Bombardes - bombardment

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deBoissey

Bombardes - bombardment

Postby deBoissey » Tue Sep 20, 2005 3:55 pm

I have heard much medieval music and enjoyed its quiet ambience, the gentle lilting melody of the various srings and wood wind instruments – shawms, bombardes etc. so much so in fact that I have purchased myself a bombarde. Now… when I eventually did get a note out of the bloody thing my ears bled and I ended up flinging the thing about thirty feet into the air in shocked surprise. Not the gentle meanderings heard on my album of courtly masking airs… oh no… it was the sound of the horn on a Mack transcontinental truck. Worse was to come, I attempted to practice at home and I had every dog in the village barking - the trees were devoid of birds for at least a week, further, I think I may have caused some structural damage to my house. As it is I have a tiny instrument the size of a recorder that can easily hold it’s own, un-amplified, at a Motorhead concert.

Is there any way to calm the flaming thing? Are there such things as soft practice reeds?

Please help, my last practice attempt resulted in me being sent to Coventry by my neighbours and probably busting the vacuum in all my double glazing units. I would dearly love to play the instrument but I cannot cope with the collateral damage caused by this sonic weapon.

If you had a duet of Hurdy-Gurdy and bombarde would the bombarde player have to stand about a mile away? How come so many medieval instruments are so quiet that you have to rest your forehead on them to hear them and others so loud that your insides turn to liquid if you are less than 100 yards from the noisy end?



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Postby Binky » Tue Sep 20, 2005 4:14 pm

:lol: I'm sorry I can't help you but I must say I haven't laughed so much in ages!!! Cheers for that! :lol:



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Postby JC Milwr » Tue Sep 20, 2005 4:39 pm

It's double reeded, isn't it?

Maybe see if you can find an oboe teacher to give you a few hints?



deBoissey

Postby deBoissey » Tue Sep 20, 2005 4:55 pm

No, there's only one reed in this monster, if it had two it would probably re-align the geological rock strata in Lancashire.



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Postby Jemima » Tue Sep 20, 2005 6:03 pm

You might try following the instructions given at

http://www.hobgoblin-usa.com/info/bombarde.htm

I don't have a bombarde so don't know for sure how helpful the instructions will be but they say that "By following these instructions, the timbre of your bombarde should be warm and gentle rather than blaring".

Do let us know how you get on!

:D


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Wayland2002

Postby Wayland2002 » Wed Sep 21, 2005 5:09 pm

deBoissey
double reed doesnt mean it has 2 reeds, it should have a "triangular" reed on the end of a small tube, not a strip of cane on a mouthpiece like a clarinet.

My girlfriend solved the volume problem on my bombarde............shes removed the reed and locked it securly away somewhere!!

Seriously though I did manage to tame mine very slightly by stuffing a hankey in the end of it. This doesnt work in the same way as a trumpet mute but it quietens it a bit.

An odoe teacher probably wont be much help, a friend of mine is one of the best oboe players in the country and she still manages to make a noise like the unholy offspring of a donkey and a duck with her bombarde.

You can soften the sound by changing the position of the reed in your mouth, move it backwards and forwards between your lips and teeth. The position of your tongue will also make a difference to the sound.

Hope thats of some help, if i find anything on the net I'll get back to you.



deBoissey

Postby deBoissey » Thu Sep 22, 2005 9:26 am

Ah… Weyland, Eyefankew, I did wonder what the difference was between a single and a double reed.

In an act of desperation I tried to play the bombarde in the car, it seemed a good idea at the time – the car is relatively well sound proofed. Don’t do it! There’s nowhere for the sound to go except right back at you. I imagine that the effect is similar to sharing a toilet cubicle with Black Sabbath. On the plus side, it did loosen all the wax in my ears and cleared my sinuses but I now have temporary tinitus and one of those headaches that gets right behind your eyes.

