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
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.
(Bath, UK). — Emmy nominee and master harp guitarist John Doan with family roots to Bath and Burton, will perform at the Chapel Arts Centre, St James’s Memorial Hall as part of his European Tour 2013. Chapel Arts Centre is located at Lower Borough Walls, Bath, BA1 1QR. The show is scheduled for 8pm on Tuesday, May 21, 2013. Tickets are advance: £8.00, Door: £10.00. For more information, call the Chapel Arts Centre at 01225 461700.
A “Celtic Pilgrimage with John Doan” features music from John’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).
Master harp guitarist and storyteller John Doan is a Bard for the 21st Century bringing back soulful and provocative musical sketches from a pilgrimage to the most sacred sites of the British Isles. “Thin Places,” as they were once called, were believed to be where the space between heaven and earth, and past and future, were thinly divided. John shares what he found there inspired by breathtaking landscapes, historic ruins, and dynamic stories underlying the faith and vision of a people who shaped the world we have come to call our own. He now leads his audiences back down ancient paths to locations made famous by St. Patrick and the “Twelve Apostles of Ireland” along winding roads to secluded sanctuaries and by boat to remote island retreats. Adventurous, thoughtful, and renewing, this is a journey memorable for its achingly beautiful moments and encouraging spirit. Continue reading
This year celebrates the 26th annual tour of John Doan’s Victorian Christmas Concert. This year’s tour includes Oregon, California, and Arizona. Tickets sell out fast, so get yours now.
The festive concert is a live version of Doan’s Emmy-nominated Public Broadcasting television special, which re-enacts what it might have been like to celebrate Christmas a century ago. “The show explores how Victorians invented many Christmas traditions we remember and quite a few we have forgotten,” said the Willamette music professor. “The 20-string harp guitar, classical banjo and ukelin are just a few of the original instruments that will be featured. The aim is to recapture the feeling of a time before radio and TV when our ancestors provided most of their own musical entertainment at home, especially during the holidays.”
Doan plays more than a dozen turn-of-the-century instruments once popular in American parlors, on vaudeville stages and in mandolin orchestras. He explains their history in a entertaining and often zany fashion, shows slides of old catalogues and archival photographs, and leads the audience in singing (or whistling) many of our most beloved carols. John will include several arrangements from his CD, “Wrapped in White: Visions of Christmas Past.”
NOTE: The concert date has been changed from June 2 to June 3.
John Doan will be performing his Beyond Six Strings concert in Lavin, Switzerland, on June 3, 2012, at 8PM as part of his ongoing harp guitar design and development project with Brunner Guitars on his Concert Tour in Europe 2012.
Lavin is located in one of the most beautiful valleys in Switzerland called Engadin. It is an old small town in the middle of the valley surrounded by high mountain peaks.
The concert will be in this intimate setting with John playing a travel harp guitar made by Lukas Brunner in Lavin, bringing the harp guitar back home. The European Tour Poster features John playing his Brunner travel harp guitar.
The workshop of Brunner Guitars and this most remarkable instrument builder is a must-see destination for fans of the harp guitar.
John Doan was interviewed on The 700 Club for their special on holiday music, “The Victorian Christmas Maestro.” The interview showcased John’s popular annual Victorian Christmas Concert, celebrating 25 years in 2011.
John played “Hark the Herald Angles Sing” on the crankorgan, “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear,” and “Go Tell It On the Mountain” featured on his CD Wrapped In White and Victorian Christmas DVD. He also showcased zithers, banjos, guitars, and other ancient stringed instruments.
The interview article features the transcription of the interview.
Following is an interview published after my visit and concert in Rigomagno – a thousand year old hilltop village in Tuscany, Italy. Used with permission.
We are curious to know how it all began: it’s such a peculiar instrument, how did you get interested in the harp-guitar?
In a world increasingly filled with machine made things that are all made the same I have found it refreshing to celebrate the unusual. I grew up in Venice, California in the United States – a place inspired by Venezia in Italy. I guess beauty and the unusual seemed to go together in my youth and while in my teens I played the 12 string guitar and a double neck electric in a rock band. Later, while studying music at a university I was introduced to classical guitar. I really enjoyed the music for the lute and was amazed at the sound of its many strings. When I later found a century old harp guitar on the back wall of a music store it called to me with its beautiful shape and unusual collection of extra strings. I was achingly curious and wanted to transform its silence and neglect into something alive and vibrant. It was and continues to be an adventure to play music on the harp guitar.
What’s the origin of the harp-guitar? And what about your instrument? Did you have it built especially for you? In this case, where did you find the model? Is it an original model you designed?
The harp guitar in America was first popular from the 1890’s through the 1920’s. People played them in mandolin orchestras, vaudeville shows, and in their parlors. In Europe the harp guitar was becoming popular as early as the 1840’s and grew in popularity up through the early 1900’s especially in Germany and in Italy. Pasquale Taraffo is one of the great Italian masters of the instrument in the early 20th century. To learn more about this amazing player from your own history check out the information on Taraffo on the Harp Guitars site.
Regarding my instrument, I commissioned it in 1986 from John Sullivan with oversight and design by Jeffrey Elliott of Portland, Oregon. Jeffrey had made guitars for Julian Bream, Ralph Towner, etc. and I was excited to see how he would approach the challenges of so many strings and meet my requirements of evenness of tone using steel strings. Although based on the Knutsen, Dyer, and Gibson harp guitars from a century earlier it was completely redesigned to be a master instrument that would sound evenly across all its range (like the piano). It is considered the “first modern harp guitar” of our times. Scores of copies have been made and it was recently on the cover of the magazine “American Lutherie.”
In the November/December 2006 issue of Home & Lifestyle magazine for the Willamette Valley, my wife and I were featured on the cover. Our home was decorated from top to bottom for Christmas in the middle of August. My wife, Deirdra, worked overtime to make our home warm, wonderful, and inviting for the holiday season.