Stage 464810

Andrew Birkun

Exhibition of masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris

I was privileged to attend and take part as a performer in the greatest event in Hong Kong -exhibition of masterpieces by Picasso from Musée National Picasso, Paris, France. The exhibition is jointly presented by the LCSD and the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong and Macau, and jointly organised by the Hong Kong Heritage Museum and the Musée National Picasso, Paris. It will be held from May 19 to July 22 at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum. Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) is the most widely recognised and influential artist of the 20th century. Showcasing55 of the artist’s original works from the permanent collection of the museum, this is themost comprehensive exhibition of Picasso’s works ever held in Hong Kong.

For more information, seewww.heritagemuseum.gov.hk

 

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Piano Accordion vs. Chromatic Button Accordion Test ...

A few days ago I found this great article when I was  searching the Internet.I found it very interesting and now sharing with you as it written byDan Lindgren from Sweden.... Here we go Which is best,piano accordion (PA), orfive row chromatic button accordion (CBA)? This is aquestion which is often debated in newsgroups. The question should perhaps rather be: which typeof instrument is best for a certain individual. This document tries to help those who are new to theaccordion, or those who play one kind but wonder if switching to the other kind would be animprovement. No matter what kind one chooses, having chosen the ”wrong type” can never be anexcuse for playing badly since both are highly versatile systems. Each system, in the hands of atalented musician, can produce great music. Below, you will find a number of categories where PA and CBA is compared. You can read through each category and give points to the system you think wins a category. When you havefinished, you can add all points and see which system will best fit your needs. Don’t, however, letthis test be the only thing that decides your choice of instrument. There may be more issues thanthose covered here; feel free to add your own categories. Also remember that this test cannotreplace the experience you get from trying out these different instruments in real life, and preferably for an extended period. However, if you play PA and would like to get an idea of how a CBA feelsto play, try using your computer keyboard as a substitute. The keys are not perfectly aligned, butclose enough. For each of the categories below, you should first decide which system, PA or CBA, you think winsthe category. Then give points from 0 to 10 to the winner of this category, and always 0 points tothe other system. Before you give any points, you should ask yourself how important the categoryis to you. If a category has no importance whatsoever to you, then the score for the system youfavor would be 0 (and the other system would get 0 as well). If the category is extremely important,then give 10 points to the one you favor (and 0 to the other). 1. General aspects The PA is straightforward in that there is a one-to-one correspondence between notes and keys. That is, for each individual note there is only one corresponding key. Also, notes are arranged sothat for each half-step, you move one step up or down on the keyboard. A CBA is intuitive in thatbuttons are uniformly distributed. This means that a fifth, for example, or any other interval, canalways be easily found, and that melody and chord patterns can remain the same when played indifferent keys. The duplicate rows must be used in order to fully exploit the uniform qualities of aCBA. When you want to play a certain note on a PA, you probably first determine whether it is awhite or black key, while for the CBA you tend to associate a certain note with a certain row. 2. Range CBAs can have a greater range in the right hand compared to a PA, without having to use theregister switches. In some music, mainly classical music, this may be an advantage, but in mostcases you will seldom ”run out of notes” provided that an appropriate register has been chosen forthe piece to be played. The CBA can have a maximum range of 64 notes in the right hand, and thePA can have a maximum of 45 notes. Some accordions have chin switches that makes it easier toswitch from one register to another while playing. 3. Uniform chords Chords on a CBA can be played with uniform fingering patterns if you make use of the duplicaterows. A C major chord, for example, can have the same fingering pattern as a D major chord. On aPA it takes a little longer to learn these things. Some people prefer to use only the first three rowsof a CBA, but then the chords lose some of their uniform qualities. Uniform chords can also behelpful when you play harmonies from chord symbols. 4. Fingering options The duplicate rows of a CBA allow you to use alternate ways to finger both chords and melodies. The question is whether this makes things easier since on a PA you don’t have to constantlychoose between these fingering options. With some music that contains chord progressions, it maytake some time before you have calculated the best way to play these chords on a CBA. Then youalso have to remember how you solved any tricky situations when you perform the music again,since some combinations otherwise could be difficult to finger. However, as you become moreexperienced with the CBA layout, these things probably become more automated. You could, ofcourse, choose to use only the first three rows of a CBA, but this makes some chords, melodies andmusical ornaments somewhat uncomfortable to play. 5. Reaching notes far apart This is easier on a CBA, and you can easily reach notes two octaves apart. The more frequent useof your thumb on a PA can to some degree compensate for this lack of reach. On a CBA you canfill in lower notes, with your right hand, that may otherwise not be available from the stradella bass. If the thumb and little finger simultaneously depress buttons on the third row of a CBA, theprotruding fingers between them may be forced to play notes from the duplicate rows. Anotherimportant factor to consider is the size of your hands. If you have small hands, the CBA could bepreferable, although there are also PAs with less wide keys. These PAs become smaller, but someparts of the white keys may become too narrow unless you have slender fingers. Until you havedeveloped your muscle memory well enough, it is easy to play the wrong white key on a PA whengreater intervals are to be reached. Since you associate a certain note on a CBA with its particularrow, you are choosing from a more limited number of candidates in that row; meaning less risk formistakes. 