First of the Thirds

This morning was the first of the third Saturday dulcimer mornings at the Culver Coffee Company, and what a lovely morning it was!

When I arrived, Bob Nowak was starting to hang a new academy faculty art show, including some of his own beautiful frost photographs. A little snow had been falling on my way in, but soon stopped as the day warmed up a bit. By the end of my set, the place was pleasantly full.

We were able to set up a spot for me without having to lose any tables — we just moved two stools and one chair to new locations. It was a good spot visually (anyone in the main room could easily watch if they wanted to, and could see my CDs, business cards, and tip jar) and aurally (one friend said the sound carried around to other rooms, too).

Towards the end I was starting to have trouble thinking of what to play next, and at one point I confused the B part of the tune I was trying to play with the B part of a tune I’d played earlier, but overall it was a refreshing time of music for me. I hope it was refreshing for others, as well; I certainly saw a lot of relaxed and smiley faces.

Thanks to all who stopped in for a listen and some eats or drinks.

See y’all next third Saturday!

Published in: on February 20, 2010 at 5:49 pm  Comments Off on First of the Thirds  

At the Culver Coffee Company

Come eat a scone, drink a cup of something sweet, knit, read, or all of the above while I’m playing hammered dulcimer at the Culver Coffee Company this Saturday, February 20, 9:30-11:30.

Published in: on February 14, 2010 at 2:31 pm  Comments Off on At the Culver Coffee Company  

And it was good

Saturday night I celebrated nine years of hammered dulcimer, with a couple dozen friends.

The Alumni Lounge in the Culver Academies’ Legion Memorial Building was a beautiful and intimate setting. Comfy couches, soft chairs, chandeliers and sconces, paintings, boats, a fireplace, fancy rug… kids running around playing with puzzles, stuffed animals, and picture books. In the cathedral-ceilinged lobby, yummies on one side, CDs on the other.

Here’s the set list (CD titles in parentheses):

Mostly Original
Prelude in Bm
Road to Lisdoonvarna[1] / South of the James (NLT)
Winter East and Kensington (NLT and HT)
October Snow
Third Street Market
Irksome Girl / Midnight Maze (HT)

Mostly Bach
Prelude for Lute in Em
Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (NLT)
Sheep May Safely Graze, with Elise Pare’
Carolan’s Draught[2] / Sleepers Awake (NLT)
Hewlett[2] (WCIT)

Light in Winter
Prelude 1[4] (NLT)
In Him Will I Trust
Fallen (WCIT)
The Storm / One Wintry Night[5]
What Child Is This? (WCIT)
Easter Thursday (WCIT)

1. Traditional Irish
2. Turlough O’Carolan, 18th C. Irish.
3. Medieval, I think.
4. Bach again.
5. Jerry Read Smith

Published in: on October 28, 2009 at 2:16 pm  Comments (1)  

Concert flyer


Published in: on October 19, 2009 at 3:49 pm  Comments (2)  

Celebrations and Traditions

It was on a fine fall day in October that I brought home my first hammered dulcimer. Celebrate these nine years with me, with classical, celtic, original, and other music.

7pm Saturday
October 24, 2009
Alumni Lounge
Legion Memorial Building
Culver Academies
Culver, Indiana

Reception to follow.

(The program will not be geared towards children, but all ages are very much welcome.)

(The Legion Memorial Building is #26 on the campus map. The Alumni Lounge is to the left once you enter.)

Published in: on September 15, 2009 at 9:49 pm  Comments (1)  

Anniversary Concert

I’m thinking about reviving my tradition of having a concert to celebrate my dulcimer anniversary. I’ve asked on facebook if any of my local friends would be interested in hosting a house concert — I really like house concerts, especially when the host is a friend; they’re relaxed and intimate.

I bet it’s too late already to try to use the academy’s chapel, but Mark will look into it for me.

And a friend suggested asking folks in the antiquarian society — folks who might have a nice big lake house.

I’m trying to think when the last one was — I think it was probably the big fifth anniversary one at the art museum at Cornell — because the next October I was nearing daughter’s birth, the next two she was still little and we’d recently moved.

Published in: on September 4, 2009 at 11:13 pm  Comments Off on Anniversary Concert  

Kentucky Music Week

It’s late on Monday night. I wonder how big the post-concert jam is? My hotel neighbor and I returned after the concert — there will be another time for jamming, but we want to sleep. After I unwind a little online.

This is my first time at a week-long festival, as opposed to a weekend. I like the format so far — five class sessions each day, so you get five hours of instruction each day from five teachers. Unless, like me, you take four classes, or fewer.

I’m taking Linda Lowe Thompson’s class on jigs — we learned a really nice mixolydian one today called Double Dutch. She does the two-note bounce thing to get two sixteenth notes with one hand, one stroke — it would be a cool trick to learn.

My second class is beginning whistle with Guy George. The Susato whistles he had for sale were so much easier to play than my Waltons, and have such a nicer, sweeter tone, that I had to buy one. Guy uses his pinkies to help hold / balance the whistle, but my right pinky doesn’t quite reach without locking or overextending, which makes it stiff and a little sore — so I’m going to try to either not bother, or to change something to make it work more comfortably. I also discovered that you don’t have to lift your fingers much — which, lo and behold, makes it a lot easier to find the right holes again.

Then there’s lunch. I bought some havarti cheese and some crackers, some baby carrots, some yogurt, and some fruit, so that I could pack lunches. I even bought a mango. I love mango, but have never bought one before. I hope I picked a good one.

My third class is Stephen Humphries, percussion rudiments. I’ve taken rudiments classes several times at weekend festivals, but I haven’t made use of the stuff on my own much. I’m hoping that a whole week of it might help at least a little.

Then there’s a long break for me — there’s about forty-five minutes for short workshops or jamming, then the fourth class session when I don’t have a class, so for me it’s two hours of down time. Not enough to go back to the hotel… but a lot to just sit. I’m glad I brought my knitting. It might be the best time to tune my dulcimer, if I end up having to tune it at all — but my strobe tuner is rather big and heavy and I hate to have to take it to the festival site along with my dulcimer, guitar, knitting, and everything else. Perhaps I could borrow someone’s digital tuner — but with my past experience I don’t know if I would be happy with the results — especially the results for my fragile overwrought pysche, ha ha.

I arrived yesterday in time to check in, get some dinner (Kurtz Restaurant has a nice atmosphere, and the grilled chicken salad was very nice), then register and jam a little. On my way back to the hotel I remembered about lunch so I had a late shopping trip to Wal-mart before getting to bed.

Tonight my hotel neighbor and I had dinner together and then went to the instructors’ concert, which, hurried as it was (each performer got about two songs or tunes), still lasted a good three hours. There were some really nice things in the concert. Les Gustafson-Zook had a great kids’ song about getting in (and out) of the bathtub. Bing — wow, what a voice. Rick Thum and Ken Kolodner were driving energy and so was Butch Ross. Cathy Barton and Dave Para had a funny work song about the hard life of a folk singer. And there was more, and more, and more.

And now, folks, I am off to bed.

Published in: on June 22, 2009 at 10:58 pm  Comments (1)  

Another Yellow River festival

How lax I’ve been about updating this site! Apologies.

Today I got to play at the Yellow River Festival again. My set was mostly Old Time, with some originals and other things thrown in.

The whole thing was a bit of a whirlwind. It was graduation for my husband’s school, so he wasn’t available to take care of our little girl. I can’t fit the dulcimer and the toddler in the car at the same time, so I first ran her over to a sitter’s, then returned home to fetch the dulcimer, then to the festival, where after checking in I got to visit with a friend and hear some other music, then my set, then take the dulcimer home, then fetch the little one, and whew.

Published in: on June 6, 2009 at 7:24 pm  Comments Off on Another Yellow River festival  

Holiday Open House report

Yesterday I played at the Culver Coffee Company fifth anniversary and holiday open house.

There were treats everywhere — some made with ingredients sold in the store, like some fabulous pecan bars topped with maple pumpkin butter — and recipe cards and faux candle lights and decorations and champagne.

I played Christmas and other pretty music, mostly on hammered dulcimer, plus one on recorder and a few on bowed psaltery. I even played with two bows for the first time — on Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming.

It was snowing continuously yesterday, and the roads were slow — but even though the shop was never crowded, it was never empty either.

Published in: on December 7, 2008 at 3:19 pm  Comments (1)  
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Holiday open house

The Culver Coffee Company is celebrating its fifth anniversary with a holiday open house from 2 to 4 pm on Saturday, December 6. I will be playing Christmas and other music on hammered dulcimer, perhaps with a little bowed psaltery or recorder thrown in. I hope to have more details to post as the date gets closer.

Published in: on November 8, 2008 at 9:24 pm  Comments Off on Holiday open house