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Invention & Alchemy CD

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 1, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

"Invention & Alchemy" is a series of original musical stories for voice, electric harp and symphony orchestra, recorded live in concert with Deborah Henson-Conant and the Grand Rapids Symphony. This is the companion CD to the DVD "Invention & Alchemy." Because of the theatrical and symphonic content, this CD plays almost like a radio show or the soundtrack to a story: something between a concert and a book-on-tape.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 1, 2006)
  • Original Release Date: May 10, 2006
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Golden Cage Music
  • ASIN: B000GCFAYS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,047 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By Deva K. Kolb on February 3, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Absolutely fantastic. Deborah Henson-Conant takes the harp to places and heights I never dreamed possible. Her ability as a musician it above top-rate. She has created a whole new level of excellence. As a composer, she is one of the most talented. As a story-teller, she is hypnotic. As a stage presence, she will entertain you in ways you only dreamed of as a child! The CD is wonderful, but the DVD is to die for! The DVD is my most treasured of all my CDs and DVDs! This is worth much more than 5 stars. Deva
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Format: Audio CD
When thinking of the harp, several images come to mind: Angels, Clouds, Time Travel Sequences in Film and Classical Music. Now imagine taking everything you think you know about the harp and shoving it in a suitcase. Now take that suitcase and get into your car. Drive to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and throw the suitcase off of the bridge. Whew. Excellent. Now you're ready to listen to Deborah Henson-Conant and 80 of her close friends known as the Grand Rapids Symphony.

The album plays like a live performance meets storytelling session meets transcendence of space and time. Yes, the album gets underway with a story of flamenco guitarists travelling back in time to the Baroque era and musing with true classical musicians.

After the time travelers return Deborah continues with a story of how she first began playing the harp, and how she had intended to play the blues harp (harmonica) instead. What follows is mind-blowing. The blues come alive on "Way You Are Blues", and with her 80-piece orchestral accompaniment Deborah and her harp re-imagine this revered genre in a way that has never been heard before. Literally, this is something to be talked about for a long time to come. What has happened here is one of America's oldest musical styles has been fused with one of Europe's earliest musical styles to form a completely unique style that has not been successfully mimicked or matched yet to this day. Somehow, cleverly no doubt, Deborah transforms her harp into anything she imagines, commanding it with an unconscious certainty that allows for its wielding like a rock star would her axe, shredding the audience to pieces through her songs.

Stories continue throughout the record/DVD (yes, this was also filmed!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Promising reviews attracted me to this, but the performance itself is not great. She's clearly talented but spends too much time chatting and not enough playing music. Not my fave.
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