Paul Haslem, acclaimed as a
modern day troubadour, has been a professional
musician for over twenty years. He has delighted
audiences with his original songs and story
telling throughout Canada, the United States and
Enchanted by the mystical sound
of the hammered dulcimer in the mid-seventies,
Paul quickly mastered the intricacies of this
ancient and haunting instrument. By the late
eighties Paul was heralded as one of the finest
hammered dulcimer players in North America.
In 1991, Paul released his
first hammered dulcimer recording, "Step Out
featuring his own compositions along with Celtic
music from Ireland. Following the success of his
first recording, Paul released, "Dulcimer
in 1993, a musical tour of the many cultures in
which the dulcimer is used.
Paul was signed to a recording
contract in 1996 with the American record label,
Sugo Music, which produced Paul's third release,
This seminal recording featured twelve new
compositions set in rich musical arrangements.
The following year, Paul was a featured artist in
Sugo's hit release, "An Acoustic
In 1998, Paul recorded "Spirit of
His innovative use of instruments and influences,
atypical to Celtic music, resulted in an audio
masterpiece that was received with great
enthusiasm by the music industry.
In the fall of 2002 Paul
collected up favorites from previous recordings
and tunes that he recorded with other artists,
put it together with some new interpetations of
favorite Christmas songs and released "One
This collection of Christmas and winter themed
tunes will soon be a classic, "must
have" recording for Christmas enthusiasts.
Over the years Paul has been
moving away from the more traditional sounds for
the hammered dulcimer by recording with other
world instruments and using different performance
techniques to bring a new sound to this time
honoured instrument. His most recent recording,
"Looped and Delayed", highlights this. By using
looping techniques and delays he is able to
create a background with textures and layers and
then add in the dulcimer. The result is a
constantly shifting collage of rhythms and
harmonies that draws the listener in and takes
them on a journey of sound.
Over the winter months of 2008
Paul set about creating a new studio recording.
"Back to Basics" is an eclectic collection of
original tunes and a few select fiddle tunes
written by Bert Pepper of midwestern Ontario and
arranged for the hammered dulcimer by Paul.
Beginning in June of 2009 all
recordings are now available for online purchase
through iTunes, Amazon,
Napster, Rhapsody and Emusic. My
favorite service is Emusic.
They seem to have a great
selection of independant folk and celtic
influenced music. Their download prices are very
reasonable, running about fifty cents per song.
Paul's masterful ability to interweave
music and stories, in a timeless bardic
tradition, has elicited passionate testimonials
from members of the music community as well as
listeners of all ages
Paul Haslem should be labeled as a national
treasure, as he continues to brilliantly play
both his own compositions and traditional themes.
A 'must' for any serious listener.... classical,
folk or contemporary."
Merrick Jarrett, Canadian
counter-balance of dynamic stage presence and
Warren Robinson, festival
co-ordinator, Goderich Celtic Roots Festival
I've started making my dulcimer
hammers available on a regular basis. If you are
interested in ordering a set or just want more
info check out the web page on Dulcimer
Hammers for lots of
pictures and information.
The most recent project I've
been working on is to write out scores for all of the tunes that
I've written. I had written out several of my favorites and they've
been available on the sheetmusic page,
but now I'm making a concentrated effort to do all of the tunes
beginning with the last recording Back to Basics. That recording is
now complete! If you play the tunes please let me know if you should
find any mistakes and let me know as I am trying to replicate what I
recorded at the time.