My name is Marilyn McNeal, and I am a Bay Area-based musician, instrument builder and composer who records and performs original and traditional songs from the American old time music idiom. My soungs are online at CLick image below to hear my songs.

I play piano, ukulele, wooden flute and spoons and I also make my own folk instruments out of cardboard boxes, coffee cans, cookie tins, plastic water bottles, sticks, wire and string. The instruments are influenced by early American roots music and allow me to get lost in the sound, rhythm, energy, chaos, guts and magick of American folk music.

My compositional approach varies from simple chanting and body rhythm to working with live looping and pre-recorded audio (historic speeches, field recordings, ambient sound). I am particularly inspired by rural black folk music which includes laments, ballads, work songs and spirituals.

I have recently started exploring iOS music making, composing and recording music on the iPad. I am working on new material that combines the old time folk world and sounds and approaches form the digital music making world. Stay tuned.

I was interviewed in the San Francisco Chronicle in April 2010. For the article, click here.