Harp & drums collaboration

PQleyR

Platinum Member
Hi everyone, got something interesting to share with you today. I'm aware this is potentially going to need moving to another subforum later but hopefully this is unusual enough to be of general interest for at least a short while.

Amy Turk - Against All Odds (feat. me)

You've probably seen me post things that my harpist sister Amy has done on here in the past, but while we've collaborated on lots of things in the past this is the first time we've played these two instruments together. We had the additional benefit of Pete Miles's engineering expertise, not to mention his extensive mic collection, so we got sounds out of the harp that we've never achieved before.
There was also the awesome live room at Middle Farm and of course the best drums in the world courtesy of Andy/Keep It Simple, so sonically we ended up with something quite exciting. Hope you enjoy it.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
I'd have gone with blastix or maybe brushes. It was fine otherwise, just a little more raucous than was appropriate, given that you were accompanying a harp.
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
That was way cool! I especially liked how Amy was wearing the Phil Collins t-shirt! Too bad it was an honest capture video. I would've liked the drums all gated and processed like the original!
 

PQleyR

Platinum Member
I'd have gone with blastix or maybe brushes. It was fine otherwise, just a little more raucous than was appropriate, given that you were accompanying a harp.
Harps aren't necessarily the demure instruments people generally think of them as. The intention was to deliver that level of intensity, and I was asked to play with sticks and at that dynamic level, in order to match the intensity of the harp performance.

That was way cool! I especially liked how Amy was wearing the Phil Collins t-shirt! Too bad it was an honest capture video. I would've liked the drums all gated and processed like the original!
I would have quite liked that too but obviously it wasn't allowed under the circumstances!
And yes Amy's good at little visual details like that, she does something to fit the theme in every video.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
We had the additional benefit of Pete Miles's engineering expertise, not to mention his extensive mic collection, so we got sounds out of the harp that we've never achieved before.
There was also the awesome live room at Middle Farm and of course the best drums in the world courtesy of Andy/Keep It Simple, so sonically we ended up with something quite exciting.
Something very exciting IMHO! Both of you nailed this, & you were both an utter joy to work with. Amy's intensely dynamic performance, aligned to your absolutely spot on pace delivery, is just sublime :)

just a little more raucous than was appropriate, given that you were accompanying a harp.
I disagree, both in the context of the dynamic / performance vibe on the day, & especially compared to the original performance. I know where you're coming from though. Given the harp lead, it would have been so tempting to go "intimate", after all, that's the usual (expected) placement of harp, but Amy pushes the envelope on that instrument, & it's great to feature that. Bottom line - the drum parts are very close to the original as transcribed by Ben, & Amy had overall performance control of the session.

Too bad it was an honest capture video. I would've liked the drums all gated and processed like the original!
Thanks Matt. Yes, going the standard processing route (gates, reverb, compression, EQ, etc) would have been so much easier, & produced a result closer to the original (if that were ever the intention), but there's something very satisfying in knowing this was done by drum / room sound alone, plus some great engineering / mic placement. We involved the room mic's to a greater extent than usual to get towards the original track feel.

Amy & Ben had a totally free hand in this, with the exception of going outside the Honest Capture principals (something I hold dear). That said, it was agreed from the start, if sticking to those principals severely compromised the result, we'd depart from them & throw the studio magic at it. I don't think we got to that stage, & I'm super happy with the result.

Depends on what you want to achieve. If the main goal was to get as close as possible to the original, them maybe the studio magic route would be the way to go, but TBH, if that was the main aim, you wouldn't choose harp & double headed toms.

As with all our sessions, and because we can't throw "impressive" at it, you only get a close to true impression of the session sound, if you listen through good headphones / speakers. Only then do the tonal depths / nuance & "weight" really come through.
 

porter

Platinum Member
Sorry, but no, the timbres don't work together IMO. I could see them working with more layers than just the duo, but alas. Great musicianship on both parts separately though!
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Sorry, but no, the timbres don't work together IMO. I could see them working with more layers than just the duo, but alas. Great musicianship on both parts separately though!
All the best stuff promotes opposing opinions = all's good :) Even though there's a huge production on the original track, the drums still absolutely dominate. Sure, the nakedness of this performance accentuates that, but the intensity of the melody + delivery still come though.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Man I enjoyed that. Such feeling on the harp and the tonality of it seemed to make my brain fill it in as though an orchestra in the background-nice tasteful drumming too. Sweet! The toms and kick really sounded awesome on this.
 
Last edited:

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I thought it was great. Amy's harp playing is always amazing. And to pull off such a dense layer of music on just one pass on one instrument is stunning.

The drums sound great.

And that fill at approx 2:52 was really sweet.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
I really enjoyed that. I work with a harp maybe once every ten years (usually with choirs - not drums), and it always affects me the same way. Calm, pure, refreshing.

This track reminds me of the Andreas Vollenweider CD's we used to listen to in the late 80's..
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
Beautifully pulled off. The harp is one of the few
instruments that can rival the piano in terms of range of expression and
Amy is a skilled, sensitive musician who can make it speak.

Your playing is spot on. Supportive yet interesting. Nice.

And of course the drums sound great. (I know Guru as few others do.)
 

Magenta

Platinum Member
Worked for me. Absolutely bloody worked for me. Sheesh, you don't need an orchestra, or even a band, with Amy on that harp.

(How does she transport it, by the way? And can she come to MADgeFest and bring it???????)
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Yes mate.

I'm a long time fan of many a Ben and Amy collaboration. This one is no different.

This is the first time this schmaltzy song hasn't managed to make me feel physically sick to my stomach. I liked what I heard........haven't been able to say that when Phil plays it!! :)
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
(How does she transport it, by the way?
In dedicated cases, on it's own custom transport cart, & with great care. Amy is rightly extremely precious about her instrument. It's a stunning piece of instrument crafting, & of course, a very expensive one to replace.
 

Attachments

Last edited by a moderator:

steadypocket

Gold Member
Amy and Ben nailed this performance. I find it interesting that some prefer to see more processing which would even further emphasize the drums' presence, while others wanted different stick choices to better complement the more delicate nature of the harp. I love the approach used. Lost by some is that part of the impetus for doing this is to showcase the sound of these amazing drums. Hard to do that with brushes or Hot Rods.
 
Top