Michael Masley | Cymbalom Solos

Michael Masley

cymbalom solos



Sleepdance On Leaves Of Water

Music To Look For Something Lost By

Bermuda Trapezoid

Survival In A House Of Darkening

Advice From The Angel Of Thresholds

The Sea As A Moon-Launched Mirror

Childbirth In Cave Art

Soft Evidence

Originally a cassette in the 80's... Cymbol meditative ambient deepness....Michael Masley has been a fixture of Berkley, California, since he arrived from Michigan in 1982. Even today, he remains a common sight, working as a street performer - catching the attention of passers-by as he summons otherworldly overtones from a coterie of arcane instruments. This is how he met fellow east-coast transplant and musical voyager, Barry Cleveland, in 1983. Cleveland was enraptured by the sound of Masley’s wildly innovative bowhammer cymbalom. The cymbalom is an ancient instrument, similar to a zither or hammered-dulcimer - originating in Eastern Europe in 1874, but with primitive early examples dating back as early as 3500 BC. Yet Masley’s approach to the instrument was wholly original. Masley replaced the two traditional cymbalom hammers, with bowhammers - an invention wherein he fitted each of his fingers with it’s own combination hammer/bow device, which allowed him to both strike the strings, and bow them like a violin. Outfitted with his bowhammers, Masley was able to wrest startlingly new sounds from a centuries-old instrument.

"There are constellations within the grooves of Cymbalom Solos. Innumerable points of light, rendered audible in glowing, radiant sound. There are entire worlds too - undiscovered, yet familiar - both terrestrial and celestial. There are moments of quiet comfort and exultant discovery. And all of it conjured by one man with a handful of ancient and invented instruments, recorded mostly-live, with precious few overdubs."