What Are You Working On?

John Gribble
John Gribble
@john-gribble
2 years ago
123 posts

Sherry! Oh, my. Saké, rice wine, is the commonly-used ingredient here. I'm sensitive to alcohol, so we substitute vinegar or lemon juice for it. "Sukiyukky"--I love it. grin   Kids can be so inventive.


updated by @john-gribble: 07/22/20 10:50:56PM
Jan Potts
Jan Potts
@jan-potts
2 years ago
411 posts

In the early 60's, my dad brought home a recipe for sukiyaki from a friend who'd been working a while in Japan: fresh veggies sautéed with strips of steak put in at the last few minutes, served over rice.  Some liked it a lot, some hated it.  Of course, we had all eaten the vegetables and steak before.  I think the objection was more about the liquid that the veggies simmered in.  It contained both soy sauce and sherry--and I think it was the sherry which wasn't appreciated.  I'm not sure if sherry was even in the friend's recipe--it might have been a special Japanese alcoholic drink or some other fermented liquid--but it was interpreted by mom as "sherry"--which she didn't even like!  

People who didn't really like having this tasty dish served for supper referred to it as "sukiyukky".  It's still a favorite dish of mine! But I'd never heard of the song by the same name before now!




--
Jan Potts, Lexington, KY
Site Moderator

"Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best." Henry Van Dyke
John Gribble
John Gribble
@john-gribble
2 years ago
123 posts

Thanks, @dusty-turtle!

Ariane
Ariane
@ariane
2 years ago
47 posts

I have read that this song was released first in Japan in 1961 and became one of the world's best selling singles of all time, selling over 13 million copies worldwide. It was for example top in the Billboard Hot 100 in 1963.

It' so funny...as a child I tried to sing along...I wonder what I have sung in Japanese grin

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
2 years ago
1,602 posts

Here's a version of the song with the lyrics and English translation.  I didn't know this song either until @ariane and @john-gribble discussed it here.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie

updated by @dusty-turtle: 07/22/20 11:45:01AM
Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
2 years ago
1,321 posts

Ah, thanks a million for the information, @john-gribble!  So tragic about the deaths in the plane crash which included the singer!  

John Gribble
John Gribble
@john-gribble
2 years ago
123 posts

@robin-thompson, no, I don't think so. It is very typical of Japanese pop songs of the era (early '60s).

A little later--according to Wikipedeia, the lyrics were written after a protest rally and origionally had nothing to do with lost love.

Kyu Sakamoto, the singer, was killed with over 500 other people in 1985 in the worst single plane accident in history.


updated by @john-gribble: 07/22/20 09:49:51AM
Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
2 years ago
1,321 posts

@john-gribble Is the song based on an old myth or folktale and is the tune a traditional tune?  (A dear grad school friend from Japan translated some Japanese folk tales for her thesis and, while she was working on them, I'd read them for her for their "readability" in English.  This was several years ago.)   


updated by @robin-thompson: 07/22/20 10:51:44AM
John Gribble
John Gribble
@john-gribble
2 years ago
123 posts

That's a wonderful song, @Ariane and @@robin-thompson. It is still popular in Japan. According to my wife Miwako, it is a "lost love" song, with the singer walking at night and looking at the stars. He says if you look up, the tears won't stream down your face. 

I like to play it noter style in DAA. It is pentatonic, and that one flatted note can be had by "half-sticking," using the noter like a guitar slide.  

Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
2 years ago
1,321 posts

I think I have never heard of that song, @Ariane.  It is sweet it gives you a happy remembrance from childhood.  We can all use those sorts of remembrances from time to time.  

Ariane
Ariane
@ariane
2 years ago
47 posts

Some days ago I heard a song from the early 1960's in the radio that reminds me of my wonderful childhood and makes me feel "nostalgic" - it is "Ue o Muite Arukou" (also known as "Sukiyaki") sung by Kyu Sakamoto.

Yesterday, while sitting on the terrace noodling around on my MAX (and because this tune has become an "earworm" again - Dean (@Elvensong) will be laughing when he will read this word) I have tried to play this tune on the dulcimer - and (except one half note) it will work.

So I guess that my next recording will be this (for me) very special song... dulcimer

Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
2 years ago
1,321 posts

I like the challenge of playing slowly-- it can be hard to keep a tune slow and melodic.  Great exercise for me!  @ariane's Shenandoah project is just the right kind of challenge for this old girl.  

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
2 years ago
1,988 posts

<crawling back under my rock now... see you when Covid is a memory...>

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
2 years ago
1,602 posts

When I don't have an answer I ask myself, "What would Groucho say?"

