| Dave Rankine is the creative
driving force behind the progressive rock outfit Dulcimerhead.
| Although a devoted player of
the Appalachian Mountain Dulcimer (a zither like 4 stringed modal
instrument) Dave has never let his playing style be restricted by
traditional modes or idioms. Composing all of his own material, his
playing is eclectic and diversified...mixing the dynamics of bagpipes
(his first instrument) and hard rock, with riffs and scales influenced
by Indo Persian and Medieval music
| Dave's compositions run the
range from exquisitely sweet balads (The Knot, May Day, Forsaken) to
trance grooves like "Ullalume's Return" to driving poly-rhythmic stomps
like "Circles", "The Crucible" and "Axis of Love".
| No matter what the tune is,
audiences and listeners always comment on how trance-inducing the music
is. This may be a result of his playing style which breaks all beats
into three note triplets and then taking that and layering it and
interspersing it with rhythm and bass lines. Often he finds himself
playing bass, rhythm and lead all at the same time. It is a style of
playing that draws heavily from Scottish Bagpipe classical music (Ceol
Mhor) and also Indian Ragas.
| Dave's first dulcimer focused
band was East by West (with Billy Fairley - formerly of String Driven
Thing). This is the band in which Eastern music styles melded with
Western Rock idioms- a rock/folk synthesis that used acoustic
instruments (Dave's Duclimer and Billy's panapoly of hand percussion.)
They recorded one CD - "Trance Mhor" ( 2006) - an album which
amazed listeners by its freshness. One fellow dulcimer player described
it as " the best Mountain Dulcimer recording yet - anywhere".
| In early 2007, Dave went on
to to form Dulcimerhead and record two solo CDs under that band name (All
That Is and Gnosis- both Arathusa Records ,2007) and also a
meditation CD (Revealed Structure). After a number of personel
changes, Duclimerhead is now formed by the core of Dave and
percussionist Fernando Villalobos (of Skorched - formerly of Karakatoa
and Heavily Medicated). The resulting CD (Sacred Sound) was recorded and
released in September 2008.
April 11th 2009 saw the release of Dark
Mandala - a 11 track offering of new tunes - more progressive
and heavier sounding than previous releases. This recording is the "Dark
Side of the Moon" of Dulcimerhead's recordings.
2010 Brought two offerings from David , a
meditation CD , co -created with Chantal Garneau (Breathe) and
Dave's solo meister werk, Healing Space (music for
healing and meditation).
| David has also recorded
a CD with Tara Mae Hillyer- under the band name Anam Ranaich
(Cries for Calliach, 2007).