Stacks Image 86361
Constellation:
Hammered dulcimer
Guitar
Vocals

When I first met Eric, I was just beginning to perform in public. I was thrilled to find out that he was a musician, and I eagerly asked him what kind of music he played. At the reply, "Mostly rock 'n roll and rhythm and blues," my heart sank. But, I didn't give up on him!

The first time that he showed up at my house, he brought a guitar and announced that he thought that it would be fun to trade tunes. He confidently pulled the guitar out of its case and sang me "Georgia on My Mind," figuring, I suppose, that anybody would like this popular jazz standard. Suffice it to say that "Georgia" is still not high on my list of favorites. And, as Eric sang, I became more and more panicked. "What," I was thinking, "can I possibly play from my repertoire that he would like?" I finally decided that if he didn't like J.S. Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring," there was no hope for him.

So, when he finished "Georgia," I picked up my hammers, walked to the corner of the room where the dulcimer lived, and started to play. I usually play this arrangement through twice, as it is recorded on Sonic Quilt, once on the wooden side of the hammers and once on the leather-covered side. I had my back to Eric, and a bookcase was partially blocking his view, but as soon as I finished, he asked, "What did you do about half way through to change the tone?" I knew right then that he was somebody who paid attention to small but important details! A year and a half later, Eric sang "You Are So Beautiful to Me" as I walked down the aisle, and I played "Jesu" for him during our wedding ceremony.

Although it took us only a year and a half to figure out how to combine our lives, it took us a lot longer to even consider that we could combine our musical styles. Eric learns entirely by ear; I learn almost entirely from sheet music. He has been improvising all his life; I have only recently begun to improvise. But somehow he got the idea that I should come up with a back-up for a song he'd written for my son—"Bedtime Blues"—and somehow, I managed to do it. Later, it occurred to me that it would be fun to take one of the very steady old Irish tunes that I played (Turlough O'Carolan's Planxty George Brabazon) starting with a guitar backup and gradually transitioning to a modern guitar lead. We call our version "Roll Over,Turlough." This piece was so much fun to arrange that we were hooked.

Over the last few years, we've developed a repertoire that ranges from traditional fiddle tunes to blues, to country, and beyond. Eric has developed his own genre of "occupational angst" music, which comes directly from his experiences in the corporate IT world.

In the spring of 2008, we released our first joint CD—My Slice of Forever. In April, 2012, we released Painting the Sky. And, in late 2015, we released our newest recording, Altogether Too Splendid, which takes its title from the lyrics of one of Eric’s songs. We are especially excited about this collection of music because, with the exception of one traditional reel, it is all our own creation.

We can tailor our joint and solo repertoires to fit any occasion. For booking information, contact info@constellation-nc.com.