Not only for recordings like this, but for any kind of group play we don't have the luxury of varying tempo for expressiveness. Unless you have a conductor or other clear leader, you just have to find a tempo and stick with it. I am always humbled when I practice with a metronome.  It is one thing to vary tempo on purpose, but too often I vary uknowingly, speeding up over easy sections and slower down over the harder ones. That's something I'd like to eliminate.  I wasn't joking when I mentioned the frustration that comes with a metronome. I can only take it in small doses.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
2 years ago
2,083 posts

"like a kidney stone...." ...that's a gem!  I'll definitely be using that one. bigsmile

Ken, I guess it'll be a good growth exercise in controlling your playing then. I know it's true for me that sometimes simpler things can be hard when I'm used to doing stuff my own way (the way I'd prefer).
It's like someone who has lived alone for decades has difficulties adjusting to living with someone else. I had an older girlfriend who was engaged for two years to the nicest guy, they felt so lucky to have found each other, ...but they finally broke up because they both couldn't deal with moving in together and just visiting wasn't what they really wanted... they were each 'married to their own houses' full of their treasured stuff and could not deal with making the changes.

I too can vouch that you've been saying 40 years for about ten years now. No offense intended Ken, but since you mention it on average once every day in one post or another, that means we've all been reminded of your 40 years of playing approximately 3,650 times now. We've definitely gotten the memo!  yes    tmi




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Ariane
Ariane
@ariane
2 years ago
47 posts

Yes, "normally" I also prefer when playing alone to paraphrase a tune and to have a more "flexible" tempo  - but in such a kind of project I think it is "necessary" to play to an agreed tempo so that I can put the measures of different musicians in a row and the tune still will have its flow. sun

If one has "difficulties" in taking over the tempo I still have the possibility to place his/her measures more to the end of the tune - that will be no problem smile

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
2 years ago
1,988 posts

Dusty -- back then -- 10 years ago -- I was saying I'd been playing 30 years.  Now, 10 years later, I'm saying 40 years... dulcimeroldman

2020 -1975 = 45 years  time   "Time flies when you're having fun; fruit flies like bananas." -- Groucho Marx

I play a number of songs very slow --  Londonderry Air, Danny Boy, Amazing Grace, and others.  It's the regular tempo that I'm struggling with -- rather than playing "expressively" to the rhythm of the words, I guess.  confuseycrybaby

"Like a kidney stone, this too shall pass."  -- Unk Nown


updated by @ken-hulme: 06/30/20 07:03:53AM
Jan Potts
Jan Potts
@jan-potts
2 years ago
411 posts

Ken--Pretend you're playing it to a baby you want to fall asleep.  Playing a song slowly is sometimes harder than playing it fast....kind of like riding a bike.

I'm working--and enjoying--Skye Boat Song




--
Jan Potts, Lexington, KY
Site Moderator

"Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best." Henry Van Dyke
Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
2 years ago
1,602 posts

@Ken-Hulme, whenever there is too little frustration in my life, I practice with a metronome.  Problem solved.

By the way, I first discovered the dulcimer about ten years ago and joined ED and FOTM around then, too. You were saying back then that you'd been playing the dulcimer for 40 years.  Maybe the math needs to be updated.  grin   I'm not saying  . . . I'm just saying.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
2 years ago
1,988 posts

Speed issues with Ariane's Shenandoah Summer Project.  I've spent 40 years playing to the rhythm of the words, and I decided to get involved with her group play project for the challenge.  But 60 beats per minute seems glacial!   Have I mentioned how much I hate those little blue city guys -- metro-gnomes? 


updated by @ken-hulme: 06/29/20 10:33:36PM
carl wagoner
carl wagoner
@carl-wagoner
2 years ago
1 posts

Tryin' to smooth out ashokan farewell, Barlow Knife, and currently arranging/learning Cold Frosty Morning

Jan Potts
Jan Potts
@jan-potts
2 years ago
411 posts

Thanks for the update Gail...I wondered how that was working out for y'all.




--
Jan Potts, Lexington, KY
Site Moderator

"Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best." Henry Van Dyke
Gail Webber
Gail Webber
@gail-webber
2 years ago
70 posts

I have been in a dulcimer orchestra since last fall.  Judy House, the music director of the Winston-Salem, NC club, has written a book of multiple part pieces, and we are also working on some pieces from Tull Glazener's 3 String choir.  We've played quite a variety of music and it's been a lot of fun.  Of course, with COVID-19 we can no longer meet in person, but we have Zoom practices instead. Hopefully we will be able to actually do some performances in the future!

