With the increase of electric harp options, pedal loopers, and high–quality recording devices, harpists are increasingly creating incredibly innovative content. In our January-February issue, we featured Lara Somogyi, who has been creating a huge stir with her new sounds and seamless inclusion of electronics. Here are four other harpists also incorporating technology into their creative endeavors, resulting in some noteworthy music videos.
We were recently introduced to Maïa Darmé’s website, chock–full of beautifully produced and creative music videos featuring her harp playing. A classically–trained French harpist, she uses her Salvi Delta in some, features qanun player Mohamed-Amine Kalai in many, and consistently showcases an impressive range of styles. The video below, “A French Rag” by Matthieu Vinel, offers some interesting insight on what it’s like to be a performer in the midst of a plugged–in world.
It’s probably not possible to create a list like this without including the savvy pop arranger, Amy Turk. She first exploded onto the scene with her percussive arrangement of Toto’s Africa and has since shared videos of her arrangements ranging from Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in d-minor to “Stand By Me,” by Ben E. King. She has been working on creating a full–length album of the music from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and recently released this rendition of “Ganondorf’s Theme.” The impressive double harp mash–up, costuming, and staging all come together in a succinct way.
Jazz harpist and composer Rossitza Milevska is definitely a trailblazer in her own right. The Bulgarian harpist has degrees in harp, piano, and jazz, and in 2011, became the first harpist to graduate in jazz harp from a French conservatory. She’s also no stranger to recording projects, having produced four albums of her own since 2006 and regularly uploading videos to her YouTube channel. The jaw–dropping video below features “Na Krivo,” a catchy tune written by Milevska for her upcoming album, Steps. It illustrates some of the lengths harpists must go to get to their gigs (and begs the question: has anyone ever rappelled down a mountain with their harp before?).
New York City harpist and singer Erin Hill last made Harp Column headlines for the ingenious patch sewn on her harp cover, visible in photos taken leading up to Meghan Markle’s baby shower. Her credits include a #1 hit on the Billboard World chart, performances with Cyndi Lauper and Kanye West, and three albums released by Cleopatra Records. This “Dust in the Wind” cover is featured on her latest album, Harp Town, and the black and white video makes use of Instagram-esque filters that fit the Kansas’ soft rock style.