Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording by Ian Harris, Video By Jake Lyle, Words by Landon Kuhlmann
Before you Google it, that instrument is a hammered dulcimer. It's an old instrument that has roots in a few different cultures, and many different versions of it exist. It's probably something you've heard before but didn't know where it was coming from. I've seen it played a couple of times but never in a setting like this. I'm no expert on the instrument, but it seems here to be a meshing of classical and contemporary playing styles, an idea that helps define the entire band.
I want to start off by saying House of Waters is the fusing of three incredibly intelligent and skilled musicians. That much is obvious to even the casual listener. You don't have to understand the complex things they're doing in the music to simply enjoy the sounds, the melodies and moods House of Waters passes through in their music.
Is it jazz? Is it some kind of folk music? Am I, somehow and unbeknownst to me, listening to a form of rock music? These questions, and that grasping for definitions, is useless with this band. Their genre can only be described by other words like fresh, calm, serene, and bliss. Hearing something this new to me feels like I'm hearing music for the first time all over again.
While the music is heavily involved in a close study of melody and chord voicings fleshed out in the dulcimer and a six-string bass, the intricate percussions have their own voicings as well and move between styles and time periods within a single song.
Lastly, I'd like to talk about their band name. I didn't have to think about it long before it struck me. It seemed obvious. House of Waters: the stability and consistency of a well-built home with the clarity and fluidity of water. It'll feel like standing in a river of cultures replete with swirling eddies that will toss your thoughts around like a leaf on top of the water. But the edges of the river are defined, carved away after years of precise erosion, leaving behind a perfect home in which the water can flow for eternity.
House Of Waters Official Site