Re: [Harp-L] harmonetta

On Aug 31, 2009, at 9:12 AM, David Payne wrote:

I listened to a few of Svang's numbers, I can see this harmonetta is a totally different kind of chord instrument. I can hear that the chord structures are way more complexified in how they evolve and change. You don't have to have the sudden chord changes like you do on a 48 chord.

Svang was supposed to appear at spah one year. At the last minute, they? cancelled. I was disappointed. I wasn't going to go to that spah, but I already had my ticket, plane, room, booked.

The tradeoff is, besides the fact I kind of like the sudden chord changes, the chords themselves don't sound as good to me. The Harmonetta is a virtually limitless instrument and the only downside that I see to detract from it is the very thing that makes it so versatile... The chords sound too smooth.

I don't think of the harmonetta as a harmonica. It is way too subtle and more like a gently played accordion.

You don't have that sweet tension of the sound energy that you get from an individually tuned chord. I'm thinking especially of Wally Peterman's chord harmonica, tuned to absolute perfection by Wally. When I hear it, it shakes my bones. The harmonetta sounds very interesting and magical, but it doesn't shake my bones.

Right. When I watch Wally, Dror Adler, Eddie Gordon, Ritchie Miller, and a few others, It's almost a spiritual experience. I don't get that with the harmonetta.

There is one department that the 48 chord takes the cake hands down - entertainment value the element of danger brings. When you look at a guy playing a harmonetta well, you think, "wow, how does he do that?" When you see a good 48 player, you think "wow, how does he do that?" AND "Oh my God, somebody is going to die before the show is over" as he wields this two-and-half-foot-long double harmonica with a seemingly total disregard for the safety and welfare of anyone in striking range, including himselves.

Right, harmonetta playing looks like a guy with a large electric razor in his mouth. Not much action going on. Chord? well, that's like a cave man wielding a dinosaur killer of a club. Now, by the way, in keeping with my proclivity for saying things that get taken the TOTALLY wrong way, don't anyone even think that I'm comparing chord players to cave men. I make general statements and people feel the need to attach names and faces to them. Don't do that. These are only examples.

It's just the primeeval feeling I get that goes to the base of my instincts. It's that scary. The way it makes my stomach growl. It's pre-historic.

Watching a good chord player go through their paces is like eating a succulent juicy triceratops steak. It's yummy.

We need more groups like Svang, what's truly important here is keeping the concept alive.

Some comparisons: Svang HARPBeats/Wally Peterman Al Fiore Philharmonicas

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