Kenh (This is the qeej hmoob that I mentioned above, and there's a video of a qeej player, dancing.)

Pi pap

Pi sen

Pi Tam Lay

Khen be (The kaen heard by CarolC in the Thai restaurant, with video)

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: Some accordion with your Pad Thai?
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 30 Mar 03 - 06:27 AM

Didn't make it to the concert. When I got to the ticket outlet, they had sold out 2 hours before. I went to the location 45 minutes before the start time, a line was forming, and there was somebody with a sign that said "Need ticket".   Turns out that if I had waited another hour and a quarter or so I would have gotten in...but I didn't. Just wasn't meant to be.

Aloha,
Mark


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