This is a blog series featuring performances of my harp showpiece “Baroque Flamenco” by other musicians. Click HERE to link to the overview blog Baroque Flamenco Around the World.
Featured Performer: Ruth Lee, UK
BRIEF BIO or DESCRIPTION OF WHAT YOU DO:
Ruth Lee is a harpist, vocalist and composer based in the North-East Midlands, having recently completed her undergraduate degree at the University of York with a First-Class Honours Degree.
Recent collaborations include composition commissions and performances with The Arc Project, AMOK and her all-female trio Phantasia. She was awarded first prize in The Future Blend Project 2019, and her work ‘Music of the Angels’ will be shortly published by PoppyHarp.
She is the current collaborator with the Future Blend Project in their new scheme, working with their director Fran Barsby on her piece ‘Willow’ for solo harp and loop machine.
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DESCRIBE THE FOLLOWING PERFORMANCE OF ‘BAROQUE FLAMENCO’ INCLUDING WHERE & WHEN IT WAS: During my undergraduate studies at the University of York, I received a Concerto Award – this was the subsequent performance of DHC’s Soñando en Español with the University of York Chamber Ensemble at the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, 12th June 2019.
Q & A
1. If you had to describe the experience of playing “Baroque Flamenco” in 5 words or less, what would they be?
Powerful. Passionate. Absorbing. Exhilarating.
2. What do people say when you play this piece? Do you have favorite memories of people’s reactions to it?
I’ve played the third movement of the concerto, Baroque Flamenco, as a harp solo for many years, always loving its unique ability to connect and drive an audience. Being able to perform it alongside the other two movements of the concerto, with a chamber orchestra was a dream. The piece has such infectious energy!! A lot of people have commented that they didn’t know the harp could ‘do that!’Being able to perform it alongside the other two movements of the concerto, with a chamber orchestra was a dream. #BaroqueFlamenco Click To Tweet
3. What drew you to this piece – why did you choose to learn it??
I took part in Baroque Flamenco Bootcamp around five years ago after watching a recording of the incredible Eleanor Turner performing the solo harp version. As my teacher, she encouraged me to take the course and I fell in love with the piece.
4. What does this piece add to your repertoire (and/or your life) that you didn’t have before?
I don’t think there’s anything else quite like it. There’s certainly very few things that give me such a rush of energy and excitement.I don't think there's anything else quite like it. There's certainly very few things that give me such a rush of energy and excitement. #BaroqueFlamenco Click To Tweet
5. What would you tell someone else who’s thinking of learning this piece that you wish you’d known before you learned it?
Stop thinking and do it! For Baroque Flamenco, there’s sheet music for different abilities so it’s great for all levels. If possible, go on the Baroque Flamenco Bootcamp. That was where my journey with the piece began and I really think the resources are invaluable – it’s wonderful hearing straight from DHC.
6. What do you think you can get from working directly with the composer of the piece that you can’t get from the sheet music?
The sheet music is very clearly notated and explained but I think there’s always that something extra that you can’t get any other way than from going direct to the composer. I did her Baroque Flamenco Beyond the Page class and you really get a rounded sense of the piece and her vision – from concept to character, as well as a wealth of other helpful advice.
7. Anything else you want to say?
Thank you Deborah!
Click HERE to see the program notes from this performance.
HARPISTS: Do YOU play Baroque Flamenco?
... then I'd love to hear your story and see a video of how you play it. Use this form to share your story and a video from YouTube and I'll feature it in a blogpost like the ones you can link to below.
Do you WANT to play Baroque Flamenco?
The solo harp sheet music includes 3 levels: advanced beginner, intermediate & professional. Other versions include harp ensemble, piano/harp duo (piano reduction), concerto and upcoming chamber ensemble versions.
My online class "Baroque Flamenco Beyond the Page" takes you through the piece step by step at all 3 levels, with videos of all the sections and special effects, breakdowns (to show you how the piece is put together) and a set of warmups to help you develop the rhythms.
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