Dalrymple MacAlpin is a diviner of folkloric traditions and a singer of stories and visions. He makes a home for himself on the theatre stage, the concert hall and in the library of mythology. MacAlpin’s artistic aim is to keep alive the hearth flame of folk memory, fairy tale, tradition and myth with branches culled from the collective tree of knowledge.
His recordings and live performances have branched out over the past two decades into a variegated hedge of singular expression, which includes; music composition, theatrical installation, story creation, riddle preservation, puppet metempsychosis and sleeping on the graves of renowned poets. Within this world and the other, MacAlpin culls together the myriad forms of his craft into a cohesive and exhaustively researched program of artistry, designed to simultaneously delight, inform and inspire.
MacAlpin recorded his first studio album, March To The Sun in 2001. Soon thereafter, he moved to the northern California mining town of Nevada City where he founded the medieval psych-folk ensemble Lasher Keen. MacAlpin wrote, recorded and released six Lasher Keen albums between 2006 and 2015. He dissolved the project in 2016 to pursue his visons in a more orchestrated and theatre-based direction.
His nine-album discography ranges from solo acoustic Syd Barrett inspired psychedelic ballads to Scandinavian tree troll symphonics, from the far reaches of early music’s brocade of gut strings to Motown induced baritone sax solos, from basso profundo operatic giants to the brightly tinged fairy land of Tír na nÓg. It is a catalog of sound refusing to adhere to any specific genre, yet at the same time it maps a sonic sphere that is congruent and whole.
Throughout Europe and America, MacAlpin’s live shows have found him collaborating and sharing the stage with artists such as Terry Riley, John Ames, Motoko, Antonio Rocha, Bonnie Prince Billy, Faun Fables, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Agalloch, In Gowan Ring, The Edmund Welles Quartet, Mellissa Auf Der Maur, Oz Fritz, Jeremey Cohen and many other luminaries involved in a variety of artistic disciplines.
He has performed at notable festivals and theaters, including The Sierra Storytelling Festival, The Northwest Folklife Festival, Noise Pop Festival, Café Du Nord in San Francisco, The Center for the Arts in Grass Valley, CA, The Star Theater in Portland, OR and the oldest running play house west of the Mississippi, the historic Nevada Theatre in Nevada City, CA.
Inspired by Irish/Celtic and Germanic literature, MacAlpin wrote, directed and scored two musical plays; The Middle Kingdom, in 2014, based on the Irish myth, Tochmarc Etaine and Make Believe in 2019, based on the nineteenth century Sisters Wild, who lived next door to the preeminent folklorists, the Brothers Grimm. Both plays combined nearly all of MacAlpin’s disciplines; incorporating storytelling, singing, music, puppetry, poetry, acting and dance.
MacAlpin studied puppetry in the Czech Republic at Puppets in Prague in 2016 and 2020 with notable Czech puppet master Miroslav Trejtnar. He focused on puppetry design, traditional hand carving techniques, and experimental manipulation practices in order to ingrain a living consciousness into his idiosyncratic and highly individualized puppets. MacAlpin also studied puppet design and manipulation philosophy with famed Icelandic based puppeteer, Bernd Ogrodnik in 2020.
MacAlpin’s formal music education includes studying composition, form, orchestration, theory, ear training, analysis and music history with Dr. Jane Stave-Viemeister. He has written and arranged scores for several theatrical stage works, including Howard Zinn’s Emma.
MacAlpin trained privately with vocal instructors Lee Hoffman and Dolli Melaine between 2006-2018 and currently studies operatic voice with basso profundo oktavist John Ames.
Dalrymple MacAlpin is a proud affiliate of The Puppeteers of America, The National Storytelling Network, The American Orff-Schulwerk Association and The Nevada County Arts Council. He works out of his private studio, The Hollow Hill, located in the Sierra Foothills of Northern California.