Circle of Friends – with Harp -in Concert – Apr. 25, 2015

     

 Sat. Apr. 25, 2015 • 8pm
Deborah Henson-Conant in Concert

at “Circle of Friends” • Franklin, MA
Grab Your Tix Now!

Sat. Apr. 25  in Franklin, MA – Grammy-Nominated singer/instrumentalist Deborah Henson-Conant brings her renegade harp, wicked sense of humor, gutsy set of vocal chords and theatrical flair to the intimate “Circle of Friends” Coffeehouse just outside Boston, Providence and Worcester

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Inventive. Spontaneous. She pulls sounds from the strings you’d never expect to hear from the instrument St. Peter hands out at the Pearly Gates: Blues. Flamenco. Distortion. Poetic dissonance, movement, story and song.

Circle of Friends is a throwback coffeehouse with a modern sound system, in the Universalist Society Meeting House in Franklin, MA 25 miles from Boston, Providence and Worcester on 495 in Franklin, MA.

What is the show like?

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DHC plays, sings and speaks her truth through story and humor.  She uses a looper pedal with her harp to  layer sounds and create rhythmic grooves she improvises over.  She combines styles and genres from Blues to Flamenco.

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“From the moment she set foot on stage, I was captivated by DHC.  She’ll tell a story,  ask the audience a question, and people will actually respond! Part of her appeal and magnetism on stage is her ability to be completely honest.”  Allison Volk (Los Angeles, CA)

Deborah Henson-Conant plays an instrument that was created for her.  

Once upon a time DHC played a hulking 6-foot-tall concert harp, like you see at the back of the orchestra.  But she really wanted to have freedom onstage to move around – and freedom offstage to travel with her instrument.

She had a vision of an electric harp she could strap on like an electric guitar.  She created a prototype and took it to Europe’s most visionary harp builder, Joel Garnier.

For the next 20 years Joel’s company, CAMAC harps, worked with DHC to create the harp of her dreams.   The result is the world’s leading electric harp, named after Deborah, the “DHC-Light,” an 11-pound carbon-fibre instrument that can soar over an orchestra – and that she even took on tour with legendary Rock guitarist Steve Vai for a world tour in 2012.

What’s “Circle of Friends” Coffeehouse like?

All those amazing pastries!

All those amazing pastries!

“Circle of Friends Coffeehouse”  is a throwback to 60′s coffeehouses in a church meeting room. But what a coffeehouse!

It’s Intimate. Funky. Fun.

It has a state-of-the art sound & lighting system!  And INCREDIBLE pastries and desserts.  So when you come to the show, save room for dessert!

“Circle of Friends Coffeehouse” is equidistant from Boston, Worcester and Providence, right off  Route 495 in Franklin, MA.

 

 

Show Details

WHAT: HipHarp at the Coffeehouse! (Deborah Henson-Conant Solo show!)
WHERE: Circle of Friends Coffeehouse, The Universalist Society Meeting House, 262 Chestnut Street, Franklin, MA
WHEN: Sat. April 25 – 8 pm
TIX: $25
CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW TO BUY TIX:



 

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Fun ‘News-to-blues’ Video about the show!


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DHC’s Blog Post Overview

I use my blog for a lot of different projects.  Some are series, some are creative challenges, some are upcoming events and projects and some are just random thoughts.  Here are some of the series and repeating posts:


1. Singing Ezine Series

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In these weekly video posts, I give the news of what’s upcoming and what’s just happened in my life, singing and playing impromptu from my studio at the harp.  Singing my ezine started as a challenge from a friend – and now it’s become a weekly exploration of music, spontaneity and what happens when you repeat a creative idea.

Sometimes I sing the news to Blues, sometimes to a Latin beat – whatever I’m feeling at the moment. This is still a new series, and you can see the posts I’ve uploaded here:

  1. March 13, 2015
  2. March 20, 2015
  3. March 27, 2015

2. “MY Baroque Flamenco” Series

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In this series, harp players of all ages from around the world share their own versions of my fiery harp showpiece, “Baroque Flamenco.”

“Baroque Flamenco” is one of the most widely played of my compositions. I published the solo work on three levels: Fledgling, Intermediate and Advanced, for both the pedal harp and the lever harp, so players of all ages and technical abilities perform it and make it their own.

I’ve also unofficially released concerto versions with both orchestra and chamber ensemble, so now harpists are playing it solo and in many different kinds of ensembles.  It’s really exciting to see all the many versions of the piece on YouTube.

In spring 2015  I began inviting players to feature their performances in a blog series called “MY Baroque Flamenco” in which they tell a bit about themselves, provide a video of their performance and then answer a series of questions about their experience with this piece they’ve made their own.

This is also a new blog series and you can see the first three posts here:

  1. Eleanor Turner’s “Baroque Flamenco”
  2. Ruth Lee’s “Baroque Flamenco”
  3. Ronja Ehrbar’s “Baroque Flamenco”

To apply to be part of the series fill out the application here


3. Student Project Series

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Sine 2012 I’ve been developing a series of online courses in jazz fundamentals for harpists worldwide.

My courses are generally focused on learning a specific skill or style of music and almost always include working towards a “Final-Beginning Project.”

We call them Final ‘Beginning’ Projects because one foundation of  all my courses is the idea of imperfect completion – and the understanding that a ‘Final’ project is really just the beginning of a lifelong relationship with this music.

My Winter 2014/2015 “Blues HarpStyle” course was particularly prolific!  21 of the 50 people in the course submitted final “beginning” projects in which they created their own, often original, Blues inspired by what they learned in the course.

Click here to  see the overview of this series, with links to all the performances.

 

 

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Stumbling Over Folky Roots? Wear your red high heels!

