You may have seen them at flea markets: many-stringed, play-by-number, with decorative decals and creative playing mechanisms. The early 1900s saw a flood of musical inventions, some ridiculous, some sublime, sold door-to-door and in popular catalogs, and all marketed as the ultimate in DIY music making.
Ever-grateful for her electronic tuner, Maine musician Katherine Rhoda loves to explore the whimsical world of vintage fretless zithers. She plays several, including the Marxophone, violin-guitar, Phonoharp No. 1, and harpeleik, as well as the accordion, Lithuanian kanklės (from the land of her mother's people), and more. She has a superb and expressive voice, and a gift for crafting memorable original music, which she blends with traditional material and off-the-beaten-path covers. Far more than just a novelty act, Katherine has a vibrant and engaging presence on stage. Unafraid to air the challenges of the human predicament, she radiates a passionate personal optimism and brings a reflective and inclusive sensibility to her work.
Her latest CD is Joyful Confluence, released in August 2016. A live version of one of the tracks, Snowbound, has had over 35,000 hits on YouTube.
In addition to concerts, Katherine offers informative presentations about fretless zithers. She also does musical activities in nursing homes, and has a gift and passion for sharing music with people with dementia. She is an experienced song leader as well, and often shares special music with progressive faith communities. In addition, she offers programs on vintage Grange songs and on songs of the women's suffrage movement.
Her fees are negotiable.