All the Bells and Whistles

  • The Heavenly Celesta

    The celesta gets its name directly from the French word for “heavenly” (celeste). And the first time you hear it, it is heavenly! Maybe you first heard it on the flip side of Buddy Holly’s premiere single. Holly’s producer happened to have a celesta in the studio and Mrs. Vi Petty (the producer’s wife) offered […]

  • It’s Turkey Time!

    Dear San Diego Troubadour Readers:  I won’t be hosting a live and lively Annual Turkey Calling Show this year in the Seuss Room of Geisel Library, as UC San Diego is being appropriately cautious in this, our pandemic time of COVID 2020. I will, however, feature a brief Turkey Calling tribute regarding the fest on Wednesday, November […]

  • It’s October!! Dust off your Theremin… oooOOOeeeEEEeeeooo!

    My performances for the very macabre month of October tend to celebrate horror, fantasy, and sci-fi. And whether the venue is live radio drama, a silent film screening, or a steampunk convention, I always bring my Theremin along! It relays the otherworldly, easily. But keep in mind that it can take years to play standard […]

  • UCSD’s Toy Piano Festival Celebrates Its 20th Year

    Scott Paulson, one of our monthly columnists, invites San Diego Troubadour readers to the 20th Annual Toy Piano Festival, which is being held as a Facebook Live virtual event this year. Scott is the founder and director of this popular local festival, hosted on his home turf at the UC San Diego Library, where he […]

  • The Autoharp

    The autoharp is a very American instrument with obvious eastern European roots. There was a remarkable period of development in 1880s Germany when the volkszither design from instrument maker Karl August Gutter appeared on the scene, looking much like our current version. Charles F. Zimmerman produced autoharps in the United States around the same time, […]