Doug Berch

Dulcimer Maker And Musician

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CD Pre-Release Fun!

I leave tomorrow for St. Louis. I’ll be doing a house concert with my dear old friend Robert Fishbone. Robert’s talents are many and sometimes not easy to define. He is a musician, story teller, performance artist, keynote performer and speaker and entrepreneur but in essence his talents are something more than the sum of those parts

Robert is also the friend who helped me figure out that it was really time to leave the job I had as the showroom manager at Elderly Instruments and get back to being a musician and luthier. I thank him profusely on the good days!

And this past weekend my friend Robin Zahir came for a visit. Robin is a photographer and designer with the eyes and heart of a poet. He is also one of the finest people I know and is deeply in my heart. He took lots of pictures and will soon be designing the covers for the two CDs. You’ll be seeing his beautiful photographs here and there on these pages in the near future.

So with finished masters in hand I decided to make some pre-release copies of the CDs to bring with me to the gig in St. Louis. Burning high quality CDs at home is no problem. And hey, you can go to any office supply store and get labels and inserts and a program to make your CDs look fairly professional in the comfort of your own familiar dwelling.

thinkingThat is, in theory, what I have been attempting to do tonight.

It took me about four hours to design some fairly nice covers and labels using a few of Robin’s photographs.

And after the printer trashed a few dozen or so inserts, and after my wonderful wife took apart and reassembled 25 or so CD cases we noticed that right there on the front cover I proudly displayed that this album contained Hammered Duclimer Instrumentals!

Yes, that’s right, Duclimer!

And it’s late and I have a long drive tomorrow and I was going to do the setup on two dulcimers before I left but instead I will be going to the office supply store for more labels and printing inserts and assembling CDs.

But enough whining. Here’s an old picture of a woman in a spectacular chicken costume.

lady in a chicken costume

Life is good.

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Quotes – Eleanor Roosevelt


“It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.”

“What one has to do usually can be done.”

“What is to give light must endure the burning.”

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right- for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.”

“A little simplification would be the first step toward rational living, I think.”


Quote – Ibn Muqla

“I like the man who cultivates poetry for self-instruction, not for lucre, and the man who practices music for pleasure, not for gain”

Quranic Illumination

– Ibn Muqla


A Winter Cold


I love Winter.

Well, I should say that I love Winter weather when it gets seriously cold and snows.

When I first moved to Michigan I was disappointed to learn that the Lansing area does not get much snow compared to some other parts of the State. What the area lacks in snow is made up for by an often dreary gray sky. This particular Winter has also unfortunately confirmed that we are experiencing global warming.

But today was a beautiful snowy day. The temperature in the ‘teens and there was even a little blue in the sky.manincoil

The weather brought inspiration. I felt very alive.

And suddenly I started sniffling and feeling achy.

I was all set to have a productive day in the shop but reality had other plans. So it goes.

Another few hours in this vintage healing contraption and I should be good as new!

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Quote – Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj





“When I look inside and see that I’m nothing, that’s wisdom. When I look outside and see that I’m everything, that’s love. And between these two, my life turns.”

– Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

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Doug Berch & Dulcimer Makers