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Accordion Revolution: About the Author

December 5, 2019

Bruce Triggs co-hosts the weekly Accordion Noir Radio show (broadcasting since 2006) on Co-op Radio in Vancouver, BC. He was on the ground floor of the annual Accordion Noir Festival, going on its 13th year. There he met folk, experimental, classical, and punk rock squeezebox players from around the world.

Proposed accordion emoji art: Red three-row button accordion with dark bellows spread in an arc. (The final emoji will have different designs for each platform.)

After meeting so many fabulous accordion players, Bruce decided to write about the instrument rather than learn to play it. His Accordion Revolution: a People’s History of the Accordion in North America from the Industrial Revolution to Rock ’n’ Roll was released in 2019. Also in 2019, Bruce wrote the proposal for the #AccordionEmoji, due for global release in 2020. (Really.)

He lives in a bachelor pad surrounded by broken accordions. (These things may be related.) Amidst all this he co-parents delightful and talented twins (who don’t play accordion) with their queer moms and their extended family.

Bruce making a funny "aren't you impressed" face, pointing to a hulusi. 

This is a traditional East Asian instrument similar to the Chinese sheng, but smaller. 

It's made of a gourd you blow into, with several bamboo tubes off the end that are fingered to manipulate reeds inside the tubes.
Bruce with the Chinese hulusi (ancient free-reed cousin of the accordion) he found in a local thrift store.

Bruce got into accordions after growing up with rock and roll. During ten years inviting people without homes into the radical Catholic Worker community in Tacoma, Washington, he broke his first squeezebox at the 1999 WTO demonstrations in Seattle. Now, he dabbles in electronic manipulation of a Giuliette chromatic button accordion — built-to-last in the 1960s.

Tony Charuhas' book "The Accordion" from 1955. Black and fuchsia, with a black and white accordion in the lower half

In Accordion Revolution, Bruce recalls that all the way back in 1955, Toni Charuhas’ book The Accordion predicted a bright road ahead for her favorite instrument.  It didn’t quite turn out that way over the next few decades.  Now it’s time for the squeezebox to reclaim its place in history. Bruce hopes to be there to report as it happens

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