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  #1  
Old 08-05-2011, 04:24 PM
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Default Me and my sister recording some harp in a church

Hi all, thought you might be interested in this video from a harp session me and my sister Amy did recently. We're friends with a melodic metal band called Season's End, and Amy was hired by them to record a harp part for the closing track on their forthcoming new album. We went to an old church a few miles from where we both grew up, and I used my recording expertise and particular experience with the harp to assist them in getting it all on virtual tape.

Season's End Harp Recording Session
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Old 08-05-2011, 04:33 PM
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Default Re: Me and my sister recording some harp in a church

I've had the opportunity to record a harp in the past - although not in such an exposed context. I recorded it as part of an orchestra. I'm sure Amy doesn't need me to say how superb a harpist she is; but I'm impressed. I have nothing but respect for harpists; especially good ones. I like how you used the natural reverb (what's the point of recording in a Church if you're not going to use it?!) but there's just a little niggling standing wave at about 300Hz that's slightly bothersome.

A sterling effort mind - wish I could've been there!

The final track is a little Genesis. 'Daytime Dogging' though.... ahahahaha!
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Old 08-05-2011, 05:04 PM
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Default Re: Me and my sister recording some harp in a church

This works for me on many levels. Beautiful girl on a beautiful instrument. I should listen to harp music more often. Really soothes my savage beast. :) Thanks for introducing me to this band for the first time. I like it. Tell your sister great job. Love to see people learn their craft so well. Does she have any of her playing on Youtube? Would like to hear more. Can't be an easy instrument to play.
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Old 08-05-2011, 05:21 PM
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Default Re: Me and my sister recording some harp in a church

Quote:
Originally Posted by mediocrefunkybeat View Post
I like how you used the natural reverb (what's the point of recording in a Church if you're not going to use it?!) but there's just a little niggling standing wave at about 300Hz that's slightly bothersome.
This isn't my mix, I think it will have been mixed on some rather average hi-fi speakers/heaphones, so it would surprise me if there wasn't a 300Hz issue to be honest!
Hopefully I'll be involved in the mixing process for the album so we'll get that stuff sorted out later.

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Originally Posted by sticks4drums View Post
Does she have any of her playing on Youtube?
You are in luck, there's loads!

Danses Sacrée et Profane with Woking Symphony Orchestra (part of her prize for winning Woking Young Musician of the Year)

Youtube Symphony Orchestra audition (she was chosen as one of the eight finalists, but lost out to one Maria Chiossi)

Cover of 'Into The Ocean' by Andy McKee

Cover of the theme tune from Diagnosis Murder, with her boyfriend Mike Dawes

...and there's loads more if you just search on youtube for 'Amy Turk harp'.

Have fun!
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Old 08-06-2011, 01:58 AM
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Default Re: Me and my sister recording some harp in a church

William Congreve, in The mourning bride, 1697:

Musick sick has Charms to sooth a savage Breast,
To soften Rocks, or bend a knotted Oak.
I've read, that things inanimate have mov'd,
And, as with living Souls, have been inform'd,
By Magick Numbers and persuasive Sound.
What then am I? Am I more senseless grown
Than Trees, or Flint? O force of constant Woe!
'Tis not in Harmony to calm my Griefs.
Anselmo sleeps, and is at Peace; last Night
The silent Tomb receiv'd the good Old King;
He and his Sorrows now are safely lodg'd
Within its cold, but hospitable Bosom.
Why am not I at Peace?

Love the harp, and it brings out my favorite poem.
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Old 08-06-2011, 02:15 AM
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Default Re: Me and my sister recording some harp in a church

Amy is quite a talent! Lovely sound in the church. Is she singing as well? The track at the end had a wonderful, rich wall of sound. Thanks Ben, I enjoyed that.
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Old 08-06-2011, 03:10 AM
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Default Re: Me and my sister recording some harp in a church

Stunning and beautiful. Both Amy and her playing!
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Old 08-06-2011, 06:01 AM
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Default Re: Me and my sister recording some harp in a church

Thoroughly impressed! awesome vid, thanks! :)
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Old 08-06-2011, 01:18 PM
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Default Re: Me and my sister recording some harp in a church

It's not Amy singing, she's just contributing harp for this one. Also, there is only one track featured in this video, but it's 20 minutes long!

