About John Doan

John Doan is a master and muse of the harp guitar and stringed instruments. He is a music historian, performer, and professor at Willamette University.

Harp Guitar Reigns (Rains) at Faerieworlds

Version 2

This past weekend I had the honor of performing my harp guitar music at Faerieworlds located in the enchanting forests not far to the west of Portland.  It is here where many of the local food and craftspeople, acoustic musicians, and various woodland and not so woodland citizens congregate to celebrate the end of summer.

 

 

2. IMG_1931

 

The day I performed the crowds still came in spite of the rain.

 

 

 

3.

Many people came to just to see old friends.

4

There were many colorful booths that attracted a loyal clientele.

5

Some people walked to the event from where they had been camping.

5bSome came on all fours.

In spite of the rain Ali Baba’s Tribal Treats always had long lines.

6

7

Faerieworlds is a great place to come to meet people you might have things in common with.

8

If it wasn’t sprinkles of rain there were bubbles filling the air.

I brought with me a good friend and truly awesome guitarist, Adrian Bellue who was quite busy snapping photos of the most interesting people at the festival.

9

10

I persuaded him to add to his collection of selfies a groupie of the two of us.

He brought with him a portable guitar and began to draw crowds by his amazing and unbelievably intricate playing.  Not knowing if I would be able to get the crowds attention after his impromptu performance I joked with him to take a long walk on a short peer while walking backwards!

11

12

Although I didn’t see Adrian for sometime after that I did manage to find the stage where I was to perform.

Thinking I was the only one playing a harp like instrument that afternoon I was surprised to find that there was not only one harpist but two playing right before me!

13

Most of the audience immediately ripped out their cell phones and began videoing the beyond amazing “Harp Twins” who are identical twins who appeared to be playing exactly what the other was playing!

Version 3

They were definitely a hard act to follow so I set out to sound like three and a third guitarists playing at once with my 20 string harp guitar.

Once Adrian discovered I was performing he stopped taking photos of his favorite subject and captured a rare moment when the audience was not either taking pictures of my playing or taking their own selfies!

17

18

After my concert set ended with a roar from the crowd Adrian and I thought to belly up to the Kombucha bar to have one last drink before hitting the road.

And those were some of my adventures at Faerieworlds. I hope you will be able to check it out next year.  You never know what will happen!

Oregon Lute Players Pluck at Potluck In Salem

I recently had the pleasure of hosting several lutenists from Oregon in my living room. I had played the lute for many years, had studied with Toyohiko Satoh, Paul O’Dette, Catherine Liddell, Robert Strizich, Donna Curry and Frank Eyler and was deeply inspired by the humanity of its music and the range of emotions it spoke through its life celebrating dances to the soulful and melancholy tinged reflections of our existence that all but entered into a sacred music. When I think of the English renaissance lute I think of plays by William Shakespeare, outdoor Renaissance Fairs, Elizabethan times filled with discovery of new foods, up to then unknown creatures, and indeed awareness of expanded worlds and religious controversies that caused us ever since to partake in extended discussions of who we are as a people and where we are going.

This weekend brought all that to life as old and new friends joined together with a common interest in the Lute.

WandervogelBut the lute has had many variants such as the Gitarrenlaute – also known a the guitar lute popular with the German Wandervogel “return to nature” movement of the early 20th century.

 

 

Phil Petrowski brought his guitar lute popularly known today as a lutar.

He objected to it being called a “guitoot”!

Lute teacher proud of great student

Mark McBurney gives an impressive performance with his proud teacher Hideki Yamaya looking on.

Ken proudly displays the baroque lute he made

 

Ken Wryn of Northwest Lutes proudly displays a baroque lute he made.
Hideki tries out ken's lute

 

 

 

 

Hideki tries out another of Ken’s lutes and wonders if he will go “baroque” if he bought it.

 

 

Phil and Hideki try to determine whose lute is bigger

 

Phil and Hideki discuss who has the biggest lute.

 

 

 

Bradley dares Hideki to play all three lutes at once

Bradley Wycoff shows Hideki his lute and asks if he ever played three lutes at once.

