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).
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:
Andy Salvanos, a fantastic Chapman Stick player from Australia, has posted a nice Apple Music playlist of peaceful, ambient music – guaranteed to slow you down to a healthy, natural pace during this stressful time. What a charge to see my tune Bright Field of Stars starting things off!!
I’m so psyched to have my brand new collaboration with Norwegian guitarist Tommy Berre LIVE on all the major streaming platforms!! Tommy added some soulful, expressive nylon-string guitar to my foundation of electric dulcimer:
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.
Here is a playlist of some original tunes for electric dulcimer I just put up at Soundcloud: