Neal Walters, Dulcimer Players News
Marcy Prochaska also has a new album that is certainly worth your shopping attention. Marcy recently moved from Tidewater Virginia to New York State and No Loose Threads features her hammered dulcimer playing in a varied program of delightful waltzes, sprightly and stately originals, Celtic tunes, and songs of praise. Marcy sings and plays guitar, recorder, autoharp, and bowed psaltery in addition to hammered dulcimer and is joined by several talented musical friends on guitar, bodhran, whistle dulcimer, and flute. A solid group of vocalists add their harmonies to Marcy’s lead. Marcy’s dulcimer playing is imaginative, solid and very tasteful. The music is altogether excellent and the eclectic mix of tunes includes some real keepers you may not have heard before. Selections include “Rowena’s Waltz / Harper’s Waltz,” “Variations on a Three-Year-Old Theme,” “Let the People Praise,” and “Road to Lisdoonvarna / South of the James.”
Bruce W. Ford, EverythingDulcimer.com
Marcy has done a great job on this album. So good that it sent me looking for information on this album. This is what I found on www.cutedogmusic.com:
No Loose Threads is Marcy Prochaska’s debut CD. Marcy is a talented and artistic young woman who I (Rick Davis) first met at the Spring 2001 Upper Potomac Dulcimer Festival in Harpers Ferry, WV. To celebrate her first anniversary of playing hammered Dulcimer, she put on a house concert in Richmond, VA, which included music that was important to her throughout her life. This CD is a studio recording which was developed out of that concert.
Debut album? Folks, this is way better than most debut albums! The songs she’s included in this collection are not ones I’d pick for a debut album. These are complex arrangements of some great tunes. Expect to be impressed by this album.
On this album the instrumentals are the stand-out tracks. Each are outstanding arrangements, with just the right instrumentation. Any of these peices could be slipped onto a Maggie Sansone album and they would blend right in.
That’s not to say that the five vocal tracks were not very well done. They didn’t fit as neatly into the mood of the album, but enjoyable just the same.
The opening track on No Loose Threads sets the tone for the whole experience with an outstanding arrangement of waltzes, “Rowena’s Waltz” and “Harper’s Waltz.”
The hammered dulcimer throughout is measured out in pleasing amounts and accompanied by many supporting instruments that round out each song. This was the part of the album that most impressed me. The instrumentals were not over, or under, done.
Other instruments included are guitar, recorder, autoharp, bowed psaltery, whistle, flute, bodhran and lastly (Oh my goodness!) an electric bass.
You will not be disappointed with this album. Myself, I can’t wait for her next effort!!
Rick Davis, guest instrumentalist
No Loose Threads is Marcy Prochaska’s debut CD. Marcy is a talented and artistic young woman I first met at the Spring 2001 Upper Potomac Dulcimer Festival in Harpers Ferry, WV. To celebrate her first anniversary of playing hammered dulcimer, she put on a house concert in Richmond, VA, which included music that was important to her throughout her life. This CD is a studio recording which was developed out of that concert…
This is one of the best CDs featuring Hammered Dulcimer we have heard for the variety of musical styles, the musical arrangements, the production and engineering, but most of all the beauty that comes through in the music.
Elizabeth Kuhfuss, guest vocalist
This CD had an incredible amount of effort put into it and it shows! The first time I listened to it, I was immediately calmed and relaxed. It has an incredible effect on me that can instantly change my mood! I thoroughly enjoyed being able to be a part of such an incredible project, and I expectantly look forward to Marcy’s future work! I hope many others will enjoy her music as well.
Henry Smith, studio engineer and guest musician
No Loose Threads is a colorful, imaginative CD — an interweaving of different musical styles into a delightful listening experience. I especially enjoy the Scottish/Irish sounds. The playing is excellent — not just technically accurate but expressive. The dulcimer has a beautiful, unusually resonant sound. The CD not only displays Marcy’s playing ability, but also her great writing and arranging.
Rick Thum, composer of “Front Porch Waltz”
I get a lot of CDs sent to me and rarely do I ever give them more than one listening to. I have to tell you that I have listened to yours several times and even carry it in my car. Very well done. You have something to be proud of. Thanks for letting me have one and for using my song on it.
Nick Blanton, dulcimer performer and luthier
Nick kindly took the time to answer my request for a critical review. While I’d like to keep the constructive criticism for myself, with his permission I’ll reprint a few of his positive comments here.
Harper’s: Very sweet, minuet-like.
Variations: Right tempo, good energy, well-constructed.
Let the People Praise: Great, a hammered dulcimer number with the dulcimer NOT playing lead, just continuo. And a nice continuo, too.
Be Glorified: Nice praise song, not the least whining.
Praeludium / On the Loose: You get lots of points for keeping your arpeggios even, despite Bach’s modulations making you move wider and faster. And more points, again, for daring to play continuo for the song (On the Loose), not just doubling melody. And returning to the prelude is a nice touch.
Rad Te Mam: Nice continuo — I like the descending bass, and the fact that the arpeggios move in other directions besides way up and way down.
Infant Holy: Lots of points for making hammered dulcimer and bowed psaltery work together. You could have actually done damage with that combination, and you made nice music instead.
Carolan’s / Sleepers: Good ensemble, dynamics, and interplay of the voices; you’ve obviously been working together enough to play well. A nice arrangement.