Park Stickney performs on Friday, June 6.1 What was the moment you knew you wanted to become a harpist?
I was playing a lunch gig in NY, while working on my Masters at Juilliard, when suddenly it hit me that I really liked playing the harp. I was already a harpist, I’d been playing already for 15 years or so, it was just what I did, but I hadn’t given it much thought until that moment. 2 What’s your absolute favorite piece to play on the harp and why?
For the moment it’s my solo version of the Debussy Dances. I love playing it because the piece is still evolving, it still surprises me―so it’s an old friend and a new acquaintance. (And, for the moment, I’m the only person who plays it.) 3 Complete this sentence: If I weren’t a harpist, I’d be a…
Well, I’m a volunteer fireman in our village in Switzerland, and I really love it―but I’m also terrible at it. My skill sets are completely wrong. So if I weren’t a harpist, part of me thinks: yeah, obviously, I’d be a fantastically incompetent fireman. But it’s also possible that I love the fireman thing because it couldn’t be further away from my regular life, that if I did it all the time it wouldn’t be quite so much fun. So really, I have no idea what I’d do if I weren’t a harpist. I have a hard enough time figuring out my “job” as it is! 4 Favorite food:
Soup dumplings? White russians? Pizza? Sushi? Breakfast buffet? Depends on the time and place… 5 Favorite city in the world:
New York/Hong Kong/Berlin/Les Diablerets―for varied but equally important reasons (food/friends/important life chapters/food/skiing/food.) 6 The most important element of good harp technique is:
Listening. 7 What was your first harp?
L&H troubadour 8 Name something you’ve never done in your career that’s on your bucket list:
I’ve been thinking about a jazz concerto with orchestra for years now. 9 What’s the career accomplishment that you’re most proud of?
Continuity―I think the hardest thing about being a professional musician is just keeping going―continuing to find concerts, continuing to grow musically. I’m proud when I face new challenges, but afterwards this becomes the new norm, so I move on. To be proud of concerts/projects in the past seems like it would slow things down. Or maybe this is a way to say that I’m proud of everything I’ve done―but too busy thinking about the next thing to dwell on it. 10 What’s the best advice you can give an aspiring harpist?
Don’t forget to have fun with your harp―to make things up, be irresponsible (but in a very active/hard-working way).