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Frome instrument's Royal Opera House debut.

Tim Manning Frome's Hammered Dulcimer maker was approached by percussionist Greg Knowles to develop a new instrument based on the Hungarian Cimbalom. The instrument was to be used in The Royal Ballet's co-production with the National Ballet of Canada of The Winter's Tale, Shakespear's story of love, loss and reconciliation. 50 Years after its last Shakespearian ballet, The Royal Opera house are host to this spectacular event which will also be broadcast live on 28th April to cinema's worldwide thanks to recent technological developments. Locally it can be seen in Yeovil, Bristol and possibly even Frome!

Tim is predominantly known as a maker of related traditional British instruments called Hammered Dulcimers. The two have worked together to create and develop this hybrid instrument. A total of three instruments were created in order to achieve the optimum of size, weight, sound and construction method. Hammered Dulcimers and Cimbaloms are both pre-cursors of the Piano and in the past have had a keyboard-like role in small musical groups. Originally played by the elite, after the advent and popularity of piano their use became predominantly the domain of itinerant gypsy musicians. The composer of the project Joby Talbot and the choreographer Christopher Wheeldon decided to use a live on-stage band to represent the musicians of Bohemia. Joby's initial work composing for this piece involved the use of a sampler instrument featuring the sound of the Cimbalom. The Cimbalom thought, is a seriously weighty instrument requiring 2 people to carry it! Tim and Greg together have created this unique instrument they are calling a Dulcilom which is played while being carried by one person alone. The instrument is used in all three acts of the ballet and takes an important position centre stage in act two. Ironically Joby's musical use of this instrument harks back to an earlier period when it was more important than now. Metaphorically shining a light on to the musical potential for the instrument in the modern context of this original new score.

 

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