Press/Reviews

Dulcimer Player News

Album Reviews

Dans de les Marionettes - February/April 2005

 

For something completely different, Idlewild’s new recording is ultra-traditional, albeit the tradition in question is from France and Central Europe . David Sharp is the band’s central focus on mountain dulcimers, recorders, whistle, flute and mandolin. Carol Sharp adds hammered dulcimer, Celtic harp, Gothic Bray harp, bowed psaltery, whistle and tambourine while friends of the band contribute button accordion, guitar, hurdy gurdy, tenor recorder, clarinet, piano accordion and piccolo trumpet. There are a generous thirty-one cuts on “Dans de les Marionettes” and they are described as Breton, French, Italian, Dutch, Belgian, and German. This is courtly music, but it has a definite pulse to it as well. “Renaissance music with soul” is as good a description as any. Idlewild does a great job in playing all of the tunes with sprightly grace and imaginative arrangements.

 

Neal Walters

Dulcimer Player News

Volume 31, No. 1 – Feb. 2005-April 2005

 


This is a review of the article written on the album "Black Oak" in the Summer 2000 issue of "The Dulcimer Player News." It is a national periodical for mountain and hammer dulcimer players. The article is by Neal Walters.

David Sharp specializes in early music played on the mountain dulcimer. Black Oak contains mostly rare and unusual (to me at least) tunes from various European traditions including Ireland, Scotland, Croatia, France, England, Wales and the Isle of Man with the odd tune from Afghanistan and Shaker America thrown in for good measure, David also plays flute, whistle, bodhran, mandola, mandolin, tenor banjo, fiddle, guitar and bones with Carol Sharp on bowed psaltery, zils (before you ask, I have no idea but it sounds good!), and tambourine. That sounds like it could be a bit muddy but this is not the case. The mountain dulcimer is out front and the arrangements are, in fact, somewhat spare as you might expect a wandering minstrel to perform them. David's playing is straightforward and thoroughly evokes the feeling of the original settings of these tunes. This is clearly a labor of love and there is definitely a lot of good material here. There are several originals that fit nicely with the ultra-traditional material. Includes Garcons de la Montagne, Black Oak, The Helston Furry, Orientus Partibus, The Tight Little Island.

Neal Walters
Black Oak -

 

This is the review in the "Salt Lake Weekly" for the year 2000 top 40 local album picks.

Dal Riada - The Wild Geese

It isn't quite Riverdance and it isn't even Lord of the Dance, so what's up with the subtitle "Celtic music by Dal Riada"? It's traditional Celtic music played on traditional instruments. For the most part, 'The Wild Geese' is a peaceful affair. The duo making up Dal Riada can cut loose with a jig if the mood strikes - incidentally, creating a mood is a major reason to seek out Wild Geese, one of the area's loveliest discs. ----William Athey

 

From Ogden School district teacher Christian Fasy:

"Every time the tapestry of reality thins a little, those times that you're sure magic is leaking into our world, the times you'd expect to see faeries or goblins in the shadows....we think of you two with your harp and flute ....as though expecting to hear your music floating, providing the measure to the dance of the will-o-thewisps in our minds."

 

The Salt Lake Tribune

A marriage of folklore and song mesmerizes audiences

Listen. David and Carol Sharp are telling a story. One voice is human, the others musical. David Sharp's Welsh accent, adopted for this particular tale, lilts its way through the adventures of David of the White Rock. There are pauses in the narrative to accommodate an illustrative tune, while bits of authentic folklore color the details of the words.

 

At David's side, in her plaid skirt and beaded cap, Carol Sharp plays her hand-carved harp. Her performing voice is as yet unspoken.

 

The music, and the pair's costumes, reflect the peasants of the 16th century. They would have been common in the Celtic countries, Tudor England and Renaissance Europe. This isn't formal court music, but rather the "Top 40" of its time.

