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Clemens

  • Where can I find good online workshops to learn to play the Jew's harp?

    Advanced Jew's harp players face the same problem as newcomers to the art. How can one learn various playing techniques if one does't have the opportunity of attending a workshop or access to a teacher? A possible alternative is to buy a classical Jew's harp training course with book and CD. Often it is a help when learning to play an instrument if the learner can watch and thus learn by watching. In this category we keep you up to date with useful online workshops and videos which demonstrate how to play the Jew's harp and explain how to do it.

    Jonathan Cope - Play the Jews Harp on Udemy

    Jonathan Cope on Udemy.com

    Jonathan Cope, the British multi instrumentalist has just released a Jew's harp course on line. Newcomers to the Jew's harp can find a thorough video guideline in English on the udemy.com platform. Jonathan Cope is an author of a Jew's harp tutor, "How to play the Jews Harp - The comprehensive guide" (available at DAN MOI), and guarantees the quality of the course with a money back guarantee. In the 35 lessons, Cope introduces the instrument step by step. First of all, the basic skills concerning the Jew's harp and making music are established. Johnny Cope demonstrates how the teeth and lips Jew's harps are played, that is how one plays a classical Jew's harp such as a Khomus and how one plays a Dan Moi. He describes the physiological conditions by which sounds are formed and demonstrates various different playing techniques. In further steps, different rhythmic patterns and the use of the tongue when playing are explained. In the final stage of the workshop Cope demonstrates special effects which go beyond basic level skills and give a perspective of what a possible advanced level looks like. To participate in the course, one has to register at udemy.com.

    Franz Harrecker on YouTube

    Franz Harrecker demonstrates how to play a bamboo Jew's harp. Franz makes bamboo Jew's harps himself and shows some easy exercises to create a pure clear sound in a 10-minute German-language video. He explains how one can increase the volume of a Jew's harp, how one creates different pitch levels and in what way breathing can be effectively used.

     

    Aron Szilagyi - Doromb Tutorial

    Aron Szilagyi on Doromb.com

    A Jew's harp workshop in many lessons by Aron Szilagyi can be understood by all even if Aron explains some aspects in Hungarian. The Jew´s harp tutorials are primarily helpful because they demonstrate exactly which body movements Aron executes in order to achieve a particular sound on the Jew's harp. Aron plays the doromb, a hungarian Jew's harp. Besides the basics, one can learn how to play the tremolo and different intonation techniques from Aron. With a little bit of luck, one may also meet Aron Szilagyi face to face at one of his workshops. He receives invitations to meetings all over Europe as a Jew's harp trainer and musician.

    Hans Smeekes YouTube video showing how to play the Balinese Genggong performed by I Kekut Wirtawan

    Anyone wishing to play the pluck Jew's harp can find encouragement to play the Bali instrument, the genggong, on a video made by Dutchman, Hans Smeekes Smeekes met various genggong players on Bali and and asked them to present the instruments to him and to explain some playing techniques. One has to search for, and select, the relevant video sections.

    For anyone who prefers a printed course, the Jew's harp training courses by Wolf Janscha (in German only) and Robert Vandré are to be recommended. Clemens Voigt of DAN MOI contributed to Robert Vandrés current school.

    Furthermore, there is the possibility of attending a real workshop at one of the various meetings of Jew's harp players such as the Ancient Trance Festival in Taucha (Germany), the Norwegian Jew's harp festival in Gjövik or one can visit a Jew's harp teacher in Austria.

  • Clemens from DAN MOI demonstrates more than 20 Jew's harps in the TV series "La ruta del trompe"

    In South America, the Jew's harp is called the "trompe". It was the bold idea of the Chilean architect, video artist and musician Nicolás Matzner Weisner to follow the Jew's harp on its way around the world. The result was eight 15-minute video episodes, the second series of which is already being aired on the Chilean TV station Canal 13 and which can be seen online at larutadeltrompe.com with English subtitles. It is rare to find such an unconventional and fascinating TV programme as "La ruta del Trompe". Clemens Voigt of DAN MOI was given the role of Jew's harp guru in the series.

    La ruta del trompe

    "La ruta del Trompe" goes in search of the origin of the Jew's harp. For this purpose Nicolás Matzner travels to various different cities and places all over the whole world: He begins in his grandmother's museum in Santiago de Chile, travels to Brüssels and Barcelona, to Sicily and Bali, Vietnam and China, and in Leipzig, too, he stops off in Taucha at the Ancient Trance Festival. Everywhere he goes, he meets male and female musicians. Playful, surprising, and immanently musical. Because Nicolás doesn't just speak and describes to the audience what he sees and experiences. Everything that he says is made up of rhymes, speech song and rhythm.

