Author: Dan Evans

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the ARC Winchester concert

for this solo concert Dan will present a beautiful selection of dulcimer and guitar music – folk melodies & original compositions – plus a few popular songs – all performed with considerable classical skill and a little gentle humour

Bookstock Festival – Peak District

for this solo concert Dan will present a beautiful selection of dulcimer and guitar music – folk melodies & original compositions – plus a few popular songs – all performed with considerable classical skill and a little gentle humour

250 years of Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace is one of the hymns written by John Newton in the small market town of Olney in Buckinghamshire, England, where Dan Evans has lived with his wife Mary for the past 28 years. 

a little history (in a very brief nutshell)

The remarkable story goes that English-born Newton became ill in Sierra Leone on the west coast of Africa and was cared for by the local people.  Later, he worked on the slave-ships which transported millions of black Africans in appalling conditions, from Sierra Leone to the Caribbean, to work in the cotton fields and sugar plantations.  One wild night a severe storm threatened to capsize Newton’s ship and later, as a consequence, he became a ‘storm convertite’.  Newton then regretted his former ways and became a clergyman, preaching at St Peter & St Paul Church here in Olney, where his pulpit can still be seen.

Newton went on to support William Wilberforce to succeed in getting the abolition of slavery bill through Parliament, known as the ‘Slave Trade Act 1807’.  2007 saw celebrations here in Olney of the bi-centenary of the bill to abolish slavery.  (Ironically, Dan was working at a dulcimer festival in Indiana, USA at the time but was honoured to be invited to close the festival by performing Amazing Grace on the dulcimer, a feat which he repeated in 2017.)

Now in 2023, 250 years after the authoring of the hymn Amazing Grace, celebrations abound around the world, especially here in Olney, which is now known as ‘The Home Of Amazing Grace’.  A new Amazing Grace Orchard has been planted this year in Olney and was formally opened on the 9th July this year.

Cowper & Newton Museum

The Cowper & Newton Museum, here in Olney is a repository for all things relating to the hymn and its author.  The Museum’s website holds much information about the remarkable story of Amazing Grace as well as local events to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the hymn.

join in the celebrations (free TAB)

Dulcimer players as well as other musicians and singers are invited to sing and play Amazing Grace wherever you live this year to commemorate its 250th anniversary.  Here is some notation and TAB that may help for singers and mountain dulcimer players …

 

photographs of Olney

As a retired photographer, Dan has captured many local images.  A few further photographs of Olney and its environs can be seen here.

Le Ruisseau Du Moulin – dulcimer live

Le Ruisseau Du Moulin (The Mill Stream) is an original minimalist composition by Dan Evans for mountain (Appalachian) dulcimer performed here live in Kathy Brown’s famous and beautiful garden in Stevington, near Bedford (UK) in august 2023

Dan is playing a Doug Berch di-chromatic dulcimer in Bagpipe tuning (BBB)

Mary Evans took the photos of Dan playing, interspersed with Dan’s own photography of the Garden

Tumbling Skies – dulcimer live

an original composition (in key of C) by Dan Evans for mountain (Appalachian) dulcimer performed here live (in key of E) in Kathy Brown’s famous and beautiful garden in Stevington, near Bedford (UK) in august 2023

Dan is playing a Doug Berch di-chromatic dulcimer tuned to EBB

thanks to Mary Evans for iPhone photos of Dan playing

two modal pieces – dulcimer live

two traditional pieces arranged for mountain (Appalachian) dulcimer and performed here by Dan Evans in Kathy Brown’s famous and beautiful garden in Stevington, near Bedford (UK) in august 2023 – Dan is playing a Doug Berch di-chromatic dulcimer

1. Johhny O’Braidislea & Johhny I hardly Knew Ya (Dorian mode / EBA tuning), followed by …

2. The Banks Of The Lee (Aeolian mode / DAC tuning) – Dan’s wife, Mary took the photos of Dan playing on her iPhone and Dan took the photographs of the garden

Paved In Gold & Varsoviana – dulcimer live

original prelude: Paved In Gold (D.Evans) followed by a Viennese waltz: Varsoviana (trad.) arranged for mountain (Appalachian) dulcimer and performed here by Dan Evans in Kathy Brown’s famous and beautiful garden in Stevington, near Bedford (UK) in august 2023 – Dan is playing a Doug Berch di-chromatic dulcimer tuned to EBB – to shelter from the rain, Dan performed in Kathy’s gazebo – Mary Evans took the photos of Dan playing, interspersed with Dan’s own photography of the Garden

Amazing Grace 250th celebration performance

Dan wanted to be a a part of this event, as he has many connections with Amazing Grace and the dulcimer is traditionally played in a shady grove

for this relaxed performance, Dan will be playing instrumental music on dulcimer, including some folk melodies and his own, nature-themed compositions

 

 

in praise of DAA – the forgotten tuning ?

introduction

I was first introduced to the Appalachian dulcimer (as we called it then) back in the early 70’s and, at that time, DAA would have been the main tuning used for major scale songs and tunes.  For me, living in England, London’s Roger Nicholson was a major influence when I started out and Roger used DAA as his major scale tuning.

Today, as the reader will know, DAD is by far the most dominant tuning for the modern mountain dulcimer and DAA is now perhaps seen as a dated and/or beginner’s tuning.  This film however, made in 2021, of Roger’s pastoral piece Spring Season may challenge that perception.

In this article I’d like to demonstrate that DAA is not only alive and well but can be used to play meaningful, and perhaps even moving, dulcimer music.

READ MORE

HAM concert East Yorkshire

feedback from the organiser: ‘Thank you again for a great show, we all enjoyed the evening and meeting you both.’

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