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Leaving Bisbee Blues


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It was a hot Bisbee Saturday night on the last day of June, as I sat down to play the harp in the salon.

For recording, I turned off the air-conditioner and opened the back screen door. The sound of crickets wafted gently to my ears.

I decided to lay down a track anyway; perhaps the little singers would be an interesting addition to the harp improvisations. I hoped, at least, that it would give the listener a glimpse of my world as it was on that particularly warm summer evening, as it did for James sitting on the back porch, drowsing and dreaming as the music came through me.

This is the fourth and final improvised piece of the session.

It is not really in blues standard form, but has a bluesy feel.

Song art by james joannesson
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Song Stats
Hits: 4964
Comments: 46
Fans: 17
Plays: 322
Downloads: 173
Votes: 12
Uploaded: Jul 02, 2007 - 03:08:55 PM
Last Updated: Jul 02, 2007 - 03:47:15 PM Last Played: Jan 25, 2018 - 05:53:21 AM
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Comments
thetiler said 4066 days ago (July 2nd, 2007)
This is really sweet and
for me original. I've never heard a blues piece on the harp! I didn't even know that you played the harp!

You did a splendid job. Love those sweeping runs. I really like those crickets to, adds a divine texture that makes this era of recording in non-studios so original and flavorful.
Cameron!
You are one talented guy!



Check out my latest song called They Went Underground
Cameron said 4066 days ago (July 2nd, 2007)
wow that was quick, bill!
Thanks for stopping by SO QUICKLY after I submitted this piece!

I'm glad you liked it, crickets and all. (Shameless plug: my tunes "Bubbling Brook" and "Path of Tears" also has harp.)
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
caroline said 4066 days ago (July 2nd, 2007)
ooommmmggggg....
this is so gorgeous - and now i can picture you sitting there playing too - thank you cameron - this is a joy oxooxoxox
Check out my latest song called i'm a reunion maid MJRF 2010
Cameron said 4066 days ago (July 2nd, 2007)
caroline!
Yes, you know exactly where I was sitting with the harp!

How WONDERFUL that you came to visit our shack over the creek last week.

Thanks, as always, for stopping by with your nice comment (and vote!).
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
composerclark said 4066 days ago (July 2nd, 2007)
Blues harp!
I've heard plenty of blues harpists before, but they sounded different somehow... Almost as if they were playing (gasp) harmonicas! Anyway, this is the first blues harp piece I've heard that actually sounds like a harp.

Okay, with that bit of silliness out of the way, my comment is that it's a delight to hear the blues played on the harp! It has a kind of Gershwin/Arlen feel to it, which is an excellent feel to have.

I'm curious as to how you're miking this? Are you using two mikes, one for the high register, and one for the low?

Main thing is that it's got a beautiful, relaxed feel, and is very soothing. I'm impressed that you are so good on the horn, piano, and harp. Maybe something else? Do you sing and dance? If so, let's write a show centred on you and take it on the road!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Cameron said 4066 days ago (July 2nd, 2007)
clark!
I've never really heard a "blues harpist" before, which could be an advantage or a disadvantage. It might actually be good because I don't have any preconceived notions.

A harp sounding like a harmonica? That's a new one on me.

I recorded with two mics, one pointed towards the bass strings and the other towards the treble. It was a single stereo track which I later duplicated, and panned each slightly L and R.

Thanks for the multi-instrumentalist comment! I play horn, harp and piano in descending order of expertise...followed by the recorder family. No other instruments at present.

Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
composerclark said 4066 days ago (July 2nd, 2007)
Blues Harp
Ah! In pop/blues music, "blues harp" is what people call a harmonica, if used to play the blues. So I was just making a silly play on words, one that failed miserably!!!

Here's an article in Wikipedia on the Blues Harp, if you're interested.

Cheers!

---
ClarkRoss.ca is now welcoming visitors from distant planets -- Apply within
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
iG.STUDiO said 4066 days ago (July 2nd, 2007)
Very interesting
Lovely piece, so fresh and transparent. Leaves a cozy warm aftertaste. :)
Check out my latest song called Spiral Samba
Cameron said 4066 days ago (July 2nd, 2007)
ilya!
What a nice surprise to see you on this page!

I appreciate your comments, especially coming from such an accomplished jazz player as yourself.

I'm concerned that I'm really just "playing AT" this sort of style, without knowing too much about it. I'm glad that this piece had a pleasant "taste" for you.

Thanks again.
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
Rebsie said 4066 days ago (July 2nd, 2007)
That's some improv
You really know how to make that harp sing for you!

