Monday, 17 November 2014

Silent Night

A brilliant gliss-tastic arrangement of Silent Night by Graham Fitkin, beautifully played by Ruth Wall and available on her new CD, The Three Harps of Christmas available from this link.

Carols re-arranged by Graham for concert harp, bray harp and Gaelic wire strung harp.

I bet the harpists out there will be trying to figure out the pedal settings for all the gliss chords after listening to this!!!

Friday, 14 November 2014

Little Big not Blue

I have a new harp!!! I finally finished paying off for my Salvi Iris, so I thought it was a good time to take the plunge and take out another loan whilst I still could and get this lovely harp... a Camac Little Big Blue.

It's an electro-accoustic harp and I'm really delighted with it. The acoustic sound is much better than I thought it would be, and it's perfectly usable as an instrument as it is without any amplification. I'm still getting used to the pedals as they feel very different from my Salvi, and of course the string spacing at the top is also different. But after a couple of weeks of playing I'm not finding it too difficult to go between playing this and my Salvi.

I particularly went for the smaller model - only 44 strings, as I wanted a smaller harp which was easy to move about. I really didn't want to take a blue coloured harp out on a gig, as I didn't want it to look any different from a normal acoustic harp, so I ordered a maple one. I've also bought a small battery powered Roland amp; more about the amp in another post.

I haven't had a chance to play around with loop pedals yet, but will do when work calms down a bit and I have some time to experiment.

However, I have used it already on a couple of weddings and it's been absolutely brilliant. It's so much lighter to move around, it really makes a huge difference. Using the amp has taken a little bit of getting used to, as I'm just not used to being able to simply turn a switch to turn the volume up. It still feels a little bit alien to play at a normal level and the extra sound coming out of the amp a distance away from the harp. But that's just a basic thing I need to get used to having only ever played acoustic instruments my entire playing career!

The major benefit was that I found it was so much easier when playing for long periods of time, and I definitely felt physically less tired.

Viva la revolution!

Camac - Little Big Blue (in maple finish!)

A pick up on every string

Where you plug in the lead