The road ends, but the journey continues...

Catching Up part two

As per Banjo Guy’s suggestion in part one, I spent some time with my Hammered Dulcimer (HD).

Once hauled out from it’s resting spot under the skinny folding work table in my music ‘studio’, and set up in the living room, it was ready & waiting for me to play at my pleasure.

Our house is on the small side at ~1200 square feet. As you can tell, the HD does take up a lot of room. Once set up, there’s a certain feeling of commitment to sit down and really dig into the instrument. This musical outlet worked well for me as the strain to my wrists was almost nil while I worked through scales, hammering techniques and reading/playing HD tunes from HD playbooks and by ear.

Yep, I had fun!

My music ‘studio’ is nestled within a modestly sized bedroom, sharing space with a writing/computer area and a sewing/quilting area. If I have an unusually large project in the works or just need to spread out and โ€˜claim my spaceโ€™ while creating (especially musically on several instruments at a time), my ‘studio’ overflows into the living room.

Luckily, Hubby understands the call & needs of the (he)artist. He actually encourages me to spread out  and encroach on our living room whenever I need more space to create.

Meanwhile, enjoy this more traditional HD cover of Here Comes the Sun to get a feel for this dreamy, jangly instrument. If nothing else, that classic Beatles Tune is sure to bring a smile to your face and lighten your mood.

Perhaps you noticed the wall hanging on the brick wall over the fireplace. It serves as a subject clue as to what ‘creative activity’ I’ll be discussing in part three! (I’m) stay(ing) tuned…and yes, I do mean that literally. ๐Ÿ™‚

Floating 'L' wall hanging on brick wall above fireplace
‘floating L’ – LBL – MMXX


  1. Jocelyn Thurston

    Wonderful photos of you…action shots as it were. I did notice that wall hanging and will enjoy learning more about it. Keep on making music, and the other things that move you.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks for stopping by, Jocelyn. Blog post Part #3 is a little slow in coming…but it’s great to know you’re interested in reading it once it does get done & pubbed! I hope you’re enjoying your own current WIPs.

  2. Marty

    Lovely photo of you! It’s nice to have a space in the home to call your own. Even better when grace is offered to spread into other rooms as needed. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Khaya Ronkainen

    Oh, lovely! It’s good to hear and see that amidst wrist problems you have this cool inspiration and instrument to play with/on as well as your hubby’s support. Having this kind of support is crucial for artists, and what a blessing your hubby is! Thank you for these wonderful updates, Laura. It’s always nice to see ‘behind the scenes’ of my favourite he(artists). <3 And Here Comes the Sun is beautiful too; the instrument certainly feels.

    • laura bruno lilly

      The support of one’s significant other **is** crucial. It appears you’ve been blessed thusly as well.
      Thank you for delving into my ‘updates’…makes me feel ‘special’.

  4. Where do I start? First I so enjoyed listening to the Here Comes the Sun (one of my ALL time favorite songs, did you know that? Is that why you chose it? ha!) and learning what the instrument sounds like!
    Next, I think that is an awesome photo of you and I see why your husband liked it. My house in Oregon was about the same size as yours, maybe another 100 feet and I was super cozy there. It is weird living in a larger space now but I have adapted. I still miss the cozy hug like feeling I got from the smaller house. We will likely downsize someday. Glad you made music studio work, I did the same with a quilting studio in my old house. It was fun being creative with space!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Always heartening to hear of another Creative dealing with the need for creative space! There is a sweet spot for literal square footage in a home IMHO. Too small and it feels oppressive, too large and it feels burdensome & cold. Through it all we just keep on doing what we need to do, right? Meanwhile enjoy your Master of a Master Suite Sewing Studio!

      • Thank you and I figure we’ll stay in this home which is near my partner’s elderly father until his Dad passes and then decide where to live next (and it will hopefully be in between the “too small” and the “too large”) ๐Ÿ™‚

        • laura bruno lilly

          Sounds like a plan…though I’m sure no-one is wishing that time to come any time soon.

  5. Jennie

    I commented on your blog. Loved this!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks for commenting – sometimes it takes me awhile to respond…
      Glad to share the music with you, Jennie.

      • Jennie

        No worries! ?

  6. Jennie

    Yes, the HD is a dreamy instrument. I always feel that music rolls over me like a giant wave, because it it is beautiful and powerful. Instruments make the music, and the HD is very cool!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Great visual on the impact HD music has on you, Jennie!

      • Jennie

        Thanks, Laura!

  7. Annika Perry

    Laura, I agree with yur hubby, that is a lovely photo of you! How wonderful that he is such a support of your creative works! That is so vital and uniting! Wow! I love the look of the HD but would be baffled how to play it. Here Comes the Sun sounds magical and thank you for including the video – a beautiful mysterious sound to the instrument. I will have to be patient to find out about the wall hanging! Wishing you joy in all your creative endeavours – and just spread and fill the space you need for them! hugs xx

    • laura bruno lilly

      Well, how about your culture’s own Nickelharpe???? I first encountered that instrument while listening to Johsefin’s Waltz by Vasen (Roger Tallroth) way back – I liked it so much I recorded my arrangement of it for 12-string (me) and violin (my partner) on my 2007 ‘unexpected’ cd. Here’s a link to another song by them, it shows the instrument in action – they’re still playing and performing BTW.

      • Annika Perry

        Laura, thank you so much for reminding me about the Nickelharpe! I love the piece you’ve attached here and I’m forwarding it to my mother. Alas, I haven’t seen anyone play it live – maybe check out local folk festivals when visiting Sweden this summer!

  8. Andy

    A great rendition of Georgeโ€™s classic song.
    And kudos to the hubby for his part in helping you to express your gift.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Yeah, he’s a keeper!