6. Legato Unlike the piano, the accordion does not have a pedal that can sustain notes. Therefore it’simportant to be able to play notes ”legato”, that is, uninterrupted, or seamless. The fact that pianokeys are elongated, and thus have larger surfaces than buttons, means that it’s easier to do fingerswitches (that is, to momentarily depress one key with two fingers to keep a note sounding whileyour hand changes its position), and this makes the PA very well adapted for some types of legatoplaying. If you employ the duplicate rows of a CBA when playing chord progressions, you maysometimes find that you have to let go of some notes while switching to another position, unlessyou carefully plan ahead. Furthermore, the thumb on a PA can be used as a sort of pivot as theindex finger reaches over the thumb. This technique can also be used on the CBA, provided thatyou are willing to sometimes use the duplicate rows. It would be fair to say that the PA is generallybetter for legato playing, even when just playing melodies, but with time, as you improve, you canalso develop techniques for the CBA that will overcome these problems. 7. Speed On a five row CBA, you may have more than one way to finger a melody line, since many notes arebeing duplicated in the fourth and fifth row. This allows you to find quick and easy ”paths” tofollow along the buttons. Also, if the music contains a lot of long jumps, this may be speeded up bythe fact that buttons are closer together. The PA has its keys laid out vertically, which means thatyou don’t have to move your fingers back and forth horizontally, which in many cases can speedthings up. Piano keys have big surfaces, so you don’t have to always put your finger in exactly theright horizontal position. When playing a CBA, you sometimes have to twist your wrist and fingers,which could potentially cause delays. On a CBA, you can play very fast runs that take advantage ofthe uniform properties of the CBA layout (a free-bass PA player with a chromatic free-bass may beable to do some of these uniform runs with the left hand). Regardless of system, ultimately it’s themusicians skill that sets the limits of what you can do in terms of speed. 8. Ergonomics The PA has the advantage that you can slide individual fingers along the keys, which provides veryrelaxed finger and wrist positions. You don’t have to move your fingers back and forth horizontallyto the same extent as you do on a CBA. With the CBA you often have to twist your wrist andfingers into somewhat less natural positions, especially when you play chords. On the other hand,since you often have to reach farther on a PA, you may have to stretch out a bit more, whereas on aCBA your fingers come closer together and everything is within easy reach without much armmovement. CBA players usually keep their palm slightly cup-shaped, which for some people,especially if you have big hands, could put a strain on your hand. Some parts of the white keys on aPA can be narrow if you have big fingers. This becomes apparent when your thumb plays a blackkey in a chord, and even more so when the little finger is also playing a black key. There could be atendency, when playing PA, of having to hold your right arm slightly higher up when playing themedium/clarinet reeds, but much of this depends also on the size of the instrument; CBAs are oftensmaller. Using your thumb on a CBA generally means that you depress the buttons more with yourthumb-nail than with the side of your thumb. This is because the thumb rotates when it is heldcloser to the other fingers. Pressing with your thumb-nail may be less comfortable until, eventually,you get used to it. Some CBA players (usually B-system) do not use the thumb at all, but thenreach is limited. 9. Reading sheet music The distances between white keys on the PA are directly proportional to distances between noteheadsin standard notation. If two noteheads are piled up, with one on top of the other, this meansthat you should play a white key, skip one white key, and play the next white key. If one of thesenotes is sharp or flat, you still reference the same white key, and then adjust your finger to hit thecorresponding black key. This means that the PA is well suited to sheet music. However, if youbecome very experienced, you will detect a major or minor triad when you see it, and since the CBAhas uniform fingering for the corresponding chord, this could facilitate playing as well. If you liketo play from sheet music that you are reading for the first time, containing not just melody lines, thePA is more direct. Here, the CBA often requires some planning, or alternatively, that you are veryexperienced and know intuitively where to go with your fingers. For people who cannot rememberthings easily and always need sheet music, the PA could therefore be a better choice. For peoplewho like to remember patterns or think in terms of intervals, the CBA could be a better choice. 10. Accordion size and weight CBAs are often smaller than PAs, but weight does not seem to differ that much between comparable accordions. The keyboard also sticks out less on a CBA. It’s worth to rememberthough, that the size of an instrument affects its sound. Furthermore, some people prefer having theinstrument right up under their chin. Some people appreciate that a CBA can have a good rangeeven on a very compact instrument. 