I am always interested in musicians who are exploring new paths with a traditional instrument. Like Cormac Begley percussive explorations with his bass concertina and Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh’s work with the hardanger fiddle, Kety Fusco has been experimenting with the form and sound of a harp.
In Fusco’s case, and with the latest album The Harp, Chapter I, due for release tomorrow (Friday March 3rd), Fusco’s compositions starts with an 80-kilo wooden har and a carbon electric harp.
The source sounds are created with a live granulation of the electric harp, working with drone sounds created with a pulsating massager on the soundbox of the 47-string classical harp.
Resulting in a swirling, echoing 19-minute piece, which draws on industrial-leaning foreboding sounds, space and sustain, the music also makes use of Kety’s treated vocals fed through scratchy screams through the harp’s soundboard.
Listen to The Harp, Chapter I:
In Fusco’s case, the harp has been an instrument she first encountered at the age of six, before training and studying in Classical Harp at the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana.
You’ve got to know the form to break it, and Kety’s music explores non-traditional harp sounds made from objects such as hairpins, scotch tape, wax and stones, and is working on creating a new form for the instrument.
“The harp was born in the 7th century, when the air was different, the tastes and experiences had nothing to do with today’s world and to this day I cannot think that there is no evolution: that is why I am designing a new harp instrument, it will still be the same, but contemporary and everyone will have the opportunity to approach it; in the meantime, welcome to THE HARP”.Kety Fusco
Kety Fusco launches ‘The Harp, Chapter I’ at the Royal Albert Hall on 3rd March, the show is sold out.
Here’s a video for the track ‘2072’:
“On 13 January 2072 I will die: this video is a reminder of what it was. My melody will accompany me in my passing, reminding me that the world was beautiful before I arrived. I did not love the world I was living in and that is why it did not allow me to stay any longer. Forests precede civilizations, deserts follow them… It’s not my phrase, but I like it”