Thursday, September 19, 2013

It's Time For More Accordions

As I have mentioned (though not in a while), my daughter plays the accordion. She's closing in on three years of playing and is busy practicing her Christmas music right now. It's kind of driving her brother crazy as he is somewhat offended by the need for Christmas music in September. But, at least, it's not like all of the Christmas stuff that will soon start appearing in stores. If she wants to be able to play Christmas music this year at Christmas, she has to practice now. But I digress...

The 23rd Annual Cotati Accordion Festival was back in August, and my daughter played onstage there for the second time as part of their Future Accordion Stars segment.
It's not a long set or anything, but, still, it's playing in front of a crowd. She was a little nervous, but she did a great job. And, well, hey, it just makes me proud to watch her up there playing.

Beyond the Future Accordion Stars, however, the acts, overall, were not as good this year as last year. I feel confident saying that since we were there for huge chunks of time both days this year. For instance, there was a guy that played for a full hour right after the Future Stars, and he just did what I'm calling free-style accordion playing. I suppose it was somewhat akin to jazz, but, mostly, it just sounded like a lot of noise. To me, at least. A lot of people seemed to like it. There seemed to be a lot of that kind of stuff this year, which really didn't appeal to me.

But there were some good acts, too. For instance, my daughter's aunt's band played (yes, that would be my sister-in-law, but I'm framing it as "my daughter's aunt" because it was her aunt that inspired her to want to play the accordion (completely on accident)), and they're really good and have played private parties for the likes of Coppola. They put the lie to "If you admit you can play the accordion, no one will hire you in a rock and roll band."

Also, there was this band called Sweet Moments of Confusion (great name, right?) that was really quite good. They played all original music based on various folk styles. I wish they had been playing instead of the other dude that wasn't playing anything that had been composed.

And, of course, returning for his 14th year at the festival was The Great Morgani. He really is just a lot of fun. Like last year, I only managed to get pictures of him in one of his costumes (although we did get to see him twice, this year (and the costume for the show I didn't get pictures of was hilarious)).
I don't think I'll ever understand how he can play in all of these elaborate costumes, but he does. Even when his shoes start to "sink," which his monster shoes did. He had to warn us that the foam was settling so that if he suddenly fell over backwards we'd know why. Here's a picture of him walking around in the crowd after playing:

My official opinion is that the accordion is an under appreciated instrument. It's too bad, because it can do a lot and requires a lot of talent. People think it takes a lot of work to do something like play the piano, and it does, but my daughter is just picking up the piano as a side-effect of playing the accordion. You can't just pick up the accordion as a side-effect of the piano. I'm glad she's chosen an interesting instrument to play, something that stands out, even if getting hired in a rock-and-roll band becomes more difficult.

One last picture of a band whose name I don't remember:
(It took me a while to get that the red and green was about the Italian flag and not Christmas. heh)


  1. Aw! This is really cute. :) Nice to see music alive and well. I keep hearing about music programs being cut and it sucks--we need creative mediums, especially in childhood.

    Any chance for a family duet/band?

  2. Your daughter is so very cute! It does take a lot to learn an instrument like that as it requires a multitude of skills all at once.

    You've a right to be proud of her and one day she may be following in her Aunt's footsteps and playing at an event for Lucas!

  3. I love that your daughter plays the accordion. That's awesome.

    My godson just started to learn the trombone, and he's having a blast.

  4. Playing in front of a crowd when you're young is scary. Trust me! You should be proud of your daughter.
    Hey, Weird Al proved you can play accordion and still rock.

  5. WOW, I don't know any child who plays the accordion. That is so awesome. Good for her for breaking out of the mold!!

  6. That's so cool that she's chosen an original instrument. My Dad's best friend in Sweden played the accordion, and would treat us to private recitals. He recorded some CD's too of traditional Swedish folk music. Good stuff!
    Tina @ Life is Good

  7. Way to go for the little one! That's awesome. I tend to never want to go to festivals like the one you did, but every time I do I have a great time.

  8. This post was so great! How awesome for your daughter to get to play there.

    I love the accordion. I love almost all instruments but especially the underappreciated ones. I wish I could've gone to this festival.

    If you can, you should put up a video of your daughter playing something. I'd like to hear it.

    And, as an aside, vis a vis your writing skills? I liked that you chose to use the relationship -- daughter-to-aunt -- that matched the story. Too few people pay attention to details like that, but it's obvious once you read it how that works better than "sister-in-law."

  9. Accordians are so cool... they also seem very challenging to play! I applaud your daughter.

  10. A cousin of mine played the accordion and was very good at it. Hubs likes listening to a co-op radio show in our area called:
    'Accordion Noir'. It's not jazzy, but sounds like old style French music at times.

    Bravo for your daughter!

  11. There's a lot of accordion lore in my family. Glad to see your daughter has found an instrument she enjoys!

  12. Jean: Well, she takes private lessons. The music program at her school is fairly weak, but, then, it's that way in most elementary schools.

    Probably no chance on the family band.

    Anne: Well, that's assuming that Lucas is still alive at that point.

    M.J.: It is pretty awesome. And it's always important to have fun with a musical instrument. Otherwise, what's the point?

    Alex: Well, he's kind of niche market, and he didn't make his career on the accordion. We just have to work on bringing it back into style over the next decade.

    JKIR,F!: Yeah, it's not a common instrument anymore.

    Tina: There are some cool players out in this part of the country.

    Rusty: Last year was better, but I love the idea of the accordion festival.

    Briane: I will see if I can get her to agree to a recording. She can be stubborn about that things like that.

    And, as an aside, thanks :)

    Charlie: I think they're pretty cool. And I do think they're challenging. I mean, pat your head and rub your tummy, right?

    D.G.: Ooh... that sounds interesting! I'm gonna have to look that up.

    TAS: Even when she thinks she doesn't (like when it's time to practice).

  13. My sister-in-law plays the accordion and anyone who can play that instrument I think is phenomenal!! Good Luck to your daughter.

  14. Cathrina: And so does mine. heh

  15. Wow! That is definitely unique. They always look so heavy to me. But very cool! I'm sure it takes a lot of skill to play.
    BTW you asked if your son would like my book--answer is I'm not sure. It's told in first person female, but it's not a sappy romance. My hubby enjoyed it. :)

  16. The accordion is a very impressive instrument, that is so cool that your daughter can play it. The fact that she has the confidence and ability to play onstage like that - it's just awesome!

  17. I grew up in a time when the accordion was somewhat revered so I can appreciate it. I even enjoy ranchera music or whatever Mexican music uses a lot of accordion. Tango is one of the best styles when accordion is included.

    Wrote By Rote

  18. Pk: They are pretty heavy.
    Is it past or present? I'll run it past him.

    RG: It is pretty awesome, and so is she.

    Lee: The accordion makes a lot of things better!