I shall pass on all your kind words to Amy, I'm sure they will be appreciated.
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Old 08-06-2011, 03:31 PM
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Default Re: Me and my sister recording some harp in a church

Her playing knocked me socks off. Really beautiful.
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Old 08-06-2011, 04:45 PM
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Default Re: Me and my sister recording some harp in a church

very nice.

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Old 08-06-2011, 05:20 PM
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Default Re: Me and my sister recording some harp in a church

I really like your family. You guys are a total treat. Your sister Amy is lovely and talented. And it's great to see a man with such a great relationship with his sister. Great way to start my day. If you could relay to Amy how enjoyable she and her harp playing is, that would be great.

Is it even possible to hit a bad note on a harp?
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Old 08-06-2011, 05:39 PM
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Default Re: Me and my sister recording some harp in a church

That's actually a very good question, Larry. A concert harp like this uses pedals to set the pattern of sharps and flats, as you may know, so however the pedals are set, you've always got one key signature or other, and every string will sound as part of that. There's one pedal per note name, governing the sharps and flats for every octave at once.

For example, with all the pedals set in a central position, you've got the key of C major (which is also A minor). In order to play a wrong note, you'd have to set the pedals wrong for the key you were playing in. This is of course eminently possible, particularly if there are quick pedal changes required. This is true of smaller harps too, which use two-position levers to raise the tuned pitch of each string. In this case you can have different sharps or flats in each octave, making dissonance and perhaps even chromaticism easier to achieve.
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Old 08-06-2011, 06:05 PM
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Default Re: Me and my sister recording some harp in a church

Yea I knew the harp had pedals. Really, I did.

OK so I didn't know that. How could I miss that? I'm an idiot.

Also, doesn't every grand piano basically have a harp inside?
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Old 08-06-2011, 06:11 PM
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Default Re: Me and my sister recording some harp in a church

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Yea I knew the harp had pedals. Really, I did.

OK so I didn't know that. How could I miss that? I'm an idiot.

Also, doesn't every grand piano basically have a harp inside?
The ideas are similar. There are pieces that actually use the nature of the Piano's strings to great effect (look up John Cage's pieces for Prepared Piano). In a Piano though, the pedals do totally different things - either applying dampening or taking away the dampening. If you want any pictures of the inside of a piano, we have a grand piano in the next room. The Piano is inherently chromatic, the harp can be but there are a lot of different types of harp!
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Old 08-06-2011, 06:20 PM
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Default Re: Me and my sister recording some harp in a church

Right, the piano pedals have different functions than a harps pedals (thanks Ben).

I just recall looking at the inside of a grand piano and saying to myself..."There's a harp in there..."

Amy's harp and what's inside a grand piano.... basically the same shape, yes?

So, what came first, the harp or the piano?
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Old 08-06-2011, 06:26 PM
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Default Re: Me and my sister recording some harp in a church

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Right, the piano pedals have different functions than a harps pedals (thanks Ben).

I just recall looking at the inside of a grand piano and saying to myself..."There's a harp in there..."

Amy's harp and what's inside a grand piano.... basically the same shape, yes?

So, what came first, the harp or the piano?
The harp and the piano share the same basic shape and principle. Technically, the piano is a percussion instrument whereas the harp is a string instrument.

The 'basic' harp is a far, far older instrument than the piano. The modern piano was only really formalised about a hundred and twenty years ago although older examples like the fortepiano go back a couple of hundred years before that. The harpsichord goes back a couple of hundred years earlier still but they share a totally different action. Harpsichords are plucked, pianos are struck.

As for when the concert harp as it is now was formalised, I have no idea. I suspect it's not massively older than the piano; although chromatic harps are probably older and the harp family is much older. It's probably not incorrect to say that to some degree the piano is a descendant of earlier harps.
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Old 08-06-2011, 07:20 PM
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Default Re: Me and my sister recording some harp in a church

My research indicates that the earliest double-action pedal harps were at least thought of in about 1801, by Sébastian Érard, so I imagine the development of both piano and modern harp occurred over roughly the same time period.
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Last edited by PQleyR; 08-07-2011 at 01:06 PM.
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  #19  
Old 08-07-2011, 01:23 AM
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Default Re: Me and my sister recording some harp in a church

I can only add to what others have said.

Wow, she is talented!
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