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

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