      • Andy

        Good to hear!

  9. Janis @

    What a glorious sound! I am not musical at all so I’m am always so impressed with those who are (including, of course, you). I’m glad that you are able to spread out to create your art and I look forward to learning more about your creative activities.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Like I replied to petespringerteacher below, my first encounter with the HD was hearing its sound wafting through the crowds during some long ago festival in my home state back in the 70s…pretty cool.

  10. marissthequilter

    I am very impressed by your fortitude and ingenuity. And, of course, your creativity. A lack of space can be debilitating, so three cheers to both you and hubby.
    Can’t wait for part iii

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks for the kudos, Mariss…(picture embarrassed emoji here). Most of us creatives ‘get it’ about the need for space. It’s not a ‘luxury’ though it often does incur extra costs as if it were.

  11. cedar51

    I’m glad you added the clip of the man playing the instrument – as I’d no idea what a Dulcimer was…and had quickly looked up via Google. But to see it being played. Great that you have something to keep you amused and in with your creativity. Look forward to the “quilting part coming up”

    • laura bruno lilly

      So happy to introduce you to a new instrument and sound, Catherine. There’s so much to be discovered ‘out there’ in our huge world, isn’t there? We both have our (he)art to keep us sane, eh?

  12. Chela's Colchas y Mas

    So happy that your creative place is set up. Enjoy! “Here Comes the Sun” is one of my all time favorites. The dulcimer rendition is lovely! I would play this song every morning as I greeted my first grade students. They would come in singing and dancing. On the last day of school one year, one of my students walked in, hugged me, and said he was sad that this would be the last day he would hear this song in the morning. I told him he could always sing it as he started his day.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Chela! Great to hear from you, kazoo-lady! If only your first graders could hear you now. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Would you please contact me via my contact page with your email address in it? I can’t find a way to email you and I have a few non-blog questions I’d like to ask you.
      (No problem if that’s too personal a request & you’d rather not)

  13. Cheryl, Gulf Coast Poet

    The music is delightful, Laura! Thank you for posting it. I am glad you can play the hammered dulcimer while your wrist is recovering. I will be anticipating a story about the art on your fireplace! Take care. <3

    • laura bruno lilly

      Happy to share musical diversions with you, Cheryl! Stay well.

  14. Jane's Heartsong A treat for you

  15. Jane's Heartsong

    Oh, I like the dulcimer! Heard a duo play dulcimer and drums and it was fantastic.

    • laura bruno lilly

      HDs are such a ‘social’ instrument! And thanks for the link! Here’s one for you:

      • Jane's Heartsong

        Thanks Laura. this is lovely. I imagine that the birds and animals in the woods enjoy this as much as I do. Saved it to my “meditative” folder. Have a wonderful day.

  16. Laura

    I enjoyed watching, and listening, to the gentleman playing the instrument…very cool! Thank you for posting that, so those of us who know nothing about musical instruments can see what we are listening to and how they are played!

    I was noticing, and wondering, about that whole cloth quilt on your wall! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • laura bruno lilly

      Are you referring to the blue with purple border/binding quilt that is partially seen to the left in the photo? If so, that’s an Amish Quilt I purchased from a shop in Bodega Bay, CA in the early 90s. The shop owner had connections with the (extensive) family of quilters/crafters/woodworkers from somewhere in Tennessee I believe, sorry, don’t remember and the info letter is packed away somewhere. She might even had been related. I remember they were reasonably priced – mostly because of their unusual state of origin. You know, not from Shipshewana, Indiana or Lancaster County Pennsylvania.
      Good eye, Laura!

      • Laura

        Yes…that is the quilt I was wondering about. It looked Amish to me. Thanks for sharing! ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. paywindow7

    This rendition brings back some ‘good times’ memories. Seems like I’m locked into that ‘looking back’ mode nowadays.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Sounds like you’re enjoying your ‘happy place’…and that’s a good thing!

  18. deborahbrasket

    Glad to hear you’re playing again! So fun to see photos of your cozy studio. I agree with your hubby, a beautiful photo of you!

    • laura bruno lilly

      It **is** a relief to be playing again, Deborah. BTW: the photos are of my set up in our living room (albeit an extension of my studio). My ‘cozy studio’ isn’t quite as tidy or large!!!!

  19. petespringerauthor

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard a Hammered Dulcimer. What a pleasant sound! Kudos to you for going for it and your hubby for encouraging you to do so. It sure helps to have a supportive spouse when creativity strikes.

    • laura bruno lilly

      The first time I heard a HD was in the 70s at some festival in my home state of Colorado. I’ll never forget hearing these enticing, ethereal sounds wafting through the crowds, past the din, whispering to me to follow their ‘hearing scent’ to the source. I did. And wow!
      BTW: I’ll bet you’re the same type of supportive spouse to your significant other, too, Pete!

  20. piecefulwendy

    Having a supportive spouse for our creative activities is such a blessing. I think it’s great that your hubs encourages you to spread out and enjoy your creativity! That rendition of Here Comes the Sun was very fun.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Oh yeah, for sure – back when I was at the height of my concertizing, hubby proudly proclaimed himself my ‘mule’. I called him my beloved ‘patron’.
      Happy to hear the tune brightened up your day, Wendy. Best wishes for a soothing healing.

  21. L. Marie

    Iโ€™m really enjoying your update posts. Love the photos of you, Laura. What a lovely wall hanging. Itโ€™s great that you have a big project in the works. And what a gorgeous rendition of โ€œHere Comes the Sun.โ€ So appropriate since youโ€™re playing your hammered dulcimer.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks, funny about the photos…as you and I have this ‘thing’ about them, right? But then that’s about those that are for ‘professional uses’, right?!
      So glad you’re enjoying my little postings, L.Marie.

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