The accordion cast a strange and joyful spell on me when I first picked it up and strapped it to my chest, six and a half years ago. I remain completely intoxicated. It makes me gleeful, it makes me insane; it can undo the benefits of a chiropractic adjustment after one Saturday afternoon practice session. But I love it more than I can say.
And clearly, I am not alone in my affliction. One of my favorite actresses, Mary Steenburgen, took up the accordion (and songwriting!) at age 60. She describes her love affair with the accordion this way: “I will tell you this. I am obsessed with it. I love it beyond belief. There’s something about it that just appeals to me–I don’t know why.”
You can watch the entire segment that aired on CBS Sunday morning a few months back–it’s pretty cool. The stuff about the accordion starts at 7min. 14 sec.
I also stumbled across this quote in a Chicago Tribune article about musician Ami Saraiya: ”About five years ago, I picked up the accordion. It’s like having a symphony in your hands (laughs). I picked it up and I was in love. It’s very rhythmic, and since I grew up playing piano, it came very easy. Playing guitar, it was never as linear — I never quite felt comfortable. Our music is very circus-y, very gypsy — it has a real French cabaret element — and so (accordion) fits right in.”
And it’s not just the chicks that feel this way. Read this beautifully written article by my accordion friend, David Magliozzi, where he writes about the intimate relationship he has with his accordion–it’s on page 4.
Finally–we hear from one of my accordion idols, Dallas Vietty, a phenomenal player and frequent subject of accordiontokaren blog posts. I was lucky enough to hang with Dallas one evening last summer at the accordion festival in NYC’s Bryant Park. Before he took off, I begged him to share a few words of wisdom on the fly for my blog. He so eloquently complied.
This is why I dig the accordion.
Bonus video: My friend Barry and I playing accordion on a Friday night in his happy, colorful kitchen. Barry (another frequent subject of accordiontokaren posts) is crazy good, which is why I would happily spend every Friday night in his kitchen. At one point, some of his talent is bound to wear off, right? Or at the very least, he’ll make me sound better.