The songs Emily Sanzaro performs probably aren’t what most people expect of a harpist.
She plays traditional harp music, yes – but the Nirvana and Radiohead fan also spends her free time making new arrangements of her favourite popular songs.
Using loop pedals, and the harp’s hard bow as a percussion surface, she is able to come up with solo, single-instrument versions of songs by bands like Daft Punk and the Temper Trap that sound remarkably similar to the originals.
Sometimes, a violin or Ms Sanzaro’s vocals will also be thrown on.
“It’s things that people don’t expect to hear on a harp,” she said.
“I really get a kick out of playing something and being able to see on the audience’s face that they know it, but they can’t quite place it.
Then they have this flash of light where they suddenly realise what it is.
“Most of the harp repertoire, people have never heard before, but with more contemporary songs they can really connect with it. And it’s fun.”
She’ll be playing this Wednesday, December 5, at the Launceston General Hospital’s Frankland Cafe, from 11am to 1.30pm.
The performance is part of the Music at the LGH series, which aims to give both hospital patients and staff some relief through some of Launceston’s most talented musicians.
Other performances include Jazz for Christmas on December 19 with the Peter Waddle Band with a special second performance from the Hanlon Innocent Ensemble for dinner, the Joe Richards Trio on January 9, Ben McKinnon on January 23, the Tasmanian Clarinet Quartet on February 6, Leather Instruments of Garry Greenwood on February 20, Clare Corban-Banks and Alexandra Harris on March 6, and a Harmony Day Special on March 20.
Ms Sanzaro will also be presenting a morning meditation during next year’s Mona Foma festival at the Fairy Dell in Cataract Gorge.
“I’ve been lucky to have some really cool experiences with Mona that have pushed me to do some really creative things,” she said.
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