Some nice little videos from the Hong Kong Harp Centre of a tour round the Bow Brand Factory.
When you get a string out of the packet, it's easy to not realise the process it's taken to get to you.
I had the pleasure of a good long tour round the Bow Brand factory some years ago which was amazing. If you ever get the chance, do go and visit them. It's brilliant to see how skillful all the wonderful people who make our strings are... the smell is quite something though! The chemicals not the workers!!!
The whole process is on this video produced by Bow Brand in 2010, which for some bizarre reason, sounds like it is narrated by a time traveling man from the 1940s.
I struggle a little bit with the concept of a piece which you can't quite hear as too many years of sitting in front of the percussion section in orchestras has had it's toll on my eardrums. Personally, I like my music to be of a volume that I can actually hear it.
But it's always good to push the boundaries and open a debate about music.
Martino Panizza (harp) and Alice Purton (cello)
Charlie Sdraulig, hush (2011-12)
Score available here: http://www.charliesdraulig.com/hush.pdf
More about the notation: http://johnsonsrambler.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/the-contemporary-notation-project/
Engineer: Erik Nyström
N.B. This work is extremely soft. Where possible, try to listen to this piece in a quiet environment on a good set of speakers or with headphones.
Studio recording: http://soundcloud.com/charlie-sdraulig/hush
Always good to see a well written article about the harp online - a nicely written article by Alexander Rider with good examples of harp music on the Sinfini Music website here
Very interesting post I've just seen on the Vanderbilt website.... I thought it was just me having problems with gut strings continually breaking in the 1st & 2nd octaves.
Turns out that new EU regulations have meant that gut from younger cows has recently been allowed to be used in the manufacturing process. Gut from younger cows is not as strong as gut from older cows.
According to Vanderbilt, Bow Brand have made an agreement with their suppliers to go back to only getting gut from older cows, so string quality should be back to normal soon.
I was beginning to wonder whether I needed to change over to nylon strings on my top octaves as I've been getting so many breakages.... PHEW!!! Just need to wait it out then.
Lauren Scott is a harpist & composer and has been blogging on Harpyness for over 10 years.
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