Friday, May 30, 2014

CTO … Ken Kolodner passing through the Triangle area in November. Any leads on a concert op?

Check This Out … Ken Kolodner and son, Brad, will be heading to Charleston, SC this coming November 7-8  to play a concert (and contra dance) plus fiddle and banjo workshops. They are looking for a house concert or other concert opportunity in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area on Nov 6 or Nov 9. Any ideas? Contact Ken!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Monday's Muse

37,000 flags planted in Boston Common to honor the fallen soldiers of Massachusetts
~ from Revolutionary War to present time ~

Friday, May 23, 2014

CTO … Photos Taken Inside Instruments

Now this is a different perspective! Imagine shrinking small enough to climb into a musical instrument. Any photographers out there interested in giving us the inside scoop on a hammered dulcimer?

Check This Out … Photographs taken by Mierswa Kluska for the Berlin Philharmonic, concept by Björn Ewers and Mona Sibai. It's like stepping into another world! Check out Björn's gallery, Instruments from the Inside .

Monday, May 19, 2014

Monday's Muse

The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things.
~ Henry Ward Beecher

Friday, May 16, 2014

CTO … True or False? You must get permission to play somebody else's music in a public performance.

Check This Out … Steve Smith taught an interesting and helpful class about copyright issues at the Winston Salem Dulcimer Festival a couple of weekends ago. Steve Eulberg recently wrote an easy to read, easy to understand blog post regarding the topic. Educate yourself.

BTW … the answer is false

Monday, May 12, 2014

Monday's Muse

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great. When you are seeking to bring big plans to fruition, it is important with whom you regularly associate. Hang out with friends who are like-minded and who are also designing purpose-filled lives. Similarly, be that kind of a friend for your friends.  ~ Mark Twain

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Desperately Seeking Inspiration

I've been doing the most random things in my practice since attending the Winston Salem Dulcimer Festival this past weekend. Most significant is the fact that I actually AM practicing!

Why do people go to dulcimer festivals, anyway? To be sure, there are as many reasons as there are people in the room. One reason I go is I'm always on the look-out for inspiration. I guess it worked. Look what I've been doing this week:

  • I loved hearing Sarah Morgan sing and play the mountain dulcimer during Saturday night's concert. What a voice! What a talent! On Sunday morning she went on to sing at St. Anne's Episcopal Church, Winston-Salem. I did not attend that service, but thanks to the internet and a link seen on FaceBook I was able to hear a recording of her rendition of "Praise to the Lord". It's a beautiful hymn. I was so inspired, I went directly to my instrument and came up with my own arrangement before bedtime Sunday night. Alas, I have not added my own singing voice.
  • Joshua Messick taught an advanced class called "Out of the Box" in which he emphasized practicing the chromatic scale and using it to learn every sort of interval possible on the hammered dulcimer. Now, I know how to find the chromatic scale, but I haven't practiced it enough to be absolutely fluent ascending and descending. Nor have I worked at internalizing all the funky chromatics at the upper and lower ends of my instrument. You know … those strings on the extra bridges? The ones that haven't been tuned in a while?! Guess what, as of this week I'm becoming proficient.
  • One of the joys of attending dulcimer festivals is the opportunity to visit and play with long-time friends, such as Marya Katz. Marya taught the beginning beginner class on Saturday. On Friday evening, I participated in her drum circle. Marya really knows how to make music fun and inclusive. She had all of us beating on drums, shaking and rattling percussion instruments, communicating with each other rhythmically, and actually ending on the same beat! I guess she was on my mind as I set about looking for a tune to do with one of my students this week. I remembered her "La Luna Giubilante", a duet for hammered dulcimer featured on Mel Bay's Dulcimer Sessions webzine back in August 2007. I now have a new, very cool tune, and the duet part (the backup) was perfect for my student! I think that she is feeling inspired now. It must be contagious!
What have you been inspired to do lately?

Monday, May 5, 2014

Monday's Muse

If you have a talent, use it in every which way possible. Don't hoard it. Don't dole it out like a miser. Spend it lavishly like a millionaire intent on going broke.  ~ Brendan Francis