 

The pair are surrounded by an array of instruments, including the bowed psaltry, Irish flute, whistles, recorders, dvoyanka, alto cortol, zills, bodhran, tambourine, and dulcimer.

 

Sometimes, participants willing, the Sharps pass out percussion instruments and teach period European dances. But with these two, the music is the star of the show.

 

No wonder, considering that the Sharps have been performing this music for more than 13 years.

 

"My husband and I met playing the music. We were married at Thanksgiving; by January 1st we had formed Idlewild," Carol Sharp said.

 

Idlewild and the Glastonbury Duo are the performing equivalent of Batman and Bruce Wayne - you'll never see them together on the same stage.

 

The idea for the Glastonbury Duo came after a performance during the annual Timpanogos Storytelling Festival, when their friend, Mark Gollaher, asked them to play music and sound effects behind some stories he was telling.

 

David Sharp, a habitual storyteller, saw it as an opportunity to expand Idlewild's scope. Like many storytellers, he writes his own material.

 

The Sharps have continued to appear at the Timpanogos festival. Debi Richan, programming vice president for the festival, explains the connection.

 

"Glastonbury Duo are the only performers ever formally booked to appear in both the music and the telling tents," she said. "Dave and Carol were wonderful to work with. The storytelling is a new addition to their repertoire, and like they have practiced and learned the craft of their other instruments, they will no doubt gradually hone this facet of their performance to a brilliant shine as well."

 

In the few years since its inception, the Glastonbury Duo has performed at numerous renaissance festivals, the Salt Lake County library system and Snowbasin. Other performing aspects of the duo are highlighted during performances at Pioneer Trails Park, where the pair showcases the songs and costumes of pioneer America.

 

Carol Sharp has a particular affinity for the renaissance festivals, though, since she attended them long before the Glastonbury Duo was formed. Performing at these festivals has added a new dimension to her appreciation.

 

"It looked like that would be a fun way to attend the fair, to be participating, to get to really know all the people there - and it is," she said.

 

Like any good story, interesting things keep developing for the duo.

 

"We keep getting different ideas as we go. Dave would like to add in doing puppet shows. He's done a lot of woodcarving and would like to carve some puppets. We do want to keep music really important in our sets. We think it's a good venue to show off the music, and music is our first love," Sharp said.

 

 

The Utah Compact - The Mayflower Society of Utah

 

UTAH COMPACT

SOCIETY OF MAYFLOWER DESCENDANTS IN THE STATE OF UTAH, VOL 47, NO. 1, SPRING 2014THE

 

Dave Sharp and Idlewild

Band Entertain/Educate

Us on Wednesday, May 14

Join us on Wednesday, May 14, at the Empire Room in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building for a delightful evening with David Sharp and members of his Idlewild Band.

The band will be in period costume with instruments familiar to our Pilgrim ancestors. We’ll hear and learn of the Playford Collection of 1640, and the Ravenscroft Manuscript of 1614.

Idlewild was formed nearly 20 years ago by David and Carol Sharp. Dave has played music with many ethnic groups from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds and writes and composes music in a variety of styles. The musical group Idlewild performs Celtic music from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, and the Isle of Man. Audiences have also heard them play early and traditional music from various cultures mixed into their program, such as English, European, and French music.

Carol plays mainly the Celtic harp, Hammered dulcimer, Whistles, Tambourine, Zils, Limerbjack for performances. She specializes in the smaller lap harps and is a certified practitioner of harp therapy by the International Harp Therapy Program. Her music also takes her to the Primary Children’s Medical Center where she plays and works with the patients there. Carol has received a bachelor’s in human development and family studies from the University of Utah in 2002. She specializes in musical activities and therapy with children.

