Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Bob Dylan, Christina Perri, Hunter Hayes--these are not artists that people normally associate with harp music. In fact, most people would never think of putting this contemporary music to harp--but harpists are attempting more music than ever before. Social media and technology allow the exchange of music at incredible rates. Collaboration between musicians can exist in the cyber world as easily as it can in a rehearsal studio. We email sound files, we skype rehearsals, and facetime with each other. The same technology is used to meet and work with clients. This way, we can personalize music--we can do "mash ups," customize playlists to the second, and coordinate with DJ's so that the transition between live musician and DJ is flawless and undecetable. Not every song is appropriate on the harp, and what the harpist or musician hears as a successful rendition may not be what the client thinks is acceptable. However, more often than not, there is a working foundation. At a recent wedding, I was helping the groom choose music and we were working primarily by phone. At first, he was leaning toward more traditional choices: Canon, Jesu, Trumpet Voluntary...but in a follow up email, he had inquired about Marry Me by Train. This was a signficant song for the couple. I already ahd this in my play list and it was easy to play for him. He thought about it and, as a musician himself, was able to offer a great suggestion to make the song better! This led to Unchained Melody, Music of the Night, and Here Comes the Sun. The bride did not know any of the music choices ahead of time and was moved to hear such symbolic music at her wedding. It is always a joy to make a client happy--no matter the music choices. Your choices keep musicians from being bored. Your choices for us to keep learning and trying new things. Your choices (and they are yours) are what make your event as perfect as it can be. Do not be afraid to ask your musician to try something contemporary.