Liam’s House Concert

Joseph Akins

Do you remember MySpace? Five summers ago, a friend of a friend referred me to hammered dulcimer player Bart Saylor‘s page there. I sent him a message explaining how much I love the sound of the hammered dulcimer and that I have been “aching” to learn to play for several years; as a matter of fact, it’s even on my bucket list. I asked him if he had any advice regarding instrument selection or knew of any teachers in the Atlanta area. He wrote me a thoughtful reply which I have hung onto all this time.

Flash forward to Saturday evening. I had the privilege of attending a concert in the home of one of my students featuring pianist and friend Joseph Akins and hammered dulcimer player Dan Landrum. These two world-class musicians took turns playing their own original works and collaborating on other pieces. This is a sample of the magic that happened during one of their improvisations.

If you watch closely at the end, the camera pans the crowd and you can see where I am sitting, just to the left of Dan. I was so close I could have reached out and touched the strings, although I somehow managed to resist. I left the concert feeling more motivated than ever to find a way to buy a hammered dulcimer of my own and master playing it. These instruments don’t come cheap and I don’t have much free time. But I’m not going to spend another five years doing nothing but think about making this dream of mine come true. And while I am saving my pennies, I’m got the piano, the clarinet, the tin whistle, and the mandolin to have fun with and improve upon. Thanks to both Joseph and Dan for a great night of music and inspiration.

Pam and Dan Landrum