A forwarded letter and some Harp-Mgr comments.
I'm not logging in too much...since I'm at home and I can't afford a
big long distance phone bill. But I thought I should make reference
to a problem several people have been having lately.
MANY people have, in the effort of replying to a message from the Harp
list, sent a message to HARP-MGR ONLY, which is me. I've talked to my
Sys_Admin and he says it is due to mail server problems at other sites
(rather than at my site). Whenever anyone on the list does a REPLY it
should go to HARP-L and not to HARP-MGR. I believe some mailers are
erroniously replying to me since the SENDER: line says HARP-MGR, but
the FROM: line says HARP-L, which is where it should go.
So you may want to watch this as you are replying to your letters. If
it is replying to HARP-MGR you might want to talk to your Sys-Admin to
see about getting that set up correctly.
The following message is another one that was sent only to me.
BTW, I'm not bitching about this (doesn't really bother me), I'm just
letting everyone know so we can have a more efficient list.
> Each of these first two subjects, by itself can evoke
>strong opinions, deep emotions and lots of hand-waving from harp
>players. Taken together tongue blocking and tone can occupy any two
>or more harpists for weeks on end. Both are subjects wrapped in thick
>shrouds of mystique. My departure point is the premise that only
>tongue blocking will produce the deep dark tone we associate with the
> This premise gives me a lot of trouble, since, for me, as a
>player, tongue position is the deciding factor in control of both
>pitch and timbre. Yet, I know from Robert Johnston's research that,
>for bending at least, it's the depth of the mouth cavity that
>determines the degree of pitch bend. So, I concede, you don't need
>such articulate control over your tongue, since you can adjust the
>depth of the mouth cavity by other means. So, what is it about tongue
>blocking that might produce a fatter tone? One thing I notice is that
>it's possible to get the instrument much father back in the mouth and
>thereby closer to the throat, when you tongue block, as opposed to lip
> Is there any consensus on the premise among you harp-l
> During the past 6 months I have been taken, body and soul, by
>the music of a harp player little known outside the Northwest, Paul De
>Lay. One feature of his playing is the great variation in tone that
>he brings into his playing. He uses the change from thin and to fat,
>from clear to muddy, from light to dark, to give great expression to
>his playing. He can make the instrument "speak in tongues", as the
>Pentacostalist would say, bringing the human voice and the voice of
>his instrument closer and closer. In fact, in one passage I have been
>playing obsessively, he compensates for the absence of the natural 7th
>degree of the scale in cross-harp, by vocalizing the note. I listened
>several times before I realized that *every* passing tone on the 7th
>was a natural 7th sung, not played on the harp. Now, that's when the
>two voices become one!
> There is another reason to find De Lay exciting, and that's
>his singing. He has an uncanny way of phrasing, especially when the
>lyrics carry him off the beat, as they often do when the sense of the
>words spans a few measures. And yet another reason: he is a consumate
>writer, both of melody and words.
> Readers of "Mississippi Saxophone" will know about De Lay, but
>few others I meet have heard about him. [When I mentioned him to Mike
>Turk, Turk promptly produce two De Lay recordings on vinyl!] His first
>recordings go back to the mid-80's. Kim Fields mentions him in his
>book as a promising new artists, commenting on his highly distinctive
>style of playing.
> De Lay splits his songs about 50/50 between diatonic and
>chromatic. The progression is seamless. I think of him as "Little
>Walter Meets Toots Thielemans". He has crafted a style and found a
>band with a first class arranger, keyboardist Louis Pain, that support
>his playing and singing across the range from light, lyrical melodies
>to heavy throated blues lines.
> He has two CD's, "The Other One", and "Paulzilla", both on
>Criminal Records, PO Box 25542, Portalnd, OR, 97225. Both are
>outstanding, in my opinion. The first, which is the earlier, is the
>better, for my tastes.
> Alas, there is a sad detail to mention -- De Lay is serving a
>prison term for conviction on drug charges. According to the guitar
>player from the Paul De Lay Band, Peter Dammann, De Lay was caught up
>in a major operation of the FDA in the Oregon area. They were
>gathering evidence with wire taps and De Lay, hoping to wipe out a
>large debt, offered to serve as a go-between for a major deal.
>Dammann and the others of the band continue to play under the name
>"The No DeLay Band".
> Coming back to my original subject, according to De Lay in a
>"Miss Sax" interview, if you ain't tongue blocking, you ain't no
>where. No tone, no soul. Now where does that leave me, a confirmed
>puckerologist? According to my latest idol, I'll never get those
>sounds if I don't discard my pucker and shove that moothie in my gob.
>Way back there so I gargle on it?
>P.S. I'm indebted to Peter Scott, aka Saskatoon Slim, a subscriber to
>this list, for introducing me to De Lay's music.
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