Gurdy Mania II – Review

One Simple Man’s Review of Scott Marshall’s Gurdy Mania II

Scott Marshall’s technique on the Hurdy Gurdy is amazingly dexterous, his fingers, hands and arms nimble to the point of flawless performance of the most demanding music written for the instrument. These compositions performed on nine “slightly effected Hurdy Gurdies” by Mr. Marshall could be thought of as poetic pictures portraying the nature of life. All are presented in minor keys, indicating perhaps a preference for a solemn grasp that touches the depths of creation. Aliveness and alertness are clearly shown, but without a silly gaiety that glosses over life’s predominant vulnerability.

The first of the 15 recordings, “Country Dark,” written in half-time, is a drawn-out series of modulating chords with an underlying dominant base possibly capturing the mood of warily walking in pitch-black darkness through a meadow wondering what lies in wait. Yet, it’s as if the music itself surrounds the walker with an all-embracing zone that is safe. The remainder of the pieces feature sounds that seem impossible for a Hurdy Gurdy to make. Indeed, at times I imagined hearing an oboe or other reeds and even a muted brass instead of the instrument’s strings. These fleeting arpeggios of unusual sounds from their source dance around while continuo and chords maintain the rhythm.

One selection begins with the sound of a horse’s gait, which is maintained throughout providing a glimpse of a horse-drawn carriage rolling along at a steady pace. Several of the pieces repeat the same intricate arpeggio pattern, likely a favorite or most adroit of Mr. Marshall’s skill. Another complicated maneuver of Hurdy Gurdy playing that Mr. Marshall has mastered involves quick intermittent reversals of the flywheel to generate a different sound, something akin to breathing in instead of out when playing a harmonica. Even more astounding are the songs in which one melody is playing at the same time as a counter melody. I would love to witness that technique.

The final selection, “Spell of the Space Witch,” easily transports one into the vastness of pulsars, quarks, blackholes, and the other mysteries of space. How the composer/performer manages to eke those sounds out of the Hurdy Gurdy is another technique I want to see. Mr. Marshall’s mastery of Hurdy Gurdy performance ranges from notes sounding alone in utter simplicity to sounds of a church pipe organ with the sforzando toe stud switched on. The artist’s rendering on the album cover may capture something of the music’s wonder. There stands a tree (of life?) in the middle and other trees in the distance, and emerging out of the ground are various forms of vegetation, having worked through the black earth to offer sustenance and beauty to the rest of creation. Asleep in a cocoon of intertwined roots under the tree appears a rodent-type creature. Life’s essence is experienced as it is NOW without any need of hope for anything to be different. All we need is already given, and good or bad, it is of heaven.

j.e. norton – March 8th, 2021

To order Gurdy Mania:

Johannes Geworkian Hellman, the Hurdy Gurdy, Symbio – HGCS2E2

This podcast was released at March 13th, 2021 at 5:21 AM Eastern Time Zone, as the Moon is perfectly New. (For show notes and podcast audio, scroll down, down, down…)
Our guest today is: Johannes Geworkian Hellman

Podcast Audio to Download:

Podcast Video:

Featured Music: Symbio – 100 Years of Joy and Sorrow

How does Symbio approach composing music?

What’s the difference between modal or tonal music?

Where did Johannes’ musical journey start?

Is Symbio “Easy Listening” Hurdy Gurdy Music?

Featured Music: A Song for Valentin- Live – Johannes Geworkian Hellman

Is Valentin easy listening?

How did Valentin Clastrier’s hurdy gurdy playing influence Johannes?

Who are Johannes primary hurdy gurdy influences?

What kind of instruments does Johannes play and what are the differences?

What’s the scene like with Symbio?

Is there new music on the way?

When will we hear a Rush hurdy gurdy cover?

Featured Music: Hive – David Lombardi, Johannes Geworkian Hellman, Tad Sargent

Any advice for beginning players?

What are the disadvantages of the hurdy gurdy?

Are there any insights on recording the hurdy gurdy properly?

Featured Music: Symbio “Rising” Live at Manifestgalan, Stockholm – Hurdy-gurdy & accordion

Special thanks to Sergio! Always a pleasure.

Efrén López, The Queen of Spain, A Fretted Hurdy Gurdy, subtract a Pope – S2E1HGC

This podcast was released at February 27th, 2021 at 3:00 AM Eastern Time Zone, as the Moon is perfectly Full. (For show notes and podcast audio, scroll down, down, down…)
Our guest today is Efren Lopez.