I haven’t tried the hanky idea, although I must admit, it had crossed my mind before your suggestion, however, I had a frightening vision. The Bombarde isn’t the easiest instrument to blow, as you know, it takes some effort usually resulting in not only in the aforementioned deafness but also a beetroot red face and bulging eyes. Now given the effort required… what would happen if you blocked all the holes with your fingers and the end is stuffed with a hanky? I suggest that the only possible results could be either a catastrophic snot explosion (of almost biblical dimensions) or the conversion of your bombarde into a hanky cannon.

Again thankyew… I await further aid.



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Postby Nigel » Fri Sep 23, 2005 7:37 am

Have a word with the redoubtable Dr Dawson he loves to annoy us with bombardes

Iam thinking of getting on meself but mine will go boom

Nige


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Postby Cranky » Sun Sep 25, 2005 2:25 pm

I'm not a bombarde player - but have a few other unholy loud instruments - it's best to practice in a room with lots of soft furnishings etc. to soak up the sound, and also wear some foam earplugs. I find if the sound is less frighteningly loud (due to the earplugs) I relax a bit and then the sound mellows somewhat anyway. Also try and imagine all the power for blowing is coming from your abdomen - not your face and neck! :shock:



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Postby Cranky » Sun Sep 25, 2005 2:27 pm

I'm not a bombarde player - but have a few other unholy loud instruments - it's best to practice in a room with lots of soft furnishings etc. to soak up the sound, and also wear some foam earplugs. I find if the sound is less frighteningly loud (due to the earplugs) I relax a bit and then the sound mellows somewhat anyway. Also try and imagine all the power for blowing is coming from your abdomen - not your face and neck! :shock:



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Postby Cranky » Sun Sep 25, 2005 2:28 pm

Aaah - if you press the back button and then refresh it posts your message again! - sorry for the double post.



deBoissey

Postby deBoissey » Mon Sep 26, 2005 8:56 am

Thanks Cranky... I am slowly realising from these posts that the only way I am going to become an accomplished bombarde player is to become a recluse on some wind beaten Hebredian island. At least the quacking of my bombarde will serve as a warning to shipping in the Atlantic.

Before that, however, I am going to attempt to fashion a double reed from a plastic drinking straw... it won't work... I know it won't... but I have to have a go.



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Postby Vlad » Tue Sep 27, 2005 7:15 pm

Wayland2002 wrote:You can soften the sound by changing the position of the reed in your mouth, move it backwards and forwards between your lips and teeth. The position of your tongue will also make a difference to the sound.


The image of deBoissey sitting in his car, slowly moving his bombarde backwards and forwards in his mouth whilst experimenting with various tongue positions fills me with horror.

If I ever saw it happen in real life, I might just be tempted to rip out my own eyes.

On a more practical note (geddit? "note!"....oh, please yourselves!) is there another instrument that uses the same fingering pattern as a bombarde, but without the exciting element of seismic disturbance? - that way, deBoissey could practice at home on the quiet instrument and save the noisy one for the battlefield.



deBoissey

Postby deBoissey » Wed Sep 28, 2005 9:20 am

The image of deBoissey sitting in his car, slowly moving his bombarde backwards and forwards in his mouth whilst experimenting with various tongue positions fills me with horror.

If I ever saw it happen in real life, I might just be tempted to rip out my own eyes.


oooh... you cheeky monkey, I'll have you know that I am reknown for my "tonguing", also, years of didgeridoo have left me with the ability to breath through my ears.

is there another instrument that uses the same fingering pattern as a bombarde, but without the exciting element of seismic disturbance?


What a novel concept... are you some sort of god Vlad? (Er...., sorry... someone else has stumbled past my window with no eyes). Is there such an instrument or are you merely teasing me with exciting yet ultimately impossible dreams?



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Postby Vlad » Wed Sep 28, 2005 7:17 pm

Years of didgeridoo? I hope that's not some kind of euphemism (not to be confused with a euphoneum which is a sort of valved brass instrument and is of no benefit to the tongue whatsoever).

Sadly my musical ability is severely limited, so I can't suggest some sort of quieter bombarde proxy.

