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New York, New York


A New York harpist trying to figure things out - and the mishaps and adventures that inevitably ensue.

I Finally Got to See Duo Scorpio And It Was Everything I Dreamed It Would Be

Kathryn Sloat

I first heard of Duo Scorpio when my wind ensemble conductor handed me a cd of duo harp music and said here, you might be interested in this. I'm not sure if he knew it, but at the time I was in the process of starting my own harp duo, Lilac 94. I was so excited - here was a group playing pieces that we had performed, and commissioning new works, as well. 

Shortly thereafter I moved to New York City myself, and I started keeping an eye on Duo Scorpio's website to figure out when I could go and see them live. I met both Katie and Kristi separately, at performances with other groups, but I never seemed to have a free night when they were playing together. The night they played at Le Poisson Rouge, I was driving back from teaching my students in Albany. The night they played a joint concert with the Chicago Harp Quartet, I had a theater gig upstate. And this past summer, I cleared my calendar to hear them perform in Bryant Park - and of course, it rained and the concert was cancelled. 

So this past Tuesday, I finally seized the opportunity and went to Brooklyn to hear them play for the Concerts on the Slope series. I was tired but came straight from my musical rehearsal (more on that later!). It was completely worth it. Most of the pieces they played were ones they had commissioned, and several I had never heard before. I think Andy Akiho's "Two Bridges" was one of my favorites - its second movement consisted entirely of harmonics, meant to sound like two harps playing underwater. They also played their signature piece, "Scorpion Tales" by Robert Paterson. There were some Lilac 94 favorites as well - Bernard Andres' "Le Jardin des Paons" (which we haven't played in quite awhile - I'm feeling a revival coming on!) and Caroline Lizotte's "Raga."

Their performance was beautiful and captivating, and I'm so glad I finally got the chance to see them. I am newly inspired for my next round of harp duo performances!