Harp Guitar Reigns (Rains) at Faerieworlds

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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.

 

 

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

 

 

 

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Many people came to just to see old friends.

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There were many colorful booths that attracted a loyal clientele.

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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.

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

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

Christmas Unplugged 2015 Concert Tour

Willamette University presents Emmy-Nominated musician and storyteller John Doan with his acclaimed “Christmas Unplugged – Reclaiming the Holiday Spirit” program. Imagine stepping into a time machine with Dr. Who to experience the world when people actually entertained themselves and each other. That is what it may feel like entering the performance site that has been transformed into a period parlor. The immersion experience is heightened by group sing-alongs and whistle-alongs, archival photographs, and by hearing the very sounds of a century ago on period instruments common then (harp guitar, classical banjo, various zithers) but rarely if ever heard today. Emmy nominated for “Best Entertainment Special of the Year” John’s physical comedy interspersed with fine musicianship makes for a fun filled evening for all ages.

John Doan Featured in The BrandLaureate Magazine

Featured

John Doan was awarded The prestigious 2014 Brandlaureate International Brand Laureate Award for achievement, encouraging others in his respective field, and being an outstanding leader and brand. His award and life is featured in the current issue of “The Brand Laureate Business World Review” (April/May 2015). Continue reading

8th Annual Harp Guitar Retreat July 9-12, 2015 “Catch The Vision”

Harp Guitar Retreat Morning Class

Harp Guitar Retreat Morning Class

The 8th Annual Harp Guitar Retreat July 9-12, 2015 is a great event for all those interested in learning more about:

1. the techniques and concepts of playing the harp guitar

2. exploring ideas on how music works through hands on application

3. composing and performing through personal coaching

4. and being inspired.

If any of the above interests you please consider reserving your place for this summer’s 8th Annual Harp Guitar Retreat held at the home of John and Deirdra Doan.  At the retreat you will have access to John’s years of experience as a pioneer of the harp guitar and as an Emmy-Nominated and award winning recording and performing artist.

The setting is nothing short of breath taking with expansive westerly views of the Willamette Valley.

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

It is an intimate stress-free environment with all levels of playing/performing encouraged and accepted for an educational seminar involving a very limited number of participants.

Harp Guitar Retreat 2013 BBQ7

 

You may come out to learn about playing the harp guitar but you will also leave with some new friends.

 

 

 

 

 

The retreat starts with a Thursday night dinner and informal performance for those who would like to play. The class and lessons are laid back and are aimed at working with players who have just started playing the harp guitar and with those who want to put an edge on what they already have accomplished with the instrument and their music.

Weekend morning classes begin with reviewing various exercises from the new harp guitar instruction book John Doan is preparing for publication. Continue reading

10th Anniversary Season of Portland Classic Guitar Series Presents John Doan

Featured

The 10th Anniversary Season of the Portland Classic Guitar Series presents Emmy-Nominated musician and storyteller John Doan with his acclaimed “Homage to Fernando Sor” program.

Imagine stepping into a time machine with Doctor Who to experience the world that shaped the beginnings of the classical guitar and the life of its most revered player, Fernando Sor.

That is what it may feel like as you hear the very sounds of 200 years ago on period instruments that Sor would have known but are rarely if ever heard today followed by John’s own inspired compositions that try to unveil the meaning and feeling behind what Sor himself tried to convey within his own musical language. Yesterday becomes today as history comes to life again.

In addition to the music you will see the world as Sor would have seen it through a multimedia presentation of period paintings both during the show and pre-show. John guides his audience in an immersion experience by playing themes of Sor’s on one of the first guitars made in England in 1819 perhaps at the commission of Sor himself. He then follows with his own haunting music inspired by Sor’s themes on a rare Bog Oak guitar – English maker Gary Southwell’s first guitar made from wood 5,500 years old!

