Deborah Henson-Conant Performs New Piece At Regent Theatre

Nov 04, 2010

From the Arlington Advocate:

Deborah Henson-Conant is known for taking the harp to new heights.

But now, the Grammy-nominated recording artist, who forged a worldwide reputation for her no-limits take on the electric harp, is now scaling back, in a sense.

Her new show, “Honey, I Shrunk The Harp!” focuses on the evolution of her relationship with this traditional instrument, and her quest to take it to unexplored frontiers.

In 1998, Henson-Conant convinced French harp builder Joel Garnier to create an instrument she could strap and tote about on stage.

The result was an electric blue harp, or “body harp” that is now her signature instrument, easy to transport and capable of playing music of a wide range of genres and moods.

With the CAMAC Harp company, she developed the world’s first commercially produced carbon fiber electric harp, which carries her name, the DHC Blue-Light.

Henson-Conant, who has played with rock stars and rarefied symphony orchestras, talked recently about her journey with the harp, and her upcoming performance at the Regent Theatre in Arlington.

Q Please tell me what you have planned for the show.

A Sure. I’ve been working on this new piece, “Honey, I Shrunk The Harp!” It’s about 20 minutes long. I wanted to try and recreate the experience I have had over the past 20 years, going from playing a huge concert harp to this instrument I had made for me – this 11-pound harp I could strap on and carry around.

I made a costume for the harp so I can make that metamorphosis happen in front of the audience…what’s fun about it, is that it was difficult for me to play at first. I’ve been Twittering and blogging about my experience. So, yes indeed, I have dressed up the harp. I thought, I dress myself up, why not dress up the harp?

Read the full interview here