I have to hand it to our friend Tim Donahue – he doesn’t seem to be resting on his laurels. Having just received a new CD by one of the customers of his production EHGs (both fretted and fretless), I decided to check in on Tim’s site since the last post I did a year and a half ago.
He appears to be turning into quite the entrepreneur. (Now working on an 8-string model?! Cool.)
He’s also added a few new players to his customer list since my last check. One should be familiar to many of you…
Our own Nancy Conescu (wife of Mike Doolin), whose kid-in-a-candy-store expression as she tried out Tim’s EHG at the last Harp Guitar Gathering was a harbinger of the future. She now has her own wine red TD EHG! It’ll be interesting to see what she comes up with.
Other new owners include the following players
Per Boysen, Stick player from Sweden (Per suggested the new purple oil finish)
Eric Fleisher, from the USA
and Derek Dallenger, from Japan, another Stick player.
Interesting that these latest 3 all chose a fretless EHG. That’s also what Christophe Godbille of France plays, as initially seen on my previous blog. He soon posted a YouTube video of his first piece. This tune (Un Conte) is one of two solos he does on his new CD Les Mouvements with drummer partner Pierre Rettin. You can hear one of their unique duo pieces here.
The CD includes 5 tracks using the TDFEHG (that’s “Tim Donahue Fretless Electric Harp Guitar”…Tim, you hadn’t planned on the ridiculous acronyms, had you?!): Laminaires, Dialogue Inegal, Neigeux, Un Conte, and Nohohon. Christophe gets a very different sound than Tim – first, because it’s the fretless version (a bit like a higher-pitched fretless bass), and his plucked harp strings almost sound “struck” at times – somewhat like small tubular bells. He also plays a (nylon-string acoustic?) fretless guitar on one track with fascinating vocals by Anne Greco. Thanks for sending the CD, Christophe!
Speaking of fretless guitar and fascinating vocals…
I totally spaced and forgot to include in my June post about new harp guitar CDs one that I received some time back from The Netherlands’ Melle Weijters. It’s called “When the Caged Bird Sings” and features poems by the 19th century Afro-American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906), set to music by vocalist Roderik Povel. It’s something else. Melle (it’s OK to call me “Mel Gibson” since I actually now own a Gibson) Weijters is a rather progressive jazz guitarist who plays a 10-string fretless guitar tuned in perfect thirds (I have a headache just thinking about it) and a new 41-tone instrument (just kill me now). His third instrument is his only “normal” one – a c.1917 Gibson harp guitar.
He used it on 3 tracks of the Povel CD (A Death Song, Sympathy and Beyond the Years). You can play A Death Song from Mel’s Gibson page (I know, it does read funny, but he’s the one milking it).
I see he’s introducing the Gibson harp guitar to other audiences as well, utilizing it in a concert of pieces by Jos Heutmekers performed by the Eclectomatic Ensemble.
PS: I’ve added Christophe’s and Mel’s CDs to the Music page.
You certainly can’t say the harp guitar world is ever boring!