Elizabeth Morgan-Ellis

Harpist Elizabeth Morgan-Ellis will perform a concert of harp music by living composers for the Philadelphia Fringe Festival.

Like many fringe events, this performance is a little out of the ordinary. By incorporating dance, performance art, and projected visual effects into her presentation of works by local composers, Elizabeth is updating the standard concert format into a dynamic window into the mind of living composers. “If you think of the harp as a boring parlor instrument, think again!” says Harp Column editor Kimberly Rowe. “Elizabeth Morgan-Ellis manages to bring the harp into the 21st century.”

One of the works on this program of Philadelphia composers is a new work (commissioned by Morgan-Ellis) by Anne Neikirk who earned her DMA at Temple University. Neikirk’s work, locoMotives, is for harp and Electronic Sounds on tape. That might seem to be an anachronism in today’s era of live electronics. Even though programs such as SuperCollider can process sound in real time – I remember my own pre-1990 tape pieces which took overnight to process (yes, overnight) – there is still life in the medium, especially in the hands of a talented composer. Here is an excerpt of the performing score.

Anne Neikirk excerpt

Anne Neikirk excerpt from locoMotives
(Click to enlarge)

As a side note, the great bassist Bertram Turetzky once showed me how chopsticks could achieve col legno effects without damaging expensive bows.

You can hear Morgan-Ellis’ formidable technique on her Soundcloud page.

What: A Change of Harp
When: Thursday September 12th, Friday September 13th, Saturday September 14th
8:00, Doors open at 7:30
Where: The Maas Building, 1325 N Randolph St, Philadelphia, PA 19122
Tickets: $20, $15 for students, purchase at the door or through the FringeArts Box Office