There is nothing quite like being greeted with a bouquet of flowers (even though I had to fight to get into the picture).
There is nothing quite like being greeted with a bouquet of flowers (even though I had to fight to get into the picture).
The 7th Annual Harp Guitar Retreat was a great event for all. All the participants made friends quickly starting off with a Thursday night performance for each other.
Weekend morning classes began with reviewing various exercises from the new harp guitar instruction book John Doan is preparing for publication. Continue reading
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 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!
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.
“Catch The Vision” is the theme of The Seventh Annual Harp Guitar Retreat to be held July 10th-13th at the home of John and Deirdra Doan atop Prospect Ridge overlooking the verdant Willamette Valley of Oregon.
It is an intimate stress-free environment with all levels of playing/performing encouraged and accepted for an educational seminar limited to five to seven participants. The around the clock seminar not only involves playing the harp guitar but includes plenty of hang time to talk about, well, what else, harp guitar! Attendees are encouraged to arrive by the early evening of July 10th to get settled and acquainted.
John has a unique teaching style where students never know what he is going to do or say but the results always seem to inspire and transform the player.
The array of harp guitars and other stringed instruments are not to be looked at from behind a security line at a museum. These are to be touched and played by all!
Each day will include a private lesson one on one to explore the areas of music making that are important to each student. Every lesson is customized to meet the needs of that individual, at their level. While John pushes students to learn and do more, the student takes the lead, creating a unique educational experience for student and teacher sometimes.
An evening concert is scheduled for Saturday night to be up close and personal with the magic of the music and the setting. John’s concerts are an experience of the weaving together of the harp guitar, music and storytelling.
Some attendees add to the program with hands on experience in front of a live audience. It’s a great way of testing your performance abilities, and interact with the audience.
One evening will be a private concert for only the retreat attendees. This exclusive evening is a chance for the retreat participants to relax and enjoy sharing their beautiful music together.
An open night is usually full of surprises. Anything can happen, and has over the years. People bring all types of instruments, sometimes from around the globe. We have a great time exploring the music and talents of all the participants.
This is more than a seminar but an opportunity to meet new friends, play a variety of harp guitars, and to become inspired, surrounded by talent of all levels and types.
“The retreat was really great for me, and I think you really helped open up some doors in my mind and in my heart. I am feeling very inspired. I’m filled with lots of good ideas and I’ve been feeling like my guitar work is valuable, important. I really appreciated our conversations and your kind words.
I really needed a little something to get me moving. I have been living in my own reclusive guitar universe for a long time now. I had some fear in trying to bring my musical imagery to other people, but now I am prepared to really try.
You and your playing were inspiring. I find myself thinking about the difference between doing and being, and about the difference between doing music and being music.”
“The Harp Guitar Retreat was a blast for me. It is hard to say which was my favorite moment because every moment was so much fun!”
“But if I had to choose I would say that it was my being able to sit in on all the “master classes” and learning from all the students! I so enjoyed being “a fly on the wall” during the individual lessons as I heard Sensei John instruct all the players! Everyone was so awesomely friendly, despite my weird South East (Asian) accent! I Thank everyone in attendance for being my friends so quickly. Wonderful sharing, from tons of music sheets from Angele, to experiencing for the first time new Twelve-Tone-thing-a-magic from Nick, to hearing the angelic voice of Mel that morning, to learning about peizo-pickups on the harpie from Jerry and of course, the see a rising star like Mr Bellue! All of you ROCK…oh, I mean, TWANG!
And of course, John and Deirdre were wonderful hosts at the top of that big rock somewhere in Salem. From the time I came until the time I left, nothing was amiss! It was so surreal playing “Farewell” on the original Sullivan-Elliott harp guitar, something I have only seen on YouTube and heard on my iTunes. It was worth the 3 years that I had to plan for this.”
Gerry Camp, initially tried to disguise himself so that no one would know that it was he who was secretly desiring to master the 20 string harp guitar.
Adrian Bellue also had initially been hiding behind a false mustache and a six string guitar while secretly dreaming what he would do if he ever got his hands on a twenty string harp guitar.
They, and the others at the retreat, began to catch the vision that there really is a world to explore of musical ideas when using the added range, resonance, and increased facility of the twenty string harp guitar. It was only natural to wonder what it would sound like with multiple harp guitars being played at the same time
Enjoying the Setting
The setting is the incredible backdrop for this memorable retreat – dazzling views, twenty-four hour hot tub, and sunsets to cause one to stop and ponder what life is all about. We just ask that you keep your guitar out of the hot tub, if that is not too much to ask.
