Welcome to the CDF’s Featured Artist page. Every so often, during this time when we are not able to gather in person, we want to share the work of some of our favorite artists with you, virtually. We are delighted to feature our fourth Featured Artist, Karen Alley.
About Karen Alley
The multi-talented Karen Alley was the 2014 National Hammered Dulcimer champion and is also a Ph.D. glaciologist. She is currently based in Winnipeg, Canada, where she teaches and does research in the Department of Environment and Geography at the University of Manitoba when she’s not teaching and performing on her dulcimer (or hanging out with her husband Alex). Her musical repertoire ranges from Celtic to classical to hymns to show tunes, and her style combines percussive techniques with the rich harmonies and broad dynamics that make the dulcimer one of the most expressive instruments used in the folk community. She says her main passion is teaching (and several of us at the CDF can attest to her patient but exacting teaching style), but Karen confesses that there’s little that compares to the exhilaration of playing with and learning from other musicians backstage and in concert. She has released two albums showcasing a variety of styles, as well as three books: “Beyond Melodies, Using Chords to Add Harmony,” which demystifies music theory and playing harmonies with melody lines, “Christmas with your Dulcimer,” a book of arrangements of favorite Christmas carols for beginner and intermediate players, and “Difficult Ditties and Hammer Hampering Harmonies,” a book of exercises to increase efficiency while practicing. Enjoy her moving and precise performance of the lovely, sad O’Carolan tune Captain O’Kane here, and then enjoy her inspiring lesson of the same.
Support Karen Alley
You can find additional lessons from Karen and more by clicking the link here.
You can download the pdf for a lesson by clicking the button below.
You can visit our previous featured artists by clicking the link below.Featured Artists