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August Newsletter
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August Newsletter

Our showroom and service center is OPEN 

Business Hours:
Wednesday - Saturday  10am to 5pm
Private appointments available Tuesday
Closed Sunday/Monday

see google for special summer closures

Artist Spotlight: James Carlson 

 

JAMES R. CARLSON, born in Everett, Washington, composes works for dance, theatre, chorus, orchestra, voice, various chamber combinations, and multimedia. Carlson's works have been performed at numerous concerts and festivals throughout the US and in Sweden, Belgium, China and Puerto Rico.

Cricket & Snail is comprised of American accordionist James Carlson and Czech violinist Lucie Carlson.  Now living in Prague, they perform an eclectic mix of classical, early 20th century popular and folk musical styles that transport their listeners to exotic places such as a French café, an opera scene, a Celtic dance or a Jewish wedding. While both are classically trained musicians and composers, they formed their duo because they wanted to make music that was free from the boundaries of the concert hall.

They perform extensively throughout the Czech Republic and in the U.S. during the summer. For more information, follow Cricket and Snail on Facebook
 
Contact:
 

Q: You have multiple music composition degrees, including a Ph.D from Duke University, a M.M from the New England Conservatory and a B.M. from Central Washington University. When did you start playing music? What made you want to make music your profession? 

A:   I started playing piano when I was 10 and started other instruments and singing in middle and high school. I started taking music seriously when I was about 14. I started improvising at the piano and began writing music around this time. Music just came to me naturally and I knew early on I wanted to pursue a career in it. At this time (the mid 80s), the accordion was not on my radar, except to maybe to mock a bit. My love for the instrument came a lot later. I kept going with music in high school and college focusing on composition and concert music. My plan was to stay in school as long as I could and then teach at the university and continue my composition activities while teaching. I basically did that until recently.

Q:   Originally from Everett, WA you now live in Prague with your wife and music partner Lucie, How did you end up in Prague? What does the accordion scene in Prague look like?  

A:   Short answer is my wife Lucie is from Prague so we moved to be closer to her family. I had lived in Boston, Durham, NC and Phoenix before settling in Tennessee where I taught at the University of the South for 14 years. We actually met in Knoxville, got married and had two kids. Lucie is a violinist who had played in orchestras in the US and Prague, performed solo recitals and wrote music too. In the summer of 2008, I picked up a small cheap red accordion and we decided to play together one day. The sound of our two instruments combined really surprised us. We started performing together and even playing on the streets of Prague during our summer visits there. We both enjoyed being outside the concert hall and making our music more our own. It was also more interactive with audience. I was getting tired of the concert music scene and the drudgery of score preparation, so I was ready for a new adventure. Our new duo was part of that and then moving to Prague was the beginning of the next chapter!

 
I am starting to learn about the accordion scene in Prague. I know the owner of the Delicia Accordions, Zdenek Koutny. I’m noticing many Czech folk and alternative bands have accordionists. I am starting to connect with a Bal Folk group in Prague and hope to play with them soon. There is a classical music scene, but I don’t know too much about that yet. I know conservatory students study classical accordion here. I know about an active accordion club in the Czech Republic lead by Jindra Kelíšek (harmonika.cz). They do retreats and workshops.


Q: You just released your 5th CD with Cricket & Snail titled "Points on the Map of Heaven" It's an eclectic mix of genres, I hear French, Klezmer, Celtic among others, what was your inspiration for the record? 

A: Unlike our previous four mostly annual releases, this CD has been five years in the making. Family life and the move to Prague slowed things down. We always mix up genres. We just play what we like and that’s how it comes out. We also like music that has heart and atmosphere, so that often leads us to our pieces. The title is from an original song of mine. I was inspired by my readings about near-death experiences and about how these glimpses of heaven were so universal and unconditional. I was also thinking about how music can lift us out of depressive states, toward more spiritual things. So, I see songs as being like points on a map that can guide us through our lives.

Q:  You compose a lot of music for multi-media productions including dance and scoring for film, is there anything that you're currently working on? Do you have a favorite type of collaboration? 

A:I have really loved doing collaborations over the years! You get a feeling of purpose and connection with collaborators and your audience. I don’t have anything going on right now, but I am considering starting a new silent film project for Cricket and Snail. In 2013, I composed a soundtrack for Jean Renoir’s “Little Match Stick Girl” (1928), which is based on the Hans Christian Anderson story. We play the music live and perform that regularly. It would be nice to have another to program together with it.

Q:   What is your process for composing music? Do you write on the accordion? 

A:   Lately, I’ve been composing on accordion more and more.  I let a tune develop slowly over time, chewing on it for some time before I finalize it. My music has gotten simpler over the years, and it is more about performance, spirit and mood, than complexity.
 
Q:   Who are your top 5 accordionists you admire or recommend we listen to?