Dave enjoys researching and playing all kinds of ethnic and traditional tunes. Besides playing the Whistle, Recorders, Mountain Dulcimer, Epinette, German Scheitholt, Tenor Banjo, Mandolin, Mandola, Cittern, Clawhammer Banjo, Guitar and Fiddle, Dave has an extensive collection of world flutes that he plays. (Chinese Xaio, Dizi and Taipei Xaio, Japanese Shakuhachi and Shinobue, Cambodian and Thai Khloy, Vietnamese Sao Truc, Javanese Suling, Bulgarian Dvoyanka and Kaval, English Glastonbury Pipe, Alto Cortol, Hopi Flute, various Native American Plains Flutes, Bb Fife, Willow flute, Ohe Hano Ihu the Hawiian Nose Flute.

http://Society News Letter

KUER

I forgot all about this show on Utah NPR. I was honored to have my music with the Desert String band as part of the music to accompany the broadcast. this was a great Pioneer day treat for me since my Immigrant ancestor Colonel John Sharp commanded the 3rd Navuoo infantry in the campaign. His Brothers Joseph and Adam, delivered the ultimatum to then Colonel Johnson at Fort Bridger. Johns son James was also a Major in the unit stationed in Weber Canyon. http://radiowest.kuer.org/post/utah-war

http://radiowest.kuer.org/post/utah-war

Desert News

Students relish Glastonbury duo

The musical couple are favorites at Jordan Valley SchoolTammy Wahl

A mood of excitement punctuates the students at Jordan Valley School, 7501 S. 1000 East, as they gather into a large room.

They have spent a number of hours here in the past week with the school's annual arts festival going on. Various performers, workshops and activities have taken place. Today they are listening to a duo who have become favorites of the student body: Dave and Carol Sharp.

The Sharps, who also refer to themselves as the Glastonbury duo, specialize in playing folk music from the Celtic countries, Tudor England and Renaissance Europe. Many of their performances are done in period costume and involve both music and storytelling, with elements of history and culture. Their repertoire of instruments is long and continues to grow but includes a Celtic harp, bowed psaltry, bodhran, dulcimer and tambourine.

Jordan Valley School serves 239 students from ages 5-22 who all have severe multiple disabilities including autism, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, communication impairments, rare genetic disorders and syndromes — students who are born both deaf and blind and those who are medically fragile. Having an arts festival and concerts with performers, such as the Sharps, is good for the students, said Sue Corth, an audiologist with the Jordan School District.

"We love to play for kids, and I think these kinds of kids really appreciate it," Carol Sharp said.

The Sharps first started coming to Jordan Valley School 10 years ago and have enjoyed it so much that they keep going back. It is especially important to Dave, who connects well with the school's disabled students as his own brother is disabled.

"I grew up with kids just like this, so I know they like music, and I know it's therapeutic for them, so we make a point to put on shows like this every year," he said.

Christina King, a music therapist at the school, said the music has a good effect on the students.

"The music is very calming and relaxing," she said. "The kids enjoy this type of music."

Cheryl Argyle, a registered nurse at the school, said one of the reasons Jordan Valley keeps inviting the Sharps back is because of how much the students enjoy their music. As the Sharps played, students clapped their hands and one student stood up and yelled in delight.

"We just like them, and the kids like their music," Argyle said. "They're not intimidated by the kids bouncing and making noise."

Dave and Carol Sharp first started playing together after they met and married 15 years ago because they were both learning to play folk-type music. Their first performances were Irish wedding gigs, but after Dave gave Carol a small folk harp, they branched out into other types of music and venues. They now attend Irish, Renaissance, storytelling and other types of festivals, performing in full costume.

Carol's favorite thing about playing at Jordan Valley is reaching an audience that might otherwise not have the chance to hear the show.

"(The most rewarding thing is) being able to get live music to an audience that doesn't usually have the chance to get out and see us in another place," she said. "You can tell they don't respond in traditional ways, but you can tell they like it and they're having a good time, especially with these instruments, which aren't traditional ones they might see."

