Since 1995, the American Harp Society (AHS) has hosted a biennial Summer Institute which brings hundreds of harpists of varying ages and expertise together in one place to focus on learning and sharing through masterclasses, workshops, and concerts led by the world’s leading harpists and pedagogues. This year's AHS Summer Institute is being held in Winston-Salem, North Carolina with a theme of celebrating past and present innovators of the harp and inspire future innovation.
Lilac 94 is delighted to be joined by theatrical harpist Dr. Rosanna Moore to present a demonstration and discussion on incorporating unconventional elements such as playing percussion, speak-singing, acting, and mime into one's harp performance.
All three harpists—Kathryn Sloat, Christina Brier, and Rosanna Moore—have found themselves being asked to do things their classical training did not really prepare them or anticipate doing fairly regularly as "concert artists." As their performing careers have evolved, their work as gone beyond using typical harp techniques in their solo work and chamber musicking. As Lilac 94, Kathryn and Christina have specialized in contemporary music that involves many extended techniques as well as playing percussion instruments. Most recently, they have performed Karlheinz Stockhausen's marathon work "Freude," the second hour of his chamber cycle Klang. In addition to playing with pick, "Freude" requires the harpists to play the harp while doing sprechstimme, that is performing a mix of speaking and singing in which the tone quality of speech is heightened and lowered in pitch along the melodic contours indicated by Stockhausen's musical notation. Rosanna's focus has drawn upon her love of theatre and has her incorporating theatrical elements into her harp playing—both through her commissions, which often integrate anything from mime to verbatim theatre, to lending her theatricality to existing repertoire.
As these various elements and techniques are beyond what one has likely learned through the typical classical—or even traditional harp—training, the harpists of Lilac 94 and Dr. Moore come together to lead a discussion and demonstrate the extra things they have been asked to do in their musical performances with the goal of giving other harpists the confidence to try out such atypical performing skills. They will also talk about what types of notation composers use to indicate what and/or how they want their work to be performed, the choices a player makes in the learning curve, and things one may want to consider for the ultimate presentation to an audience.
The 50 minute lecture-recital is being presented on Friday, June 21st at 9:30 AM as part of the American Harp Society's 2019 Summer Institute taking place June 19th-22nd at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem.
For more information on the American Harp Society's Summer Institute, click the image below.