Kerrin / My Concertina

This small, hexagonal squeezebox has red and black striped folding bellows in the middle and lacquered rosewood panels on the ends. On the flat side of each end panel are four rows of six glass buttons arranged with two rows of white across the middle and a row of black above and below. In one spot on the edge of each end panel is a small, delicate, gold letter 'K' embedded under the lacquer.

The layout of the buttons on this treble folk concertina is highly logical and fully chromatic, permitting very fast rates of speed to be achieved when playing a melody. Playing is also aided by support loops at each end for the thumb and little finger.

History of Lachenal Concertina

Kerrin's parents were traveling ethnographers. That is to say that they roamed the countryside seeking to collect stories, oral histories, folk tales, traditional songs, and ancient poetry from all they met. While in pursuit of their studies, their children - Kerrin, Heathly, and Foa - traveled with them. This made for a rich and unique childhood. These childhood experiences exposed Kerrin to many different peoples and cultures and he took the most pleasure in learning the songs and music of the people he met.

Kerrin also took a special interest in the wide variety of musical instruments used, and became most fascinated by a rather uncommon instrument, the concertina. He greatly enjoyed the rare chances he got to play one, even if it was only for a few minutes. While he longed for a concertina of his own they were not particularly common and the current owners were never willing to sell or trade theirs. A brand new concertina was unheard of, and Kerrin wondered who had made the ones he did see on occasion.

When Kerrin came of age he set out for a life in Sable City with the intention of honing his experiences as a member of the famous bards guild. He had hoped the resources of the guild might lead him to a concertina of his own, but alas the instrument was just as rare in and about Sable.

After many years Kerrin received a package from his parents containing Lachenal Concertina. They had bartered and traded quite a bit to get the treble folk concertina from someone who had inherited it as part of an estate from a distant relative.

Unfortunately, the state of the concertina was a complete disaster and it was unplayable. The keys were oxidized and the surrounding felt bushings were worn and damaged - which caused various keys to stick instead of moving freely. The leather thumb straps were brittle and cracking with age. The lacquer finish of the rosewood end panels was completely worn off and so the underlying wood itself was damaged. The internal springs were rusty and the valve pads were badly deteriorated. The reeds were a mix of steel and brass with the steel ones being rusted and useless. Finally, the leather and linen bellows contained many cracks from both age and use or perhaps misue, and they showed bad wear spots from rubbing against the Gods only knew how many different musicians.

While Kerrin was overjoyed at receiving such a fabulous and unexpected gift from his parents, he knew restoring the concertina to a usable state was going to be a long and difficult process. For that he would enlist the help of a very clever gnome, Khortez, for he was exceptionally good with delicate mechanical devices. After many a trial and error and much rework the concertina was not only restored to fine playing condition, but the artistry of the piece itself was once again visible.

These days Kerrin Gaile the Wren of Wassail can be heard playing Lachenal Concertina throughout the realm entertaining audiences both large and small and from all walks of life as folks gather to hear one of the land's most famous bards perform.