From your av I guess you're involved in 14th Century re-enactment so my expertise with the swannee whistle would be sadly wasted on you - unless you'd consider something along the lines of "Oh no, it's the evil Piers Gaveston* - some people question his sexuality!" followed by a comedy swoop on the swannee whistle and, perhaps, a brief duck call.

*If you're post 1312 please insert contemporary baddie of choice.



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Postby Lady Cecily » Wed Sep 28, 2005 9:11 pm

"Oh no, it's the evil Piers Gaveston* - some people question his sexuality!" followed by a comedy swoop on the swannee whistle and, perhaps, a brief duck call.


Ooo - I can bring my swannee whistle and kazoo. Then we can add lots of comedy punctuation to the commentary.

We could even get 'Samantha' to do the scoring. :D


Caroline

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Postby Vlad » Thu Sep 29, 2005 12:09 am

Sorry Lady C - I'm new here so please forgive me if I'm missing out on some obvious forum 'in' jokes!

But...

A kazoo? Wow, that could add a whole new dimension to your average show!

Sound Effects Script: The Battle of Hastings (for PA, kazoo and various other instruments)

PA: Harold has arrived from defeating the Vikings (theme from 'The Vikings', played on kazoo, in seven part harmony and duck call comedy ending) at Stamford Bridge ('Come on you Chelsea' played on kazoo).

PA: The Norman invaders have taken up fortified positions on the beach ('On the Beach' by Chris Rea, played on kazoo (in open tuning)).

PA: Now they've advanced (OK - it would have taken them about an hour and a half to get there, but bear with us) to face the Saxon army on Senlac Hill. Here comes Taillefer attacking the Saxons on his horse (theme from 'Black Beauty' played on kazoo). The Saxons have killed Taillifer and his horse ('Horse with no Name' played on Jews Harp with swannee whistle accompaniment and 'Last Post' played on duck call to mourn the unnamed horse's demise).

PA: You can now see the Flemish archers join the battle ('Barwick Green'* played on harmonica and swannee whistle).

...I'm sure that you get the general idea.

Just think about Taillifer riding out to the 'Black Beauty' theme played on a kazoo - it'd bring a tear to a glass eye.

* the theme music to 'The Archers'.



deBoissey

Postby deBoissey » Thu Sep 29, 2005 9:25 am

I can Tilifer charging from the line in super slow motion, his chopper in his hand, his helmet gleaming. “der der daah, der der der derder derder der daah”. Cut away to the Saxon shield wall - “all in all it’s just another brick in the wall” – pure magic.

My favourite instrument has to be either the “teddy growler” or the whoopee cushion, in fact the sound of a hastily discharged whoopee cushion has accompanied me through most of my re-enactment career – whenever I killed my opponent on the field I would imagine, or even make, a sharp farting noise coinciding with the shot. The effect is delightfully “Terry and June” mate this with an impression of a “teddy growler” when you receive a killing shot and, in my humble opinion, you have achieved near perfection - die in slow motion for that Sam Peckingpah (sp) feel.



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Postby Lady Cecily » Thu Sep 29, 2005 12:27 pm

Vlad,

Nothing to do with LH in-jokes. Just Radio 4 jokes from I'm sorry I haven't a clue. I suppose if you're not a listener........

Try it - you may like it.


Caroline

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Postby Cat » Thu Sep 29, 2005 8:01 pm

This is the funniest fred on da forum! (Wipes eyes).

I can make little contribution other than to share the ear-shattering discovery from Blore Heath's battle of what a SUPERB raspberry you can blow on the inside of your bevoir, whilst waiting for battle to commence.

If you blow so hard that your eyes go buggy, and your cheeks pooch out then it is possible to convince matey 5 down the line that he's soiled his braies.



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Postby Vlad » Fri Sep 30, 2005 2:57 am

deBoissey wrote:My favourite instrument has to be either the “teddy growler” or ...


I'm mystified - it's official! I've never heard of such an instrument.

First, I tried logic.