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Rockin’ out at the Circle of Friends Coffeehouse in Franklin, MA

Are you afraid of stumbling over your folk roots?

I know you are!  How can I tell?

Well … I have a show this weekend at a place about 25 miles from Boston that’s considered “Probably the finest church coffeehouse in the country.” (Ellis Paul)  – and right now, the ticket count is at … shall we say … ‘highly intimate.’

Which is cool because I LOVE intimate playing situations but …

I know I have a huge audience in the Boston area — and a lot of them live in the suburbs within easy driving-distance of Franklin, MA- but they’re not used to seeing me at a coffeehouse

They’re used to seeing me in theaters or arts centers — and everything about this place – from the funky website to the name, “Circle of Friends Coffeehouse” – looks über folksy and crunchy-granola – like a place where you’d expect to hear a singer-songwriter with a twangy guitar – which  is about as far away as you can get from what I do.

We get the idea that a certain kind of thing happens in a certain kind of place.

And that’s generally true … but there’s nothing fundamentally true about it. A wonderful listening room is wonderful for listening to anything. An intimate space creates an intimate experience about anything in it.

 … and this place is WONDERFUL.   I LOVE it!

The acoustics are great, the atmosphere is great, it’s got ample free parking right outside the door – and it’s got all the GREAT elements of a true church-basement coffeehouse – right down to a mouth-boggling display of hand-baked refreshment – and it’s an incredible listening room with a true feeling of intimacy.

It’s also a place for passion and humor and intensity.  If you doubt that, check out the picture (above) which was taken at my last show there.

And even though it may look like the dress code specifies Birkenstocks .. you CAN wear your red high heels!

So forget the fear of stumbling over old folk roots and go buy your tickets because this folky hangout is also one of the great listening rooms in the greater Boston area – and I’d LOVE to see you at the show this weekend!

And … hey — wait ’til you see what I’m gonna wear!  And it ain’t Birkenstocks!

 

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Hands on Harmony Online Course for Harpists Beta Test

“HANDS ON HARMONY”
for HARPS
Virtual Retreat – Beta Tests!

When you register for the Beta-Tests you get access to ANY and ALL Retreats live — plus ANY and ALL replays!

3 LIVE RETREATS:

Sun. Apr. 19 (10 AM – 6pm EDT) [Attend via replay now]
NEXT LIVE RETREAT:

==> Sat. May 2 (10 AM – 6pm EDT) <==
Date TBA (Times TBA)

>> Register Now <<

When you register before May 2, you get:
Access to the replay of Beta Test #1
Live access to Beta Retreats 2 & 3

Come spend the whole day with me – 3 times, no less!  It’s an all-day learning retreat that you get spend in the comfort of your very own home!

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Here’s a RunDown of each Retreat:

And remember – this is a Beta Test so content and schedule specifics may change – but we’ll start at 10AM EDT and end no later than 6pm EDT

  • MORNING SESSION:  10AM – 12PM EDT  – Introduction to Harmonic Families & progressions
  • EARLY AFTERNOON:  1PM – 3PM EDT  – A Longer Progression … and a trip to the mysterious relative minor
  • LATE AFTERNOON:  3:30 – 5:30 PM EDT – We’ll put the harmony we learned into context in an actual piece of music – and if there’s time, I’ll show you how to psyche out a jazz chart by sleuthing out all the modulations (so bring your detective hat!)

I want you to really GET all this into your hands so each session includes:  A training segment, downloadable PDF handout, implementation time (time to try it out and play!), and Q&A Sessions.

It’s best to come for all three sessions on any one day, since one each builds on the previous.  Each retreat covers the same material – you can come to any or all of them — and you’ll also get access to replay videos. Some people prefer just watching the replays, because they can skip around or repeat sections — but if you like asking questions, make sure you get to a live retreat.

Why are there are 3 Different Dates??

This course is in development, so after each Beta Test I’ll spend a week or so revising the retreat and then do it all over again.  When you register as a Beta Tester YOU get to come to any of the tests … or ALL of them! PLUS you get access to the replays … in case you’d rather go to the beach while the live events are happening.

PLUS … your questions, comments and input will help shape the course itself


>> Join the Beta Team for All Three Test Dates: $97 <<

>> Register Now <<

When you register before May 2, you get:
Access to the replay of Beta Test #1
Live access to Beta Retreats 2 & 3


Will You Learn EVERYTHING about Harmony?

Absolutely …. not.  This course will likely end up becoming “Hands on Harmony 101″ — but exactly where it fits in my harmony curriculum will depend in part on your questions and comments so you really do end up having an important role in the final curriculum when you are part of the Beta Team.  It’s also really fun to get to see your input change the course!

NOTE: This is an unofficial semi-secret event with only a limited number of spaces so if you’re interested, sign up now – because I might have to close the offer down on short notice (but don’t worry – if I do that, you can always take the course once it’s out of Beta … but I gotta admit, it’s really fun to be part of the Beta team!)

p.s. If you’re wondering if each 3-part Beta test will be the same … I really can’t tell you!  I’m just now developing the course.  If I hit my sweet spot with the first Beta, then each of them will be very similar.  If I need to revise it between Beta’s that’s what I’ll do!

 

 

 

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Reinventing “Baroque Flamenco” for Hospice

Reinvention is really important to me. “Baroque Flamenco” is a piece that started out as a minuet in one of my beginner’s harp books.  After that it became a big multi-decade reinvention – because I’ve been reinventing it for 20-30 years.

But now that it’s a written-out piece that’s played by soloists and orchestras, many people think that THAT IS the piece.

But of course that piece can also be reinvented.

“Baroque Flamenco” is known as a fiery showpiece — but many of my students want to also play it in hospice.  So in these videos I went through each section of the piece and some of the ways you could reinvent it for a more meditative, responsive, intuitive situation.

 

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