A:   I am friends with a very talented accordionist here in Prague, Kieren Alexander. He is originally from Australia, but has been an expat for some time. He plays in the amazingly fun Balkan Free Quintet. They are releasing a new album, “Parvo,” soon. He also plays balfolk, jazz and Scandinavian music in a duo with flutist Žofie Kašparová. I’ve always admired the projects of Rob Reich in San Francisco. They include an interesting mix of circus, swing and classical music. I’ve recently discovered a talented Norwegian-Irish group called the Snowflake Trio that features accordionist Frode Haltli. Other interesting composer-accordionists I follow include Tuulikki Bartosik in Estonia and Johanna Juhola who plays modern tango-inspired music in Finland

Q:   What’s the best advice you have received about playing music/ the accordion?

A:  Coming to the accordion late in life, I did not have a lot of formal training. I learned the most by carefully watching players I thought were good. As a pianist, I had to shake off the gravity motion of piano playing and use a more feathery touch on the right hand. The rest happened after hours of mindful playing. In the end, I think the best music making happens when we are no longer just reading and playing notes, but we go beyond the mechanics and everything becomes one with the other musicians we are playing with and the listeners.  

Q:   Anything else you'd like our readers to know?

A:  While we live in Prague, we often spend 3-4 weeks in the Seattle area in the summer visiting my family.

In July, I came to the Lynnwood Petosa store and bought a new Americana P-37 accordion that I am thrilled with! It will be my new primary instrument.
It’s great to stay in touch with people interested in our music. We love to have people following us on Facebook

Our new CD “Points on the Map of Heaven” is available on Bandcamp here
 
Website

Cricket and Snail

Cricket and Snail is a duo in Prague that features Lucie Carlson, violin/voice, and James Carlson, accordion/baritone ukulele/voice. Their eclectic musical repertory evokes the atmosphere of Old Europe and includes French songs, Celtic tunes, klezmer music, Classical pieces and originals.

Cricket and Snail has released four CDs: It Takes Two (2010), Dance to Your Shadow (2011) and At the Theater (2012) and Street Symphonies (2015). All are available for download on itunes. 

Buy Now

 

The NAAC (North American Accordion Collaborative)
and Petosa Accordions present:
A Virtual House Concert


You can view the concert HERE.  Frank Petrilli, protégé of legendary jazz accordionist Frank Marroco and guitarist Patrick Brooks played a gypsy jazz set and Alicia Straka dazzled with a variety set including polka, french, and gypsy jazz. 

All donations go to support NAAC community programs including:  educational outreach, accordion access, recording, and the international liaison program. Learn more and become a member for free at thenaac.org
thenaac.org
Northwest Accordion Socials are Back

September 13th 7:30-9:30pm PDT
Senior Center of West Seattle 
4217 S.W. Oregon St. Seattle, WA

Featuring Dick Myking:
a Tribute to his dad Dick Myking
Laura Gardener
Lenny Luzzi 

Next Social October 11th
More

The Houston Accordion Orchestra Retreat

Conductor, Stas Venglevski is pleased to announce these six talented young artists who will be joining the Houston Accordion Orchestra Retreat on youth scholarships. There will be 34 orchestra members at the 2022 retreat January 13-16, 2022 under the direction of conductor Stas Venglevski.  
 
Reserve your spot now, accordionist gather all over US and Canada, registration $400

The event includes:
3 full days of orchestra rehearsals
Master Classes with Stas
Concert of original music composed by the orchestra members
Open Mic and jam sessions every night
Final public concert

The retreat will feature the music of Russia, France, Italy, Moldova, Finland, Azerbaijan and the World Premiere of a new orchestral Overture by Stas Venglevski.

Bonus selection includes “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Freddie Mercury performed by the orchestra.


Email: meghada33@gmail.com for more information 
More
Cotati Accordion Festival
September 25th and 26th
La Plaza Park in Cotati, CA.
2400 Monarch St. Alameda 


The 2021 Cotati Accordion Festival will be in-person.

If you buy your ticket byAugust 1st:
includes a swag package of a CAF pin, a historic bumper sticker, and a Jim Boggio poster.

$18.00 for a one day ticket
$26.00 for a two day ticket
More Info

2021 IDEAS Virtual Symposium 4.0 
 Oct. 29 - Nov.7

The International Digital Electronic Accordion Society (IDEAS) is announcing its 2021 Symposium 4.0 to be held Oct 29 – Nov 7, 2021, completely virtually once again because of the ever-advancing Covid Delta variant. However, the quality and scope of this year’s symposium promises to be every bit as engaging and educational as the 2020 virtual symposium with a mesmerizing line-up of world-renowned digital accordion faculty and artists, which just keeps getting better year after year.

Registration will open up soon and will be announced on the “GR8 IDEAS” Facebook group when it does.

 

Register

Featured Certified Pre-owned:
Diamond 'Chamber'

Full featured Diamond in very nice condition. Equipped with 3 reeds, tone chamber (LM) and grille mute, this is a versatile instrument.

18 1/2″ keyboard (46.9 cm)
41 treble keys – 120 basses 
7+M treble, 5 bass registers
3/5 sets T.a.M. reeds
Tuning: LMM+15
Sliding grille mute
Dynamic stereo amplification
24.5 lbs (11.1kg)

More info

petosa accordions | 206 632 2700 | petosa@petosa.com
19503 56th Ave W Ste B Lynnwood, WA 98036     


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