Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ted Yoder Visits the Triangle

I met a new-to-me hammered dulcimer player the other night.  Ted Yoder, of Indiana, performed a house concert in Durham on Sunday evening.  He presented an informal program of original and familiar tunes, including such crowd-pleasers as Chocolate Skies (the title track of his new cd), Bach's Cello Suite, Carol of the Bells, and Eleanor Rigby. Now that's diversity!

On top of that, he accompanied himself on a few vocal pieces.  I'm not talking about striking little chords here and there in between phrases.  He was playing full out arpeggiated chords throughout the entire song!  A member of the audience asked if singing and playing at the same time is difficult.  He said no, that his experience singing with the piano helped. Impressive!  I would have given a different answer to that question.

Ted's background in piano is evident in his varied repertoire and his use of interesting chord progressions.  He plays with the deftness of a drummer ... hand separation, stick control, rhythmic variety ... but denies having previous percussion experience.  I consider Ted to be a member of the "new generation" of hammered dulcimer players.  His percussive style breaks away from the more traditional manner of play.  Yet, with that full wall of sound he has enough control of the dynamic range to allow the melody to stand out.

I'm inspired to incorporate some of this type of play into my own practice ... better hammer control and better execution of complex rhythms seem like good goals.  And I have to admit - I do have damper lust!

Click here for more info:  Ted Yoder's Music

PS  It was great seeing some of my students and dulcimer buddies at the concert, too!  I'm curious ...  Are you ready to "yoderize" some of your arrangements?

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