Deborah Henson-Conant

Telling stories with music at HipHarp.com

On a snowy night, wind so strong the house was shaking, I uploaded a 90-second clip of great audience Live-Show quotes to promote my next show: The CLOSING concert at the Cardiff CAMAC Harp Weekend in Wales, Sun. March 5th at 5PM. (More info, videos AND a link to BUY TIX: http://www.hipharp.com/blog/15503)

But really …. I spent two hours obsessing over what text to put on it.

It’s surprising to me what I struggle with – including pockets of profound shyness it can take hours – or decades to pull out of. Whenever I talk about it people are surprised – as if I couldn’t possibly struggle with shyness because of how I appear on stage – which is one place I feel completely at home.

I finally called my best friend Celeste and my creative buddy, Karen and they talked me through it. Celeste said – “Just stop the video and say ‘What can you expect at a DHC show?’ because that’s what the video tells you.“ Karen said, “Just work like a plumber” meaning, just get it done and stop emotionalizing it.

So here it is! Watch it and share it with friends – especially friends in the UK!

As an artist, it can be tricky to describe what I do.

Yes, I play the harp, but not because I set out to play the harp.

Yes, I sing, but not because I set out to sing.

Yes, I move on the stage and tell stories, but not because I set out to move or tell stories.

Yes, I invented a new kind of harp, but not because I set out to invent a new kind of instrument.

To say all those things is almost like talking about meal by describing the pots and pans and utensils you use to cook it – all of them essential, yet the value, the experience, the moment of human connection, the reason we want great pots and pans, is the indescribable moment of connection when the music, or book, or art comes alive.

the reason we want great pots and pans, is the indescribable moment of connection Click To Tweet

And that’s the one thing it’s SO hard to describe, or break apart – so I’m exploring all of it — the pots and pans, the descriptions from the press and from the audience, the images, the sounds …

And here’s why I’m thinking so much about this right now (even more than usual):

I’ve been nose-to-the-grindstone for the past 3 years building my online Hip Harp Academy, working full time in my studio to build both the content and the back-end of an academy that can teach creativity, improvisation and the principles of how music works. It’s full of passionate musicians now, from all around the world, and I meet with them every week.

And now that the Academy is on its feet I feel like my life as a performer is a burrowing animal poking up above the ground. Next weekend, on Sat. Feb. 18th is a rare live show in the Boston-Area where I live – and Kaitlyn, my videographer, and I have been using the opportunity to create a series of videos to try show what my shows are like – and how I do what I do.

Here are the videos we’ve been working on:

Pick your favorite and let me know why it works for YOU – just add a comment to the YouTube video. Then share it with a friend! And then come to the show!

TRAILERS:
•        20-Second Trailer: https://youtu.be/hILnB8Cymoo
•        The Press Says it All (Press Quotes): https://youtu.be/ReMh1WPHKsw
•        What Can you Expect at a Show? (Audience Quotes): https://youtu.be/bxtWFa2s6kw
•        Inside Brubecker (a trip inside one of my tunes and how it’s all put together): https://youtu.be/G2Ge547OA6M
•        60-Second Trailer: https://youtu.be/xwtLHj0P69Y
•        2-minute artist DemoReel: https://youtu.be/IQ4oAYagvgE

TECHNIQUE VIDEOS:
•        1-Handed Bossa Nova (Juanitos – 2-min Technique Video): https://youtu.be/LtSoXyqWEJo
•        The Forearm Strum (Strum-Tune – 2-min Technique Video): https://youtu.be/TyMP6GGqfqc
•        The Looper Pedal (Dogs of Somerville – 2-min Technique Video): https://youtu.be/Qj71TTglojE
•        DHC’s Electric Harp & Gadgets:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCt9b38sMbE

A longer show-clip of an impromptu moment based on an audience question:

•        How to Sing the Story of A Harp (Impromptu in Concert):  https://youtu.be/Z9W7UcEyeJE

I can’t wait to see you at the show on Sun. March 5th to close out the CAMAC Harp Weekend in Cardiff!