Many thanks to Peter Reis, of Harps International, for sharing this with us!
We do our best to keep on top of what opportunities are currently available in the harp world, but if you know of something missing from the list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us!
It's also brilliant to hear news of your individual concerts - this is the reason why I have switched the calendar from a list of dates to a proper online calendar, as it's easier to present more news clearly. So, if you would like to advertise events on Harpblog, please send them in.
Camac France are going on vacation from mid-July to mid-August. If you have urgent enquiries, send them in by the end of the first week of July.
Harpblog will also be running what transport companies call a "skeleton service" until the start of October, while I am on leave. We'll continue to post news, updates and opportunities, and of course question of the week.
Image: FreeFoto.com. The Statue of Liberty was a gift from the French to the American people in 1886. It celebrated the centenary of the signing of the American Declaration of Independence, and the friendship formed between the two countries when France helped America overthrow British Empire rule.
Similarly, Harpblog is going democratic, opening comments on all posts. We'd love to hear and respond to your feedback!
Heart-warming image of the day comes from Sunida Kitiyakara’s Tamnak Prathom Harp Centre in Bangkok. If you don't already know about this amazing centre, check out the website!
Later in 2009, Sunida is launching the First Thailand International Harp Festival and Youth Competition (October 30th - November 2nd, 2009, Bangkok, Thailand). The competition is for the U16s. The festival boasts a star-studded international line-up, including Isabelle Moretti, Isabelle Perrin, Catrin Finch, Marielle Nordmann, Jie Zhou, Katryna Tan, Joe Lee and joint Artistic Directors Elinor Bennett and Tongsuang Isarangkul.
The festival's theme is particularly lovely: "Friendship through Music".
For more information, see the website, write to me (email@example.com), or e-mail Sunida at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Isabelle Perrin will perform Elzbieta Sikora's South Shore: Concertino for Blue Harp and Orchestra at the Gdansk Festival of Contemporary Music, April 18th, 2009, with the Polish Baltic Philharmonic Orchestra.
South Shore was commissioned jointly by Camac Harps and the Polish Harp Society, and premiered by Isabelle at the Second International Harp Festival in Katowice, 2008. Harpseasons reported on this at the time: you can read Florence's interview with Elzbieta Sikora here (page 9). It is the first classical concerto for Blue Harp and orchestra, and particularly exploits the Blue Harp's possibilities of amplification. The dialogue between harp and orchestra take place on truly equal footing simply because the harp can be made loud enough. Sikora plays too on the juxtaposition of acoustic and electronic resonance, uses additional electronic processing - and often leaves the choices about processing effects to the artist, adding to the energy of the score.
You can read about the history of Camac's Blue Harp on Harpblog's Blue Pages, where we are starting to collect articles and news about electric harps, and the artists who play them, expanding the harp's horizons more and more each day.
This Saturday, February 28th (that's the day before our British day at L'Espace Camac!), Marta Power Luce and Elizabeth Jaxon (the two Paris-based Americans who are the Atlantic Harp Duo) are staging an afternoon of Fontaine's fables, with their colleagues Alain de Bock, Katherine Gabelle and Damien Luce. Damian has composed the music the two harps will play.
1500, Musée Carnavalet (Salon Bouvier), 23 rue de Sévigné, 75003 Paris. Métro: Saint-Paul / Filles du calvaire.
I've got my ticket! I love animals, all the English are crazy about animals. Je me sers d’animaux pour instruire les hommes, wrote Fontaine: I make use of animals to teach human beings.
Watching the show, in the Musée Carnavalet's exquisite setting, I realised how honest fables are (like animals, of course). I always thought they were didactic - morally instructive - and they are, but by way of being a mirror up to nature. They don't really need to tell us what to do, because they simply show us our own faults.
It's very clear and very humane, a trick both wise and appealing, and probably the one most used by the best teachers. As Damian Luce said in his opening poem, "Everyone has a fault to which he returns", but "These people are not here to hear a pedant."
This is the first prototype of Camac's new Midi Harp, which is going to be launched at the Camac Harp Days in London on April 1st, 2009, 630pm. It's
Camac’s Blue Harp is both an acoustic instrument (with a soundbox; unamplified, it sounds like a normal concert harp), and an electric one with a pickup on every string. Camac’s Midi Harp is similarly both an electric harp – its first output is for normal amplified harp sound – and a midi instrument capable of 500 different sounds at the touch of a string. It is also possible to mix the two, layering harp sound with piano, or trombone, or rock guitar, or percussion. 168 sounds can be programmed within the harp at any one time (removing the need to connect the harp to a computer until you want to change the settings). Midi frequencies also allow for amazing new effects – a tuning key glissando can be set to produce a pitch bend, as on a normal acoustic harp, but also to produce a perfect chromatic scale.
The harp’s musical possibilities really do seem greater than ever before.