Live from LaVal's #18Live from laVal's episode taped on February 6, 1994 featuring the exciting vocal/instrumental duo Following May (Paul Smicker and Dayla Soul) and the master of the bow-hammered cymbalom, Micheal Masley accompanied by Oakland Symphony first cellist, Dan Reiter.
Following May was at their peak of popularity when they appeared on the show for this 3rd and final time. They had headlined at Hotel Utah and the Paradise Lounge and were on their way to greater things when an unfortunate personality clash between the principles ended the collaboration. Their unique harmony stylings and very strong guitar interplay is fully on display in this episode.
Because of the extraordinary length of one of Masley's selections on this program, this episode is being presented in two parts. In this second part, the focus is on Michael Masley, with just a short segment on Following May. Part one of this program, with a fuller program of Masley footage, was presented as the 5th show in this series.
At the time of this taping, Michael Masley had recently collaborated with Ry Cooder to score the feature film, Geronimo. His instrument, which is East European in origin is a type of hammered dulcimer. Using finger implements of his own invention, Masley is able to both bow and hammer his strings to create a very other-worldly effect. He is the only cymbalom player listed in the Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians (8th Edition).
Michael's music has been heard in diverse national contexts (94 Winter Olympics, NFL broadcasts, HBO, Entertainment Tonight, NPR, etc.); All Things Considered aired a profile of Masley (8-15-95) and excerpts from his CD Mystery Repeats Itself occasionally surface on that program as well as on Morning Edition.
"No one plays the cymbalom, the large hammered dulcimer, the way Michael Masley does. His creative brilliance goes beyond his performance... Masley...invented "bowhammers"...finding rich, haunting overtones that characterize his music." --Bob Boilen--producer, All Songs Considered, NPR Classics (liner notes)
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