The Ensemble Tympanon


Ensemble Tympanon performs dance music, songs and airs of the distant and recent past. The group explores various traditions in the Gallic realm from Flemish and Breton to Alsacien and Provencal with bagpipes, accordions, guitar, cittern, mandolin, hammered dulcimer, tabor pipe, and drum.

Nicholas Blanton (hammer dulcimer/tabor pipe and drum), a native of Nashville, Tennessee, began playing the hammered dulcimer in 1977 and he has also mastered a variety of whistles, including recorders, tinwhistles and galoubet. Blanton also makes instruments: hammered dulcimers, bowed psalteries, cimbaloms, citterns, and Renaissance banjos. Blanton has also worked with mime troupes in Romania and puppet shows in Baltimore and is a member of the Compagnie Barbaroque of Grignan, which performs Baroque and new music in Grignan, France.

Steve Schneider is a master hammered dulcimer player, accordionist, and pianist whose credentials include Broadway, film, and television soundtracks. He is nationally known through his regular column in the Dulcimer PlayerÆs News, and his instrumental recordings are published on his own label, Salient MusicWorks. SchneiderÆs music ranges from Brazilian choros to the Beatles and everything in between.

Paul Oorts, a Belgian native, performs on classical and steel-stringed guitars, cittern, mandolin, and musette accordion, and teaches French at the Peabody Conservatory of Music. Oorts specializes in Celtic, Brazilian choro, swing, Flemish, French and American music. He has recorded with his wife, Karen Ashbrook, the group Simple Gifts and with Steve Schneider

Maggie Sansone (hammered dulcimer/small pipes/percussion) has been featured on CBS-TVÆs ôSunday Morning, and NPRÆs "All Things Considered," "Performance Today," and "The Thistle & Shamrock," and recently received a WAMMIE for best Irish/Celtic Instrumentalist. SansoneÆs recording label, MaggieÆs Music, has earned seven WAMMIE awards and her recordings have been distributed worldwide.

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