Very sad to hear that Sir Richard Rodney Bennett passed away on Christmas eve. I had the pleasure of meeting him a couple of times when my husband was performing his sax concerto for his 70th birthday concert at the QEH, he was such a lovely man.... a true gentlemen.
We spent an afternoon at his apartment in New York and I had a good chat with him about his writing for harp, including his trio for flute, viola and harp, "Sonata after Syrinx" (great piece) and he showed me his brilliant harp box tool which he always used when he was composing for keeping track of what key the harp was in as he was writing for it.
I've been making his little harp boxes and giving them to composers ever since as they are a brilliant aid for writing for harp - link to post here about how to make them -
I made a slight change to his design as with his, rather than have the pedals with flats at the top and sharps at the bottom he had his in reverse. When I pointed out to him that his diagram was the wrong way round to how the pedal box was on the harp, he replied, "my dear, I have them the logical way round, it's you harpists who think the wrong way round."
The Theremin has got to be one of the truly bonkers instruments - and incredibly difficult to play.
Here it is played by the grand-niece (?) of the inventor of the instrument, Lydia Kavina with the Radio Science Orchestra and the wonderfully talented Joy Smith on harps.
Not much for Joy to do on this particular video, but who can resist the Dr Who theme?
Happy Holidays ;-)
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Lauren Scott is a harpist & composer and has been blogging on Harpyness for over 10 years.
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