Bill makes a very good point about this new era of recording, that we can hear people playing music in their natural environment instead of the sterile perfection of a studio. It lifts the listening experience to a new level to hear the sounds of that specific time and place gently carrying on behind the music.
Check out my latest song called Amongst The Colours (w/ Luna Trick)
Cameron said 4066 days ago (July 2nd, 2007)
rebsie, my dear...
Your choice of words is so eloquent, about capturing the natural ambience of live recording.

I am glad to hear that this is a trend! I, too, enjoy hearing the little sounds surrounding the instrument being recorded. It's a more intimate glimpse into the music, the mood surrounding it, and perhaps the artist.

Thank you!
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
said 4066 days ago (July 2nd, 2007)
fantastic!!!
I love the harp... I watch alot of the marx brothers so when harpo would play it would be the highlite of the movie.. This was a treat to my ears and the background sounds realy filled it nicely!!!
Cameron said 4066 days ago (July 2nd, 2007)
egobandit!
You mention one of my greatest heroes: Harpo Marx!

Talent oozed out of his very pores, not only as a comedian but especially as a harpist.

One of the main reasons I admire Harpo is because he was a totally NATURAL player. He never really took lessons, although he brushed elbows with such harpist greats as Salzedo and Grandjany. In fact, they wanted to take lessons from HIM!

Harpo also never read music notation. But his musical ear was incredible.

Thanks for visiting here, listening and commenting!
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
Macaudion said 4066 days ago (July 2nd, 2007)
Beautiful!
The currents of emotions is so vivid and clear on this, Cameron. It's as if you were embracing yourself w/ acceptance of, whatever...

What's most prevalent to me is a striking feeling, that what you've shared was needing to be expressed but not necessarily, needing to be heard... And although this is being shared w/ us by way of the frequencies that host sound waves, there's this since of a hushed resolve that comes through.

Pensive...

It's laced w/ good memories...

Quite a bit of melancholy, but w/ a great deal of 'okayness'... (I made that word up)

It sounds as though you were sad however, there seems to be a sense of conscious resolve. There's a presence of peace in the space between the notes, but not just because it is the place of silence - it seems to be more deliberate than that.

It's a lovely piece, Cameron. And it displays the same sort of gentleness and kindness of being, that is not unlike what you typically share w/ us here, at MJs, and on all levels. I feel honored to be able be the recipient of this, and I am sure that most others will, too.

Thank you for sharing this part of you. Macca
Check out my latest song called Picture country living
Cameron said 4065 days ago (July 3rd, 2007)
WOW, Macca!
You are one of my very favorite commenters, because your words are always so thoughtful, descriptive as well as perceptive.

In fact, you amaze me with your right-on observations about me and about this piece.

Especially the part about the music "needing to be expressed but not necessarily, needing to be heard". Yes, I was compelled to express, first and foremost. Only later did I decide to share it.

You also picked up on my melancholy, mixed with "conscious resolve". Oh, how perceptive that is! I will fill you all in on what's been going on soon, but not quite yet. Big changes are in the air.

Thank you again Macca, for listening, for commenting, and for being YOU. Your words are a great gift to me.

Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
VicDiesel said 4066 days ago (July 2nd, 2007)
Ah, my lady cameron with the flowing blonde hair....
Hee.

You are going against stereotype in all sorts of respects here. But there's nothing wrong with that.

Interesting piece. Of course the rhythm says "blues", but the idiom is diatonic half the time, and only really uses a blues scale in a few places. Also you're getting a somewhat aggressive sound; was the mic close to the instrument? Probably necessary if you play in natural surroundings.

I like the liberties you take with rhythm and harmony. Very cool piece.

Victor.
Check out my latest song called Closing hour
Cameron said 4065 days ago (July 3rd, 2007)
HA!
VicDiesel, you're the one who always thinks I'm a girl! ;)

Yes, as I mentioned earlier, this is not a traditional "blues" piece, but has elements of that style in it. I didn't know which genre to place this in, and "contemporary blues" seemed to fit best.

Yes, the mics were pretty close to the strings. Plus (I hate to admit this!) my harp desperately needs to be regulated. Some of the discs have shifted out of adjustment, so there are a few "buzzy", clunky strings.

I'm pretending that it's a "prepared piano" until I can get the harp to a technician.

Anyway I'm glad you liked the piece.
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
echoroom said 4065 days ago (July 3rd, 2007)
Blue harp
i gotta say Cameron, i've never heard blues played on the harp, but this is lovely. Gentle and melodic, i can almost see the sun setting over the fields at dusk. Lovely work.

Steve
Check out my latest song called Summertime
Cameron said 4065 days ago (July 3rd, 2007)
echoroom!
I'm glad you enjoyed this.

Because of your positive feedback (along with the others'... THANK YOU ALL!) I am now encouraged to study and explore the blues style more fully, and will be presenting new blues harp pieces in the future.