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/635212692/Students-relish-Glastonbury-duo.html?pg=all

Mayflower Society News letter

Desert News

West Jordan Journal 2018

Master carver, painter, creator

May 21, 2018 10:20AM ‚óŹ Published by City Journals Staff

David on strings while Carol plays the limberjack. (Amy Green/City Journals)

By Amy Green  |  a.green@mycityjournals.com

The third floor of West Jordan City Hall has a special upper room called The Schorr Gallery. It is located at 8000 South Redwood Road, and it’s available to visitors from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on weekdays. The room brings to view several artists throughout the year. Schorr Gallery is an open-house style display where all are invited to walk in and see diverse forms of art in one relaxed space. 

Recently, the gallery hosted works of master craftsman David Sharp. The art has a distinctive quality that Sharp describes as “modern primitivism.”

“I’ve always loved work by indigenous cultures: African masks and carvings, Meso-American stone carvers and Polynesian work,” Sharp said.

On May 3, Sharp brought his paintings, sculptures, music and limberjacks for an immersed-in-art  experience. 

A limberjack is a three dimensional wood carving—a nimble, limber, functional stick puppet. Sharp demonstrated his limberjacks in action. Some were hewn in the shape of wild moorland ponies. Walking into the gallery, Sharp’s wife Carol manipulated the marionette-like animals. The carved horses moved and clopped in a percussive gallop, while Sharp played string and woodwind instruments. He is proficient on the Appalachian dulcimer, Renaissance recorders and French epinette.  

Carol and David Sharp often perform in duo together as the artistic team “Idlewild.” They play Celtic and world music with an entertaining, soothing sound. David Sharp can make whistling through a pipe or strumming the banjo look easy. Their music has a faraway, fairytale quality.

“We’re storytellers with the Utah Storytelling Guild,” David Sharp said. “We appear frequently at the Viridian Center and with Story Crossroads.” 

Story Crossroads is an annual Utah festival with professional artists who can really perform, spin a yarn and incorporate music into storytelling.

Throughout the gallery, Sharp’s paintings set a welcoming mood along with the music he and Carol played. It was an interactive and easy attention-grabbing time for kids. Dancing seemed to be a natural response for the children who took part. Families listened to his folk narratives and were encouraged to ask questions or make observations about his works around the room. 

Rachael Hedman brought her children— Conner (10), Jaden (8) and Alexis (4)—to the gallery. It can be nerve-racking taking younger children to art exhibit.

“The more that kids come to events like this, the more they learn to respect art,” Hedman said. “It’s hard in the beginning, but it’s worth it in the end. Art is meant to be for all generations.”

Kids gathered at the feet of David and Carol Sharp to experience art up close. Even the tiniest of toddlers were allowed to test a limberjack unicorn and see what it’s like to be a master puppeteer. The Sharps were very warm and friendly. 

West Jordan Arts Councilwoman and professional artist Rebecca Klundt helped bring Sharp’s work to the Schorr Gallery. 

“The great thing about David is that his pieces all have stories,” Klundt said. “It’s really fun to get to talk to him. I really love the primitive people he carves.”

Klundt marveled over one of Sharp’s wood sculptures called “Primitive Man on the Block.” Klundt described the piece saying, “It’s got character. It’s got a story to it. It’s interesting.” She admires Sharp’s methods. 

“He takes different cultures and mythologies and studies them,” Klundt said. The art remained on exhibit through May 30. 

David Sharp also displayed his relief carvings intermingled with his paintings. Relief carvings are pictures and designs formed on a flat plane of wood. The Schorr Gallery exhibit case was chock-full of his human-image sculptures in different sizes and postures.

“The figures represent ancestor guardian figures,” David Sharp said. The sculptures reveal how deft a master carver he is and how much time he devotes to learning cultures and subject matter. There also might be magic in his timber craftsmanship tools. 

David Sharp has had a long career of study, practice and skill. He has an impressive resume and interesting life to hear about. He creates art even with his conversation, his prose and his presence.

The Jackdaw's Ring - a blog

Idlewild Recordings