Missy and Phil sit mesmerized by the music

 

Missy Wryn and Phil sit mesmerized by all the lute music.

 

 

Dick laughs when Hideki says he knows a little lute music for his instrument

Dick Weleber laughs when Hideki says he knows a “little” lute music for his instrument.

Hideki proves that big music can be played on little instruments

Hideki masterfully proves that big music can be played on little instruments!

Everyone starts to dance to Hideki's Disco version of Silvius Leopold Weiss

Everyone starts to dance to Hideki’s Disco version of Silvius Leopold Weiss (just joking).

17. Hideki plays intro to Dueling Theorbos

 

Hideki and I discuss if there there is any extant lute duet music titled “Dueling Theorbos.” (sorry, I will try to behave myself)

John has the audience in stitches as he starts to play the lute.

John has the audience in stitches as he starts to play the lute.

John asks if Ken would donate one of his lutes to his collection.

 

 

I ask Ken if he would donate one of his lutes to my collection.

 

 

John Doan tries to convince Bradley to donate his lute to his collection.

 

I take a break from all the kidding around and debut a new piece I wrote for the lute.

 

 

 

I was very encouraged by the caring response of many who commented on the new piece.

“It was most enjoyable to listen to you play your variation on Green Sleeves.  Usually, I cringe when someone plays that tune ; I’ve heard it more than a dozen times – infinity!  Yet, you transformed Green Sleeves from a way-too-familiar tune into – no, not “into” but “down into” a shadow laden cavern where ancient rituals emerge to feed the flickering flame of wearied compassion.” Ken Wryn

I really love ken’s enthusiasm and imagination!

Your performance of the variations you composed on Greensleeves, was marvelous. I think that some of the finest music I have heard that has been composed in the past 50 years has been for guitar and now the lute!

Dick Weleber

I think in the future if I ever need encouragement, these are great folks to be around!

21. Oregon Lute players gather in my living room to share their love of music and fun conversation

It was a great afternoon of not only sharing Lute music but also enjoying each other, and that really made it all worth while.

House Concert in John Doan’s Living Room July 12, 2014

John Doan - living room concert - the chair awaits in his home.

Join John Doan and the participants of the Annual Harp Guitar Retreat 2014 for an intimate evening concert in John’s own living room. Although we have had people come from far off this is especially for those of you within driving distance of Salem, Oregon. In addition to the intimate house concert (8pm) in my own living room July 12th there will be a potluck (6:30pm) and you are invited! Enjoy visiting with John Doan and other guests while taking in the amazing vistas from his mountain top home.

For tickets, use the paypal link below. Please do not use the comment form to request tickets.




Once you have secured your admission I will send you a confirmation with my address and directions to the event. RSVP if you will be coming to the potluck.

John Doan plays in a home concert with the harpolyre guitar.

John Will play a variety of instruments that he ordinarily could not bring on tour. Past living room concerts have drawn people from as far away as California, Washington and Pennsylvania!

Potluck outdoors at John Doan home summer concert.

John Doan Living Room Concert in Your Own Living Room

If you have any concert venue suggestions, contacts, or would like to have me in your own living room for a house concert, please Contact me.

John Doan living room concert in his home.

Welcome

Featured

John Doan a pioneer of the twenty-string harp guitar. He is also an Emmy-nominated performer, composer, public speaker, historian, instrument collector, and university professor. Upcoming concerts are listed in the calendar and news, updates, and articles can be found on John’s blog.

John Doan performs internationally on stage and at fairs and festivals, dazzling audiences with the harp guitar and other multiple stringed instruments. Upcoming concerts include:

John Doan Victorian Chirstmas ConcertsJohn Doan’s Victorian Christmas Concert tour is lining up for winter 2012. Concerts in Arizona and Oregon are confirmed. Stay tuned for more news or subscribe to the site or email alerts to be notified of upcoming concerts.

To listen to samples of John Doan’s music and buy CDs, visit the Discography pages where CDs, DVDs, Sampler Releases, and Sheet Music.

