The dulcimer has its origins in the medieval Europe. It is a combination of early instruments such as the French Eppinette, the Swedish Hummel and the German Zither. The people of the Appalachian mountains, remembering their European roots created the "Appalachian dulcimer", also known as the Mountain Dulcimer, Lap Dulcimer, and even the "Devils walking stick".
It is traditionally played flat on the lap, but with Laliya, James plays it upright like a guitar, where an array of digital effects are employed to highlight and enrich its renowned harmonic tone.
Yet again James has commissioned another dulcimer from The States, from master luthier Dwain Wilder (www.bearmeadow.com). The new dulcimer will incorporate the classic teardrop shape opposed to the last instrument, which was a hybrid of both teardrop and hour glass design.
The pictures on the left show some of Jim's other dulcimers which he has used on previous recordings.