Fan Friday #54 – “Sail Away Ladies” Malcolm Dalglish

My offering this week for Fan Friday is a piece that I was invited to play for a high school choir in Cincinnati, OH. I found it very difficult to play a rhythm pattern that another hammered dulcimer player plays just because it’s their rhythm. Does that make sense? Malcolm Dalglish is a phenomenal player and composer and I’m sure that the rhythms and chord patterns that he plays come pretty natural to him. After the rehearsal though, I had a better grasp of what the director wanted. The song structure came to me a lot easier later that night. You might not catch it but let me lay a little bit of the genius of this music out for you. The songs starts in 4/4 then there’s a few measures of 3/2 thrown in there just to make you work. Then a couple  2/4 just to make sure you’re not sleeping and then it’s got a lot of double time mixed in. 😉 Like I said, it’s a great piece and I would accept the challenge again to learn and play one of his pieces. After the show the director shook my hand and thanked me and then wanted to make sure that I would be on board for more shows. MOST DEFINITELY!!!!

8 thoughts on “Fan Friday #54 – “Sail Away Ladies” Malcolm Dalglish”

    1. Thank you Gae. I had a lot of fun and Donna said that it was nearly flawless performance. That’s always good to hear coming from my wife.

  1. Good job Ted. I’ve played several of MD’s choir tunes over the years and I agree that they can be quite challenging. My problem is I would not “dumb them down” until I ran out of time, then scrambled to get them to a place I could handle them. The most challenging one for me was the Bayou Sara. Again you did good! Dean

    1. Dean, thank you. It was really tempting to dumb it down and because I had only a couple weeks to get it ready, I did a little. Also just because I was the only instrument, I added more to some parts so that it was a little more rhythmic and full. But mostly I played what MD did. Also once I figured out that he basically plays rhythm right along with the singers it became a lot easier to feel the rhythm of the song.

    1. Thanks Bob, you would love to play this one. And you could do it with a smaller group like yours I would think. It doesn’t have to be this choral and I had a comment from someone else who said that the Chieftins did a version of this and of course “rocked” it out more so it wasn’t so “pretty”.

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