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

Part 2: John Doan’s Southeast Asia Tour – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Meeting Harp Guitar Maker Jeffrey Yong and Brand Laureate Award – World’s Leading Harp Guitarist

Coming to Malaysia from Oregon was almost like entering a fairytale world of endless summer (95 degrees every day of the year!), palm trees, and exotic foods and products reflecting a multicultural and multi-ethnic people.

Hovering just above the equator in the South China Sea it has for centuries been a trading stop for many peoples of the region.  In addition to the indigenous and Mayla people, there is a strong presence of Chinese and Indian Culture.  Having been taken into the British Empire in the 18th century English is the common language spoken on the islands. Continue reading

Part 1: John Doan’s Southeast Asia Tour – Xi’an China, 1000 Seat Hall Sold Out, Discovery of 1400 Year Old Pagoda and Meeting With China’s Leading Guitar Builder

I returned to Xi’an China for the second time this year and was received at the airport by the concert promoter Yilin Wang and our guitarist friend Adam Varjavandi.

1. John Doan Welcomed at Xian Airport

 

There is nothing quite like being greeted with a bouquet of flowers (even though I had to fight to get into the picture).

2. Deirdra flowers Airport Continue reading

7th Annual Harp Guitar Retreat: Students Learn Lots About The Harp Guitar And Outdoor Concert with Special Guest Mason Williams Huge Success

Featured

Harp Guitar Retreat Morning Class

Harp Guitar Retreat Morning Class

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

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.

John Doan Performs Celtic Pilgrimage in Salem

John Doan performs harp guitar in ancient celtic cottage in Aran Islands.

Seventh Annual Harp Guitar Retreat July 10th-13th – “Catch The Vision”

Harp Guitar Retreat 2013 3 harp guitars

 

“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.

Hang Time, Instruction, and Lots of Harp Guitars!

Harp Guitar Retreat 2013 BBQ7

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.

Harp Guitar Retreat Class4 2013

 

 

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.

 

 

19. John Doan Harp Guitar Retreat Harp Guitar Gallery

 

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!

 

DSC_John Doan. Steve Lesson

 

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.

Intimate Concerts

12. John Doan Harp Guitar Retreat Evening Concert

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.

15. John Doan Harp Guitar Retreat Nick concert

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.

john doan harp guitar retreat 2009 john private concert

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.

s vast instrument collection!

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.

Catching the Vision

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.

5. John Doan Harp Guitar Retreat Will Brown Solo

“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.”

Will Brown

Harp Guitar Retreat 2013 BBQ5

“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.”

Joshua Tan

Harp Guitar Retreat 2013 Gerry Face

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.

Harp Guitar Retreat 2013 Campfire Adrian

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.

Harp Guitar Retreat 2013 3 harp guitarists5

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

Harp Guitar Retreat Living Rm

Harp Guitar Retreat Hot Tub

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.

john doan harp Guitar Retreat has scenic views of the Willamette Valley

For More Information and Registration

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:

  1. Knutsen harp guitar (1897) with 5 sub-basses and 7 super-trebles
  2. Gibson harp guitar (1906) with six sub-basses
  3. Dyer harp guitar (1920’s) with six sub-basses
  4. Two or more Jay Buckey harp guitars (2013-14) with 6 sub-basses 7 sub-basses and 8 super trebles
  5. Sullivan/Elliot harp guitar (1986- the first harp guitar of modern times with 6 sub-basses and 8 super-trebles
  6. Brunner Travel Harp guitar (2011) with 6 sub-basses and 8 super-trebles

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:  harpguitar@gmail.com

Phone: 503-364-4787

Snail Mail: PO Box 5081, Salem, OR 97304

John Doan Performs in China: First Pictures

John Doan is on tour in China after being so graciously welcomed at the airport. These are the first peeks of his first concert in Xian.

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.

China 2014 Tour: Welcoming Arrival in China

The following is a report from the road as John Doan begins his 2014 concert tour of China.

12/28/13

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!

John Doan Arrives Beijing walking off the airplane at the airport.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.
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