lap dulcimer practice 2009

Practicing lap dulcimer, 2009

Orphanspace is an occasional death-folk-noise-music project of mine. I write, sing, and record all of the songs myself, using an Appalachian dulcimer (or lap dulcimer), as well as making electronic soundscapes mostly using field recordings and programs like Cubase. You can listen to (and download) the recordings for free here. There is also a music player at the bottom of this blog.

Orphanspace was most active between 2007-2012.

In 2009, I toured the U.S. for four months, playing shows on both coasts. I planned, booked, and promoted the tour myself, with stops to work at WWOOF sites in upstate New York and Pennsylvania.
My live shows were decidedly stripped down compared to the electronics included in the recordings. It was just me, the dulcimer, and some reverb. Since my outlook was apocalyptic and ascetic at the time, this extended to my musical practice.  It was very important to me that if the electricity went out, the show could go on.


Dumpstered Filson canvas CD sleeves for my first release with Vena Cava issue #7


Dulcimer Map

Journal page with lap dulcimer

Eventually I was offered a record deal, but my inner Steve Albini prevailed (regardless of his updates on the topic, to which I reply with this link). Sometimes I toy with the idea of recording and releasing more work to share here but for the most part I prefer to paint or study, so for now Orphanspace is dormant.


First lap dulcimer in a case made from an old electric bass case, lined with foam and hand-stitched, hand-dyed satin

making piezo mic

Making a piezo mic

Orphanspace poster

Fragment of a show poster I made on the fly while on tour in 2009.

Some notes on the songs themselves:
– “Skoptsy” is a song about a strange sect in Tsarist Russia who practiced castration, a form of FGM, and masectomy. Read more about the history of the Skoptsy here (NSFW). It is one of my personal favorites of my recordings, along with Dying Alone in the Woods. Most seem to favor Butcherbird, however.
– All my early songs were written and recorded before I converted to Orthodoxy. As such, there are some with themes of cold deism, which I no longer support.

bun sleeve

Sleeve for the Magic Bun demo, 2012

Albini, Steve. “The Problem With Music.” Negativworldwidewebland, Negativland. Web. 21 Aug. 2017.
“Appalachian dulcimer.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 7 Aug. 2017. Web. 21 Aug. 2017.
Orphanspace. “Orphanspace- Full Collection, 2007-2012.” All songs c. 2007-2012, ASCAP.
Resnikoff, Paul. “The 13 Most Insidious, Pervasive Lies of the Music Industry.” Digital Music News, 29 May 2017. Web. 21 Aug. 2017.
“Skoptsy.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 16 Aug. 2017. Web. 21 Aug. 2017.
Citing this page:
Solomon, Alana. “Orphanspace.” Ortolana Studio. Ortolana Studio, 21 August 2017.