Harp Travels is a portrait of Gernot Blume’s eventful musical life. The duality of introverted, meditative and ecstatically dancing sound images for solo harp draws from his global musical horizon. He elicits from his instrument an astonishingly diverse and continuously surprising spectrum of sounds: experimental, rhythmical pulsating, strong.
After fifteen years in the United States, studies in world music at the California Institute of the Arts, a doctorate in ethnomusicology from the University of Michigan, and five years as Assistant Professor of Music at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, Gernot Blume returns to his native Germany. He is the recipient of the “Kunstförderpreises” of the city of Bingen, numerous stipends, prizes, and commissions for musicological research, concert productions, and compositions, and has traveled with his music through the US, Germany, and Japan.
Harp Travels follows the path of this eventful musical life through partly introverted meditative, partly exuberantly dance-like sound paintings for solo harp. With arrangements of some traditional melodies like Greensleeves, Amazing Grace, Scarborough Fair, Planxty Irwin, and Auld Lang Syne, Blume visits Anglosaxon, American, and Celtic cultures, while original compositions like Passing Clouds and Vesper may be reminiscent of the impressionistic colors of Claude Debussy. In Pilgrimage and Journey the artist resorts to rhythmically hocketed, pulsating textures, which pay homage to the minimalism of Steve Reich. The compositions Southern Sun and Distant Destinations explore the expressive potential of non-occidental scales. Due to his global musical horizon Gernot Blume elicits from his instrument an astonishingly diverse and continuously surprising spectrum of sounds.
The multiinstrumentalist Gernot Blume came to play the harp through the influence of the Celtic folk revival of the 70’s and 80’s. He plays a Silmaril harp of the renowned German harp maker Frank Sievert (www.sievert-harps.de).