by Steve Eulberg
Author Annie Dillard counsels that things come to the one who is observant. (warning–non-dulcimer content: She’s a terrific author–I highly recommend Pilgrim at Tinker’s Creek, An American Childhood, and Teaching a Stone to Talk. Now, back to dulcimer content:)
There was an open door at the end of the hall on the floor where the Private Guerilla Showcases were being held and I peeked inside to see what kind of music was happening there (I was at the FarWest Regional gathering of the Folk Alliance, in Eugene, Oregon, Oct 20-23) and couldn’t believe my eyes.
Was that really a cimbalom sitting there? I stepped back out, cleared my eyes and looked back in. It certainly was!
Joshua Horowitz, of Veretski Pass (Music from the Carpathian Bow) was the player and he and the cello player (Stuart Brotman) were engaged in a conversation with a youthful listener about German traditional music and the effect of the Nazi war machine on how people feel about their traditional music today.
I began talking with Joshua and then he began playing on the cimbalom as the cello and later the seated fiddler (Cookie Segelstein) joined in. Here is an excerpt of this performance of tunes from the Ukraine.
This video is dark (due to the hotel room lighting) but Joshua is playing the traditional cimbalom style with hammers between his first and second fingers, and they are cotton-wrapped, and he is making use of his dampers as well.