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).
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:
Okay, it is Christmas Eve and all my presents are wrapped, but I have stopped work on production of my Winter-themed EP (there is a ghost of a chance I can get back to it before the year is out). I stopped working on it for now because these dark, haunting sketches of audio ideas just need to get out. They are very rough mixes and mostly under 3 minutes in length.
So whether or not the EP gets finalized, the momentum on these dark little tunes is undeniable, and 2019 should be a very, very interesting year if I can keep up the posting of this stuff.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!
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.
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
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…………
Patricia and Wayne have done an incredible job on this podcast! Howie Mitchell is really the first of the more modern builders as well as players of the mountain dulcimer. Howie’s son David Mitchell, who has been archiving Howie’s music and writings for about 8 years now, did a series of interviews with Howie and Patricia Delich & Wayne Jiang of Hearts of the Dulcimer. The result is this very entertaining and informative podcast episode!!