Why the harp? In my case, I was privileged to go to a public school with music classes. When the harp appeared in a filmstrip, I was transfixed. My parents, despite their misgivings of listening to a 9-year-old, found me a teacher, Rebecca Anstine Smith. She is a great harpist and wonderful teacher, and I studied with her for almost a decade.
One of the things I like about the harp is you can play melancholy music on it, and because of the brilliant and warm nature of it, it still sounds pretty. Or, as Mathilde Frelin says more eloquently:
"Your harp has a really lovely sound, especially on the lower register, the sounds have a sublime depth. It shows that harps do not tell only fairy stories : they have what it takes to tell tales of life and death."
While I lean towards ambient, avant garde, and modern classical, I have been known to dabble in baroque, romantic, and medieval music. And the occasional nerdy thing. One of my favorite gigs was a wedding with music from Battlestar Galactica.
Another favorite thing: I'm not really a contest-entering type person, but in February 2005, with the help of a friend, I entered a contest sponsored by The NIN Hotline. The task: record an acoustic version of a Nine Inch Nails song using sheet music from Know the Score. I played Gone, Still, and both parts of Adrift and at Peace, and they were recorded and mastered by Mookie of Tyger Studios. We ended up winning!
My latest release, Satie Sarabandes, is a reworking of Erik Satie's lesser well-known piano pieces "Trois Sarabandes". They are much more complex for the harp than the Gymnopedies and Gnossiennes (from Works of Satie), which are probably his most well known. I like the innovative harmonies, and put in a lot of work to get these dances playable on the harp. I think I did ok. A lovely fan says:
"...parts of [The Sarabandes] drift up into the liminal space of noticing them at times, only to drift back into a gauzy, dreamlike background."
Listen and/or buy on bandcamp.
Currently I'm focused on honing my home recording and production skills, and trying to move my harp as little as possible.