Hailing from Seattle, WA we are joined by ‘ukulele teacher and performer Matt Dahlberg. Growing up in Mukilteo, WA., Dahlberg picked up his grandfather’s old ‘ukulele and was hooked ever since. Continuing practicing, playing, and school, in 2010 Dahlberg began teaching online on Skype and on other platforms. Dahlberg’s lessons gained traction to the point of being featured in the NY Times for his teaching. His first release Dragonfly just came out this summer alongside his HiSessions episode making him the 2nd performer to be featured at the Historic Hawai’i Theatre. Look out on Ukulele Underground to see some of his lessons in the future.
Today we hear Dahlberg play an original composition titled Christy’s Walk. Written for his wife’s walk down the aisle, Dahlberg creates beautiful imagery through rich harmony, a soft yet articulate touch, and much sensitivity. Incorporating a mixture of finger picking and lofty dynamics, he uses each last decaying tone to slowly soak into the air as he continues movement through fingerpicking and unique chord inversions (0:26, 0:32, ). Leaving pockets of space allows the listener’s ear a chance to refresh and the song to breathe. Contracting and expanding through volume changes and intensity through attack make the piece sound alive and inspired to the whim of the artist. Throughout the song, he keeps an even right-hand pattern with variations for extra movement. I particularly love the third variation when he moves down an octave and seamlessly opens up the song as he approaches the summit of the tune (1:16). Harmonics widen the sonic image of his ‘ukulele to create yet, even more, space and dynamics to play around with (1:22). As his slow march reaches its end the song comes to a soft and gentle halt.
UkePrints is a curated playlist of some essential ukulele tracks that all ukulele player should listen to. These songs have left a legacy for future players and in essence, sound impressions of the ‘ukulele or what I like to call them: UkePrints.