Podcast Audio to Download –


Hurdy Gurdy Cafe Season 2 Episode 1

Efren Lopez

Featured Music: Can Vei La Lauzeta Mover · Els Trobadors

1) How was Efren Lopez introduced to the Hurdy Gurdy?

2) Where and when did the sound of early music develop?

3) How does Efren Lopez feel when he plays music?

4) How does the Queen of Spain feel about Efren’s music?

5) How powerful is the Hurdy Gurdy?

6) What was Efren Lopez’s first hurdy gurdy?

7) How does Efren Lopez approach recording with the Hurdy Gurdy?

8) What do fretless double neck guitars and E-bows have in common?

Featured Music: Black Os – Tiennet – Patrick Bouffard

9) Who influenced Efren Lopez the most?

10) What are Efren Lopez’s favorite instruments?

11) What is a fretted hurdy gurdy?

12) Is there a fretted nerdy gurdy hurdy gurdy?

13) What is Efren’s favorite hurdy gurdy tuning?

14) What is Efren’s advice to beginning to play the hurdy gurdy?

15) What was Efren’s experience with the Queen of Spain?Featured Music: Hedningarna – Polska efter Olof Tillman

Special thanks to Sergio Gonzalez ( and Efren Lopez (

Nigel Eaton, a Stolen Hurdy Gurdy, Unledded, Muses and More – Season 1 Finale

This podcast was released at November 30, 2020 at 4:30 AM Eastern Time Zone, as the Moon is perfectly Full. (For show notes and podcast audio, scroll down, down, down…)
Our guest today is Nigel Eaton.



Featured Music – by Nigel –
1986 Synth Pop Experimentation Devil Dance
Kate at the Gate from the Album Panic at the Café
The Duelists Track #3 from the Album the Duelists
Laride – from the 1995 VH1 Interview
1. How does one recover a stolen Hurdy Gurdy?
2. How does the double keyboard work on a Hurdy Gurdy?
3. How did you get so good? 
4. How old were you when you started playing?
5. Were you self taught?
6. Did Nigel Eaton build his first Hurdy Gurdy?
7. And you started playing because your dad got tired from his job?
8. What projects were you involved in up until 1994? 
9. How did you get the gig playing hurdy gurdy with Page and Plant on Unledded?
10. Were you given free range in composing your parts for Unledded? How did you approach that?
11. How did it effect your career?
12. What project or work are you most proud of? 
13. Who were your most influential hurdy gurdy players growing up?
14. (From Scott Marshall) As a God of Hurdy Gurdy and the son of a legendary luthier, how do you see the current scene?
15. Any advice for new players?
16. Anything you’d like to see happen for the hurdy gurdy players and music of the future?  Anything you’d like to see go differently?

Pablo Urssuson of Sangre de Muerdago and the Poetry of the Hurdy Gurdy – HGC S1 E9

This podcast was released at November 15, 2020 at 12:07 AM Eastern Time Zone, as the Moon is perfectly New. (For show notes and podcast audio, scroll down, down, down…)

Our guest today is Pablo Urssuson.

The audio of today’s podcast-

The video of today’s podcast-

Featured Music –

-SANGRE DE MUERDAGO – Heavy Mental (Live Session 2019)

-Sangre de Muerdago – Lonxania – Lonshania –  Track 5

-Skamgreppet · Hedningarna (band)

Topics Include:

What kind of music does Sangre De Muerdago and Pablo play?

Do you need to know how to read and write music to compose good music?

How did Pablo Ursusson begin playing the Hurdy Gurdy?  Punk?

How is Punk music related to the folk tradition?

Is it OK if your first Hurdy Gurdy doesn’t have a trompette?

How long has Pablo been playing the Hurdy Gurdy?

Is it good to sacrifice technicality for musicality?

Is it better to be self-taught on the Hurdy Gurdy?

How important is the coup? Should be we glorify it?

When are you going to use coup de 12?

When does Sangre de Muerdago’s new album come out?

What does the Adam’s Family Theme song have to do with the Hurdy Gurdy?

What is the best way to approach Hurdy Gurdy as a beginner?

Can you learn how to play the Hurdy Gurdy without maintaining it?

How important is the right hand, trompette technique, to playing the Hurdy Gurdy well?

How important is it to tap your foot while playing the Hurdy Gurdy?

