Status Update

A space for players interested in my specialist harmonicas, alternate tunings, instructional material, recordings etc to ask questions and share information, experiences, videos etc.
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Brendan
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Status Update

Post by Brendan » Tue Mar 17, 2020 4:20 pm

Hi Friends,

Apologies for my forumic quiescence of late, but it reflects a bit of a change of focus this year. Instead of putting a lot of time and effort into creating niche-market harmonica stuff made in my home workshop (the 3d printed parts etc), I'm only going to release some selected designs that can be factory made and ordered in decent numbers. That cuts down the options a lot, so you'll see fewer releases from me than in recent years. But the ones that do come out will (hopefully!) be more appealing to a wide range of players.

Part of the reason for this is that I want to have more time to get back to the playing/recording side of my harmonica persona. It's been sadly neglected in the past 5 years or so as I got more and more fascinated with the very creative process of CAD design, and making with cool home-workshop machines like 3d printers, laser cutters etc. Once it takes you over, the Rn'D process chews up a lot of mental energy and hours per day!

Now I'm feeling the urge to get back to playing, and related sides like electronics and effects. Recently I've been spending a lot of time exploring the possibilities of combining harmonica with the amazing music apps in the iPad. I'm discovering a lot of very interesting things, particularly relating to how to combine MIDI sounds with the harp. It's something that's not easy to control, a bit on-the-edge with latency and glitching, but fine tuning settings can make it very usable. When it works well it's amazing the new sounds and functionality one can generate from any diatonic or chromatic harmonica. That includes recording MIDI sound files which can be printed out as sheet music - something I never thought would be possible. Once I have it really nailed down and reliable I'll post some videos on it.

Speaking of which...: My business partner David Ireland is currently creating a dedicated video instructional site for me, where I'll post in-depth teaching videos on a range of subjects. Some as an adjunct to my existing books (Play Irish Music on the Diatonic/Chromatic, PowerBender book), but others do do with workshop techniques/tips and tricks, and probably a series on the harmonica/iPad combination too.

As with many others of us, the self-isolation imposed by the coronavirus epidemic can have have a silver lining if you use the extra time to do something worthwhile: practice your instrument, learn a new skill etc etc. I think a lot of creative things will come out of this crazy period, so it won't be all bad. That's the way I'm approaching it anyway, so watch this space :-)

For a change of scene I've been enjoying going out cycling in the beautiful countryside near Canterbury, and bought a helmet cam to film some of the rides. I've started a video series called BIKE & HARPS. Here's the latest episode, hope you like it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnGM-b5vtP4

Look after yourselves and stay healthy!

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Brendan
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Re: Status Update

Post by Brendan » Tue Mar 17, 2020 9:27 pm

A great thing about going out biking on a regular basis is you get to see seasonal cycles as they happen. Now in the English spring, change is happening rapidly; in a week or two this bare woodland will be a riot of green, utterly transformed.

20 Out of 10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4qXk13QmWU

Played on a harp in PowerBlow Tuning.

Lizzy
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Joined: Sun May 07, 2017 1:42 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Status Update

Post by Lizzy » Wed Mar 18, 2020 2:00 pm

I guess you dont reveal which selected design you are talking about? ;)

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Brendan
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Re: Status Update

Post by Brendan » Tue Mar 24, 2020 10:43 am

Things are changing rapidly by the day here in the UK, as with everywhere in the world. All the China-based harps will continue to be posted out, but with the UK in lockdown from today, we're uncertain how this will affect posting the home-based products. For now things continue as they are, but if anything changes I'll let you know.

In the meantime I'm putting a lot of time into recording instructional videos for our new Teaching site:

https://vimeo.com/ondemand/pibh/

More videos in various categories coming soon.

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