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:
This is a brand-new version of an original tune from about 1993. It is in the spirit of an Irish slow air, and it has strong modal flavoring throughout. The original recording was just solo acoustic mountain dulcimer….fingerpicking style and just some open string drone in spots. This new recording uses a few tracks of electric dulcimer, along with some ambient wash in the background. I have also added more chords: making it a bit less of a dronal texture.
Here is the link for doing a pre-save on the major streaming platforms:
For the last 4 or 5 months, I’ve been spending more and more time gradually building quality playlists of relaxing and meditative instrumental music on Spotify. Thanks to this platform’s Spotify For Artists program, I’ve had some success in networking with other musicians who are also building great playlists. Here I want to introduce you to the playlists that I’m personally building, and encourage you to follow them and listen:
Relaxing Acoustic Instrumentals – This one is one of my more popular playlists. It includes the wonderful guitarists Michelle Qureshi, Tommy Berre, Lance Allen, and Vin Downes. It has the wonderful hammered and mountain dulcimer of Thomsina Levy on her collaborative new album with David Darling, a master cellist who is a very popular and influential New Age artist. And we also have the stunning Chapman Stick playing of Andy Salvanos, of Adelaide, Australia! This playlist leans slightly toward the folk and Celtic influences, though there is a wide variety of music included.
Atmospheric Calm, Ambient Guitar, Dulcimer, and Chapman Stick – This one features some of the leading “post-rock” artists, like Helios, Hammock, The Echelon Effect, and Lowercase Noises, as well as great ambient guitarists Erik Wollo and Jeff Pearce.
Hypnotic, Circular, and Mesmerizing – I am a huge fan of minimalist, constantly-repeating and circular chord cycles!!! This music is positively trance-inducing, and it will often get your mind out of ruts it does not need to be in!! Here we have Tracey Chattaway, Message To Bears, The American Dollar, Clem Leek, and many more amazing masters of this circular music.
Waking Up On Cloud Nine – These are the dreamiest most sublime tunes I can find! From Parijat (my current favorite) to Meg Bowles, to Iceland’s phenomenal Olaf Arnalds, it just doesn’t get any dreamier than this!!
If you’d like to hear some of my music on Spotify, here is a link to my official “Spotify For Artists” profile:
Here is a playlist on Spotify that I’ve been slowly building for a while. It has some great acoustic guitarists, like Vin Downes, Lance Allen, Michelle Qureshi, Tommy Berre, Al Petteway, and many more, but there are also some players of Hammered Dulcimer, Mountain Dulcimer, Chapman Stick, and Harp. Many of these tunes have strong Celtic influences, or are actually traditional Irish or Scots tunes. Enjoy!
This one has become a long-term project in many ways: it started out with Kate’s Tune probably five years ago. Kate’s Tune, in 4/4 time, is kind of a mesmerizing mixture of a Grateful Dead jam and something from the slower end of the Celtic realm. This month we are working on the waltz version at my Patreon lessons.
At Spotify, I made a 14-tune introductory playlist for my catalog of electric and acoustic dulcimer music. This spans three full-length albums, with a shorter album, due 9/15, arriving shortly.
This is great music for relaxing, reading, studying, doing yoga, meditation, and even winding down into a deep sleep.
Less than a week now! It took about two years to complete this new album, and we are pretty jazzed-up about it. There are eight tracks of meditative electric and acoustic mountain dulcimer: seven of my own compositions, and one traditional tune – the Irish song/air Star of the County Down. I think I learned this in 1979, so I’ve been “at” this tune for some time 🙂
The album opens with a tune called “Light Always Comes” – essentially a re-jiggering of a multi-year composition project using one of my favorite chord progressions of all time. This version has a tiny dose of Baroque influence – mostly in the underlying structure and in how some of the parts are written — but overall it has a contemporary, relaxing new age vibe.
If you’d like to hear this new album before it is on all the streaming platforms, you can listen right here:
My last album, The Singing Messenger, was released November 15th, 2016. Since then I’ve been busy with a Winter-themed album (which is still in process), and this brand-new EP entitled Starlight Variations.
This new EP will be available in all the major streaming platforms and at Bandcamp on September 15, 2018. Until then, you can hear some of the tracks right here:
Listening to Jerry Rockwell’s new EP “Starlight Variations” is like opening a magic box. The gentle but sharp sound of the dulcimer, combined with heartfelt and unpretentious composition, makes this into something truly unique – even divine. If you are new to Jerry Rockwell’s music, “Starlight Variations” EP is a great place to start. – Read the whole BT Fasmer review
You gave quite different and fresh taste to this familiar classic song. Very beautiful! B.S. on House of the Rising Sun……
Hi Jerry, I really enjoyed listening and I wanted to run down stairs and grab up my dulcimer! This would have to be my favorite version ever! U. O. on House
That’s very beautiful. We are always looking for ambient/chilled versions of rock or older classics. This is definitely that! Ocean Radio Chilled on House
Beautiful playing Jerry – the old tune is reborn T.R. on House
5 months in to comments pages…..
