With its delicate and graceful tones, the hammered dulcimer is an excellent candidate for revitalizing Christmas classics and capturing the magic of the holiday season. Similarly, local musician Joshua Messick seems well-paired with his stringed, trapezoidal instrument, having discovered an intuitive aptitude for playing it at age 9. About a decade later, he became the national hammered dulcimer champion in 2003. “Music is the sound of the human spirit and for me, it’s prayer without words,” he says. “I used to play only for the purpose of becoming good. Now, I seek to play honestly from the heart, learn as much as I can and enjoy music.” Check out Messick’s album Hammered Dulcimer Christmas for a glimpse at the multitude of holiday-themed tunes he’ll perform live at White Horse Black Mountain Friday and Saturday, Nov. 27 and 28, at 8 p.m. $18/$20. whitehorseblackmountain.com. Photo courtesy of the artist
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