In heathen Lancashire, a 'growler' is another word for a pie. Is it a pie made from a dead bear? Is it a pie made from women's underwear? Whichever is the case, how could it make a noise?

I resorted to using that vast store of knowledge which is the internet.

A Google image search under 'teddy growler' gave me a picture of a teddy bear with a marmalade sandwich in his hand, wearing a large floppy hat and a duffel coat with an enormous erection. The caption said "Paddington woke up with a 'Midnight Growler' of epic proportions".

I admit that I've had a few of those myself, but leaving aside my collection of Paddington Bear toys, I'm still none the wiser!

Please enlighten me! What's a 'teddy growler'?



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Postby Gail Horn » Fri Sep 30, 2005 4:15 am

I have a feeling that it's the actual device that makes a teddy 'growl' at you.


My mind not only wanders - sometimes it leaves completely!

deBoissey

Postby deBoissey » Fri Sep 30, 2005 9:27 am

You are indeed correct Gail - a teddy growler is a small cylindrical object that when inverted and returned to its original position produces a low growl (more like a stomach burble actually). Traditionally these were placed inside teddies to terrify small children. I have a teddy at home who not only has the bright blue eyes of a psychopathic murderer but a dubious “teddy growler”. The overall effect is that of an insane homicidal teddy coupled with the pitiful wailing of a newborn lamb. I keep him, mostly, locked in a cupboard – he only comes out when I have kids in the house, the effect is amazing, toddlers become very quiet and shuffle backwards to the corner of the room furthest from “teddy”, their eyes fixed on his just in case he makes a sudden movement. This, of course, means that you can play with your knives or “corrosive acids of the world” collection in complete safety.

I am perturbed by the use of the word growler to describe an erection, a growler, as has been rightly pointed out, is a meat pie. If a lady were to sit on someone’s growler in, say, Oldham then the end result would be unpleasant. It brings a whole new meaning to “let me get my gob ‘round that growler”.

A meat and potato pie is a “flomper” btw.

Vlad it's just like a "cockney" not to know these things.

Er… none of this is helping me with my bombarde… remember the bombarde?



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Postby Jenn R » Fri Sep 30, 2005 10:40 am

This thread is stunning......my stomach hurts as I'm laughing so much!

Sorry deBoissey this isn't helping you very much.......you shouldn't be so damn funny! Psychopathic teddy eyes, unholy sounds from bombardes.......your house sounds a hoot!



deBoissey

Postby deBoissey » Fri Sep 30, 2005 12:39 pm

I have made a stunning break through with regard to my sonic attack bombarde!!

Take a Macdonald’s drinking straw or any other of similar dimensions, cut a section the same length as your bombarde reeds and carefully split said straw with a knife. Flatten the resulting “reeds” with your fingernails and carefully wrap the lower end with either tape or cotton – this is s bit fiddly and constant reference needs to be made to the top hole in your bombarde, the fit should eventually be relatively airtight – hey presto… a new candy striped artificial reed!

My first experiment has been an unmitigated success – the bombarde is just as loud as ever and now completely off key - none of the finger holes produce the right note (even in reference to each other) and if you vary the air pressure you can also vary the note, I now have a Les Dawson bombarde. The sound is much higher than with the original reed and with practice I can do an excellent impression of Sweep from Sooty & Sweep... oh joyous day!

I’m so proud.



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Postby Mark Sanderson » Fri Sep 30, 2005 7:19 pm

Who said situation comedy was dead? This thread is funnier than anything on the telly.

As a musician who, never learned to play, I think De Boissey is very brave in trying to master a reed instrument. I could only ever make a sax, or a clarinet fart and squeek while oboes make my ears blow bubbles.

I,ll stick to strings, keyboards and whistles for my home music entertainment.

PS I,m currently learning not to play the ukulele.


