Harpist covers classic rock and pop
August 14, 2020 8:37 PM   Subscribe

There are lots of "musician covers song on weird instrument" mefi posts but this one is mine Allow me to interrupt as the internet celebrates the "Man who shot himself in the Balls" with some love for Maël Isaac. A French experimental musician with a penchant for covering classic rock and pop on a harp... and killer vocal accompaniment. posted by bolix (9 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
Zeppelin's 'Whole Lotta Love', I feel as if driving a Mustang.

Isaacs', Iike I'm riding one.
posted by clavdivs at 8:55 PM on August 14, 2020

(Lena Woods is another French person who does pop/rock and plays a harp...and can sing well. It's a killer combo. I've linked to her "Voice" appearance before (Beyoncé Halo cover). She has a YT channel.)
posted by maxwelton at 9:37 PM on August 14, 2020

Maël is awesome! Thank you so much for this. A "Cornflake Girl"/"Hardest Button to Button" two-fer is delovely.
posted by riverlife at 11:16 PM on August 14, 2020

I'm listening to Smoke on the Water. It's excellent.
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 4:09 AM on August 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

Allow me to interrupt as the internet celebrates the "Man who shot himself in the Balls" ......posted by bolix Eponyspherical?
posted by lalochezia at 5:48 AM on August 15, 2020 [3 favorites]

That’s really great and incidentally bookmarkable as a perfectly cromulent use of vertical video.
posted by sjswitzer at 10:48 AM on August 15, 2020

In Where Is My Mind he does a really cool thing where he strums with his right hand and mutes the unwanted notes with his left, like how a harpsichord works. No idea if this is a standard technique, but it’s new to me.
posted by sjswitzer at 10:54 AM on August 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

I just got this sudden flash of a rock and roll harpist stopping between every two songs to retune.
posted by sjswitzer at 11:01 AM on August 15, 2020

I’m really enjoying his playing and also geeking out on his instrument, the pedal harp.

Simple harps have the notes of a particular scale only, and afik, this is why harmonicas are sometimes also called “harps.” Going up in complexity, some harps have levers to adjust individual strings a half step to change the key or scale. But you aren’t going to be able to get accidentals on those harps. The pedal harp has an intricate mechanism of pedals and literally thousands of moving parts to change the tuning on the fly using the pedals.

It’s broadly similar, but also quite different, to the pedals on a pedal steel guitar. The pedal steel is much simpler and much less standardized, but the basic problem is the same: too many notes/intervals and not enough strings.
posted by sjswitzer at 5:48 PM on August 15, 2020 [2 favorites]

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