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
2 years ago
2,083 posts

I had Wittner pegs put on my langspil. They're amazing and a real delight to work with!   (I'm sure Pegheads are terrific too)




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
2 years ago
906 posts

I've switched from Pegheds to Wittner geared tuners. I think the tuning is a little more precise. You would be in big trouble if you cut the button off as the gears are in the button rather than the shaft.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

John Gribble
John Gribble
@john-gribble
2 years ago
123 posts

@robin-thompson One of the things that make Pegheds attractive is they do look very much like wooden friction pegs. Had I been more patient, Chuck, the man who makes them, would have cut the grips (buttons) off the original pegs and attached them to the new geared pegs. But I'm completely happy with what I have. Much more elegant and light-weight than those chrome banjo pegs.

But now I'm causeing the thread to drift. I think I'll go play some dulcimer.

Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
2 years ago
1,321 posts

@john-gribble While I love the look of old friction tuners, my hands can no longer manage them-- soft tissue woes, not arthritis.  Enjoy those Pegheads!  

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
2 years ago
2,083 posts

Good for you @Gary-Major !




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Gary Major
Gary Major
@gary-major
2 years ago
11 posts

I am coming back to playing. Been away too long. Got new strings. Polished my dulcimer up. Have a few song boook... Well I hope to shar when I finally catch up lol.


updated by @gary-major: 06/24/20 03:41:19PM
John Gribble
John Gribble
@john-gribble
2 years ago
123 posts

Well, I'm falling in love all over again with my Kevin Messenger teardrop dulcimer (see my avatar). I installed a set of Pegheds on it last week, and now I can zip from one tuning to another without sweat or foul language. It's like having indoor plumbing!

I'm also exploring the materials I got at the on-line Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering a couple weeks ago. I only attended one day, but received plenty of skill-developing information to keep me busy.

Non-dulcimer—I'm nearing completion of a book manuscript I've been working on since last November. It is a translation  with notes of a Japanese poetry collection from the 13th century. Here's one which seems particularly appropriate to our times:

 

 Fujiwara no Kiyosuke 

1104-1177

 

Given enough time, 

all these troubles may become 

like those of the past—

all those mean, hard, fear-filled days,

remembered with nostalgia.

 

nagaraeba mata konogoro ya shinobaren 

ushi to mishi yo zo ima wa koishiki 

 

IRENE
IRENE
@irene
2 years ago
168 posts

I'm finishing up a 15 string plucked psaltery with decorations.   I gave my #25 plucked psaltery to my two little grandsons that came here with their daddy and they left today.   We made two canjo's for them.  One is 3 and the other is 8.   both could play both instruments.  sooooooooooooo fun.  aloha, irene

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
2 years ago
1,988 posts

Doodling up a smaller version of my Burnsville Holly Leaf dulcimer.  This one will be only 5" wide and 30" overall, with a 25" VSL

Kevin R.
Kevin R.
@kevin-r
2 years ago
16 posts
I am working on a few kind of fast fiddle tunes. Trying to learn from a couple Phyliss Gaskins CDs. She is known for Galax dulcimer. I don’t have one, but I do have one of Bobby Ratliff’s Honaker style dulcimers that is tuned dddd (unison) and it suits just fine.
John C. Knopf
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
2 years ago
320 posts

I'm constructing a mean-tone walnut hourglass Thomas replica for a guy in Yorkshire.  The body's assembled, but needs trimming and pegs, nut, bridge, frets, strings, etc.

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
2 years ago
906 posts

Thank you, Dusty.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
2 years ago
1,602 posts

It looks like you're doing very good work with those zitters. @Ken-Longfield.  That kind of preservation is obviously important.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
ConnorC
ConnorC
@connorc
2 years ago
5 posts

Learning “Carrickfergus”. Mostly got the tune down (cgc) now starting to work on the other two strings. 😉

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
2 years ago
906 posts

Well, I finally finish the restoration of a Pennsylvania German zitter. I purchased two of them back in the Fall of 2019. The other one was easier to restore as I just had to repair a few cracks and reglue some joints. The top on the one I just finished was beyond repair and I had to make a new top. Here is the instrument.

Ken,

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

IMG_4349.jpeg
IMG_4349.jpeg  •  106KB

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
2 years ago
1,602 posts

Thought I'd resurrect this discussion thread. What are you guys working on?  building a new instrument?  learning a new tune?  putting lyrics to a melody you wrote?

I was watching an episode of the BBC series Poldark the other night and heard a charming Irish jig called "Haste to the Wedding."  I'm working on it now.  Not quite up to speed, but we're getting there.  I'm playing it on my Ron Ewing octave dulcimette, which is a 3/4-size instrument.  The smaller frets and the proximity of the strings make it a bit easier to play faster tunes.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
7 years ago
2,083 posts

Share with us what music and/or instrument you are currently working on!




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990

updated by @strumelia: 09/08/20 11:57:05AM
 
 / 2