Come experience a concert that contemplates the mystery of time passing, the drama of living in challenging times where the stakes are high in love and war and where moments of beauty connects the past to our present. Continue reading

2014 Christmas Unplugged John Doan Concert Schedule

John Doan in concert with his popular Victorian Christmas Show playing electric guitar

This year, Christmas Unplugged – Reclaiming the Holiday Spirit is on tour throughout the Pacific Northwest, bringing fun, laughter, stories, and beautiful music from across the centuries into our concert living room. It is a beautiful celebration of fun, family, laughter, and music, and you are invited to join us in this annual tradition.

For over 25 years, Emmy Nominee John Doan has been bringing the magic of Christmas explored through stories, songs, and musical instruments from today’s modern digital to the ancient past where the music we made was our entertainment. Harp Guitar, Mandolin, and acoustic guitar collection - John Doan.

We are especially excited about the Christmas tour this year as it includes the lovely Egyptian Theatre which was built in 1925 and retains all the original thematic detail throughout the building. The Holiday time travel will thus not only be on stage but in the charm of this newly renovated theatre. You will not be able to resist the nostalgia and warmed of an old fashioned Christmas.

“Christmas Unplugged – Reclaiming the Holiday Spirit” will be featured in this year’s Annual Dicken’s Festival in Tacoma, Washington, at the Center for Spiritual Living.

Imagine stepping into a time machine with Dr. Who to experience the world when people actually entertained themselves and each other. That is what it may feel like entering the performance site that has been transformed into a period parlor. The immersion experience is heightened by group sing-alongs and whistle-alongs, archival photographs, and by hearing the very sounds of a century ago on period instruments common then (harp guitar, classical banjo, various zithers) but rarely if ever heard today. Emmy nominated for “Best Entertainment Special of the Year” John’s physical comedy interspersed with fine musicianship makes for a fun filled evening for all ages. Continue reading

Part 5: John Doan’s Southeast Asia Tour to Phan Thiết – From Dragon Fruit to a Dragon Festival Parade, a Secret Concert and Secret Beaches, sleeping in a restaurant and other Adventures on Buses and Motorcycles

Map Ho Chi Minh City to Phan Thiet

Phan Thiết is due west of Ho Chi Minh City a mere 125 miles but 6 and a half hours by bus!

7. I Call Out Smile But They Just Honked Their HornsIt takes that long because there are no freeways, just surface streets filled with mopeds and various other obstacles!

John Doan harp guitar on Bus Vietnam

On the bus I could lay down but there was not much room to store my harp guitar. A nice boy who was getting off at the next stop offered to hold it for me.  Although the thought crossed my mind that this was one way to introduce the harp guitar to Vietnam I decided to hold on to it for the duration of the trip. Continue reading

Part 4: John Doan’s Southeast Asia Tour – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam – From Mopeds to life in City Parks, to Posing with a Model, to Resourceful Street Vendors, from the former President’s Palace to a Rooster on the Street


1.Vietnam a Century Ago

 

 

Vietnam a century ago was occupied by the French but still retained many of its former traditions.

 

 

2.Vietnam a Century Ago

 

 

The Dan Nguyet or “Moon Guitar” was a popular instrument played in Vietnam before guitars were introduced in the 20th century.

 

 

 

 

 

3. Memories of By Gone DaysMoon guitars can still be seen today in Vietnam hanging on the back walls of antique stores like a memory of a distant time. Continue reading

Part 3: John Doan’s Southeast Asia Tour – Penang, Malaysia, Where Nature Grows Out of Buildings, People Dine From the Trunk of Their Cars and He Perform On the Top of a Birthday Cake!


1. Penang, Malaysia John Doan

 

 

Although Penang is an island just off to the north east of peninsular Malaysia it seems like a world apart.  Unlike Malaysia’s capitol of Kuala Lumpur, there are many streets that have been left just as they were over a century ago.

 

 

2. Penang, Malaysia John Doan

 

Back then carts were pulled by strong men. Continue reading