A blog about the Jaw harp.

Monday, May 21, 2007

What's boinging on

Greetings, jaw harpists! Jaw harping is happening so get ready to be highly in demand for sessions. LOL!

First of all, thanks to all for getting on the map. Just remember to add your email address so we can get in touch with each other, network, exchange tips, and whatnot. Looking at the map, it's nice to see that we're not alone.

The jaw harp is alive and kicking as demonstrated by a batch of artists that is not afraid to tell like it is—or isn’t. Among them, and with a country twang, come two talented (and I must say intelligent and attractive) ladies who have just put out albums using the j-harp. The first is Elizabeth Cook who besides her website has a page at MySpace. Listen to Times Are Tough In Rock N' Roll, a happy boinging song. Yeah, Liz! Go to YouTube and watch a great video about Elizabeth. Her Dad is interviewed and he's a gem.

Next is Miranda Lambert with her “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” album. She too uses the jaw harp on several songs. Listen to Me and Charlie Talking . Miranda is a Grammy nominated artist and hats off to her for using the j-harp. She's a young and promising artist with plenty of talent.

Following up his CD "Shoot Out At The OK Chinese Restaurant",
Ramsay Midwood has also put out an album called "Popular Delusions & the Madness of Cows" where he uses the J harp. He has a spot on MySpace but no clip of his song "Rattlesnake". Too bad but you can find short clips on the web. You can buy the album from his website.

By way of France, Persian artist Morteza Esmaili has just released a very interesting CD called In Touch with the Five Elements where he plays the Didgeridoo and the Jaw harp. He has many samples to listen to on the New Artists website. He is also involved in a project called Harmonic Fusion whose goals is for artists worlwide to meet. Morteza will be performing this June; look under Events on this blog.

In other news, Dennis Havlena has been busy going to schools educating the young about music and demonstrating instruments including bagpipes, a hurdy-gurdy, a fiddle, a tin whistle, and the Jaw harp. Way to go, Dennis! He offers a bunch of low-cost plans for all kinds of instruments on his website for those who are interested.

Let's not forget Doctor Oakroot who's got some boinging going on some tracks of his new CD now available at CD Baby.

Here’s a video of traditional music featuring English jaw harpist Michael Wright and a singer with a pretty voice named Lucy. This was recorded at the First Jews Harp Conference and Concert in Oxford, April 2007. Michael has an interesting website with a lot of info including tips on how to play the J harp. Also noteworthy, Michael Wright was elected as Chair of the English Folk Dance and Song Society in December, 2005.

The biodynamic trance project AIRtist provides us with a video of their performance at the Kecskemét Fringe Festival in Hungary back in March of 2007. This is definitely mouth music with a beatboxer, a Didgeridoo, a jaw harp and no loops, synths or effects. The jaw harpist is Aron Szilagyi, of Navrang fame. Visit the website for many interesting mp3s. They have a CD scheduled for release this month.

Wang Li has recorded a mixed poetry/jaw harp ambient sound piece with Frédédric Nevchehirlian. It’s in French but you’ll get the intensity. Last call by the way for Wang Li’s personal collection of J harps. He has some pieces left to sell so get them now. There's a link to his website in the links section of this blog.

Congratulations to Johnny Cope and his loved one, they have a new baby. Johnny recently posted some videos showcasing several kinds of the J harps he sells. Our friend Danibal is also expecting soon so good thoughts to him and his mate as well. We look forward to and welcome this new generation of Jaw harpists. Mind you, they'll do what they want and perhaps become doctors and lawyers. Heck, it's all good,

I've been researching David Coulter of ex-Pogues fame and Daniel Higgs, ex-Lungfish, both Jaw harpists so if anybody has any information or samples, please let me know. Just use the submit event link at the top.

FInally, Mark at Mouth Music Press is about to raise his prices due to the bad currency exchange on the dollar. Most of his J harps are imported and he has no choice. Might as well do our Christmas shopping early this year.

As always, keep me posted with your whereabouts so I can let others know what's happening. Keep on boinging!

1 comment:

Wayland said...

Nice blog. Always glad to see enthusiasm for this humble instrument.
I was surprised to hear myself start playing when the audio came on. Not at all upset, just surprised.
A flyer for this years North American Jew's Harp Festival can be found here:
Happy plucking
Wayland Harman
Executive director, Jew's Harp Guild