Archive for September, 2011

Testing my Skill as a Novice Luthier

September 21, 2011

I’ve decided to see how clever I am. I’m going to build a mountain dulcimer for my wife for Christmas. The basic design and instruction are in a book my mom gave me many years ago called ‘Back to Basics’. The book has much advice on how things were done in an early industrial age. One of the projects is to build a mountain dulcimer. the design is rather strait forward and differs from the ‘traditional’ hourglass or teardrop shaped instrument.  If not, I doubt I’d make this attempt.

So this morning I ordered a classical guitar tuning head (3 machines) and some banjo fret wire. The strings, I’ll buy from a music store. About the only tool I don’t have which would make the project easier is a planet to dimension the wood to the proper thickness. I’ve already figured a way around that.

High end dulcimers seem to only be made from wood I cannot get easily, but the ones normal people make seem to be made out of whatever is on hand.  I’ll buy a stick of Walnut for the finger board, but I’ll likely use pine for the sound box.  I can’t see how this would be utter sacrilege as you can buy a dulcimer kit for kids which has a sound box made of cardboard!

Audible Esperanto Bible Project Gaining Speed

September 19, 2011

The project to create an audible version of the Holy Bible in Esperanto is progressing well, despite a scarcity of active advertising the project has attained 8 readers with a ninth likely soon.  The projects initiator, Ken Caviness has now created a web page to explain the project to likely helpers.  The English version is here, and the Esperanto version is here. Already, the longest book, The book of Psalms has been attacked and finished, so the rest is easy, right? To me the book of Genesis will be the most daunting, but no one has yet claimed it.


If you like reading in Esperanto, why not give this a try?

It’s Easier to Sing in Esperanto

September 14, 2011

For the Observance of 9-11, our pastor asked my wife if a certain hymn could be sung during offertory.  The hymn was written specifically to commemorate the first anniversary of 9-11 in 2002.  As it was based on one of my favorite books of the Bible, that being Ecclesiastes, I asked my wife if I could do the solo.

We had about 2 weeks to practice the hymn. Previously I had sung solos in Esperanto, which is phonetic and is pronounced as spelled.  No problem there.  But an English hymn is not sung as it s written, at least not when done correctly. I had to learn to suppress or omit my Rs and pronounce certain other words certain ways.  I had a printout of the words, and I marked it up in ways meaningful only to me. I also had to concentrate on not going too fast, as it is a mournful hymn.

In the end we succeeded, hymn, 762, in the Lutheran Service Book came out sounding great, thanks to my speech coach.