Wednesday, November 08, 2006


I'll probably be away from the computer for awhile - but will blog in via phone. Destination: Ohio.

I'm excited to be performing and teaching at Jerry Rockwell's SEODfest '06 because the man is another force to be reckoned with in dulcimer culture and I'm pleased as punch to be getting some face-time with him, as well as actually participating in his gig. Holy Cow - I mean, really - how did I come to get involved with this?

It actually goes back to Stephen Seifert, calling me up and saying "hey, I think you should get plugged in to the dulcimer circuit." God bless Stephen.

So, I'm teaching three workshops:

Vox Rhythmata -- Bing Futch's highly rhythmic singing and playing style has earned him a reputation as "the rock 'n' roll dulcimerist" though his music spans many genres. In this free-flowing workshop, he shares techniques with an eye (and ear) towards incorporating various strum and picking rhythms as well as getting comfortable with playing and singing. 9 - 11AM Meeting Room

Primal Dulcimer -- free form channeling of energy into improvisational melodic and percussive playing. 11 - 12noon Kitchen

The Dark Side of the Mountain Dulcimer -- Exploring minor keys, drones, dissonance and musical conflict. Some of the most compelling and expressive music comes out of our shared human condition. 3 - 4PM Emily's Lobby

Jerry was very enthusiastic about presenting a free-flowing kind of curriculum, one that was edgier than most of the workshops you'd find at festivals around the country - so, I was encouraged to come up with some ideas that would really invite players to embrace the dulcimer in a spiritual way. I printed out some music to distribute, which will be the bulk of the "Dark Side" class - and the other two will be very much in-the-moment, which is sort of scary, but very exciting at the same time.

I'm also excited to be driving a Chevy HHR again. Mmmmmm. I drove one of these up to Kentucky Music Week this past June and, I gotta tell you, this is my next vehicle.

When Jae and I went to my 20 year high school reunion, we rented a PT Cruiser, which was a hell of a lot of fun and catapulted me towards wanting to buy one. It wasn't until I drove the HHR that I realized it was a superior vehicle and not a knock-off like I had dismissed it as earlier. It not only holds more cargo, but it also drives better, the cruise-control is immaculate, and it's more gas-conservative and ultimately, a more handsome car, in my opinion.

I drove a gold-leaf model this summer. Tonight, while picking the car for this trip, I spied several HHRs, but one caught my eye: it had a running board. (It doesn't take much to get me going.) It was also bone white, which had a certain flair, so as I loaded the gear into the back and got in, I also noticed that this particular model had a sun-roof. Sweet. I dunno how that will work when I get up to somewhat frozen Ohio, but the first half of the trip would be rockin', this much is sure.

I head off at 4 am, in order to get there by 5 pm or so. This is going to be a fantastic trip and I'll try to keep up with the developments as they happen. But I'm truly honored and blessed to have this opportunity to learn more as well as teach.

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