Now – per tune on new album:
Really wonderful interpretation of a classic. And classic in its own right as well. Pianissimo Tim on House
Very cool music , it seems to me i’m in nature , listening to all tiny sounds , seeing nice passiflore flowers ! your music speak to me , nice track ! C.L. on Singing Messenger
Contemplative, serene, and touching. Wonderful work. Tim P on SM
Beautiful sound, has some resemblance to a Weissenborn, but brighter. Beautiful instrument, fantastic music! T.B. on SM
amazing sound and work – not only from the instrument but the recording. B.T. on SM
Great music Jerry – calm, meditative, accomplished. A.C. on SM
a great chilled sound. And that dulcimer is lovely. Having made the instrument yourself makes your music all the more entriquing and beautiful. thanks S.F. on SM
Love your style, very fine composition and nice playing C.S. on SM
this is one of the more delightful tracks i’ve listened to recently O. on SM
this instrument that sounds beautiful, truly magical, very nice !! …most beautiful music, you’re a great artist, success and thanks J.F. on SM
wow! such soothing, peaceful sounds, Jerry. thanks for the touch of tranquility : ) L.T.P. on SM
Beautiful piece ! Soothing and relaxing. One man music laboratory indeed. Great work. N. Z. on SM
blessings emanate from your Tone n Flow…… 😀 A.N. on SM
Thank you for six minutes of total freedom, Jerry. WVPG on SM
Amazing sound!! Really beautiful & unique!! Great track! P.T. on SM
Lovely, so very soothing and gentle, real feelgood sound! T.T. on SM
Brilliant sounds and arrangement, Jerry! Incredibly soothing, calming the soul … thank you! S.S. on SM
What a beautiful sound! I think your music has healing effect. You maybe living surrounded by beautiful nature. I feel your love for nature from your tunes. B.S. on SM
A unique sound and such an elegant production. I’m captivated. Thanks for sharing Jerry M.B. on SM
Really loving this Jerry. Wonderful sounds!! Craig K. on SM
What a nice track to start thhe day with! Really interesting sound…I play dulcimer as well, the latvian one, but never recorded it…maybe I should give it a try soon:-) Really good feel on this piece of music! Best regards D.V. on six tones
Haunting, yet a serene vibe at the same time. Beautiful! D.B.A.
Am enjoying the smooth sound, and it made me sing along with this track. Love it! – Kori C.
Arrestingly beautiful–sad but uplifting and peaceful!! Great track! P.T.
hello Jerry, the music you make with the Mountain dulicimer you handcrafted is so important in our strife ridden world. S.A.C.
This is so transparent and fragile. Beautiful! H K
Love the harmonics..this also has a ‘music box’ vibe. Peaceful and a kind of lullaby. played well! D.B.R.
floating down the river of life, around the rocks and through the eddy pools 🙂 …..just great! M.W.
Such a haunting and arresting piece and I can’t say I heard you breathing as I stopped breathing myself. What a powerful piece M.B. on Thugamar……..
Really like this soft music, Very nice to to ear!, keep it up Jerry. Healing music it is. M.G. on Thugamar………
Waves of summer washing over….Yes, its a lovely tune Jerry, but you have taken it to a new level with the pacing, and delicate touch. C.O. on Thugamar……
In today’s world, where everything seems to go faster and faster, it feels like a privilege to slow down and experience something genuine and heartfelt. These two words sum up the essence of Jerry Rockwell’s Nine Meditations for Dulcimer. And when you take the time, you’ll see that there’s a poetic depth here too that makes this into a remarkable album. (BT Fasmer, from his review)
Here’s what listeners are saying about Jerry’s restful dulcimer sounds:
Wonderful, Jerry. Its relaxing flow gives me a peace of mind 🙂 F. G……
This is a joy – meditative……. A.W……..
wow, what a clear sound and pure melody! S. W. ……….
Such an atmosphere:) Wonderful tune! B. R. Green on Twinkle Variations……..
I found you and I love this track and I am adding it to a big playlist I am making of those I follow – Sunni ………
this makes me feel wonderfully relaxed! G. W. F……..
A beautiful piece and very much enjoyed! A truly beautiful dulcimer in your Masthead! D. S……..
Think I’ve just become a big fan of electric dulcimer….. 🙂 E.P………
Beautiful layers and so easy on the ears. I have to listen to more of your work Jerry. Thanks for sharing M. B. on………..
Lovely to hear an ambient waltz ..!! D. D………
An outstanding mood piece. Keep ’em comin’! L.Z. on twinkle variations……
Well, you’re certainly right about it being addictive…I could listen to this for a while and wind up feeling a lot better. H.T. on twinkle variations…………