Here is a brand new EP for you at Bandcamp, where I have finally recorded some of my best takes of two pentatonic originals that go back a few years: Five Tones of Wonder, and Koehler’s Pond Meditation. There’s also some brand-new recordings of a few Celtic traditional tunes that have been great fun. These recordings have a bit more color and harmony than usual, and in the case of Ballinderry, I have revamped the tune into a kind of minimalistic, but jazzy round (even though it does not work as a traditional round in its original form). Another Irish tune in this collection is the ever-popular waltz South Wind. Red Is The Rose is a Scots melody attributed to Robert Burns.
This one started life as “Skip’s Round” in 2015, and the ambient and ethereal takes became “Skip’s Heavenly Round” and now we have the new “Lullaby for a Starry Night” – which is quite similar to those more ambient versions.
This is one of my favorite playlists of the ones I curate myself on Spotify. It has a wide variety of instruments and genres, but the common theme is a simple, folk-oriented approach to melody and harmony. You’ll hear some minimal pieces on piano by some of my favorite players, some great accordion work by the amazing Maria Kalaniemi, or some mesmerizing modal compositions by Whalebone (UK-based ensemble).
I have just released a dulcimer instrumental track on Spotify!! It is a great Irish traditional waltz that is very mesmerizing and circular. I learned it many years ago from a recording by the English guitarist John Martyn. He played his guitar through a Leslie tone cabinet to get the swirling, almost psychedelic effect. My take is a little more meditative and is probably more relaxing:
I’ll be teaching 4 workshops at this June’s virtual dulcimer festival:
Ideas, Tips, and Musical Devices You Can Use Right Away (Level 4)
In this session, you’ll make some interesting and unique music using only 5 tones. You’ll try some easy chord substitutions, and learn some of my favorite 4-chord loops to jam around. You’ll discover the power in changing up the time signature, tempo, and groove of a familiar folk tune. And you’ll try some “riffs” that you can move around to any chord you want. Tuning DAD. Friday Session 2
“Scarborough Fair” and Two More English Folk Song Melodies (Level 4)
I love the haunting modal character of many traditional English folk melodies. In addition to “Scarborough Fair”, you’ll learn a wonderful melody from Cornwall called “I Love My Love”. “Dives & Lazarus” is another great tune similar to “Star of the County Down”. You’ll get the bare-bones melody and chord-melody style on this one, as well as a carefully-arranged chord study. Tuning DAD. Saturday Session 2
Great Scots Melodies – “Kelvingrove” and “Willy O’Winsbury” (Level 3)
You’ll learn “Kelvingrove” in the Key of G while tuned DAD. This is a slow waltz that has a grace and gentle beauty that’s hard to beat. “Willy O’Winsbury” is one of my all-time favorite Scots ballads. You’ll get both of these tunes in chord-melody style, and I’ll share my left-hand fingerings with you as much as possible. Tuning DAD. Saturday Session 6
Easy Irish Airs and Lullabies (Level 3)
You’ll be totally enchanted with these slow, meditative airs from Ireland. “Baidin Fheilimi” (“Phelim’s Boat”) is a 3/4 time lullaby that we’ll be doing in a simple, sparse arrangement using a lot of open strings. “Ebhli Ghail Chiuin Ni Chearbhaill” (“The Fair and Charming Eileen O’Carroll”) is much more mesmerizing and circular. Finally, my original “Irish Lullaby No. 1” gets more of a chord-melody treatment. Tuning DAD. Friday Session 5
Most of the playlists I curate on Spotify contain tracks of guitar and plucked string instruments (including mountain and hammered dulcimers). However, since I’m connected to an outstanding international network of musicians who also curate their own playlists, I have made a special playlist of my favorite meditative pianists. Have a listen!! These instrumentals will take you on a journey!!!
Quarantune 3.0 is right around the corner! In this post I want to give you a little sample of some of the tablature I’ll be using for each of my workshops. There will probably be much more tablature when we do the workshop, but this will give you an idea. Here is the QuaranTUNE web site where you can get registered for classes:
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