How important is it to start just being creative with the Hurdy Gurdy, even before you really know how to play?

Is it better to learn from sheet music or by ear training?

Special Thanks to Pablo of Sangre de Muerdago for being with us today.

And Special Thanks to Sergio Gonzalez for bringing it all together.

Steve Tyler and Enduring the Ephemeral – HGC S1 E8

This podcast was released at October 31, 2020 at 10:49 AM Eastern Time Zone, as the Moon is perfectly Full. (For show notes and podcast audio, scroll down, down, down…)

Our guest today is Steve Tyler.

The audio of today’s podcast-

The video of today’s podcast-

Topics Include:

Featured Music –
Steve Tyler – The Second Law – From The Enduring and the Ephemeral –

How did Steve Tyler discover the Hurdy Gurdy?
What was it like participating in the Mideaval Historic Music World?
How does one get better at playing the Hurdy Gurdy?
Are the Early Music Workshop Kits good?
Is Steve Tyler self-taught on the Hurdy Gurdy?
How’s a Chris Eaton Hurdy Gurdy?
What is the Chris Eaton Double Keyboard?
Should we start practicing the trompette from the beginning?
How does muscle memory effect the ability to use the trompette?

Who are Steve Tyler’s top three Hurdy Gurdy influences?

Featured Music
Pandero – L’Ham de Foc —

Is there another Steve Tyler in an alternate universe playing in a rock band?
What are the Daughter’s of Elven?

What was the process of recording the Enduring and the Ephemeral?

Featured Music –
Tethys – From the Enduring and the Ephemeral

Scott Gayman, Hurdy Gurdy Origins and The Scene in America

This podcast was released at October 16, 2020 at 3:30 PM Eastern Time Zone, as the Moon is perfectly new. (For show notes and podcast audio, scroll down, down, down…)

Our guest today is Scott Gayman.

The audio of today’s podcast-

The video of today’s podcast-

Topics Include:

Where Can I Play a Hurdy Gurdy in the United States?

Featured Music –

Tarif de Nuit – Famous Wolf

What are the origins of the Hurdy Gurdy in relationship to France?

How old is the Hurdy Gurdy?

What’s up with Hurdy Gurdies in the United States?

Who is Mary Vanhoozer?

Featured Music –

Tend’m – Indiférrence

What is the history of the yearly Hurdy Gurdy gathering in Indiana?

Will we finally have a good Hurdy Gurdy builder in the United States?  Could Michael Opp be that premier Hurdy Gurdy of the USA?

How can you find the Hurdy Gurdy sound that fits you?

Will Hurdy Gurdies catch on with bands in the United States?

What is the Hurdy Gurdy Association and what can I learn from it?

Where can I get a Hurdy Gurdy for $300.00?

What is a “Closet Hurdy Gurdy Player”?

How do I pick a Hurdy Gurdy with good resale value?

What does the Devil have to do with the Hurdy Gurdy?

Featured Music –

Patrick Bouffard and Gilles Chabenat play “Vouvray” for Zona da Zanfona, an International festival around the hurdy gurdy in Rianxo.

The Hurdy Gurdy Cafe Podcast Season 1 Episode 6

Hurdy Gurdy Cafe Pocast Season 1 Episode 6 – An Interview with Michalina Malisz of Eluveitie

This podcast was released at October 1st, 2020 at 5:00 PM Eastern Time Zone, as the Moon is perfectly full. (For show notes and podcast audio, scroll down, down, down…)



Featured Music –
Etienne Pinoteau – “Palet” –

-How did Michalina Malisz get started on the Hurdy Gurdy?
-How did Michalina come to join Eluveitie?
-How do you develop a “Rock and Roll” persona?
-What was the recording process with Eluveitie like?
-Let’s talk about MM’s Aplo and Saphona Hurdy Gurdies.
-What was Scott Marshall’s role in developing the Aplo Hurdy Gurdy?
-Do Elves make the hurdy gurdy instruments for Ancestore?
-What’s it like getting Hurdy Gurdy lessons with Sergio Gonzalez?
-How sturdy and sensitive is the Aplo hurdy gurdy to temperature and weather?

Featured Music –
Thierry Nout – LARGO sound impression -

-How did Michalina get started on YouTube?
-What are the top 10 Iconic Guitar Riffs on Hurdy Gurdy?
-How do you make the hurdy gurdy your own?
-How do you get really good at playing the Hurdy Gurdy?
-What is Michalina’s biggest challenge on the Hurdy Gurdy?
-What are Michalina’s plans for a solo project?
-Who are Michalina Malisz’s most influential Hurdy Gurdy players?

