Re: [Harp-L] Sometimes ....

It saddens me that the North has no clarinet in bands.  I have lived in
both Austina and New Orleans and am surrounded by awesome clarinetists
aplenty in very popular bands.

Perhaps because I live in Austin where you cannot throw a rock without
hitting a full time professional harmonica player (although admittedly, I
have chosen the route of performer/teacher) it seems like the harp is alive
and well to me.
Michael Rubin

On Wed, Oct 29, 2014 at 5:59 PM, <pdxharpdog@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> The first song in our normal set I use a G harp with an octave down effect
> that produces a very robust bottom end - I can see the surprise in the
> audience's faces immediately when they realize it's coming from me and my
> harp rig. I think fx can be over used, but I can tell you that from my
> gigging experience, the audience likes a varied sound from the harmonica. I
> use my vocal mic too and just play totally acoustic from time to time, just
> to keep people from hearing the same exact sound out of me. We usually
> finish our set on the floor acoustically (although I do use a Roland cube
> amp and a ring mic to be heard over the national steel reso guitar) but
> it's acoustic in an animated busking style and a right in your face good
> time.
> IMHO, sounding exactly the same throughout an entire set would likely get
> as boring to the audience as it does to me and my band mates. I love it
> when my bandmates do something totally different with their sound - our
> drummer rummages through garage sales and flea markets to come up with
> weird percussion elements, and our bass player tweaks his washtub bass
> through an fx pedal board to an 4x12 Ampeg bass amp! It's cool when you try
> something new and the bandmates tell you they heard it and thought it was
> great.
> btw, Richard's patch set for the RP 360 is so, so good!
> Ross Macdonald
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Hunter, Richard" <turtlehill@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> To: "harp-l, List" <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>
> Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2014 1:20:55 PM
> Subject: RE: [Harp-L] Sometimes ....
> One thing I know for sure: whenever anybody says "FX do some very cool
> things," a lot of people can be counted on to say "I sound just fine
> without 'em."
> To me that's missing the point. Of course harp without FX sounds fine. So
> does guitar. And keys. And all the other instruments where the players are
> lots more adventurous with their sounds than harp players. And getting a
> lot more work, too, as a rule.
> Clarinet without FX sounds fine, too. At one time it was a very prominent
> instrument in the popular music of its day--that is, the 1930s-40s. The
> records made in those days still sound great, but they don't sound much
> like what the public is paying to listen to now. I can't recall the last
> time I heard a band in any--I repeat, any--style featuring clarinet. Why
> not? It still sounds fine. But it doesn't sound like now.
> I would prefer not to see the instrument I have loved for close to 50
> years go the way of the clarinet. To that end, I intend to keep pushing the
> boundaries of the instrument itself and the gear I use to make it loud and
> proud. I won't accept limits on the sounds I can make with a harmonica,
> anymore than I would with any other instrument. If I need to add something
> to the sound to make it bigger/wider/wilder/wierder, I will. If I played
> the clarinet, I'd damn sure be running that through a pitch shifter, a
> delay, and a wah-wah too, not because clarinet doesn't sound good, but
> because I have no intention of getting left behind while everyone else in
> the world gets to make the sounds of modern music.
> Of course, some people just don't much like modern music. There's no
> argument there; what you like is what you like. But I'd rather try to
> redefine it on my terms than pretend it's not there.
> FYI, I played today to an audience in Sao Paolo, Brazil, with chromatic
> jazz harmonica virtuoso Wim Dijkgraaf. Both of us played acoustic harp--me
> a Lee Oskar Natural Minor, Wim a Hohner CX12--through the same mic on
> "Comin' Home Baby." It was great; I'll see about posting my recording of it
> to my website later this week. That said, Wim told me he picked up a
> Digitech RP355, and I'm sending him my patchset right after I write this
> message. He doesn't need an RP to sound good. He wants an RP so he can
> sound different when he wants to. Is that a problem? Not for me.
> Regards, Richard Hunter

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