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 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:
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:
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:
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…………
Here is a particularly hypnotic and trance inducing take on Star of the County Down, which is one of my favorite Irish tunes. I’ve mostly done this one in waltz time or 3/4, but this one is in 4/4 with more of a “two” feel:
This time we’ll have a go at some variations on Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. I’ve been improvising over this one for decades, and it’s always fun. When you’re doing variations on a well-known folk melody like this, the process is a little “tighter” than improvisation: you are working with some of the main pitches that the original melody has, but you are connecting them with passing tones, sometimes moving them around a bit in the measure, and sometimes going up or down a 3rd (two frets on the dulcimer) for a bit of harmonic color.
Before we get to the two full variations on the pdf, I’d like to show you a little bit of the process I use — with just the first two measures in TAB on the melody string (tuning DAD):
one possible variation:
So it’s not really that hard: you just keep some of the main notes in place where they should be and throw in a few different ones of your own choosing—connect a few notes of the original with eighth-note connectors. Try it!! The sky’s the limit, really…..see what you can come up with!
Here are my two 12-bar variations in music and TAB, with a blank second page so you can continue on your own. Try playing this as slow and dreamy as you can:
I’m so thrilled to be a part of this incredible MP3 Compilation (for the second year in a row) with my piece for electric dulcimer “Louie – Very Free and Easy”!! This is a compilation of 49 artists from the New Age Music Circle (a ning community) put together by New Age music pioneer Suzanne Doucet, and Beth Hilton. There is an enormous amount of work in a project like this, and in this case, the end product is just spectacular: the music flows effortlessly, and you can just let it play for a soothing, relaxing, yet uplifting experience. Here is the official text:
About The New Age Music Circle & Sounds from the Circle VII
The New Age Music Circle – an online community of almost 1700 artists, industry professionals and fans –presents its seventh MP3 compilation in as many years with Sounds from the Circle VII. Produced by Suzanne Doucet, founder of the Circle, the compilations have become favorites among music fans as well as professional radio programmers and wellness practitioners who appreciate the ability to play almost four hours of music without stopping.
Just a sampling of the New Age music sub-genres included are Mystical, Chill, Ambient, Meditative, Vocals, Nature, Trance, World, Solo Piano, Space, Electronic and more! Sounds from the Circle VII is available in both physical format and duplicated in online playlists in Spotify and iTunes for all tracks available there by our launch date of 5/12/15. The Sounds of the Circle compilations are always eclectic, showcasing the wide range of inspiration, interpretation and musical vision within the New Age genre from countries across the globe including the USA, Canada, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, England, Scotland, India, Malaysia, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Singapore, Philippines, South Africa, Spain, Venezuela and more.
Sounds from the Circle VII will have increased promotional presence this year, including YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Spotify, iTunes and Instagram. Find out more about this music, or join the New Age Music Circle at http://newagemusik.ning.com
For more information, or for media review copies, event distribution, and promotional giveaways, contact The B Company, bethhilton@theBcompany.com, at 310-560-8390.
The Artists of SFTC VII
SFTC VII participating artists and groups include:
Ricky Kej & Wouter Kellerman – Fiona Joy – Minstrel Streams – Bryan Carrigan – Sean Christopher – Lia Scallon – Isadar – Spencer Brewer – Michael Dulin – Sherry Finzer – Jennifer DeFrayne – Pamela Jamian – Rupam Sarmah – Mythos – Lisa Downing – Peter Kater – Kristin Amarie & David Lanz – Denise Young – Anima – Merrill Collins – Bill Wren & Frank Ralls – Mark Pinkus – Tron Syversen – Louis Colaiannia – Michael Hoppé & Giuditta – Heidi Breyer – John Morgan – Joniel – Sensitive Heart – Peter Garnvik – Jerry Rockwell – 7and5 – J. M. Quintana Cámara – Peter Calandra – Vibeke Sonora – Dr. Sounds – Michael Joseph – Anaya Music – Elise Lebec – Antje Nagula – Lynn Yew Evers – Natascha Wilczek – Tajalli – Zamora – Luna Blanca – Sunsaria – Suzanne Doucet – Jon Richards – David Vito Gregoli.