Bio



picture of Paul Paul Haslem

Paul Haslem, acclaimed as a modern day troubadour, has been a professional musician for over twenty years. He has delighted audiences with his original songs and story telling throughout Canada, the United States and the Bahamas.

Enchanted by the mystical sound of the hammered dulcimer in the mid-seventies, Paul quickly mastered the intricacies of this ancient and haunting instrument. By the late eighties Paul was heralded as one of the finest hammered dulcimer players in North America.

In 1991, Paul released his first hammered dulcimer recording, "Step Out of Time", featuring his own compositions along with Celtic music from Ireland. Following the success of his first recording, Paul released, "Dulcimer Traditions", in 1993, a musical tour of the many cultures in which the dulcimer is used.

Paul was signed to a recording contract in 1996 with the American record label, Sugo Music, which produced Paul's third release, "New Celtic Moon". This seminal recording featured twelve new compositions set in rich musical arrangements. The following year, Paul was a featured artist in Sugo's hit release, "An Acoustic Christmas".

In 1998, Paul recorded "Spirit of the Land". His innovative use of instruments and influences, atypical to Celtic music, resulted in an audio masterpiece that was received with great enthusiasm by the music industry.

In the fall of 2002 Paul collected up favorites from previous recordings and tunes that he recorded with other artists, put it together with some new interpetations of favorite Christmas songs and released "One Winter's Eve". This collection of Christmas and winter themed tunes will soon be a classic, "must have" recording for Christmas enthusiasts.

Over the years Paul has been moving away from the more traditional sounds for the hammered dulcimer by recording with other world instruments and using different performance techniques to bring a new sound to this time honoured instrument. His most recent recording, "Looped and Delayed", highlights this. By using looping techniques and delays he is able to create a background with textures and layers and then add in the dulcimer. The result is a constantly shifting collage of rhythms and harmonies that draws the listener in and takes them on a journey of sound.

Over the winter months of 2008 Paul set about creating a new studio recording. "Back to Basics" is an eclectic collection of original tunes and a few select fiddle tunes written by Bert Pepper of midwestern Ontario and arranged for the hammered dulcimer by Paul.

Beginning in June of 2009 all recordings are now available for online purchase through iTunes, Amazon, Napster, Rhapsody and Emusic. My favorite service is Emusic. They seem to have a great selection of independant folk and celtic influenced music. Their download prices are very reasonable, running about fifty cents per song.

Paul in Recording sessionPaul's masterful ability to interweave music and stories, in a timeless bardic tradition, has elicited passionate testimonials from members of the music community as well as listeners of all ages

" Paul Haslem should be labeled as a national treasure, as he continues to brilliantly play both his own compositions and traditional themes. A 'must' for any serious listener.... classical, folk or contemporary."
Merrick Jarrett, Canadian Folklorist

"A striking counter-balance of dynamic stage presence and evocitive music!"
Warren Robinson, festival co-ordinator, Goderich Celtic Roots Festival

I've started making my dulcimer hammers available on a regular basis. If you are interested in ordering a set or just want more info check out the web page on Dulcimer Hammers for lots of pictures and information.

The most recent project I've been working on is to write out scores for all of the tunes that I've written. I had written out several of my favorites and they've been available on the sheetmusic page, but now I'm making a concentrated effort to do all of the tunes beginning with the last recording Back to Basics. That recording is now complete! If you play the tunes please let me know if you should find any mistakes and let me know as I am trying to replicate what I recorded at the time.

 


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Dulcimer Traditions

copyright 1999

Paul Haslem