DEBORAH HENSON-CONANT

THE GIFT

15 Solo Harp Fantasies on Traditional Christmas Carols from Around the World

In 1995 I recorded a series of 15 carols from around the world on solo harp which became The Gift. Fast forward to 2020…  it’s now available as a digital download via Bandcamp!

In creating these arrangements, I had the pleasure of improvising fantasies on many carols I’ve known for years and of discovering many traditional carols that were completely new to me. Check out the fun facts I listed about this album below the player.

I hope you enjoy listening to this album as much as I enjoyed recording it. 

Fun Facts about this Album

  • This is my best friend’s all-time favorite album of mine
  • The entire album is completely improvised (so please don’t ask for the harp manuscript!) – based on the basic melodies of these tunes and weeks of playing around with them in my studio.
  • Many of these carols I’ve known for years – but some were completely new to me.
  • This was recorded all on solo harp, no overdubs. I recorded it before I’d transitioned to the lever harp, so it’s all played on a classic concert harp – but it doesn’t all sound Classical by a long shot
  • After recording this album, I created symphonic versions of some of these arrangements that I’ve played in Holiday Programs with ensembles from community orchestras to professional symphonies like the St. Louis Symphony.
  • My original impulse was to see how much fun I could have with holiday tunes. I surprised myself by how much fun I was having and, in the middle of the project, decided to challenge myself by re-harmonizing my – ’til then – least-favorite carol, “O Tannenbaum” (“Oh Christmas Tree”) The result? I completely fell in love with the tune.
  • The cover design was a mandala I created one day when I sat down and decided I would try to learn to draw mandalas. It may be one of the simplest mandalas ever created – kind of like a haiku mandala
  • This album was recorded in 1995
  • I’d LOVE your comments below so please do leave some!

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