Well now…..I have to say that I’m on a bit of a roll with some new compositions and musical experiments….. and I am delighted to share these with you here!
Starting with some of the most recent tracks, I’ve been busy working through the long chord progression that is quite similar to the one in Pachelbel’s Canon in D – but it is not exactly the same. Also the melodic structure is very different: these are kind of “meditative studies” that are very relaxing to play as well as to listen to, and they have a way of evolving over the months and years that I’ve been at this project.
Here is one of my latest tracks, called Canterbury Dreams:
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.
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:
This Aussie comedy act is really amazing. Butch Ross told me about them in 2007 or 2008, when I was obsessed with my little four chord circular progression D – A – Bm – G… that I used for Light Into Darkness, Tapping at the Edge of Paradise, and Tapping Into The Light on electric dulcimer. I just found more and more melodies that went with these chords – and bass lines with chord inversions to make it WAY more interesting.
Now in 2017 it seems like new ideas are again coming forward when I mess with these chords. I even have a more detailed version now, with sub-cycles of chords on each of the four main chords.
Most of the work I’ve done directly on the mountain dulcimer, but its fun with guitar, keyboard (which I can barely play!), or whatever chording instrument is nearby.
So even if the mountain dulcimer is your main instrument, why not play around on a piano or little electronic keyboard and see what happens? I usually resort to the white keys when I work with keyboard, so in C you have: C – G – Am – F. Good luck and let me know how it goes for you!!