Gliss Fest ~ harpyness

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Gliss Fest

A day off for me today, and a chance for my fingers to recover!



I've just spent the last two days rehearsing and playing in a concert with the RLPO consisting solely of music by legendary film composer, John Williams.

Great music, and great harp writing. Fun to play, but - a very hard slog to play a whole programme of his music, and with some very tricky passages of harp writing thrown in too.... Close Encounters symphonic suite, Schindlers List, ET and then of course there are loads of glisses, and loads of different types of glisses.

Who knew there were so many?

Scary glisses - low circular gliss on the bass wires at the beginning of Jaws.

Spooky glisses - Harry Potter

Irregular big solo glisses - my least favourite, as you need to keep counting like mad to stay in the right place in the score but still play a gliss that is not in tempo - ET

And then you have everything in between. Slushy romantic glisses - Superman, to big strident glisses - Raiders of the Lost Ark. Making sure that they don't all sound the same, but are in the right character, right key and the right place.

Hats off to the Hollywood harpists who do this sort of thing all the time!

I'm pooped and having a day off from playing before doing it all again on a repeat concert in Liverpool on Saturday.

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