We are delighted to welcome two of Europe’s most exciting exponents of the diatonic button accordion to teach this extended course at Halsway Manor for advanced, and advanced-intermediate level players. Anne Niepold is a familiar name to many at Halsway, having been a regular tutor on our DG Melodeon Weekend and European Music Weekend. She is joined by Benjamin Macke on what we hope to be the first of many visits to Halsway. There will be an opportunity to see these two great musicians perform in an informal concert on the Thursday evening.
This will be an intensive week of skills-based learning focusing on your development as a musician, discovering new ways to interpret and play, and to make the music your own. The course is not repertoire based, you won’t be learning dozens of tunes; instead you’ll be using one or two tunes as the starting point from which to discover new ways to interpret and play, using improvisation, composition, playing together in large and small groups, creating accompaniments and arrangements. You need to be open to trying new things, and to be prepared to work hard – it will be intensive but also an enjoyable and rewarding week!
The group – limited to approximately 20 students – will be split in two by the tutors at the start of the course; you’ll spend roughly the same amount of time with each tutor. This will be done according to ability level; if you are coming with friends this may mean you will be working in different groups, but there’s plenty of informal time to meet, chat and play with others.
Arrival is from noon on Monday, with lunch at 1pm, and we begin playing at 3pm!
Who’s it For?
- This course is for advanced and advanced-intermediate level players of the DG melodeon (If you also have a box in GC, bring it as well).
- Please read the Halsway Melodeon Levels description carefully before you make a booking, this course is for levels 3.5, 4 and 5.
- The course is not suitable for beginners, improvers or lower intermediates; please do not make a booking unless you have the skill level required. A broader range of abilities is catered for in our DG Weekend in July, which covers levels 2, 3 and 4, with level 5 players also welcome.
- If you are a motivated level 3.5 player and would like to come please give us a call. There will be two groups based on ability and you may be suited to the intermediate group.
- If you have any doubts please email us for advice, thank you.
Anne Niepold (Belgium, Germany) is an extraordinary accordionist and composer. She is also an enthusiastic and inspirational teacher with a great sense of fun!
Anne studied in the jazz department of the Royal Conservatory of Brussels and attended many courses and masterclasses. As a performer she is a true force of nature – brash, adventurous and phenomenally skilled, she takes the humble accordion in startling directions. Beside her solo projects, she performs with numerous arts companies at home and abroad, and has numerous recordings to her name.
“(Anne) shows us the right way, that of intelligence, respect, emotion and heart. Run quickly listen to her and see her in concert!”
Richard Galliano, Accordionist
Benjamin Macke (Belgium, France) is a dynamic and talented musician, who currently performs as one third of bal-folk trio Shillelagh with Gabriel Lenoir (fiddle) and Aurélien Tanghe (guitar), and as one half of Duo Macke-Bornauw with Birgit Bornauw (Flemish bagpipe and baroque bagpipes). With a background in classical music and jazz, his music embraced traditional music and ‘bal-folk’ of Flanders and further afield, together with explorations of Baroque period classical music. He also works creating ‘cine concerts’ combining live music performance and 16mm film, from American comedies, cartoons from Eastern Europe, westerns, children’s stories… both as a solo performer and on an orchestral scale!
Teaching is an important part of his work. He taught accordion and ensemble playing at Cric-Crac Compagnie, the Muziekacademie of Gooik and Ghent. He also gives a lot of workshops all over Europe in accordion, ensemble playing, improvisation on silent films…
Benjamin Macke is also known for his work around the footbass, a funny accordion that is played with the feet and produces very low sounds. He works on the revival of this obsolete instrument in close collaboration with his factor Jean-Marie Paque.