11. Compatibility when playing other instruments If you already play the piano or a keyboard, it may be easier to adjust to PA. What you learn on thePA can also be useful if you aspire to play piano or keyboard in the future. It should be saidthough, that there are people who play piano and still prefer buttons for the accordion. 12. Availability of instruments, teachers and literature Which type is predominant in your country? Will you be able to find a used instrument of thedesired kind? If you need a teacher, can you find one who can teach on the chosen type? Can youfind good tutoring literature in a language that you understand? 13. Choosing a chromatic system CBAs exist mainly in two different versions: CBA-B and CBA-C, and they are basically mirrorversions of each other. In any particular country, one type may be more predominant than the other. In any case, choosing to play CBA means that you also have to choose between the two systems. Itcould be fortunate to have this option, or a dilemma. 14. Free-bass compatibility If you ever aspire to play an instrument that features free-bass, then it is often claimed that the CBAis more natural since the chromatic free-bass in the left hand is usually a mirror version of the righthand system. One could perhaps also claim that it is easier to have two completely differentsystems, as on a free-bass PA, than to have a system which is a mirror version of the other. PA andCBA-C normally have the C system chromatic free-bass, but there are other systems out there aswell. PA players are more often seen to play more than one note at a time in their right hand,compared to CBA players. When you play free-bass, the ability to play chord progressions andmultiple parts in your right hand is very important. Reading such music is also easier on a PA. So,although you may find that many free-bass players play CBA, the PA is actually an ideal free-bassinstrument. 15. Dummy buttons All right hand buttons you see on a CBA may not be available to be played upon. Sometimes, butnot always, CBAs have these dummy buttons in the upper end for cosmetic reasons. On a PA, allkeys you see are always available to be played upon. 16. Transposing Transposing is difficult on a PA if you, for example, accompany a singer who can’t sing in aparticular range. This is easier on a CBA since you have duplicate rows that allow you to use thesame fingering patterns, but it also means that you must try not to associate a certain button on theaccordion with a certain note. 17. Glissandi Glissandi can be done on either white keys or black keys on a PA. Since such glissandi are oftenused on pianos, they are well established as a musical effect. The white key glissando is also easybecause the keys don’t have wide gaps between them. On a CBA you can easily do diminshedglissandi (minor thirds). There are other possible glissandi on both systems that will not be coveredhere. 18. Playing in different styles Some music is associated with a certain type of accordion although you can play any genre ofmusic on both PA and CBA. For example, CBA-C has traditionally been used by most musetteplayers. The legato possibilities of PAs may appeal to jazz musicians. Russian music hastraditionally been performed on CBA-B. If music is originally written for the type of accordion youown, then it may be more easily performed on that instrument. Especially glissandi, or reachingnotes far apart, may be impossible if you don’t have the appropriate type. Some classical/seriousmusic may be written especially for the CBA, but consider also the fact that much of the music wehave today was originally written by piano players. In rock music you often slide your finger froma black key to a white key on the piano. Usually it means that a minor third becomes a major third. This technique would be difficult on a CBA-C, but possible on a CBA-B. 19. Action Each key of a PA is directly attached to its valve pad, and together they act as one unit. This gives afirm and direct feeling, and any rattle (present mostly in some of the older CBAs) is avoided. Modern high quality CBAs have very good and quiet actions too, only more complicated. The keydepression depth is generally greater on a CBA. This provides good control over the valve pad as itis just about to open up, thus yielding a touch that is typical for the CBA. It can also be appreciatedthat each button on the CBA has the same feel to it. The PA allows you to choose the point alongthe keys where the finger is applied, thus affecting the key depression depth. 20. Barring Barring is a term used when playing the guitar. It means that you depress more than one string onthe fretboard with just one finger. Translated to the accordion it would mean: depressing more thanone button with just one finger. This technique may perhaps not be used that often. You can, forinstance, depress C and D simultaneously with your thumb on PA. The CBA seems to have morebarring options than the PA. The uniform CBA layout always gives the same result for a certaintype of barring, but note that there is a difference between CBA-B and CBA-C. 21. Sound There is perhaps a slightly different mechanical sound when keys and buttons, respectively, aredepressed or released, and this sound could also be considered an integral part of the overall sound. PAs are generally bigger, and this can make the sound boomier because lower frequencies areboosted. The differences in the arrangement of the reeds, between CBA and PA, can have aninfluence on the sound. Sound is, undoubtedly, a very complicated matter, and subject to personaltaste. Other factors than those touched upon here may be more important; not to mention the artisticlevel of the performer. 22. Looks Which one has the best looks? Credits to Dan Lindgren © Nydana, Sweden

