How I learned to love the hurdy-gurdy

Have you heardy-geardy of the hurdy-gurdy?

I prefer to have some music in the background to keep myself centered, on-task, and in the right headspace. Sometimes it's chill lo-fi or a curated playlist relevant to the topic. For really dire cases, it's the hardcore, pulse-pounding synth and bass of the Hotline Miami soundtrack.

All of that changed, however, when I stumbled across the work of Andrey Vinogradov somewhere in the depths of Spotify's automatic shuffle. Vinogradov, as well as a handful of other masters scattered across the world, specializes in the hurdy-gurdy, a unique instrument dating back to the eleventh century that I'll wager sounds like nothing you've heard before. Its weathered sound compels as much as it delights, instantly transporting one back to a dim, candlelit inn somewhere in your medieval realm of choice. It makes me want to eat a whole turkey leg. It makes me want to challenge my landlord to a duel. It makes me want to hit the jousting arena with my fellow serfs, and it sure as hell puts me in the right mindset for sitting down and churning out some manuscripts with yonder quill like the professional scribe I am.

Why not give it a shot yourself? Next time you're struggling with staying centered, put on some hurdy-gurdy and slip into the fantasy. Your local tavern keeper will thank you.