Classical:BTS Julia Kay Jamieson
For harpist, composer, and teacher Julia Kay Jamieson, music has always been an integral part of her life. "Music is like a first language - it's how I say how I’m feeling." Her diverse collection of harps and approach to classical music are not necessarily what we expect when we think harps – and the people who play them. Learn more about Julia Kay Jamieson online at http://juliakayjamieson.com
I was introduced to the harp at a wedding,
I heard it played at a wedding
and it was so big and weird to me
that I thought, oh, this is cool I have to
do that, and so I marched up to the bride
- who was the harpist - and asked her for harp lessons.
There wasn't really a point when
I knew like this was what I wanted
to do. I always knew it was sort of expected.
Everybody was, Oh, Julia is gonna be a harpist.
You know, in grad school,
I sort of found my own voice,
became more confident and I could really
play a lot of notes at once since I
started experimenting with playing the
kind of music that I wanted to play.
Like one of the first pieces that I arranged
was Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and I
decided to do it for four harps.
From there I arranged a ton of popular pieces
for harp quartet, but then after a while
I decided to start writing my own original
stuff and I use experimental sounds, and
you can put an alligator clip onto a
harp string and flick it and it
vibrates and tremeloes, or you can pluck
the string with an alligator clip on it
and it sounds like a old clock. Go to a
hardware store and pick up anything that
looks neat and try it on a harp.
Growing up with a piano teacher mom, I just,
it's in me. It feels really good to
share that, and I try to, you know, work
with my students in a way that I
was worked with when I started on the harp
to get them to remember that they're
an artist first. And I think it's important
for a kid to explore music. It's just
important to hear other people's voices
and, you know, have compassion for the
music and I think it will mean more and
more to you the more you listen to it.
Music is like a first language to me
it's really important to me
it's how I say what I'm thinking or how
I feel and it's abstract, which I think
is really important. I love the variety
of what I do. You know every day is a
little different, you know, one day I'm
playing Mozart with an orchestra, and the
next day I'm off to give a concert
playing my own arrangements of jazz
pieces and yeah. It's a good life.
I'm Julia Kay Jamieson. I'm a harpist, composer,