***WARNING - this video contains offensive language. Don't listen if you are likely to be offended. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED***
One of my favourite harpists, Lavinia Meijer playing "Cities change the songs of birds" composed by Jacob ter Veldhuis.
Otherwise known as JacobTV he has been described as the 'Andy Warhol of music' and this piece was written for Lavinia and caused a bit of an uproar when it was performed at the 2008 World Harp Congress!
To quote from JacobTV's website...
And at the World Harp Congress 2008 in Amsterdam the world premiere of Cities Change the Songs of Birds by Lavinia Meijer caused a scandal: the combination of beautiful harp sounds and heartrending monologues of female drug addicts in the streets of New York was too much for some of the audience. Kathy Elarte wrote: "The harp, as we all know, is an instrument of beauty, of worship... To see it in the center of this atrocity just goes towards promoting more hate toward American society and is, in my opinion, just another form of Musical Terrorism!"
Now I'm going to warn you again, if you are easily offended don't watch.
You might want to have a quick look here to see the lyrics that will be spoken throughout the piece first.
Lavinia is a brilliant harpist, and I think she performs this piece, brilliantly.
Whether you agree with the use of so much profanity within a piece of music will be to your own personal taste, it is certainly shocking... but that is what it is supposed to do.
I remember seeing the fallout of Claude Delange in concert playing a piece by JacobTV on saxophone and a distressed father walking out of the audience with his young teenage daughter appalled to have gone to a contemporary classical saxophone recital to then be confronted with the repeated use of 'motherf***er'.
As a mother of similiar aged children I did have sympathy with the father at the time. However, I am disappointed I missed the premier of this harp piece, I would have loved to have seen the reaction! Having listened to it now a few times it is certainly growing on me.
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Lauren Scott is a harpist & composer and has been blogging for over 10 years.
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