Carol Walker, a retired American high school choral teacher, has recently produced a collection of arrangements for Appalachian mountain dulcimer entitled Tailless Tunes -- Manx Music / Traditional Tunes from the Isle of Man and a CD, Alas! The Horse Is Gone -- both exclusively devoted to music from the Isle of Man. Taking inspiration from Charles Guard’s book, Manx Music for the Irish Harp, she began investigating the possibility of arranging these delightful tunes for the Appalachian mountain dulcimer. This popular and uniquely American folk instrument is completely unlike the more familiar hammered dulcimer -- it is a diatonically fretted instrument with only three or four strings, and is strummed or fingerpicked while the instrument rests on the player’s lap.
Carol, who lives in New Jersey, began corresponding with Charles Guard in 2007, and was privileged to visit him in October of 2009. Charles shared some of his vast background and experience with her, and also provided her with resource material from which she began her research in preparation for her book of dulcimer arrangements.
Manx music for the mountain dulcimer! Manx tunes make their way to the USA
As a teacher and performer at dulcimer festivals in the northeastern United States, Carol has been sharing Manx tunes since early 2008, where the reactions are always the same - “everyone loves the tunes and can’t believe they’ve never heard them before!” Carol commented. “To the best of my knowledge, I’m the first person on this side of the Atlantic to produce such a collection and a CD devoted entirely to Manx music.”
It has become Carol’s mission to share this delightful music with her fellow folk musicians throughout North America, a goal she intends to achieve with the publication of this book, a collection of arrangements of 27 of her favorite Manx melodies, and her CD, which features 15 of the tunes from her book, and on which she plays mountain dulcimer, harp, piano, melodica, upright bass, and vocals. Carol is joined on several tracks by her husband, Toby Walker, a professional guitarist, and Brian Lindsay, a fiddle and whistle player. The CD and book are available from Carol’s website but please enquire about shipping rates for the book outside of North America. The CD is available for purchase or download worldwide from CD Baby
Carol and her husband look forward to another visit to the IOM in early November 2010.