John Doan Harp Guitar RetreatJohn Doan offers group, private, and college courses on the harp guitar, multiple string instruments, history of music, and more. The annual Harp Guitar Retreat in his home in Salem, Oregon, is every July. This year’s Harp Guitar Retreat is Fifth Annual Harp Guitar Retreat July 6-8, 2012, and registration is now open.

Contact John Doan for more information on performances, speaking, and concerts, or if you have questions about the annual Harp Guitar Retreat.

To learn more about John Doan, check out his blog, biography, read press reviews of concerts and recordings, watch videos, view a gallery of fascinating string instruments from around the world and throughout history, many of them from John’s collection.

John Doan on the Harpolyre – Three-Necked Harp Guitar

john Doan Primal Twang Harpolyre  - Photo, Erin Fitzgerald Taylor GuitarsMy YouTube videos playing the harpolyre continue to get a lot of attention, and I wanted to share with you a little of the backstory of this amazing three-necked harp guitar.

In an effort to bring history to the harp guitar I discovered ten works for the harpolyre written by Fernando Sor, known as the Father of the Classical Guitar. The amazing thing about these compositions is not only are they extremely tender and lyric pieces, but they had never been played since 1830 and perhaps have never actually been heard in public until my recording “The Lost Music of Fernando Sor” along with my live performances and YouTube videos. I felt like Indiana Jones uncovering this forgotten music for a forgotten instrument.

I ordered the microfilm of this music in 1977 from the La Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) and with this extremely rare and beautiful music in my hands, I could only dream of finding one of a handful of existing harpolyres upon which to really recreate these beautiful musical pieces. After thirty years of the hunt, I was blessed to find a circa 1830 harpolyre that had been restored to near pristine condition.


Continue reading

Fifth Annual Harp Guitar Retreat July 6-8, 2012

John Doan Harp Guitar Retreat Harpolyre Lessons

John Doan teaches the first harpolyre lesson in nearly 200 years at his Annual Harp Guitar Retreat

The 5th Annual Harp Guitar Retreat is set for July 6-8, 2012, in my home in Salem, Oregon.

If you are not familiar with the Harp Guitar Retreat, it is an intimate and stress-free environment where harp guitar aficionados gather for a weekend retreat for harp guitar all the way all the time.

The weekend includes instruction and inspiration on harp guitar playing skills. I’m available to the students throughout the entire weekend to work with them privately or in groups on the art of the harp guitar. Instruments are available on site for practice and experimenting with the different types of harp guitars. We keep the educational seminar limited to five to seven participants for in depth study and exploration of the guitar.

The schedule includes two daily group sessions and a half hour private session, an evening concert on Friday and Saturday, with an optional participant concert Sunday night. Fees include meals, lodging, private and group sessions, and concerts. Spouses and guests are also welcome to join us, and there are many things for them to do as well as you including hiking, tax free shopping, local wine tasting, hot tub, trampoline, and wireless Internet. It’s a lovely part of the state and there is so much to see and do, or you can just enjoy the beautiful mountain top view of the area and relax reading or napping in the garden.

Participants Fee: $685
Includes four nights stay, three private sessions, six group sessions, meals, evening -presentations, and various incidentals.

Additional guests Fee: $250
Includes four nights stay, meals, evening presentations, and various incidentals.

For a registration form or more information, see the Annual Harp Guitar Retreat page, call or write:

harpguitar@gmail.com
503-364-478
PO Box 5081, Salem, OR 97304

Victorian Christmas in Arizona 2012

John Doan in concert with harp guitar closeup on stage Jenks Hall Portland OregonJohn Doan returns to Arizona with his Emmy-nominated Victorian Christmas Concert, Sunday, December 23rd, 2012, at Higley Center For The Performing Arts at 2:30PM.

He brings two dozen instruments from a century ago, a parlor set, archival photos of people caught in the act of entertaining themselves, leads group sing-alongs, and lots of laughter and fun. Don’t miss this historic event!