This event emphasizes instruction and inspiration for those wanting to learn or improve their harp guitar playing skills in a hands-on environment. To read more about past Harp Guitar Retreats see posting else where on this site (6th Annual Harp Guitar Retreat Huge Success in “Featured Posts”).
Instruction will address playing harp guitars with sub-basses as well as harp guitars with sub-basses and super-trebles. There will be several harp guitars available to use if you don’t have a harp guitar or would have trouble bringing one to the seminar. There will be private and group lessons, intimate concerts, and lots of kick back and practice time to suit your interests.
Instruction: Instruction will include two daily group sessions and a half hour private session. John Doan will perform an evening concert on Friday and Saturday and the participants may perform on Friday and Sunday evening if there is interest. The morning and afternoon private and group sessions will focus on harp guitar fingerboard and string theory, performance issues, music composition, and just having fun.
Location: The retreat is at the home of John and Deirdra Doan nestled near the summit of Prospect Ridge in Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley. The location is simply breathtaking with180 degree westerly views of green rugged forests, sprawling farmlands, and distant coastal mountains which explains why Oregon is a very popular summer vacation destination.
The site is approximately one hour from the Portland International Airport with local bus and train service fifteen minutes away in Salem. There is a bus service direct from the airport to downtown Salem where you can be picked up or you can elect to rent a car for greater freedom to explore the area.
Included with registration: All lodging and meals are on site and included with registration. Printed materials are provided for each student with a series of exercises and compositions to take home after the retreat.
Instruments available on site: There will be seven or more harp guitars on site for your use if you do not have one of your own to bring to the seminar.
These include the following:
Incidental Activities: There is plenty of hiking trails, tax free shopping, local wine tasting, on site hot tub, trampoline, and wireless internet. The site is central and about one hour away from the Oregon Coast, the high desert of Bend, and the cities of Portland and Eugene. In between classes and private lessons there will be time to just relax, practice, read, explore the area, or casually visit with other harp guitarists.
Space is limited: Retreats are limited from five to seven participants and their guests. Spouses, friends, or family attend at a reduced rate. If needed an additional weekend retreat will be scheduled to accommodate more participants.
Participants Fee: $685. Includes four nights stay, three group sessions, three private lessons, meals, evening presentations, and various incidentals.
Additional guests Fee: $250. Includes four nights stay, meals, evening presentations, and various incidentals.
To enroll or for more information call or write: email@example.com
Snail Mail: PO Box 5081, Salem, OR 97304
The debut concert was held at the Qujiang Theatre in the heart of Xi’an. It is a beautiful and intimate facility that soon filled with local people and those who attended at the invitation of my wonderful host Hongquan Wang and the Shaanxi Musicians Association.
I had written out my program and text that I would normally say in English so that it could be read in Chinese (as my Mandarin is currently limited to about 3 words). Yilin Wang excellently interpreted my text before each song (at least it sounded very authoritative). I am so use to speaking myself to audiences so as to provide them a bridge to my music so by not being able to speak I initially felt mute and somewhat awkward.
Everything changed once I hit the first note. I instantly realized that I actually was speaking to the audience directly by playing my music on the harp guitar. Even the notes sounded a bit Chinese as there was no more distance between us. They burst to applause after each piece. Some recording engineers in a sound room were talking to each other and didn’t know that they had a microphone on so my music drifted over some speech in the hall. Some people in the audience began to shout out to have them be quiet. I said “Shay Shay (Thank you”). Once they stopped talking I gave the audience a thumbs up and said “how” (good). “Hung how” (very good) and the audience erupted in applauds.
The host wanted to have a question and answer session just before starting the second half and many people called out. One man shouted, “Where do we get your recordings?” Another asked in Mandarin, “How is the harp guitar different than the guitar?” and so on.
After the concert the audience rushed the stage and wanted to have photos with me. Everyone waited for me to greet an important man in the arts community. Then it was another half hour of little children, teens, middle aged to elderly people coming up and posing with me the “Rock Star!”
I made many fans that evening but beyond all that I felt an implied “East meets West” turned into an evening among friends.
The following is a report from the road as John Doan begins his 2014 concert tour of China.
When leaving the Seattle airport to China the concert tour began to seem so real and no longer an idea. The line for the plane was filled with Chinese people speaking to each other in Mandarin. The silence surrounding my host family Hougquan, Li, Yilin and Guo Guo was lifting as we were beginning to enter their world.
