Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Sliver of Pandora -- dulcimer and harmonica

This one was an improvisation. I don't often play dulcimer and harmonica together as they seem to be powered by overlapping, melodically-concerned parts of my brain. But it seemed necessary in this case, so I fired up the recorders and this is what happened. Take one. It never got more honest or better than this.

The title is obviously a reference to the Greek Pandora and the hope she found at the bottom of that box of hers. I was rather keenly feeling the loss of a friendship at the time, and was hoping to stir up some hope down in the bottom of those murky feelings.

The dulcimer here is tuned GDC, which, along with its counterpart DGC, is an amazingly productive tuning, opening up a range of darker and more mysterious emotions that you don't readily encounter in tunings better suited to major modes.

This piece is pretty characteristic of the sort of things I do in a solo show.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Interview -- "Creating a New Appalachian Sound"

I recently completed an interview with Apsara Music about dulcimers, tradition, and Twang. Apsara is an excellent blog covering "genre- and tradition-crossing music across the world," so it's definitely a good home for anything about Twang!

Sarah Lin Bhatia, Apsara's operator, did an excellent job asking me a great set of questions that got at both my background, my musical philosophy, and my work with both Twang and my brother Andy. As such, it's a good read -- especially if you're interested in knowing more about how I came to play Appalachian dulcimer in the somewhat odd way that I do.

With lots of embedded videos, it's also a pretty neat multimedia experience. Get the full interview.