Thursday, February 12, 2009

I have a new toy! Isn't she beautiful?

She's a mountain (or appalachian) dulcimer, three feet long, solid cherry with shiny gold tuners. <3 I've wanted one for years and have been having so much fun with it. I'm ridiculously bad right now but I'm learning. :) It's a cool and weird little instrument. It has two melody strings tuned the same that gives it a droning kind of sound, like a sitar, but it sounds so pretty and sweet. It's both old-timey mountain folksy and olde english-ballad folksy at the same time.

The most well-known dulcimer player is probably Jean Ritchie.

You can use a little stick-thing called a noter to hold down the melody strings, instead of your fingers. I don't know WHAT she is using for a pick~ it looks like an arrow? This kid is playing the same song, but totally shreds it! He's brilliant~

This one is more like what I will ever be humanly capable of playing, and the close-up shows how one can play just the melody strings, instead of chords.

This guy, Bing Futch, has a video podcast called Dulcimerica(LOL). I could watch this forever! Here are some good ones~

*sigh* That last song is beautiful. I have so very much to learn, and honestly, I'm not very musically-inclined, but I'm just having fun playing songs I like, howEVER I like. ;) Maybe someday I'll quit my artist day job and become a musician. Haha!

Oh yeah, I have been painting this month, too!

Fiddler's Field 6.5 x 10 inches, acrylic & ink on illustration board

Gig poster, anyone? ;) Dreaming of golden summer sunshine, warm winter wishes to all~


Julia Guthrie said...

Oh wow...what beautiful music & such a lovely sound!
And the painting...gorgeous!!!!!

Ok...I am going to HAVE to put together a print order from you one of these days Kristina. There are too many I want...LOL *stamps feet in impatience*

Heather said...

So cool! I love the sound of a dulcimer. Reminds me of the mountains! And this painting is gorgeous, you can just feel the wind! Awesome job!

Kristina Layton said...

Thank you, Julia! I think we might need to exchange prints next. ;)

Heather~me too! I grew up in TN, GA and NC, so I think it sounds more like the Smokies than the Rockies. I can't wait to sit on the front porch with it this summer. :)

They do sound so pretty~ even the sounds I make. ;) They're fairly easy to learn to play, and they don't sound really bad when you're learning (like a violin or flute). They look super cool, too. :D