This is the second of a three-part feature, the interview in its entirety can be found throughout the month of September via the Featured Artist link to the right.
Please tell us a bit about your general work process.
We always start our creative process by listening to the song we’re going to arrange again and again. We usually start with building the melodic framework and then start discussing other elements. Often we’re tweaking arrangements even as we’re learning and memorizing when we think of new ideas to try, or figuring out techniques/patterns/etc., that work even better than our original ideas.
Sometimes we perform a piece differently live than in our recorded version. The time frame for arranging each piece varies a lot since we’re always working on many songs simultaneously. It usually takes between a few days and a week to arrange a song. However, sometimes we have worked for weeks to arrange a more challenging song. Learning and memorizing the music takes varying amounts of time. We discuss ideas for a video concept, location, costumes, etc., and then work hard to find locations that are perfect for each video. We film each video in a couple of hours and video editing usually takes a few days. We record all of our music in our living room and have recently started to then have our tracks mastered by our friend, Kevin Bartlett and his studio partner in England.
We’re always working on lots of new music. We put our whole hearts into each arrangement and video. Every aspect of our productions are thoroughly planned by us and implemented to the best of our ability.
What about your work do you enjoy most? Dislike most?
Performing live and meeting our supporters is probably the most enjoyable part of our job! We also love that on a personal level we have the opportunity to be an uplifting and positive influence to other people. It is so humbling to hear from someone that listening to our music brightened their day, or made the loss of a loved one more bearable, or that we inspired them to follow their dreams. We are so blessed to have the opportunity to do what we love.
We can’t think of anything that we dislike about our work other than perhaps the trolls/haters. However, we actually turn the situation around and use those people as huge motivation to work even harder. If there are people who desperately don’t want you to achieve your dreams, then you know that you’re doing something right! haha
You have become quite successful in the use of social media, and YouTube in particular, is there any advice would you give to other artists or budding artists about getting their work out there?
Our biggest word of advice would be to truly appreciate your supporters and show them that you appreciate them; regardless of whether you have one follower or 1 million. Ever since we first started posting online, we’ve made a point of responding to as many comments and posts as possible. It’s also important to post consistently. We know that it’s often difficult to keep content coming in the midst of a busy schedule and life, but people have a short attention span. If you’re not active online, then you might as well not be there! It is not important to spend a lot of money on a project. Many successful, and even viral videos were made with very basic equipment. It is much more important to have talent, passion, skill, and drive – than to have fancy and elaborate videos.
What do you know now that you wish you’d known when you started?
We wish we had known how to handle all of the business aspects of being independent musicians. The practical aspects of our career weren’t taught to us at our Conservatory; we had to teach ourselves and learn from mistakes on a day-to-day basis.
The Harp Twins can be found at:
All photos © Harp Twins, Camille and Kennerly