Thank you Frank! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)
"New" harp dulcimer and Gallier A-frame prototype...
Congrats on your two very special acquisitions, Brian.
And I really like your sensitive playing of La Mort de Coucy. That is an original tune Neal wrote after reading Barbara Tuchman's A Distant Mirror on 14th-century Europe.
Dusty T., Northern California
"A good song makes you laugh, it makes you cry, it makes you think."
-- Pete Seeger
Hello and Happy New Years all. :) A few people had asked me what my harp dulcimer sounds like, so here is a link to a short video. This is a quick run-through of La Mort de Coucy, a tune I learned from a book by Neal Hellman sometime in the mid 1990s, if I recall correctly.
Thanks again all. Yes, I will try to post a video soon. :) Ken - yes, I figured it had to be John. I remember we had also corresponded via e-mail briefly when he was thinking of coming east for some shows. I don't believe he ever did make it here at that time. In any event, yes - he is a fantastic harp guitarist. For anyone who might be reading and may be curious, here is John Doan introducing the harp guitar and playing Wake (Waiting for the Dawn):
John Doan, harp guitar, Wake (Waiting for the Dawn)
Hi all! Thanks again for your comments. Yes, I'll eventually get around to making a video.
Ken, you are absolutely correct. Hey, would your friend in Oregon happen to be John Doan? He was friends with a good friend of mine who unfortunately was killed in a hit and run accident, so I don't find my way to Oregon all that often anymore, but I believe I met John once or twice (though I doubt he'd remember me).
Harp-dulcimer is a logical extension of the Harp-Guitar, which has been around at least 200 years. Essentially it's a conventional guitar with an expanded string set which includes a number of unfretted strings, often strung below the lowest string note, but sometimes divided into 'super' strings above the highest string note, and 'sub' strings.
Schepsis' translation of the concept to the dulcimer is very well conceived both visually and (I assume) acoustically.
I have friends both here in Florida and in Oregon, who are two of the reigning masters of the harp-guitar, and who will love to see this dulcimer adaptation.
I have one of Bob Schepis's standard dulcimers--it sings very sweetly! I have to say, though, that it's hard to beat the tone and ease of play of Gary Gallier's A-Frame. I have #4, built in 2006 and absolutely love it--and I feel very fortunate to have located a used one to buy, since most folks won't part with them for any reason!
Jan Potts, Lexington, KY
"Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best." Henry Van Dyke
I just added a couple of very special instruments to the collection and thought I'd share. The one on the left is a walnut, purpleheart and spruce harp dulcimer built by Bob Schepis. According to correspondence I have, it is the only harp dulcimer he ever built (it's the 86th instrument overall that he built). I found it interesting that next to his signature he wrote Psalm 150:3-4 ("Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and Pipe!")
The instrument on the right is a prototype by Gary Gallier, of the Gallier A-frame dulcimer. It's mahogany and redwood, serial number A-1, built in Oct. 2005.
Both of these instruments look and sound great and I'm pretty happy to have them. Thanks for having a look. :)
updated by @brian-g: 06/08/16 09:24:05PM