What an amazing moment.

You’ve just played the performance of your life,  the crowd goes crazy and golden confetti fills the air.

A dream is coming  true…

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Hip Harp Academy

Presents an intro to Hip Harp Academy

Blues Jam HARP Challenge - July 1-8

That’s the moment pictured above for Romanian Harpist Daria Batschi-Beleca after a show-stopping performance in her country’s equivalent of “America’s Got Talent.” When she’s done, the judges ask her what she’s played and – even though it’s in a language I don’t speak, I hear it loud and clear: “Baroque Flamenco” by contemporary composer Deborah Henson-Conant.” 

Am I crying? Of course! I’m moved by her performance and honoured to have succeeded in creating a piece that lets her show so much of herself as an artist and a woman. A piece I created first, to be able to share that much of myself – and now seeing it provide that for others. 

I’m immediately back in my room in Berkeley, CA with my first harp, only a few years older than Daria, looking at the harp and the  possibility of  life as a concert artist and thinking: but where’s the fiery repertoire?? Where’s the piece that stops the show, where’s the music that ignites  the audience to spontaneously jump to their feet  and bursts into cheers?

I swore to myself at that moment that I would create those pieces, that I would play them and work to give them a place in the harp repertoire – to give harpists a way to bring down the house with music that combines bravado, virtuosity, whimsy and tenderness. Seeing Daria wow both judges and audience I felt a moment of completion. The baton made it to her hand.

You don’t need to speak the language to see the emotion and excitement from Daria, the judges and her family backstage, tell a universal story of accomplishment – and now you know that every time someone plays that piece and embodies their dreams in the process – they’re completing a dream for me as well.

And here’s another thing I’m really proud of: 

Last Sunday, I taught this same piece to nearly a hundred harpists of all ages and abilities as a distilled “Blueprint” – a way for any player to get the concept of the piece into their hands, regardless of their skill level. The workshop was a free intro to  “Blueprints for Creativity” program called “Structure is Freedom” and you can watch it – and play it right here

Feel free to watch even if you don’t play the harp – and then compare what you learned in the workshop to what you see Daria doing on Romania’s Got Talent.


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