    Each series is a note on the scale and is given a colour: "Red: colour of colours. blood and fire." – in the fifth, red episode of "La ruta del Trompe" the path leads to Madrid to the fanzine scene there, accompanied by the pulse of the Jew's harp. Light blue, the tone Ton "Si" (B) travels through Sicily in search of the Marranzano. Episode eight deals with the"Jew's harp players' conference" (Encuentro de Tromperos) in Taucha near Leipzig. The film documents the 2014 Ancient Trance Festival and shows Franz Harrecker making a bamboo Jew's harp.

    By profession, Nicolás is actually an architect. His eye for the art of construction can be seen in his videos: domed roofs, house arrangements and open public spaces form the backdrop for the production. "For me architecture and music are one and the same thng", the Jew's harp world explorer says, "architecture divides and organizes space, music divides and organizes time." His passion for playing the Jew's harp was awakened by his grandmother's collection, who, as an ethnologist always brought back instruments from her travels. "Later then, when I began travelling myself, I always had a Jew's harp in my baggage", Nicolás recalls, "the reason one encounters Jew's harps all over the world is perhaps precisely because people simply throw the instruments into their bags and take them with them everywhere."

    Anyone who enjoys these virtuoso videos will not be able to stop watching them one after the other. The drawing power of the images with speech song and the Jew's harp stories is irresistible. On top of that, the end of each video by Clemens Voigt presents the audience an instrument belonging to the DAN MOI collection. In the second series of "La ruta de Trompe", he demonstrates more than 20 different Jew's harps from all over the world. Bien bacán! No lo pierdes!

  • Jew's harp playing at the dance and folk festival in Rudolstadt

    The Dance and Folk Festival (TFF) in Rudolstadt (Germany) doubtlessly counts as one of the most important world music festivals in Europe. It has a unique profile which, time and time again, emphasizes new music acts and its own home-grown music projects. The festival stages and markets are embedded in the whole town and bestow a flair on the TFF that can't be found anywhere else in the world. DAN MOI regularly has a stall at the festival and Jew's harp fans, too, can hear their favourite instrument played during some of the stage performances.

    The DAN MOI Jaw Harp stand at the TFF Rudolstadt The DAN MOI Jaw Harp stand at the TFF Rudolstadt

    Traditionally Rudolstadt chooses a magical instrument each year. Some of the most brilliant instrumentalists are invited and in the week before the festival they work out a special schedule of concerts for the TFF. If one now asks when it is the Jew's harp's turn, we can at the moment only look back to the year 1999, for then the Jew's harp (as an instrument with a free reed) was a part of that year's magical instrument, the "mouth harmonica".

    Albina Degtyareva with her band Ayarkhaan

    Ten years later, the breathtaking group Ayarkhaan of Jew's harp expert virtuoso Albina Degtyareva took the stage in Rudolstadt. Ayarkhaan come from Yakutia and are capable of creating a musical experience from another world: the imitation of birdsong, the galloping of horses and a rhythmic speed which can leave a person dizzy. In 2011 the Swiss musician Anton Bruhin was a guest in Rudolstadt with his experimental approach to playing the Jew's harp.

    The Jew's Harp player Anton Bruhin

    The TFF was one of the first places in Europe where one could buy a Vietnamese Dan Moi. As far back as 2001 Clemens Voigt and Sven Otto were present at the start with their newly-founded musical instruments company DAN MOI. Clemens now recalls that: "People were curious the moment we unpacked the instruments. They came to our stall to try out the Dan Moi instruments for themselves. Many people were so surprised and fascinated by the sound of the instruments that they decided to take a Dan Moi with them. Back then we knew that the Jew's harp creates a magic with which one can really please a great many people. What was really special was that one didn't really need previous musical experience to play the Jew's harp.“ These first magical contacts of the audience with the Dan Moi have lost nothing of their power, in fact the contrary is the case, playing the Jew's harp is once again very popular. So we may hope that we will soon be able to experience one of the current virtuosi on the Jew's harp scene at the TFF again. What about the Franco-Chinese Artist Wang Li for instance? By the way, the dance and folk festival in Rudolstadt is taking place this year, as always, on the first weekend in July from July 2 to July 5 2015.

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