• Lori

The Glass Harp

Joe had a fun creative streak and often recorded unusual sounds to use in his music (he called it sampling). I remember one afternoon I came downstairs to find him standing at the dining room table carefully filling water glasses with varying levels of water.

He would dip his finger in water and run it around the rim of the glass to hear the note it played. (I may or may not have done this with my friends at wedding receptions when I was in college).

He probably had his electronic tuner because he continually adjusted the musical pitch of each glass by adding to or reducing the amount of water until he had it just the way he wanted it.

This is just my simple re-creation; Joe's instrument had at least eight glasses.

He then recorded the sounds as he played each glass. He used this feature to great effect, in my opinion, in his song “Don’t Feel Like Movin’ On”. Here is a clip of the song so you can hear what I mean. Crank it up and listen with headphones for the full effect; you’ll hear the glasses in the chorus. (You can also buy the whole song for a buck here).

With Anna’s harmonies and the water glass tones, this is one of my favorite arrangements of Joe’s. But then, I have so many favorites.

Try making a glass harp with the kids in your life!

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