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. Continue reading →
I recently went with my wife Deirdra on a six-week concert tour in Europe. We began with a transcontinental fight to Paris numbing the boredom with nine hours of non-stop movies.
Deirdra can’t wait to try out her new camera. I believe she spent more time with her camera than with me on the trip!
As Gorilla travellers we like to travel in style, or at least in comfort, so we bring with us on the plane an inflatable back rest called “First Class Sleeper.” It makes your economy seat feel like first class (as long as you don’t mind looking like you are going river rafting upon arrival).
Once in Paris we headed to the Eiffel Tower (Deirdra appears to be balancing it on her nose).
Notes:John has been invited by Sarthe guitars and Philippe Fouquet who are presenting Europe’s first annual festival devoted to the harp guitar. Five international harp-guitarists will meet on stage to share their world of music.
There will also be the first exhibition in France dedicated specifically to the harp guitar. A multimedia conference devoted to the harp guitar will also take place.
The festival aims to showcase the instrument and the passion of those who play and make them today.
Jason Carter, John Doan, Philippe Fouquet, James Kline, Yaouen the sailor, Gregg Miner, Benoit Meulle Steff, Cédric Ice, Sean Wooley will share their passion for the instrument with you!
Notes:The same line up of harp guitarists will perform on Sunday but will play a different performance.
Guitares en Sarthe et Philippe Fouquet présentent la 1ère édition d’un festival international consacré à la harpe guitare. Cet instrument aux cordes multiples est une extravagance de la guitare. Ses basses profondes et ses aigus cristallins ornent la polyphonie de la guitare de nouveaux horizons sonores, prétextes à de riches émotions musicales. Cinq prestigieux harpe-guitaristes de dimension internationale se retrouveront sur scène pour faire partager leurs univers et les faire se rencontrer. Deux concerts jamais réalisés encore offriront émotion, plaisir et convivialité.
Se tiendra également la première exposition de lutherie en France consacrée spécifiquement à cet instrument.
Une conférence multimédia consacrée à la harpe guitare aura lieu.
Ce festival a pour objectif de faire découvrir cet instrument et la passion de ceux qui en jouent et les fabriquent aujourd’hui.
Jason Carter, John Doan, Philippe Fouquet, James Kline, Yaouen le marin, Gregg Miner, Benoit Meulle Steff, Cédric Verglas, Sean Wooley vous les feront partager!
Notes:This concert is sponsored by “Six Bars Jail” a very enthusiastic guitar club that presents concerts in Tuscany, Italy. The 9:30pm concert is titled “Beyond Six Strings” where John will play music from beyond borders from his travels in Europe, China, and the United States as well as making a bow to guitarists who went beyond the ordinary such as Jimi Hendrix, Mason Williams, John Fahey, and Burl Ives. John’s let performance for Six Bars Jail was standing room only so come early for a seat.
Notes:Emmy-Nominee, John Doan is a master twenty-string harp guitarist and storyteller. His Celtic inspired “Eire – Isle of the Saints” won “Best Celtic Album of the Year.” His concert performance includes original as well as expanded arrangements of works by Jimi Hendrix, among others. With the expanded range of the instrument John redefines what is possible to be played on a guitar.
“John Doan’s music is both history and dream cast in the whole glorious, resonant range of the harp guitar.” Acoustic Guitar Magazine
Notes:John will perform in concert with harpist Andy Lang in this state of the art facility near the gorgeous Celtic site of Dunkeld, the centre of celtic spirituality in mainland Scotland after iona was given up because of Viking raids.
Notes:John will be in concert with harpist Andy Lang in the beautiful and historic Rosslyn Chapel. Built between 1446 and 1484, it has been described as an “Architectural Wonder” and a “Library in Stone”. Practically every surface of Rosslyn Chapel is covered with carvings of individual figures and scenes. People travel from all over the world to see the carvings, and there are many different interpretations of their meanings. Myths, legends and Hollywood fiction writing have given Rosslyn a unique sense of mystery and wonder. This evening of music will truly be one to remember.
Notes:John will conduct an hour long seminar. John will lead one of the most exciting seminars to be held in years. The harp guitar a most magical instrument in both it’s aesthetic and sound. John will cover the techniques various styles associated with the harp guitar. A must see and hear and if you do book this seminar be prepared to want a harp guitar!
Age restrictions:All Ages
Notes:John will perform with harpist Andy Lang and singer songwriter Anna Raine. The concert is held in the beautiful St Hilda’s,Church Close, Hartlepool, County Durham, TS24 0PW. Call 01429 267030 for more details.
Venue:ST MARY’S, HOLY ISLAND
Venue phone:01289 389351
Age restrictions:All Ages
Notes:John performs his ‘Beyond Six Strings’ concert at St. Mary’s on the sacred tidal island of Holy Island. The sea reclaims this outcropping of the coast as an Island with every tide. John Will tell stories from his travels around the world.
Notes:St Peter’s, Monkwearmouth is one of the oldest churches in Britain, where Christians have gathered for more than 1300 years. John will play in concert with harpist Andy Lang and singer songwriter Anna Raine.
Notes:John returns to Brussels for an intimate concert bringing the magic of the harp guitar to Ottignies. This year’s concert has a special treat featuring a special guest, a very talented 11 year old girl who will be performing on the harp, a perfect accompaniment to the harp guitar, each bringing their unique talents together to honor these ancient, historical, and related instruments.