Harp music?

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Can anyone recommend any (preferably) instrumental Harp music, I'm thinking more of Alice Coltrane and Harold Budd's 'Pavilion Of Dreams'. Prettier, sparser stuff? Single tracks, albums, artists?


inventionsforjohn, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 14:32 (five years ago) Permalink

Dorothy Ashby is fantastic, for slightly less astral, funkier (but still often beautiful) jazz harp.

Soundslike, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 14:45 (five years ago) Permalink

Thanks, I should maybe have listed a few more things that I already know. I like some Dorothy Ashby, but alot of it sounds a little bit kitsch for what I feel like listening to at the moment. Has she done any stuff with just Harp?

inventionsforjohn, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 14:53 (five years ago) Permalink

Zeena Parkins does some really cool experimental stuff with customized electric harps, but that's probably not one for the "prettier, sparser" file.

Neil Young’s social media channels (some dude), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 14:55 (five years ago) Permalink

I've heard her name mentioned, reminds me to check out the stuff she does with Bjork, thanks.

inventionsforjohn, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 15:15 (five years ago) Permalink

Maybe you should look into Kora music? Sounds an awful lot like a harp, very beautiful west African instrument you probably already know but just in case. . .

Soundslike, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 15:16 (five years ago) Permalink

Appreciate any recommendations, just listened to a few kora things on youtube, very nice sound, but I think it's a bit too happy sounding for me, I feel like listening to something that's more western/spiritual-ish if it makes sense.

inventionsforjohn, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 15:41 (five years ago) Permalink

At the risk of self-promotion, I started off this mix with one of the most beautiful harp pieces I've ever heard, Giovanni Maria Trabaci's "Toccata Seconda & Ligature Per L'arpa":


And while the piece that follows it has no harp, I still found the synergy between the two amazing, given the centuries, miles and styles separating them. The Sundanese music later in the mix featuring the Kacapi, another remarkably harp-like instrument, sonically--is decidedly non-Western, but feels deeply spiritual to me.

Soundslike, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 16:24 (five years ago) Permalink

six months pass...

If anyone's interested, there's some nice harp stuff on this:


It's where "Bicycle Riders" from the Blade Runner soundtrack comes from.

Bumping for anymore recommendations aswell?

inventionsforjohn, Monday, 19 November 2012 02:05 (five years ago) Permalink

I agree that is a shamelessly pretty record

I recommend Andrew Lawrence-King: The Secret of the Semitones - music of Johann Sebastian Bach for Baroque Harp


bonus points for being in period tuning

Milton Parker, Monday, 19 November 2012 02:18 (five years ago) Permalink

Thanks, I'll search for that.

Gail laughton Lp is good, a few tracks sound a bit kitschy though.

inventionsforjohn, Monday, 19 November 2012 02:47 (five years ago) Permalink

Yeah that's what I was getting at by shameless. I don't spin it all the way through each time but the liner notes positing each track as a representation of music from famous cities of antiquity, going backwards in time to Atlantis 21,000 BC = admirably cosmic liner notes

Milton Parker, Monday, 19 November 2012 03:22 (five years ago) Permalink

I said "a bit kitschy". I wanted to say "extremely kitschy". Yeah, hats off to someone who can teleport back to Atlantis in 21,000 BC and convey that mysteriously intuitive 'ambience' that we can all relate to, on wax.

This is a good one from the liner notes, Pompeii 76 AD (the Blade Runner track).

"Shifting moonbeams fall upon the splendid fountain in the rotunda of the temple of Isis, glinting occasionally on the golden coins and trinkets tossed there so lightly by the carefree youth and maidens of Pompeii. As the beautiful city dreams, Vesuvius smolders"

I totally agree though, its shameless. You can kind of listen to it with the liner notes and those intentions, or without, which is a bit harder but possible. It's like the opposite of how I see Brian Eno's music, in that he (I think) wanted to make music that is blank and open to the listeners interpretation, maybe not with tracks like "Dunwich Beach, Autumn, 1960" but you know what I mean.

inventionsforjohn, Monday, 19 November 2012 05:44 (five years ago) Permalink

Well funny you should mention him on this thread, maybe we'll finally learn exactly which record of 18th century harp music she put on his stereo that fateful day


Milton Parker, Monday, 19 November 2012 06:16 (five years ago) Permalink

Good read, I'm going to try and listen to 'Harps of the ancient temples' with the sound turned down and wait for it to rain.

If anyone's bothered, I want to expand the recommendations so it doesn't just have to be harp music. Any sickly, pretty music similar to Budd's 'Pavillion Of Dreams'? Choral even? Preferably mid 20th century onwards.

Maybe harps aren't that popular.

inventionsforjohn, Monday, 19 November 2012 17:43 (five years ago) Permalink

for Celtic harp stuff, try Alan Stivell - Renaissance de la harpe celtique (Renaissance of the Celtic Harp)

and yet (unregistered), Monday, 19 November 2012 18:02 (five years ago) Permalink

Several weeks ago my favorite local jazz program devoted an entire show to a jazz harpist called 'Destiny the Harpist'. The name was a turn-off for sure, but I was won over completely by show's end. She's rather new, so there's not much out there (a few Youtube vids, but all with terrible mixes - she plays in jazz combos and as you can imagine, is regularly drowned out by the other musicians). She has several tracks on a FB page and if you want something in the area of Alice Coltrane I think you'll be pleased: Destiny the Harpist (the facebook page).

rattled, Monday, 19 November 2012 22:14 (five years ago) Permalink

Robin Williamson of Incredible String Band fame recorded an album 'Celtic Harp Airs & Dance Tunes' which is quite pleasant.

Bob Six, Tuesday, 20 November 2012 00:05 (five years ago) Permalink

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