Not all harpists live a life of luxury, waltzing around in long flowing gowns. This harpist spends her day mucking out the manure … but on this day, she brought her harp with her.

So … do animals get the Blues?

Well … yes, if they’re lucky enough to have Susanne sing them her “Animal Harp Blues.”

Susanne is an Austrian harpist, and a member of Hip Harp Academy, where she took the “Blues: Harp-Style” class over the summer.  For her summer project she created an original Blues about one facet of her life, and in the process, explained why she doesn’t get as much time as she wants at the harp.

One of Susanne’s takeaways from the project:

“Things go easier when having fun with it. Playing around leads to more creativity.”

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Enjoy Susanne’s “Animal Harp Blues: A Mucking Out Song”

Susanne had just a couple days to record and edit her original blues. Make sure you stay to the end — it’s a really fun ride! 

Here’s a short Interview with Susanne about creating this project:

Describe the project – what do you call it?

Animal Harp Blues – a Mucking Out Song

What principles from “Blues: Harp-Style” or from chats did you use to develop, perform, and record this project – and how did they play a part in your process?

Learning the basic form of the blues, rhythm, slap bass and stride bass.

What did it take for you to be able to play what you did – both logistically and emotionally.

At first it took lots of repetition, thinking and counting out loud to get into the rhythm until it suddenly internalized.

What freedoms and blocks within yourself did you connect with (or struggle with) in the process?

I struggled a lot with the singing. I felt blocked to just let it go. Trying to make it comical and funny gave me more freedom to play around with the piece.

What challenges did you meet while connecting with your own freedom of expression in this project?

A challenge was to cut and edit the video. This was a complete new field for me and I only had one day time to do it.

What other parts of your life were impacted by what you learned in this class, and how?

When listening to blues or jazz in the radio or elsewhere I now suddenly realize the patterns in it.

What were your personal “Ahas”

Things go easier when having fun with it. Playing around leads to more creativity.

Is there anything else you want people to know when they watch your video?

Watch the video to the very end. –> Lift-off!

Do YOU play the harp?

How would you use the skills of improv and performance to achieve your own creative dreams?

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