John Doan Concert in Anaheim September 15, 2012

Eire - Isle of the SaintsEire – Isle of the Saints
by John Doan
CD Price $15.97

The Living Tradition Concert Series represented by Gary Trobridge will present “A Celtic Pilgrimage with John Doan,” Saturday, September 15th, 2012, at The Anaheim Downtown Community Center at 7:30PM. The concert will feature music from John Doan’s award winning recording “Eire – Isle of the Saints” (Winner of “Best Celtic Album of the Year”) and “Wayfarer” (also nominated for the same title).

John’s playing of the 20 string harp guitar takes audiences on a Celtic pilgrimage to the sites made famous by St. Patrick and others during the Golden Age of Ireland. These sites a millennium ago were imaginatively called “Thin Places” where it was believed the space between heaven and earth, and past and future, were thinly divided. The audience is transported back to the very sites where the music was composed enhanced by masterful storytelling.

The Living Tradition is a non-profit organization working for the preservation of traditional music and dance in Southern California. They host contra dances, contemporary and traditional folk music concerts, and traditional music jams nearly every month at the beautiful Anaheim Downtown Community Center in Anaheim, California.

John Doan Concert Tour in Europe 2012

John Doan Concert Poster for Moscow and St Petersburg in Russia and then Ukraine 2012John Doan will be touring in Europe this coming May starting off in Ukraine cities of L’viv and Kiev. Various concerts are scheduled in Germany and Austria and will also include performances in Russia as well. Concerts, workshops and lectures will be conducted in L’viv, Kiev and in Moscow. It will also include many firsts.

John Doan will be formally debuting the 20 string harp guitar Saturday May 5th and Sunday May 6th in concerts in Ukraine, where copies of his Elliott/Sullivan harp guitar will be made in a factory in L’viv. John will soon be posting videos and blog entries about his visit to the Trembita instrument factory of L’viv that will be the first company to manufacture this version of the harp guitar worldwide in cooperation with Jay Buckey Music.

In Russia John will be playing on Thursday May 17th at their first NAMM show (National Association of Music Marketers) and it will be quite the honor to also play elsewhere in the city in the beautiful concert atmosphere of the former 18th Century Roman Catholic Church of Mary Magdalene on Sunday May 20th. His performances in Moscow will introduce the harp guitar in performance for the first time, and he will be performing for the first time ever in Berlin, too.

The Bandura, a Ukrainian stringed instrument that shares various similarities to the harp guitar, is a much beloved national instrument. John will be consulting with Jay Buckey and others on developing more 21 string harp guitars based upon his original Elliott/Sullivan harp guitar, hopefully helping Ukrainians expand their vision for the Bandura into the 21st century! The first concert May 6th will feature Jay Buckey and two Ukrainian vocalists, Alla, and Peter, in cooperation with Trembita instrument factory of L’viv, and celebrating the harp guitar worldwide.

John Doan will perform in Kiev, the capitol of Ukraine, opening with Revatsky Boys Choir under the direction of its chief conductor Aida Zaytseve.

On Friday, May 11th and Saturday, May 12th, 2012, John plays in Germany at the Paul-Gerhardt-Haus in Schwerte and Aula der Realschule in Olpe as part of the international guitar night featuring Fancois Sciortino (France), Andrea Valeri (Italy), and Stefan Moenkemeyer (Germany). Even though John by himself will have more strings on his harp guitar that all the other guitarists combined each of them are so amazing that they will sound like they have as many strings and more than John. Be forewarned, guitarists attending may be inspired to do violent acts to their guitars after seeing this concert. The sponsors take no responsibility for the well being of such guitars.
Continue reading

John Doan at Faerieworlds Harvest Festival July 28, 2012

John Doan in concert, telling stories from the stage at the Folk Life FestivalSaturday, July 28th, 2012, John Doan will be performing mid day on the open air stage at the annual Faerieworlds Harvest Festival with his harp guitar.

The Faerieworlds Harvest Festival is in Eugene, Oregon, and features music and crafts celebrating the faeries of Bryon Froud.