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Over 100 views in 3 days on Sous Le Ciel De Paris video !

Great news! We got over 100 views in three days on our latest video recording withAntoine Richard-Sous Le Ciel De Paris - Mc Musette - Andrew Birkun and Antoine Richard, Hong Kong which is sounds great! One would say - "It's not that much for video viewing", but in fact it is a great success for us to get people's attention to our new project called"Mc Musette".

It is a French-styled form includingaccordion, guitar, double bass, etc. Later on we'll add a double bass player and maybe some more instruments to sound more full and exciting BWT in 30 days we're expecting more then 1,000 views!

Let's see! And one more thing I want to say - without you we're nothin'! Thank you for your support!

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手風琴香港Sous Le Ciel De Paris - Mc Musette

It is always a great experience and feelings to share your music likes with some other people! At this time I had a chance to play some great French and Spanish tunes with Antoine  Richard(guitar). So here we go Please live your comments! Cheers! Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVsMOrptnUU

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A demo record with Antoine...

Today going to make a demo record with Antoine Richard, French guitar player who brings a Gypsy jazz music style to Hong Kong! We going to record some French and Spanish favorites. Accordion and the guitar - great composition - isn't it? Later will able to add some new materials over here. Cheers!  

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Starting from zero

Today I going to start new page in my official artist profile! First of all I want to thankCandy Lo- musician, composer, stylist and simply great woman for big help! Also many thanks for all AnD staff who made this great website available for many talanted people over there. It's just another amazing possibility to show up your talent! Thank you all!

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彭羚 小玩意 Little Thing by Cass Phang - Accordion Intro

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHV2eN1sZwo

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手風琴香港"INDIFFERENCE" (E.Murena - J.Colombo) - home practice ;-)

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cue24CrbLRo

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Andrew Birkun

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Hi Guys! If you're interesting to learn this beautiful instrument called accordion - just let me know asap! Thanks! ...Read more

English Name Andrew Birkun
Languages Spoken english
Favorite Music Tango Nuevo, Alternative, Classical, Folk, Jazz
Job Music degree