I would like to know if anyone has played a blue harp in the orchestra. If you have, what reactions did you get? What do the rest of you harpists think of such a statement? What I have in mind is the Camac Big Blue.
I think it depends on the orchestra and the other members. A blue harp can be a bit of a distraction I think. Since the Big Blue actually comes in other colors my suggestion if that is the particular model of harp you want to use (and it is a great harp in my opinion) is to get it in a less bold finish.
However I could imagine it being pulled off in some orchestras depending on the make up of the orchestra and the attitude of the music director, and the music they play. If you are going to be playing a lot of more modern music it might fit. But in general I can’t see a music director being happy to see a blue harp up on stage.
Anymore of a distraction than a Louis XV gold harp? That’s quite ornate. Or what about the one violin that isn’t darker wood but light. The one gold flute. But I want to stick to the topic. This is about a blue harp. Not the Big Blue in a different finish. Blue… keep your answers coming
Actually I think a Louis XV gold would also be distracting. I don’t think you can really compare it to a violin being a different shade or a gold flute. The simple fact that the instruments are smaller and the color difference more subtle doesn’t make it comparable. It is actually hard to see that a flute is gold or silver from most of the audience, and the difference isn’t so dramatic that even if you can tell it is going to be distracting.
If you want a better comparison however I once saw an orchestra that had a left handed violinist who played left handed. When everyone in the section was bowing together her bow was going in the opposite direction and it was VERY distracting to be honest. That stood out. A variation in shade in a violin really doesn’t.
Seems to me that Jack Nebergal’s blue and gold LH 3 was used in orchestras in San Francisco some years back – I think I heard the SF opera had it for a while and then Michael Rado had it – it is cobalt blue plus a ton of gold – not quite the same shade of electric blue as the Camacs – I have loaned my blue and gold Venus
Kay, good answer, sound is what is most important.
Thanks for your feedback as well John; I have seen the blue and gold 23 and thought it was very pretty (although it was only in pictures and not in person). I wonder if the wood grain shows as it does in the Camac? The one pictured on the Camac website looks opaque with no graining but in person it is very rich .
Saul, I’m still waiting for your answer. You’re not getting off that easily!
The Camac Blue sounds just fine when played 100% acoustic. As far as the sound goes the Blue would not be out of place in an orchestra. That is why I pointed out that the Blue can be made with a more conventional finish. If someone really likes the sound of it and wants it for that, but the blue color would not be appropriate for where they would be playing then the same model can be made with a more standard finish.