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the lighter touch
Behind every physical movement is artistic intent:
this is the philosophy of Maeve Gilchrist’s new book, the lighter touch: a musically motivated guide to more effortless harp technique. Drawing upon technical ideas from both traditional and non-traditional harping styles, Maeve delves into a world of practice and thought designed to help evolve your harp technique regardless of skill level or genre.
Particularly focused on a supported method of playing, Maeve encourages a constant awareness of weight, balance, breath and groundedness to help the student push themselves artistically, while avoiding injury and physical or mental stress.
Divided into four main sections; Linear (scale-based), Shape work (arpeggios), Speed work and Independent fingers, Maeve will guide you through a series of exercises, études and ideas for further exploration, while reinforcing the idea of being as one with your instrument. By working patiently and consistently on the material in this book, you will be taking steps towards a more effortless harp technique and with any luck, a lighter touch!
“Maeve Gilchrist is a brilliant and innovative artist, composer, and educator. I have witnessed firsthand the amazing results of ‘The Lighter Touch’ as she was developing and teaching this method at Berklee College of Music. Maeve opens up the world of groove, accompaniment, arranging, and collaboration – all within the context of playing more ergonomically, with great expression. Recommended on the basis of real results!”
David Wallace, Chair of the Berklee String Department
“Harp players of all ages and stages, whether they play for love of the music or have made it their profession, will find thought provoking and inspiring advice in this book. With original ideas and practical examples at the turn of every page, is the ideal harper’s life time companion.”
Isobel Mieras MBE, Artistic Director of the Edinburgh International Harp Festival
“You can take it as given that any workshop at Somerset [Harp Festival] that Maeve teaches is going to be packed with harpers who know that they’re about to get those nuggets of harp technique and music essentials that Maeve will distill and dispense with the most digestible, accessible and clear manner that empowers them to play and feel accomplished. By carefully crafting the workshop she challenges and encourages the player while building their ability and confidence. She’s an incredible teacher and inspiring performer.”
Kathy DeAngelo, Director of the Somerset Folk Harp Festival