Just What We Needed!

Nov 21, 2016 | 0 comments

Caolyn Cruso and Hammered Dulcimer

Carolyn Cruso and Hammered Dulcimer

Yesterday’s House Concert was just what we needed!  I really think I’m speaking for all of us who gathered to enjoy the music of Carolyn Cruso.  As she said at one point, “I think we are all pretty tired of talking about the election…” and so the closest she came to a mention of things ‘political’ was a song she had written in honor of the women of her grandmother’s generation who fought and won the battle for women’s suffrage.

Of course, I wasn’t privy to every conversation, so I can’t say with certainty that there were no references to recent news events.  But the mood of the crowd was cheerful and their interest seemed totally focused on Carolyn’s music and, especially, on her hammered dulcimer.  She shared great information with us about its history (going back 2,000 years to Persia), how the instrument has evolved, and its various names and configurations throughout the world.

Carolyh's Appreciative Audience

Carolyn’s Appreciative Audience

She also explained some of the technicalities – similarities to a piano, for instance, and she demonstrated how different types of ‘hammers’ change the sound and enhance the musical possibilities.  As is often the case, we had several musicians in the audience and they knew just how to phrase some of the questions that we were all wondering about.

Along those lines, at the break, singer-songwriter Fred Carter asked if he could take a closer look at her guitars – which she also played, but they didn’t receive quite the attention as did the hammered dulcimer.  “I don’t think I’ve ever met a musician with two Martins!” Fred said with a bit of awe in his voice.  In that moment, I couldn’t help thinking how much I don’t know and don’t see – about everything!

Multi-talented Carolyb Cruso

Multi-talented Carolyn Cruso

Later, after the guests had gone and Nyel, Carolyn, and I were putting the house back together, we talked about all the great questions people had and I thanked her for taking time to talk about her instruments and about her craft.  As it turns out, she has recently been doing a few gigs at Senior Living Centers      and she said they have been more like Continuing Education courses than her usual gigs.  The audiences (much like ours, last night) are made up of retired people, eager for an opportunity to learn as well as to be entertained.

“Yep!” I thought.  ‘That’s us!” And Carolyn was the perfect person to do both on a cold and drippy November evening!

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