Harp and Altar with Bridget Kibbey

Placing an ancient instrument in a modern context

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Friday, January 06, 2012

This week on The New Canon, we pull some strings to talk about the harp with composer Kati Agócs and harpist Bridget Kibbey, asking the question: How does this ancient instrument thrive in a modern context?

The harp has existed in some form since roughly 500 BC, though the argument can be made that its history stretches back even further. Its family of instruments is associated with Orpheus and over the last several hundred years has never slacked off in the "making gorgeous music" department.

So what happens to an instrument over the course of 2500+ years to keep it sustainable, vital and viable? We ask that question of harpist Bridget Kibbey, who takes to (Le) Poisson Rouge with the Metropolis Ensemble this month to perform an evening of new music written for the harp. Additionally, we'll get a composer's perspective on making modern sounds with an ancient instrument thanks to Kati Agócs, while hearing works that Agócs has written for Kibbey herself. Get ready for a blissful hour punctuated by plucky conversation.

Join the conversation in the window below or via Twitter with the hashtag #q2new. Want to get a head start? Leave your questions in the comments below and we'll address them at the top of the chat.

Hosted by:

Olivia Giovetti

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