Featured Music-
Konstanze Kulinsky – VIVACE –

Pagans, Metal and the Hurdy Gurdy – Hurdy Gurdy Cafe Podcast Season 1 Episode 5

This podcast was released at Sept. 17, 2020 at 7:00 am Eastern Time Zone, as the Moon is perfectly new. (For show notes and podcast audio, scroll down, down, down…)

Video –

Introducing Sam Riffle, moderator of the Hurdy Gurdy Community on Facebook. If you really want to make a good decision about buying and playing the Hurdy Gurdy, join this group first.  (

Featured Music
Mike Smith – Tea in the Morning –
Bube Dame König – Heideförsterlied –
Zirp – La Toupie

Sam’s background
-Mittelalterrock (medieval rock) scene in Germany – bands like Subway to Sally, In Extremo, Schandmaul
-Pagan metal bands (Arkona, Eluveitie) 
-Sam’s hurdy-gurdy teachers – Silke Reichmann de Salas (daugher of Frankfurt-based luthier Kurt Reichmann), Simon Wascher (Austria)
-Renting a hurdy gurdy
-Repetitive stress injuries (don’t play for 8 hours a day!)
-Eluveitie forum, forum meetup, meeting Anna Murphy 
-Advice on buying a gurdy from Anna Murphy, Stephan Groth, Alexis Vacher
-Helpful hurdy-gurdy players

-Visit to LSC in 2012 – Gotschy (Alexandra Betz), Neil Brook, Sebastian Hilsmann
-Beginner instruments, how many melody strings, pressure on the fingers
-Swapping out melody strings, experimenting

-Mike Smith – YouTube tune collection, good player, good gurdies, paintings

Hurdy Gurdy Community – origins, documentation, limitations
-The hurdy gurdy & patience
-Situation in the US
-HCG website in the works – articles, FAQs, profiles/info from experts, make info public and visible
-Spanish podcast?

Hurdy gurdy & metal
-Eluveitie & Anna Murphy, Cellar Darling
-Apocalypse Orchestra
-Corvus Corax & medieval rock
-Sangre de Muerdago & Antlers
-Afsky – Danish black metal with hurdy gurdy track
-Shredding on the gurdy, why a fully-loaded gurdy might make sense
-Michalina’s tutorials for the latest Eluveitie tracks
-Lack of dynamics in most metal bands using gurdy – lost in the mix
-Build metal around a gurdy, don’t just add gurdy

Zirp, Liederlicher Unfug – Stephan Groth
5-4-O Video (new track):

The T-Rex Hand and top 6 Ways to Wear Your Hurdy Gurdy – HGC Podcast S1E4

This podcast was released at Sept. 2, 2020 at 1:22 am Eastern Time Zone, as the Moon is perfectly full. (For show notes, scroll down, down, down…)

Audio –

Video –

Introducing Sanne van Gend from the Netherlands…The T-Rex Hand and top 6 Ways to Wear Your Hurdy Gurdy – HGC Podcast S1E4

Sanne’s Dutch tune project is called Holland Historie –

Featured Music…
Sint Tuenis Poort (Saint Tuenis Gate) – Dutch folk on hurdy gurdy – Performed by Sanne van Gend
Het viel eens hemels douwe (The holy ghost once descended)– Dutch folk on hurdy gurdy – performed by Sanne van Gend and Jimi Hellinga
CORRETTE // La Furstemberg by Ensemble Danguy / Tobie Miller

What did we talk about on this Hurdy Gurdy Cafe Podcast?
What’s a good hurdy gurdy festival?
Where can you rent a hurdy gurdy?
Are there Viking Hurdy Gurdies?
Does anyone in the United States play the Hurdy Gurdy? Maybe check the
Hurdy Gurdy census…
Is the hurdy gurdy music in Black Sails authentic?
Can adventurers really carry a hurdy gurdy in Dungeons and Dragons games?
What is a good posture for playing the Hurdy Gurdy?
What is a T-Rex hand?
Is playing the hurdy gurdy with poor posture as bad as falling down stairs?
Is it normal to feel tension when playing the hurdy gurdy?
Align your hurdy gurdy with your knob.
How can you learn the hurdy gurdy faster?
What are good tips for learning the trompette?