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Postby Lady Cecily » Fri Sep 30, 2005 7:35 pm

Ok de Boissey - we grew up within a few miles of each other and I've never heard a meat pie called a growler. Perhaps it has something to do with my mum being from Geordieland. Anyhow - I think you may be moonlighting as a wedding singer - check this out........

http://www.redtop-media.com/GGG.html

Back to the Bombarde - you might want to try some of the tips on this site..

http://www.hobgoblin-usa.com/info/bombarde.htm

If you google Bombarde you'll find a lot of sites in French - the Bretons seem to want to claim this intrument as their very own.


Caroline

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Postby WhiteWolf » Fri Sep 30, 2005 7:37 pm

Growler = Pork pie

WW 8)
Yorkshireman in exile :D



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Postby Vlad » Sat Oct 01, 2005 12:53 am

One Sunday, after losing a game of cricket, some friends and I were sitting outside my village pub enjoying a few pints and holding and inpromptu inquest on why we'd lost the match (because we're not very good, that's why!).

Suddenly the tranquility was broken by a squeal of brakes, a soft thud and a high pitched shriek. We all looked towards the road and immediately saw what had happened - a squirrel had been run over by a car. The car sped off - possibly to some more pressing engagement - leaving what we all assumed was a mortally wounded squirrel lying in the road.

Since none of us were qualified squirrel doctors, and since we assumed that the squirrel was deceased, we carried on drinking in the manner of all Englishmen when faced with adversity.

A minute or two passed, then somebody pointed at the road and said "look!"

The squirrel had climbed to its feet. It stood there, shaking its head as if to clear it, and then started to walk in a perculiar stiff-legged way towards us.

As it drew closer we could clearly see that it hadn't escaped unscathed - the car had succceeded in completely amputating the squirrel's tail!

The squirrel looked directly at me! If Sergio Leone had been filming the incident there would have been close-ups of the rodent's beady little black eyes cut with close-ups of my own - perhaps showing a bead of sweat trickling down my brow. Mr Morecone would have earned his money writing the music for that scene, I can tell you!

The squirrel's eyes brimmed with resentment. I could tell that he was holding me responsible for my entire species, a species that had created the roaring death machine that'd just severed his magnificent furry tail.

His pace quickened and he began to run towards me. Bravely, I tried to fend him off with a nearby woman, but to no avail!

He bore down on me like a lawn sprinkler - if you can imagine a furry grey lawn sprinkler with four legs, teeth, foam around its mouth and, instead of life-giving water, bright red arterial blood spurting from its bottom. On reflection, perhaps the lawn sprinkler analogy was a little stretched.

Anyway, the psychoapthic blood-showering rodent leaped onto the table (luckily somebody had the foresight to clear my pint of Tetley's from it path of destruction) ran to me, jumped onto my stomach from whence it made its way up to my shoulder and proceeded to try to gnaw off my earlobe.

I'd like to say that I conducted myself well in the face of this onslaught, but that'd be a blatant lie. It would be more truthful to say that I leaped about like a member of the New Guinean M'Lundi tribe conducting their famed fertility dance.

Our star bowler ('star' being a relative term, in that he's a better bowler than the rest of us but worse than the lady who makes our sandwiches) managed to dislodge the creature by throwing a half-full can of coke at it.
The can didn't hit the squirrel directly - it ricocheted off the side of my head first - which, luckily, was the only injury I suffered in the entire incident. The squirrel ran off to wherever they go.

Beers were returned to the table. Seats were re-taken and much relieved laughter was laughed. Did I mention that I'd just finished playing cricket? My flannels looked I'd worn them for an activity day at the local abbatoir.

I thought that being attacked by that squirrel was the most frightening thing that'd ever happened to me until I read about deBoissey's bear. Ha! And I bet you were wondering whether there was a point to this post or not!



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Postby Kate Tiler » Sun Oct 02, 2005 8:35 am

I am also learning not to play the Ukulekelekelekelekele (trouble stopping there for a moment)

I was inspired by the rendition of 'Miss Dynamite' by the Ukulekele Orchestra of Great Britain:

http://www.ukuleleorchestra.com/samples ... amitee.MP3

Perhaps you could create a bombarde version?


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http://www.companyofartisans.co.uk
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