XARK 3.0

  • Xark began as a group blog in June 2005 but continues today as founder Dan Conover's primary blog-home. Posts by longtime Xark authors Janet Edens and John Sloop may also appear alongside Dan's here from time to time, depending on whatever.

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  • ALIENS! SEX! MORE ALIENS! AND DUBYA, TOO! Handcrafted, xarky science fiction, lovingly typeset for your home printer!



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Wednesday, August 31, 2005


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Hi there -- found your post via Technorati; every once in a while I look for people writing about hammered dulcimers. Jerry Read Smith built mine -- I love his store, love his recordings, love his instruments.

Does Janet play? Did she enjoy the shop?

Janet Edens

Sadly, I am not a dulcimer player. And the shop was closed. But the instruments were absolutely beautiful. They were works of art without even making a sound. We could see them through the windows. The carving details are just incredible.

There is something about the sound of the dulcimer for me, coming from mountain folks, I guess. You ever play at festivals?

I studied piano for years, but haven't played in twice that. I've got a djembe, on which I've had enough lessons on to annoy the neighbors. We've got two drummers, a guitarist and a budding pianist.


I've never been a headliner at a festival, but I've played at little village fairs and in open mics at two dulcimer festivals; I've also taught some festival workshops. In about two hours I'm heading down to one of them, the Upper Potomac Dulcimer Fest in WV.

We had a piano when I was really little, and then an organ (we took lessons), but the dulcimer makes more sense to me for some reason -- perhaps the polydiatonic layout or the two sticks vs. ten fingers thing.

Too bad Song of the Wood was closed!

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