Experienced exceptional accordionist, multi-instrumentalist and sound engineer available for session work in any style. 13 years experience teaching Music Technology.
I'm an experienced session accordionist and particularly specialise in diatonic button accordion or 'melodeon' on which I have a popular music degree from LIPA. I can play in a variety of styles from Irish to Israeli, English to Eastern Europe, Musical Theatre to Musette, Cajun to Cumbia.
Also available to play Jazz, Klezmer, Scandinavian etc Piano Accordion where preferred.
A very well respected ukulele player and mandolinist too, many of my recordings have been very well received in traditional, folk, world and popular music settings. Other instruments include Bass, Jarana, Melodica, Piano, Octave Mandolin, Penny Whistle and a wide variety of hand percussion.
Wide variety of effects pedals available to augment the sound of your chosen instrument.
Composition ideas happily considered too.
Tell me about your project and how I can help, through the 'Contact' button above.
4 Reviews - 1 Repeat ClientEndorse Ben Farmer
I have used Ben on several projects and he is alway very easy to work and responsive to issues. He is a professional in terms of quality of work and ease of collaboration
I've enjoyed working with Ben. He is very professional.
Ben is easy to work with, quick to respond to changes, and always strives to play a good part.
Very nice part well recorded.
Interview with Ben Farmer
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I worked on a BAFTA award winning film as musician and music leader.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm working on two big projects at the moment - a Funk-Folk Celtic ceilidh band and a Jazz-Klezmer concert band.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both - do what fits the project.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I'll do my best to help achieve what you have in mind and will happily do further takes to make it happen.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: The variety
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Can I really play that music on that instrument? Yes - I can.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That I might be snobby about a style of music - I'm really not.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Do you have a style of music in mind or a "sound" - the accordion is particularly versatile in terms of Timbre and can sound almost like a clarinet, or it can sound cool like the Paris Musette players or huge like the Cajun and Scottish country dance players.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: If you have a style of music in mind that's great - just let me know, or if there's a player you'd like me to play in the style of I'm happy to do that too.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Good headphones, a reliable laptop (and solar charger?), two nice microphones and a crate of instruments.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I left school at 18 and immediately started touring with bands and working as an MD in professional theatres. I've been a professional musician, music educator, sound engineer and other music-related roles for 25 years. I have two degrees in Music too.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: As a session player I will happily adopt the style needed for the piece. When I play my own inventions my style is my own - a mixture of all the music I like to play.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Bjork i.e. anyone and everyone, because I love variety and new challenges.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Don't focus on the gear - use what works: Focus on the music and the meaning behind it.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I will spend some time learning to play not just the notes, but getting the feel of the piece right before recording responding to the guide track and lyrics. Often I will record the two hands of the accordion separately so the client can mix as they please. I like to use Mid/Side for string instruments, but am happy providing a neck and body track separately as needed.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I use a professional studio at work. I mostly use Logic Pro or ProTools, but am happy to use other formats. I have a permanent setup in a treated room so I can get work done quickly and efficiently.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I love all styles of accordion music. There are too many other musicians to list here. I've been playing a lot of classical and jazz ukulele at the recently.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Traditional and folk is my main background, but I've played on punk tracks (with effects), pop songs, blues, ska and more. I enjoy the variety.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: A good ear and a good sense of musicality
Q: What do you bring to a song?
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Most commonly I provide accordion tracks for projects, either playing pads, or complex melodies that are unaccessible to less experienced players.