Saturday, January 28, 2017

On Stage: Around the World with Lilac 94 (Troy NY, 1/28/17)

Harps in music are often associated with "chamber" or classical music. However, in the Golden Age, comedian Harpo Marx was proficient enough with the instrument, such that it was worked into at least a couple of Marx Brothers movies. The Beatles used harps on some of their later records, but harp is also a slang term for harmonica, and that's what the Fab Four used.

Lilac 94 are a pair of young ladies, one from New York, one from North Carolina, who met at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, a few years back, and found a common ground with the harp. Their current tour brings them to the home town today for a matinee that is part lecture, part concert, total enlightenment.

In the course of 45 minutes, Lilac 94 took a nearly full auditorium at the Arts Center of the Capital Region on a world tour through Ireland, Japan, South America, India, Africa, and, of course, back home in the good ol' USA. It should be pointed out that the harps Lilac 94 and other artists use should not ever be confused with simple harmonicas, which blues and folk artists often refer to as, ahem, harps.

Unfortunately, the Arts Center didn't provide programs for today's event, and ye scribe wasn't smart enough to bring a notebook, so I could have everything written down. Yeah, a sign I'm getting old. Whatever.

Let's give you a sample of what these ladies can do. The clip comes from a 2015 show in Albany, as Lilac 94 performs the Indian track, "Tum Hi Ho".

There was a 5 minute Q & A session, and, as I left, some folks decided to take a closer look at the harps. Not enough kids in attendance, mostly older folks my age and up.

Rating: A.

No comments: