by Linda Ratcliff “If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.” – Albert Einstein Erin Mae Lewis, who teaches Chromatic Mountain Dulcimer Lessons on DulcimerCrosing is giving a special Chromatic Mountain Dulcimer […]
erin mae lewis
Captain’s Cabin The Captain’s Cabin, Louisville, Kentucky, was the site of an S.E.A. rendezvous as our trio sped from opposite directions to meet up here for the beginning of our gigs in Kentucky this past June.Steve had begun his tour in Wisconsi…
Earlier this month, for the 5th time, I coordinated the gathering of my union brothers and sisters (Local 1000 AFM–American Federation of Musicians) as we gathered at this amazing and historic Ashokan Center in Olive Bridge, New York.
Members Jay Ungar and Molly Mason (pictured here) sang us a lovely song about living in the Catskill Mountains.
This camp is the home of the music and dance camps that they have facilitated for decades, and which gave birth to the famous “Ashokan Farewell” song that Ken Burns featured in his Civil War documentary series.
Remembering who has helped us get to where we are, and also paying attention to who we are currently helping along the way.
Two insights from this gathering:
My friend and brother, Scott Berwick, shared this story from a classical guitar instructor who demonstrates to student visitors a piece of music, then comments:
“That was correct.
All the notes were played in the right order and with the correct timing.
But that wasn’t musical.”
Then he plays it again with expression and dynamics and the two performances are nearly unrecognizable to each other.
He then says to the students,
“Students come here playing guitar.
What I teach them is how to play music on the guitar.”
Second is a question upon which I will chew and chew
How do we measure success?
If it is by comparison to someone or something…we’ll probably never measure up. So I need (and am finding) a different definition.
Here is an excerpt:
Here is another resource for mountain dulcimer players! Wayne Jiang and Patricia Delich, the producers of the Hearts of the Dulcimer DVD, have created a regular Podcast, called Hearts of the Dulcimer. The most recent episode (#007) features our own DulcimerCrossing teacher, Erin Mae Lewis, not as a Bond girl, but as the Secret Agent […]
Erin Mae Lewis teaches a new lesson on the skill of playing what she calls “forward” and “backward” scale patterns. This is what she uses to move her scales all over her chromatic mountain dulcimer, enabling her to playing the “string-band” keys, as well as the “singing” keys and helps her be not only a […]
Aunt Mabel, who lived next door to us as I grew up, used to say, “Many hands make light the work.”Shellie Baxter PhotographyPerhaps because I am primarily a solo touring and performing artist, I have been kerwacked in the best possible way with the awe…