Joshua Messick, now 23 years old, has played hammered dulcimer for more than half his life. He took second place in the Texas State Competition when he was 10. Josh, helped along the way with lessons from Peggy Carter, went on to win the Winfield National Championship in 2003.
Joshua’s latest project features quite a few new compositions that reflect his maturity as a man and a musician. Everything about this recording reaches for the epic. Even the liner notes display the intertwined nature of Joshua’s passion for his faith and music itself.
He partners with keyboardist/producer Randy Wills and makes bold and effective use of unusual time signatures, sweeping synth pads, and triggered percussion. You can also here a bit of Rich Mullins inspired rhythmic passion.
Joshua calls his project “mostly interpretive” and self-classifies it as “New-Acoustical Eclectic World (NEW).” He says his goals were for the project to be “fresh and excting, but also pleasant and comprehendible. Also, I wanted to make a professional grade recording that would have appeal, even if the listener didn’t know what the hammer dulcimer was.”
To my ears, he’s achieved his goal. The hammered dulcimer on Desire for Departure was recorded and mixed in a way that presents it as powerful and piano-like. After listening to this recording several times now, I’m impressed with the way the CD flows. It is inspirational in a way that seems suitable for listening to while either exercising or relaxing. This is a great CD suitable for anyone who enjoys great music.