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Played trombone for years, found my place in church music. Noticed harps much in Bible. Built small lyres for 15 years, but harp building came out of it and one
Played trombone for years in church. Read much about harps in Bible, and then got into lyres and harps which I made. This eventually led to playing at places like a nursing home, a psych ward, and a hospital. I had the opportunity to try several of my stringed instruments at Lincoln's New Salem, and that helped to determine what I actually had. The first harp(#5) that I took, along with a mountain dulcimer, to New Salem was mostly to be seen. There were two real harps there, and I saw that I was a long ways from having the real thing. A 22 string homemade tringular harp(#8) that sounded a bit like a banjo was successful there, and was soon played at a nursing home and a hospital on a regular basis. The quality of sound was better than an electric organ and about equal to a good piano. It would hold an audience of about 50 people at the nursing home playing a variety of instrumental music. The hospital has been the best place that I have played, because I play for different people each time I play, not having to change music so often.
Band/artist history
Was a church trombonist for years, playing a large bore Bach Stradivarius 42. It is a loud instrument, but I don't think a joyful noise has to be that loud. Several times I felt that a prayer was answered when I felt constrained to settle down and play with more calmness. When I had still had only one front upper tooth left in 1980-82, the trombone sound was great. When I heard 1 Kings Ch. 13 preached, feeling convicted, the tooth broke the next day. I had a dream of a goldfish dying, then I woke and saw a fish laying on the bottom take a last breath and float to the top of the acquarium. I felt that the Lord took it away from me, what I might have done on the trombone, because of a wrong decision. Right after that, the tooth broke off! It did not end my trombone playing permanently, but the great sound wasn't there any more. I was buiding a few lap zithers with 10 strings. Eventually had success with one of them. Then I began to build floor harps, each one better that the previous one. The first real harp I built was for a woman dying of cancer who offered to pay me for time and materials to build her a regular harp. I built two and kept one for myself. If anyone on the internet had an experience like mine, they didn't speak up. I spoke up and let people make fun of me, because I am not ashamed of my work with harps.
Have you performed in front of an audience?
When playing trombone in church, there was a time when I stood up and played the same note over and over and everyone present stood up at the same time and started dancing. That seemed so special, that I never tried that again. I appreciate things that are real. On one of my lyres, I played Amazing grace in a psych ward, and a patient in tears said "you comfort me". Someone later pointed out to me that it was similar to David playing for King Saul. Praise God. Being a musician doesn't get any better than that! Playing my harp in a hospice hallway, a young man came out of a room and told me the he saw an inspired look in his mother's eyes when she heard the harp. I've had people meet me in the parking lot and express their appreciation after playing in the hospice.
Your musical influences
A large musical top with a plunger that had a wonderful humming sound to it. I would crank that thing up many times, and and can almost hear the sound of it now, about 5 years old. Also had a whistle with a plunger, and later a plastic trumpet whistle with two holes that would almost play Mary Had A Little Lamb with a basic do re me. Had a trombone at home and a piano- both parents were musicians. My father was also a weight lifter and made the weights cling and jingle. Also, I got interested in science and engineering. After 40, being no longer an engineering technician, my focus was more strongly on art and music. My parents both played the piano. My paternal grandfather was a gifted minister, who did not awlays know what he said after preaching, being gifted in that manner. On the morning that he died, I wokeup and heard the words "soon the humming bird of death will come" When I got up and looked out the window, a humming bird flew up and looked at me for a moment. About noon heard that he had died that morning. A man sang "The Old Rugged Cross" at his funeral with such power that I could see a dark silhouette of the top of the cross and the crown of thorns durring the singing. Recently, I read about the trouble in Carter and Rowan Counties in Kentucky. That helps to explain the burdoned facial expressions in some old family pictures of my great grand parrents who lived in those counties at that time.
What equipment do you use?
I have a digital camera for live videos with sound, or sound only. The camera records at 64 kbps. Also have a computer video camera, MAGIX audio cleaning lab, Nero, Windows Moviemaker, and other software. I recently got back into cassette tape recording, because the digital camera does not record well in a public place where there is background noise, as the digital video/recording camera has to be at least 2' away.
Anything else?
For almost a year, I made one 80 minute CD a month of KJV bible reading and harp adlib. I had many wonderful nights sleep with these CDs on repeat play. I planted an Yellow Peace rose in a certain place according to a vision. It turned out to be next to a sewage tile. The rose thrived, producing about two nice blossom a week all summer,without using spray. The yellow rose pictured with certain of my songs was as good as the winning rose at the Illinois State Fair Flower Show. The following year, the bush wasn't healthy, even with spraying.
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