Saturday, June 10, 2006

Musings of the Harper

Sometimes the Internet is a wonderful thing. If you need a little information about something, you just Google or Ask and there it is--more information than you ever thought you'd want to have. Today I'm sharing with you my latest discovery:

Autoharp Radio

Now, you might wonder what I was looking for that I discovered Autoharp Radio. In fact, I was looking for strings for my autoharp. Yes, indeed. I own an autoharp. It's an older 12-bar Oscar Schmidt, but it's in pretty good condition (although it could use some new felt along with the new strings.)

But I digress. As I was looking for strings, I ran across Autoharp Radio, which is broadcast online on Live 365. After listening to it for a few days at work, I discovered a couple of things: 1) my playing drastically improved as I heard accomplished harpers play; 2) there are some really weird songs out there that should be shared.

I've heard songs from A Mighty Wind, quite a bit of bluegrass, folk, and gospel, some really interesting jazz, and even a rendition of "Bohemian Rhapsody". Oh, yeah!

So far, my favorite of the weird is the Brobdingnagian Bards
These guys are a Celtic Renaissance duo out of Austin, TX. Their songs are played on the autoharp, mandolin, and recorder. They play some classics and some of their own works. One of my favorites so far is "Do Virgins Taste Better?" Just think about that in the context of a song about dragons. You'll understand. But they've done parodies from Star Wars and School House Rock. Their Lord of the Rings CD was so popular that they were the headliners at the LOR Oscar party.

Things get a little weirder when you check out Marc Gunn's site. Marc is the autoharpist in of the group, and he seems to have a fetish for felines and drinking songs. But he's a good harpist, and he's the reason that Autoharp Radio exists.

So, sit back at your 'puter and take listen to the dulcet strains of the autoharp. You'll be wanting to own one too.

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