Having spent a lot of today learning some complex contemporary music full of staccato notes, I can SO relate to this cartoon.
I wish the music I had to learn was more like the music that Daffy Duck is playing!
Playing in a bubble has been around a little while now, but it seems to be getting more common place.
picture above of harpist Shelley Frost performing in a bubble. Looks lovely doesn't it?
and here's a video of her getting into the bubble
and another, Canadian harpist Elena playing in Dubai,
and an agency in the UK is now offering it too
more job and work opportunities for musicians?
I'm all for there being more work for musicians, really doesn't matter where or what as long as it's work, and good luck to the lovely ladies playing harp in the bubbles.
I don't have an issue with playing an electric lever harp in a bubble, because at least then you have full control of the harp and levers standing up. Likewise playing a violin or saxophone is fine, because their playing is not restricted by standing up.
But I do find it very odd to play an instrument fundamentally designed to only be played sitting down - in a standing up position - when you can't change the PEDALS standing up!!!!
This amazing looking harp caught my eye a while back...
Tyrolean folk harps are single action (with a rather loose tension) Austrian folk harps, with a traditional curved back. The playing on them seems to involve an extraordinary amount of damping whilst playing.
The lovely silver and black model is made by Extravagant harps and although I can't find a website for the harps themselves there is a rather stunning online catalogue which can be viewed here.
From what I can make out the harps are made by the Tyrolien harp maker Peter Mürnseer, but they don't seem to be listed on his website. However these models are promoted online by Barbara Plattner.... It's proving difficult to track down what the deal is with these harps, so I would welcome any feedback from anyone who knows!
However, they do seem to be for sale online here
I must confess to having not listened to Austrian folk music before, and what I treat I have missed out on!
A harp.... made of buttons!
This astonishing piece of artwork is by Augusto Esquivel, and his sculptures are absolutely amazing!
The London Philharmonic Orchestra's principal harpist, Rachel Masters with her fabulous singing dog :-)
OK - not harps as such, but..... a fascinating video interview with Andy Cavatorta, talking about the new instrument he's creating which is a magnetised piano-harp
Andy is the creative genius behind the Gravity Harps which he built for Bjork's Biophilia Tour which featured Zeena Parkins on harp.
Another lovely little news item, this time about therapeutic harpist and zoo volunteer, Teri Tacheny who plays once a month at her local zoo for the primates, big cats and polar bears. Teri says the Guerrillas show the most appreciation!
Click on image for video.
Oh my goodness!! A lovely article in The Journal & video about David Watkin's father, Donald Watkins who was a locomotive pioneer and amongst other things, designed the dead man’s handle safety device for train drivers.
It was seeing David Watkins in concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank when I was 6 that made me decide that I wanted to play the harp. The next day I drew a little picture of him playing the harp at the concert and my mum sent it to him. He was so kind and took the trouble of sending me a signed photo and kept up a little written correspondence with me for a while always making the effort to reply to the fan letters I sent him. Lovely man, a true gentleman.
Well here's a website worth bookmarking - New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives
Where you can view over 370 harp parts from the library of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.
How amazing and incredibly USEFUL is that! FANTASTIC.
It is for research only and not for printing and using on gigs. How many times do you get booked for a gig, and the librarian can't get you the part to look until just before the gig... and it would be really handy to look at the part before you get there.
Well now you can check out that harp part and know whether you need to panic or not!!!
That's worth a round of applause to the amazing archivists who have done this work.
I scream each time I watch this - I defy any harpist not to watch this without screaming!!!
Epic scene getting harp into a small car from 0:58 seconds in.
I have got a harp into a small hatchback back in my pre-college days before I learnt to drive and had to rely on lifts. However we took the front passenger seat completely out and then (CAREFULLY) lifted the harp in so that it went in backwards with the pedal end into the foot well of the passenger side.
I used to regularly get taxis and then the overground train to gigs, which shows my age as I'm sure you certainly wouldn't be allowed onto a train with a harp now. I even ended up locked in the guards van once (with my harp) on a train from London Victoria to Canterbury.
Ahh... those were the days!
Well the silly season has well and truly arrived. I did my first orchestral Christmas concert on Sunday... yes the 17th November!! The earliest time in the year I have ever played "We Wish you a Merry Christmas" sitting on a stage next to a 13 foot snowman.
A bizarre end to a manic week of concerts with the RLPO of Debussy La Mer, La Valse, Ravel Alborado del Grazioso, a recital with my good friend (and gorgeous soprano), Anna-Clare Monk and a couple of solo harp childrens school workshops thrown in for good measure.
My music stand is bulging with music to practice for the next month and I'm on the Barroca and vitamin tablets already to get me through the season.
A countdown of Britten Ceremony of Carols, Nutcracker Cadenzas, Carol concerts with the RLPO, Raymond Briggs' The Snowman children concerts and a Harp Duo seasonal spectacular recital thrown in for good measure.
And according to the Daily Express, we are due for 100 days of snow!!!!
Bring on the Mince Pies.
Interview with Sheila Bromberg, who played harp on the Beatles track 'She's leaving home'. With Ringo Starr on the One Show.
Very interesting article by Jon Butterworth in The Guardian and fascinating to read about it from a physics point of view.
The wonderful Marisa Robles being interviewed by Ieaun Jones at the UKHA Christmas party last year. Marisa talks about her early life in Spain, coming to London, working with James Galway, teaching at the Royal College of Music, her views on competitions etc.
Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy - in 4 parts.... well worth viewing.
The very lovely Athy playing one of his compositions on TV - is it me or is it hotter than 29 degrees?
lovely harmonics and what a fantastic finish on the harp.
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Lauren Scott is a harpist & composer and has been blogging for over 10 years.
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