This collection is inspired by and dedicated to the people and places in my life that bring peace and happiness to myself and others... I think of them as sanctuaries.
It is my hope that this gentle music brings comfort and inspiration to its listeners.
1. Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen) My arrangement of the beautiful song by Leonard Cohen. My goal was to keep things simple and lyrical. I love playing this one!~ solo hammered dulcimer
2. I Won’t Give Up (Michael Natter/Jason Mraz) Arranged for and performed in the wedding of our friend Laura, this beautiful Jason Mraz tune landed very well on this instrument and has become one of my favorite pieces to play.~ solo hammered dulcimer
3. Going to California (Robert Plant/Jimmy Page) One of the more beautiful and hypnotic Led Zeppelin tunes. I developed this arrangement one summer while on vacation.~ solo hammered dulcimer
4. Building the Perfect Clock (Evan Carawan) I learned this piece by ear from Evan’s “Homeward Bound” album. I later had the chance to get together with Evan, and I showed him what I had figured out. He was both impressed and perplexed, the latter because I was playing some of the patterns in completely different ways! ~ hammered dulcimer, upright bass, string bass
5. Tomorrow’s Song (Ólafur Arnalds) Ólafur Arnalds is a minimalist ambient/classical composer from Iceland. It occurred to me that some of his piano compositions might lend themselves well to the hammered dulcimer. My performance of this tune is intentionally plodding and exploratory, as if the music is being discovered through improvisation. ~ solo hammered dulcimer
6. Caspian Lake (Ken Kolodner) An elegant tune by hammered dulcimer player Ken Kolodner. ~ hammered dulcimer, cellos
7. The New Land (Otis Tomas) My arrangement of a beautiful fiddle tune written by Cape Breton fiddle-maker Otis Tomas. Having just arrived in Cape Breton with his family, Otis wrote this tune to express a sense of leaving behind the old… and embracing the hope offered by new experiences to come. ~ hammered dulcimer, string bass, upright bass
8. Canon in D (Johann Pachelbel) My arrangement for Laura’s wedding. ~ hammered dulcimer, string bass, cello, viola
9. Fyrsta (Ólafur Arnalds) Another beautiful song by Ólafur Arnalds. ~ hammered dulcimer, violas, cello, nature
10. Untitled #3 (O. Dýrason, J. Birgisson, G. Hólm, K. Sveinsson) My hammered dulcimer-based rendition of Sigur Rós “Untitled #3.” The hammered dulcimer handles the piano arpeggio. The basic chord structure is handled by bowed piano, Hammond organ, and upright bass. A young girl’s voice adds mystery. The slow pulsating build of orchestration is all cellos. Notice the gradual tempo build throughout the piece. When listening, allow the slow pulsating subtly evolving backdrop to carry you away. ~ bowed piano, Hammond organ, upright bass, voice, hammered dulcimer, cellos
A word about the recording process. The hammered dulcimer is a Master Works 16/15 chromatic, customized by the addition of 6 low octave bass strings. The instrument was recorded in stereo using a pair of AKG C3000B large-diaphragm condenser microphones.
The accompaniment instruments were performed using sample libraries from the following companies: Spitfire Audio, 8Dio, Embertone, Spectrasonics, Native Instruments.
The nature stream recording is from Indian Kill Nature Reserve in New York State, recorded using a handheld digital recorder by Zoom.
Recording, mixing and mastering were done in Reaper. Audio plugins from the following companies were used: Waves, iZotope, Fabfilter, and Valhalla DSP.
Bill Flanagan - Hammered DulcimerRexford, New York
The hammered dulcimer has a wondrous, magical sound... a full, rich tone with glorious sustain. The simplest melody can take
on an intimacy and a fullness far beyond the actual notes being played. Simply put, this instrument is an incredibly resonant rich mysterious timeless wood-and-wire box of soul......more