A few weeks ago James, big boss James, decided he would scout for antiques and vintage items. His destination: the Western Cape farmlands. After approaching some of these commercial farm owners and being told to “get off of my land”, James decided a new approach was needed! Not knowing that the words ‘shy’ and ‘self-consious’ actually exist in the dictionary, James started knocking on the farm workers doors – “I’m here to by your stuff”. Needless to say he came back, covered in dust from head to toe, with a very dirty and packed car; exclaiming with a huge grin “Look at all this junk I got!” Hearing the word ‘junk’ made me scared – very scared, I thought he was buying antiques! What were we going to do with this junk that he was so proud of? Could we hide it, in some corner of the shop – just to keep him happy? Disaster scenarios were flooding through my mind!
Fortunately, it turned out – there was a lot of cool junk in that car. And the work Junk, took on a whole new meaning!
One of these items, was an old (slightly broken) Hohner Accordion! This made us (the ever loyal staff) very giddy as we attempted to use this beautiful instrument.
This is a picture of happy Gys – “Oh wow it plays two notes”!
After we had our fun, I became slightly curious about this instrument – today the accordion is an international phenomenon, and used in electro music, classical music, folk, balkanology you name it! It seems to be one of those instruments that will always make you happy.
So I did some homework. It turns out this happy instrument is of Chinese origins, from the reign of the “Yellow Emperor” around the year 3000 B.C. It is said that the Emperor sent off a scholar Ling Lun to the western mountain regions of his domain in order to find a way to reproduce the song of the mysterious phoenix bird. Ling returned with the cheng.The cheng was unchanged for centuries, until it was taken to Russia around 1770 where it attracted the attention of European musicians and craftsman. Who then through the years, and a number of previous ‘editions’ perfected what we now know as the accordion.
Our very own Hohner accordion, is the result of over 100 years of experience in the design, construction and manufacture of high quality bellows-driven instruments. “The combination of skilled workmanship and modern technology is known worldwide as the distinguishing feature of HOHNER’s high-end instruments.”
I also now know – that the phoenix is my new favourite bird!