WARNING: Some curse words in best Irish brogue possible!
“O passing angel, speed me with a song, a melody of heaven to reach my heart and rouse me to the race and make me strong. ” — Christina Rossetti
I grew up playing a Baldwin piano in our living room under the watch of my mother and in my child’s mind, I always saw the heart of every piano as a harp on its own side. Like only angels could really play harps but the piano was still touching or being permitted to touch divinity. Every now and then I would cheat and pluck the beautiful tightly wound metal strings under the piano lid. Not for very long as it irritated mom and she’d scold that it wasn’t good for the tuning but I’d continue to sneak the occasional strum as I loved hearing it vibrate through the belly of the piano. Once in a moon, a traveling harp player would perform at our church or I’d catch one featured in a symphony night, but other than listening to some harp music on CD it remained a rarity. A life highlight was getting to hear and speak to Yolanda Kondonassis https://www.yolandaharp.com/ in Savannah but that was some 20 years back.
When one thinks of being close to divinity, a Victorian cemetery acting as a reflection of Eden with harp & lyre symbols and many angel statues is a visual symphony unto itself. One might even be more inclined to say that one can actually hear harps playing. Not a bad thing and if the reader must know, I often privately imagine such sounds along with great horns and chorus.
Its a relatively fair assessment to say we imagine angels as perhaps golden-haired winged beings. And often they are depicted with lyres classically as they’re a bit more mobile while in flight really. Just ask any angel. Revelations Chapter 5 speaks of “Four angels, along with 24 elders, each hold a harp and a golden bowl full of incense to represent people’s prayers as they praise Jesus Christ.”
Artists & they’re religious influencers it would seem have always tried to use art to make religion more palatable. Cherubs or Cherubim were originally hideous creatures guarding the gates of Paradise or Heaven. Artists made them into fat babies with wings. Angels were “messengers” but depending on which text one is reading, they were up to good or no good and at times, sending mixed messages. They all seemed to get friendlier during The Renaissance and more overall “golden” in their works as time went by. Victorian sculptors did their look a huge favor by humanizing & feminizing them in the 19th-century cemetery landscapes to make them seem more relatable and to make the statement that “women were the angels of our lives.” For centuries angels had been depicted as sexless and emotionless as those are earthly qualities and such celestial beings had no purpose inside of such mortal characteristics or behaviors. Now, or at least in The Victorian Age, it was all about bridging the distance between earthly and heavenly dimensions.
Hey, I’ll bite. I’m all for love, beauty, knowledge & harp music.
Which is why a couple of years or so back when I was perusing YouTube and caught sight of these 2 angelic creatures strumming what appeared to be gothic space-age Celtic harps with Savannah cemeteries as the backdrop to their version of “Paint It Black, I was more than reeled in by who I would come to learn were The Harp Twins, Camille & Kennerly. It was if some of those weeping angel statues had been commanded to unfreeze and serenade the dead with song– Ah, players after me’ own art.
Let’s face it, we’re all fascinated by identical twins. It’s even more hypnotic if they’re playing killer music on harps. It’s then thrice as good if they’re also angelic looking but now my obviousness is showing. You get it though. They’re mystical. In fact, when you watch these sisters play, in between admiring their talent, you’re trying to decide the plausibility to them actually being from another world. Yes, they’re just a couple of talented good-natured Mid-Western girls really but I’m not entirely convinced this isn’t just a cover so they don’t get taken to Area 51 for research. Could happen.
“Intrepid musicians If you live long enough, you get to hear this (The Harp Twins) version of White Wedding” — Billy Idol
Anyway, I knew that I had to kidnap them for at least a show at some point as we were clearly all kindred musical spirits along with being friends in cemeteries and historical ruins. I reached out to them in 2018 and the response very positive but things kept coming up but we all felt it was meant to be at some point. I was beyond thrilled when they mentioned an opportunity for Halloween Night just a few weeks ago! And if you live in Savannah, you know if Halloween falls on a weeknight it can be a struggle to find something really cool to do that’s “different.” Yes, this concert fits the bill and while we can’t have it in Bonaventure Cemetery itself, we think it’s pretty awesome to have it in The Chapel @ The Bonaventure Funeral Home just up the street from the hallowed grounds. The Harp Twins promise to share some previously unheard, Halloween inspired music and of course, the rock classics they’re known for by Metallica, The Rolling Stones, Megadeth, B.O.C., Iron Maiden, Billy Idol and others! Its my honor to bring them to you so don’t miss out as tickets are extremely limited!