A soundtrack for your imagination, Woodland Dance is an acoustic instrumental collection of originals and standards expressing the spirit of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This modern musical portrait is inspired by Celtic, World, Renaissance, and Classical.
All songs composed by Joshua Messick (ASCAP Member) unless otherwise indicated.
See the creation of Woodland Dance by watching this studio performance.
Hammered Dulcimer by Joshua Messick
Cello by Max Dyer
Percussion by River Guerguerian and James Kylen
A Note from Joshua
Most of the tunes on Woodland Dance are original compositions created with the purpose of capturing the nature and deeply-rooted spirit of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This place is a paradise of beauty, peace, and renewal. I’m proud to call it my home.
The hammered dulcimer is an ancient stringed percussion instrument consisting of wire strings that are stretched tightly across a wooden soundboard. The strings are struck by small, wooden mallets called hammers. With probable origins in ancient Persia, the hammered dulcimer spread into different musical cultures across the world. Throughout the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance, it was popular in Europe where it evolved over centuries to become the modern piano. Today, one place it is appreciated and played is the Blue Ridge Mountains.
On this recording, I sought to highlight the ethereal nature of the hammered dulcimer, honor its significant history, and explore a modern approach that would speak to today’s people in a deeply meaningful way. Some tracks are solo. Others explore exciting soundscapes textured with cello and percussion performed by my friends and virtuosos Max Dyer, River Guerguerian, and James Kylen. Their commitment to excellence, brilliant performances, and creative input is evident and admired.
After journeying with the hammered dulcimer for more than two decades, I have grown to understand its music is meant to nourish the complexities of the human heart. While my experiences and feelings are included in this recording, my greater hope is it connects with your heart so we can share the story of life together.
Produced by Joshua Messick
Engineered and Recorded by Joshua Messick with River Guerguerian and Max Dyer
Mixed and Mastered by Randy Wills and AJ Campbell
Photography by Lynne Harty
Design and Layout by Katie Moritz
All arrangements by Joshua Messick with creative input from the musicians
Over the Rainbow by Harold Arlen and E Harburg
What a Wonderful World by George David Weiss, George Douglass, and Bob Thiele
The hammered dulcimer is presented with acoustic authenticity without overdubs or digital effects.