Output: Live Session + Interview
PERFORMING WITH MOVEMENT
The original piece that I’m performing is called ‘Checkers’. It has to do with the concept of checker pieces on a board in relation to the chords on the back bone of the structure. I draw a lot of inspiration from FX pedals and start looping improvisations on top to seed an idea for a song. The pure sound of a plucked string or a distorted bass note sent through an octave pedal all spark a different vibe and feeling.
As a harpist and composer, a big challenge is finding the balance of texture, rhythm, and melody within all the layers. It can get easily muddled in the same register and it becomes important to differentiate the various roles within the piece. MOVEMENT was incredible to integrate into my process to manipulate rhythms and find a balance of motion. It gave the performance a more rhythmic drive and variety that transformed the raw sounds of the harp.
FINDING A MODERN EDGE
Early on, I was heavily influenced by classical music from Debussy, Ravel, Grandjany, but I also loved listening to a wide range of genres from neoclassical, alternative, pop, rock, rap, electronic. I would jam Kanye West or Black Eyed Peas on my iPod player literally before walking onstage to play Handel. I am very much inspired by artists like Brian Eno, Radiohead, Massive Attack, Bonobo, and composers like Nils Frahm, Hauschka – and couldn’t shake my desire to play other kinds of music that I enjoyed.
My introduction to looping actually came from Youtube with this captivating live looping performance by Jamie Woon. My creative process combining my electroacoustic harp with fx pedals was inspired by this complete control in painting sounds with layers, loops, textures, melodies, and rhythmic patterns. It’s been an incredible journey finding my own approach as an active session and recording artist working with artists like Rufus Wainwright, Anderson .Paak, and neoclassical label Erased Tapes & and my upcoming solo EP in the Fall!