Timothy's Blog

Timothy's blog on dulcimers, music, nature and life!

I am a musician playing primarily hammered dulcimer and flute, and have produced 15 instrumental albums on Virginia, Nature, History, Celtic, Christmas, and other themes; self-styled and original in approach, with a strong respect for sources and meanings.

JUL
25

New cover art for the Incarnation CD

New cover art for the Incarnation CD

In 2015 we ran out of the current set of CDs of our first solo-produced album, Incarnation, and I found that the company that had been manufacturing them for us had gone out of business, and all the art work had been destroyed!

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138 Hits
JUL
20

Keep it going!

Keep it going!

Music starts at the beginning and, of course, ends at the conclusion! In between, there is a continuous forward motion that is part of our life in time and space.

When someone is learning how to play an instrument, the tendency is to notice a mistake or problem and to stop, go back, and work on the discrepancy. In many cases, that’s a good practice technique during the early phases of learning a piece.

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224 Hits
JUL
08

Being gifted

Are some people gifted and others aren’t?  (Of course not!  I think that to be human is to be gifted, only in different areas, different ways, different degrees.)

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329 Hits
MAR
02

Classical Music History VIII f, the Modern Era: Some nice miscellaneous recent works

Since 1928 one of the opportunities for great composers is to write soundtracks for movies, and another is new music to be sung in churches. We’ve already covered some of these with Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Arvo Part, and Philip Glass --- but there are many others as well. Here are a few of the more famous and notable works in this category since 1960. It’s such a nice way to finish out our series of Classical music posts, don’t you think!

Ernest Gold (1921-1999): Main theme from the film Exodus, 1960, play by Ernest Gold and orchestra

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1812 Hits
FEB
26

Classical Music History VIII e, the Modern Period's Minimalists

During the past several decades a new movement of the Modern Period has taken shape: Minimalism. Rather than search for deeper and deeper complexity and more and more unnatural feeling, the Minimalists have striven in an opposite direction to find peace, restful joy, creatively new applications of older sonorities. Development of a theme is seldom in a form such as the fugue or sonata, but there is indeed a definite and meaningful development through slowly morphing arpeggio patterns of chords, shifts into unusual but intriguing chord worlds and then back again, and various other gently journeying techniques.

Minimalism at times has extraordinary beauty, its own special kind of thrilling glow. (Can you tell that I like this movement?) In his watershed work ‘Credo’ (1969), the Estonian Arvo Part uses this beauty in shocking contrast to terrifying serialist passages in order to express his Christian conversion --- a kind of defining moment for the whole Minimalist movement’s concept. Since that time Part has consistently produced pieces that are profoundly devotional and greatly evocative of the human heart’s yearnings. One unique technique Part has developed is building chord structures out of the overtone series of bells, which he calls ‘tintinnabuli’.

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