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'ONLY ONE PAIR OF HANDS'. CD. ALAN MIDDLETON. THE SOUND OF THE CLASSICAL BANJO.
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'ONLY ONE PAIR OF HANDS'. CD. ALAN MIDDLETON. THE SOUND OF THE CLASSICAL BANJO.

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 CLIFFORD ESSEX MUSIC CO. LTD

The Home of the Banjo, Mandolin, Guitar and Kindred Instruments

'ONLY ONE PAIR OF HANDS'

The purpose of this CD is to record all my banjo compositions before I have to give up playing in public: — my tone at the age of eighty is not what it was, but fortunately my fingers are still reasonably nimble.   It was also satisfying to play the second parts, although some proved to be quite a challenge, because I had not played them since they were written, — many of them over ten years ago.
All the pieces were played on my 12" Weaver banjo, but the quiet / slow ones were recorded with a Weaver-made cork between the perch pole and the vellum, under the bridge.
Recording conditions were not ideal, the ‘studio’ being an upstairs room where occasional street noise, and sounds from the distant railway and motorway necessitated quite a few ‘retakes’.   Hence the close-miking and consequent finger noise.   There has been no attempt at digital enhancement such as ‘reverb’: — these are ‘warts and all’ tracks.
Alan Middleton,
April 2008

The Pieces

1. Banjo Boogie (1953). Revised 1992.

2. Buckwheat Dance (1999).

3. Cameo (1948) One of four 'Solos for a Quieter Mood', (actually duets), published by the C.E. Co about 1949.

4. Clematis Rag (1998).

5. Clockwork Donkey (1994). Beware! ---- the winding key sounds rather fierce.

6. Coffee Break (1999). Written between 11 and 11.30 a.m.

7. Cuckoo (1996). Revised 2007.

8. Deux Aquarelle I (2005). Revised 2007.

9. Deux Aquarelle II (2005). Revised 2007.

10. Eskin Reel (1949). Revised 1992.

11. Fragment (1959). Second part written 2007.

12. Fun and Games (1944). Revised 2000.

13. Gavotte (1998). Revised 2006.

14. Leapfrog (1993).

15. Marionette (1994). Written to accompany a busker with a 'dancing doll'.

16. Meadowsweet (1948). See note on 'Cameo'.

17. Planxty Doyle (1997). In the style of the Irish harper, Carolan. Dedicated to the editor of 'The Banjo'.

18. Reverie (1948) See note on 'Cameo'.

19. Ridgeway March (1997). Dedicated to Richard Ineson, Midlands and Northern Secretary of the IBC.

20. Slumber Song (1948). See note on 'Cameo'.

21. Snapshots (1947). Fully revised 2007.

Something Different : Suite of six pieces in the 18th Century French style. Revised 1994.

22. Prélude.

23. Bourrée.

24. Menuets I & II.

25. Gigue.

26. Rondeau.

27. Spanish Dance (2005).

28. Summer Serenade (1992).

29. The Echo Tango. (1994).

30. The Happy Tramp (1994). The tramp is heard in the distance; he approaches, passes and finally ambles around a bend in the road, still whistling.

Only One Pair of Hands CD: £5.00.

Postage UK: £2.00.   Any other destination: £3.50.

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