Harpist Elizabeth Morgan-Ellis Plays Philadelphia Fringe Festival, Now thru 9/14
Philadelphia harpist Elizabeth Morgan-Ellis has announced her upcoming concert of harp music by living composers for the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. Like many fringe events, this performance is a little out of the ordinary. By incorporating dance, performance art, and projected visual effects into her presentation of works by local composers, Elizabeth is updating standard concert format into a dynamic window into the mind of living composers. "If you think of the harp as a boring parlor instrument, think again!" says Harp Column editor Kimberly Rowe. "Elizabeth Morgan-Ellis manages to bring the harp into the 21st century. Her upcoming performance at the Fringe Festival promises to be fresh and inspiring."
What will you see at such an eclectic performance? Elizabeth has spent much of the last year working with local composers to get a sense of what they are trying to communicate with their music, and has designed a different visual accompaniment for each composition on her program. For instance, one piece is based on Bluegrass and Folk dances, so she is having it choreographed by a talented young dancer to match those styles. Another is meant to convey the experience of looking up at the night sky, so she will be projecting the stars right into the venue for people to see while they listen. "The piece I'm most excited about is the one I'm having written just for this show," says Elizabeth. "It's based on the Philadelphia train system and will use recorded sounds of local trains. It's amazing how the sounds of the trains blend into the sound of the harp to create a dynamic new work." Before each performance, the audience will be treated to a brief and illuminating video interview with each composer that allows them to see even further into the composer's thoughts.
While this is Elizabeth's first Fringe Festival show, she has been performing around Philadelphia since she moved here in 2010, including performances at Dalet Art Gallery, the Ritz Carlton, Temple University, the Four Seasons Hotel and other local venues. In a recent review of her January 25th, 2013 concert at William Way Community Center, Lynn Fergusson of LocalArtsLive stated of Ms. Morgan-Ellis's program: "Each of the four pieces was a small polished gem, both in terms of composition and execution. As the acting emcee, Steve Schatz, pointed out, we would have gladly listened to her all evening."
Elizabeth Morgan-Ellis' Fringe program, A Change of Harp, will take place at the Maas Building in Fishtown at 1325 Randolph St in Philadelphia today, September 12-14, all shows at 8:00 PM. Tickets are on sale now at http://fringearts.ticketleap.com/a-change-of-harp-new-generation-new-music/.