OPEN DOOR CONCERT SERIES
Ted Yoder - A Hammered Dulcimer Christmas
Ted will be joining us for a great evening on Sunday December 17, 2016
Click below for Tickets or call Dan @ 219-472-9074
Ted Yoder has revolutionized the hammered dulcimer through his pop symphonic approach on the instrument as a solo performer. He’s the National Champion whose highly engaged fanbase has nicknamed his innovative approach to playing popular songs “Yoderizing.” Ted’s both a dazzling technician and soulful and lyrical visionary. And the story of his rise to prominence is as inspiring as his spiritually uplifting musicality.
The Goshen, Indiana-based instrumentalist-composer-singer first encountered the hammered dulcimer a decade before he actually was able to play on one. At the time, the instrument was costly and not readily available—this was the pre-Internet days—and Ted was a competent multi-instrumentalist who fell in love with a rare bird. It would take a tragic car accident and the love and support of his family to transform him into the musical innovator he has now become.
In less than a decade, Ted has gone from tinkering on the hammered dulcimer to releasing five studio albums, authoring a groundbreaking instructional book, teaching Skype lessons to students around the nation, and becoming an in-demand performer at community theaters, churches, and festivals. In 2010, just three years after dedicating all his time to the instrument, he won the title of National Hammer Dulcimer Champion at the Walnut Valley Festival.
He’s been profiled in the Kearney Hub, Huffington Post, and on NPR’s esteemed All Things Considered show, among many other features, profiles, and reviews in regional and national tastemaking outlets. Ted is currently preparing his fifth album which will be the first to feature his breezy and emotive vocals, a popular staple of his live shows.
On Wednesday, August 24th, 2016, Ted became something of a household name when a Facebook Live video of him from his Live From The Orchard series playing Tears For Fears “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” went viral. In the performance, he brought forth the tune’s majestic pop symphonic motifs and arrangement like a tone poet, sensitively navigating the 1980s classic’s lush emotionality and rich musicality. The homespun video, shot in his rural backyard, racked up 7 million views in 36 hours, rocketing up to 53 million views in four days. To provide some context for his accomplishment, a fan upload of the original from 5 years ago has garnered 40 million views to date.
Ted’s ascent truly began in 2007. At the time, Ted Yoder was a professional floor covering installer not playing music. That spring he had a major car accident that would alter the course of his life. Previous to the crash, Ted was an accomplished piano player and keyboardist who dabbled in guitar, percussion, and anything else he could get his hands on and wrangle out a sound.
While recovering from the accident, Ted became introspective about where his life was headed: he was married, had five children, but he realized music was his inner calling. During this powerful time, he encountered something of a spiritual process of elimination exercise in a motivational book. Through that he realized the hammered dulcimer was the instrument he wanted to devote his life to, and he began to strategize how to support his family through music.
The hammered dulcimer is a stringed musical instrument that’s played by striking the instrument’s strings with small mallet hammers. The technique to play the instrument can be best imagined as the summation of skills you would need to play percussion, guitar, and piano. The view looking down on the instrument evokes a spider web-like sprawl of up to 91 crisscrossing strings.
Traditionally, the hammered dulcimer is a folk instrument, though it has also been used by classical composers. Ted’s approach, or “Yoderizing” as it’s called, is performing stately solo pieces of modern favorite tunes with unique arrangements, powerful dynamics, and beautiful melodic interlacement. The antecedents of this artistic conception date back to Ted’s background as an accomplished solo pianist where he was responsible for conveying the full sonic picture of rhythmic support, harmonic context, and melody.
Highlights in Ted’s 5-CD diverse oeuvre are his imaginative versions of “Carol Of The Bells“ and” Prelude To Cello Suite,” his revelatory reading of Tears For Fears’ “Everybody Wants To Rule The World,” and his own composition, the beautifully bucolic, “The Measure.” In his writing, Ted seeks to take the listener on an emotional journey. “When I compose instrumental music, my goal is to move people to tears or make them laugh with just the music. I seek to take them to dark places and then release tension and bring them to cathartic highs,” Ted explains. In addition to these signature tracks, followers of his YouTube channel were recently treated to a stunning rendition of “Hotel California” for his Fan Friday videos series, an ongoing weekly installment to share unreleased music with his fans.