Artists in Resonance with Michael Masley and EggDawn Autoharp
For 25 years, Michael Masley has been hypnotizing crowds on the sidewalks of Berkeley, Calif., with the magical sound of his cymbalom. Masley plays his instrument with bowhammers -- metal bows attached to his fingers by rings.
Masley describes his music as "earth-folk", "a contemporary Afro-Celtic variation of Free World and Country Eastern music. Others have categorized his music as New Age or World music. One musician has described Masley's bowhammer style of cymbalom playing as generating "a turkish steambath of overtones".
Cymbaloms are most commonly played with two dulcimer hammers, one held in each hand. While playing with eight bowhammers and two thumb picks, Masley has been known also to use pan pipes attached to a neck bracket, as well as rhythm instruments such as shakers and rattles attached to his legs.
In addition to the bowhammer, Masley has invented several musical instruments or modifications to existing instruments. These tend to be constructed from mass-produced consumer materials, such as rubber bands and suction cups, often coupled to traditional instruments such as drums.
ABOUT ARTIST IN RESONANCE: There is an awe inducing beauty in witnessing the transformation of a performer become a single entity with their instrument. Even more intriguing are the distinct characteristics of these tools that transport audiences to uncharted sonic landscapes. In each episode, the artists will guide us through the stories of how these unique instruments were crafted, discovered, and mastered.