For the past two years the YCC has been working on a project to record tunes written by founder member of the club John Willis, and on 19th January, we turned the upstairs room of the Cornerhouse Club in Leeds into a recording studio and captured five of our favourite compositions.
John, a retired engineer, has been writing music most of his life, and over the years, some of it has found its way into the YCC canon - we have more than 50 tunes in the YCC tune books which John collated for us. As a group we have really enjoyed working with his tunes over the years and felt now was a good time to record them and share them with the wider concertina community.
The first challenge was to narrow our list of favourites down to five tunes. This took quite a long time as each of us had tunes we particularly enjoyed. In the end we settled on:
Old Jock's Dance
Bernie the Ragtime Ferret.
Each has a story behind it, which we will share in later posts, but they were chosen as a group which reflected the different styles of John's compositions.
We asked our Duet player Steve Griffiths (pictured below) if he could arrange the tunes for ensemble playing, and we all agree he did a magnificent job in reflecting the spirit of each composition, and in conducting the band on recording day.
For the past year we have been rehearsing each of the pieces in readiness for recording day, when we were joined by professional sound engineer Matthew Nelson, son of one of our members Chris (our webmaster), who set up our pop-up recording studio and captured our performances.
Matthew with his pop-up recording studio.
The pieces have now been rendered into something we can share, and the plan is to work with Concertina World, the magazine of the International Concertina Association, to include them in a special edition.
Performers on the day were: