It all began a sunny day on the beautiful Island of Föhr in northern Germany. Since I can remember music has always been a part of my life. I grew up in a musical household where my father played fiddle and my mother piano. Early on I started with classical piano lessons but for some reason it never caught on. It was not long after I stopped playing piano that I taught myself how to play an old button accordion we found on my grandmothers attic. Ever since that moment I have been crazy about Irish accordion music.
From my first no-name accordion I soon moved on to a Hohner black dot and finally settled on a Castagnari Ciacy almost 20 years ago. I have been part of several bands in Germany, but stopped after relocating to The Netherlands. In the Netherlands I enjoy playing sessions and gigs here and there.
Having always been curious of understanding how things work, I started taking apart old accordions. This started the idea of repairing and tuning accordions. It’s truly amazing to see how the instrument is transforming step by step and a long forgotten glory is restored. Some accordions haven’t been played for decades, and after spending countless hours in the workshop, I am the first to play and hear them. This is truly a magical moment and the driving force behind my restoration work.
When I’m not in the workshop, giving lessons or playing music, I like spending time with my little daughter as well as fishing and various sorts of crafting.
I graduated with a PhD in Theoretical Chemistry from the University of Kiel in 2014. Currently I’m working as a Support Scientist in an Amsterdam based computational chemistry software company.
Feel free to contact me for any questions or requests!
Cheers – Dr. rer. nat. Niss Ole Carstensen