The plane was literally shoulder-to-shoulder with people except for first class that was sparsely occupied. People had money enough for air travel but these are a practical people use to long lines and enduring inconvenience. During the flight Chinese faces were aglow from individual screens watching a marathon of movies both in Chinese and Hollywood ones with English subtitles.
After each movie I checked the flight map to see our route up north into the arctic arcing over Alaska and Siberia and down across frigid expanses of barren snow covered mountains and remote ice covered lakes and waterways. This impassible region still defined the old barriers of place and people prohibiting any to pass through on ground or boat especially this time of year yet we leisurely passed above it all at 40,000 ft. and at -70 below freezing!
We landed in Beijing at a modern airport amongst the glow of lite streets, freeways and buildings as far as the eye could see through the man made fog that clung to the ground. Deplaning onto the tarmac we were confronted by the reality of the December cold causing all to bundle up as we walked fifty yards to an incredibly long and wide bus that transported us to another terminal in the airport.
美国音乐大师空降西安 将演奏20弦“神器”吉他 – 新闻频道 – 西部网（陕西新闻网）WWW.CNWEST.COM and 美国古典吉他大师约翰.多恩莅临西安 – 娱乐新闻 – 三秦网-权威主流媒体 陕西首选门户 – feature John and his harp guitar in interviews done as they arrived at the airport in China.
Here are translated and edited excerpts:
You may be familiar to the six string guitar, but have you seen a 20 string guitar? Called an “artifact” [historical instrument], the 20-string guitar is known as a harp guitar. It has almost the same range as a piano, but with only one person playing. Shaanxi Province musicians and fans are invited to a special recital by John Doan, harp guitar pioneer, international concert artist, and composer.
Reporters met up with John at the airport. He was very approachable, always smiling, saying thank you, a real gentleman who nominated for the US television industry’s highest award, an Emmy. The Washington Post says, “his playing is an exquisite union of the ancient and the contemporary, the austere and the sensual.”
John told reporters he came to China 24 years ago as a cultural ambassador and created a lot of music but felt his work was not complete. This time he hopes to find new inspiration, pieces of music turned into real movements. he has come to the ancient city to list to some wonderful music, too…he heard “Xi’an is the world’s most friendly people.”
The Musicians Association of Shaanxi Province will feature John Doan in concert on December 31, 2013 and January 5, 2014, in Xi’an Qujiang Concert Hall (VIP) in a special solo recital. On January 7 he will present academic lectures in Shaanxi Music and Arts School, and participating in organized exchanges in Xi’an University of Arts and Matilda House January 8, 2014. On January 10, 2014, John Doan and the founder of Shaanxi Ge “Thirteen Wolf” will be in Yisu theater performances side by side.
Via Google Translate
From the archives…
In this national television interview by Shannon Woodland with John Doan about the Victorian Christmas show, now called “Christmas Unplugged.”
Celebrating its 27th year, this annual tradition is a musical journey back through time, much like Doctor Who, to a time when we made our own entertainment through stories and song.
In old times, people would have zithers, guitars, or banjos, making their own music…anyone in the household could play these.
I’ve found so many instruments, so many artifacts from this time past that have a certain charm to them. They all tell a story about who we were.
…music is a great equalizer. It is something beyond words. It is non-verbal and parodies our emotions…
The annual John Doan Christmas Show, “Christmas Unplugged: Reclaiming the Holiday Spirit” is on tour throughout the Oregon State area now.
The 2013 Christmas Tour is on with concerts all over the Pacific Northwest and afar.
For specifics, check the calendar for tour dates and ticket information.
John will be performing an updated version of his popular, Emmy-nominated live show, “Christmas Unplugged: Reclaiming the Holiday Spirit” in Oregon state in Lake Oswego, Salem, Silverton, Tualatin, Portland, and Lincoln City throughout December. It’s fun for children of all ages.
People are concerned about the isolation in this digital era of Individual entertainment choices (according to a recent American Academy of Pediatrics study children ages 8 to 18 average more than seven hours daily using some kind of entertainment media). John worked over the past year to revamp the show a bit to reach out to a wider audience, still bringing the fun and laughter along as he takes you on a historical journey back to a time when we entertained ourselves with stories and music, through to today, a time when we are retreating behind technology, reminding us that we need to make this season and every season a time for stories, laughter, and music.
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