Member of Broadside Electric from the fall of 1991 through the summer of 1994. Left in September 1994 to pursue her studies and now holds a Ph.D. in social anthropology.
I have been playing the dulcimer since I was thirteen, though it hardly shows due to my total lack of discipline. My "vocal training" amounted to singing along with Annie Haslam of Renaissance, in addition to more dubious sources which I do not care to cite here (suffice to say I had appalling taste in music as a kid). I'm learning how to sing for real these days, which is very gratifying. Broadside Electric were kind enough to take me in, an unschooled and unruly wannabe folk musician, and in the space of three years turned me into an unschooled and even unrulier wannabe folk musician, for which they'll always have my gratitude. I am proud to have left the dulcimer influence behind me, though Tom obviously plays the thing forty times better than I ever will!
I am starting a return to music after a five-year "sabbatical" in graduate school, during which I didn't feel I could concentrate on much else besides the work at hand. (I blame my undergraduate thesis adviser who, when I waved the freshly-minted Black-edged Visiting Card at her with pride and jubilation, replied drily, "Good, so are you going to work on your thesis now?") I didn't take my poor dulcimer out of its case for the first two years, but then I had the good sense to take it with me to Papua New Guinea when I went there for my doctoral fieldwork. My friends there responded so enthusiastically to this exotic instrument that I realised how silly I'd been to neglect it all that time.
It must be possible to be an academic and a performing musician; I just have to find that middle road. Stay tuned, and if you live in England drop by the Cambridge Folk Club some Friday evening. I'll see you there. -- Melissa
| Melissa Demian
| Rachel Hall
| Amy Ksir
| Tom Rhoads
| Jim Speer
| Helene Zisook
| Mike Ciul
| Dan Riles
| Alan Rose
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