Q and A with Josh Layne


Josh Layne is combining his love of music and the outdoors in his latest YouTube seriesHarpist in the Wild. The series showcases various picturesque locations near Layne’s home in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Layne brings his small electric harp to these locations and films himself making music in nature. The first season of the series,”Improvs,” is dedicated to creating music on the spot in nature. Layne fills us in on all the details below.

How did you come up with the idea for this project?

It all started when I found myself climbing a cherry tree with my little electric harp, trying to film a song. From that idea came Harpist in a Tree, now called Harpist in the Wild. I love the outdoors and being able to pair that with my main passion, music, is perfect!

“Once travel becomes possible again, I will definitely be taking the series on the road,” Layne says.

You’ve divided the series into seasons. Does each season have an overarching theme?

Yes, the theme of the first season is “Improvs.” The music in each episode consists of improvisations on my small harp—music that I make up on the spot. The second season, “A Baroque Feast,” on the other hand, will feature composed pieces by Bach, Handel, and Vivaldi. I have various themes planned for future seasons.

How long is each episode?

For the first season, each episode is around eight minutes long. In general, I plan to keep each episode under 10 minutes in length, though there will be some episodes that feature a piece of music longer than that.

Are different harp techniques discussed in each episode?

Not really. Unlike my other series, Harp Tuesday, for Harpist in the Wild my focus is on the adventure and the music!

Do you do all the filming yourself or does someone come along to help?

In general, I do all the filming. Occasionally, one of my brothers will come along to help me out. The last two episodes of this season, airing March 20th and March 27th, will feature his camera work.

The scenery looks beautiful! Do you choose new locations for each episode?

Thank you! I’m lucky to live in Victoria, B.C., which has lots of amazing places to go in nature. Even when I return to the same park, I always try to find a new place to film and I’m always on the lookout for new locations. With the weather warming up and spring arriving, I can’t wait to get out and film at some of the locations I’ve scouted this winter. Once traveling becomes possible again, I will definitely be taking Harpist in the Wild on the road and filming episodes on the road as I tour.

Layne performing on Mt. Tolmie at sunset.

Anything else you’d like us to know?

I hope that this series inspires others to spend some time outdoors, and maybe even bring their harps along to play some music!

To learn more about Layne’s work, visit his website. Watch the latest episodes of Harpist in the Wild here.




About Author

Hannah Palmquist is a freelance harpist and teacher based in Saint Paul, Minn. She is the associate editor at Harp Column. Hannah earned her doctorate from the University of Minnesota and is passionate about chamber music.

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