Asheville, North Carolina-based National Hammered Dulcimer Champion, Joshua Messick, breathes new life into an ancient, enchanting instrument. Be transported as he weaves cinematic stylings and endless imagination with virtuosic performances. A beautiful and captivating listening experience, Joshua’s musical artistry is influenced by Celtic, World, Renaissance, Folk, and Classical music. When his four-year-old ears heard the hammered dulcimer for the first time, Joshua Messick turned to his mom and said, “I promise I will learn to play the hammered dulcimer before I am thirty.” At nine, when he got ahold of a pair of dulcimer hammers and coaxed sound from the strings for the first time, a music teacher asked how long he had been taking lessons. “I haven’t,” he said, still going at it. It’s as if Joshua came into this world equipped with a pre-existing relationship with the hammered dulcimer.
Joshua began arranging music at ten and composing in high school. By the time he was eighteen, he became the 2003 National Hammered Dulcimer Champion.
Joshua is first and foremost a composer, crafting original compositions drawing from Celtic, Classical, and World styles. For those who love more traditional music, he breathes new life into Folk, Hymns, Classical, and traditional favorites.
“I’ve put my entire life into this music,” he tells an interviewer, and it is readily apparent. Few musicians can span the breadth of styles he easily plays. Enjoy his music on iTunes or CDs, or catch him playing live and you will feel the soulful presence that stirs in his music. You will be transported to a peaceful, nourishing place.
Messick further elaborates, “how music relates to people is something that fascinates me. Music is the sound of the human spirit and for me is prayer without words. There has been a process for me to understand the place music has in my life and why I play it. I used to play only for the purpose of becoming good. Now, I play music because I love it with an understanding that music is God’s gift to experience His love and healing. In addition to this, I seek to play honestly from the heart, learn as much as I can, and enjoy music”