Thanks again.

Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
davajonah said 4065 days ago (July 3rd, 2007)
Coo-er!
This is really different. I like this tune very much and have taken the liberty of a download. Thanks very much - nice one!
Check out my latest song called Lost and Found
Cameron said 4065 days ago (July 3rd, 2007)
davajonah...
...I truly appreciate your comment and especially the download. It pleases me very much that people are listening to this tune more than once. Thank you!
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
legato said 4065 days ago (July 3rd, 2007)
echo what Tiler said
I never heard blues on a harp before. Thanks for sharing. How many tracks did lay down for this one again? Will you play for my wedding? Just kidding um really I am. You play very well Cameron thanks again. downloaded and fav.

Patrick
Check out my latest song called The Hour - Knossos (Live Practice)
Cameron said 4065 days ago (July 3rd, 2007)
patrick!
I initially recorded this improv session (five different pieces; this "bluesy" number was the last) with two mics on a single stereo track.

I later duplicated the stereo track and panned each one slightly L and R.

Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment!
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
Cori Ander said 4065 days ago (July 3rd, 2007)
Works like medicine
The piece got to my heart.
I feel very inspired after listening to it.
Also I feel more mellow than before.

This peice works like medicine.

(dled, faved, 10-bmbed)
Check out my latest song called O store Gud
Cameron said 4065 days ago (July 3rd, 2007)
Cori!
I am always honored when you visit my song pages, because you write such kind words.

And I love your music and respect you very much as a musician.

I am glad that this piece affected you in a peaceful way. Music is at its best when it HEALS.

Thank you Cori!
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
ziti said 4064 days ago (July 4th, 2007)
wow!!!!!!
I FREAKING LOVE THIS!!!!

i thought, cameron plays the blues??? nah....this sounds like an angel of blues man....maybe robert johnson or joe pass in heaven....wow.

i freaking LOVE this!!!

i have a secret desire to play harp, and I am afraid now you have made that an obsssesion, cameron...i REALLY want one now...

really wonderful cameron!!!!

deepest bows

z
Check out my latest song called The Viconian Cyclist
Cameron said 4064 days ago (July 4th, 2007)
ZITI!!!
Thanks for your enthusiasm!!

I encourage you to try the harp. With your prodigious guitar skills, you'd probably be great.

I first started playing harp 20 years ago. It was love at first sight. I had absolutely NO idea how to play it...I just PLAYED it. And have been ever since (with only about a dozen lessons, the last of which was in 2001.)

I'm basically self-taught.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is...don't be shy about diving in and seeing what happens! You may be very pleasantly surprised.
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
deus ex machina said 4064 days ago (July 4th, 2007)
wow
Cameron, this is very flowing and soulful. Like i could close my eyes and just float out of my chair. You created a piece of peace, well done sir.
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Cameron said 4064 days ago (July 4th, 2007)
deus ex machina!
Thanks for listening and for your comments. I'm glad that this PIECE gave you some PEACE. ;-)
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
apb said 4064 days ago (July 4th, 2007)
definitely ..
.. has that bluesy feel and it's very novel for me to
hear that on a harp .. and I know ('cos you told me so :o)) ..and it's in the lid, this was all just improvised
.. wow.

The harp is actually a fine instrument to convey 'the
blues' - a more serene blues perhaps but perfect to
convey that sense of saying "farewell - I'll miss ya,
we've had our differences I know, but I will still miss
the old gaff". As ever, this is top notch. To get mood
captured like this in an improv is such a talent-
something I can never do and thus admire greatly in
others.
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Cameron said 4064 days ago (July 4th, 2007)
alan!
I'm very pleased that you stopped by to write such perceptive comments.

Yes, you are right that the harp's more serene, low-key characteristics create a different kind of "blues" atmosphere. I intend to explore this more in the future.

Each of the five improvisations I recorded that night are quite different from one another. I will be sharing them here in the coming weeks.

Next week I will upload the first piece of the session, tentatively entitled: "I. Let the Night Begin".
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
said 4064 days ago (July 4th, 2007)
Wow Cameron...
This gives a whole new meaning to "blues harp"! Ha ha...Very nice. Very relaxing.

I passed through Bisbee once or twice years back. I grew up in Phoenix and my wife Diana was raised in Tucson. I don't recall if I actually contracted the blues upon leaving Bisbee though...but it's been quite a few years after all. Ha ha...

Be well friend!
Cameron said 4064 days ago (July 4th, 2007)
Micheal!
Thanks so much for visiting here. I appreciate your comments.

Arizona: It's such a SMALL WORLD!

Bisbee *IS* kind of a blues place. There's even a blues festival.
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
said 4064 days ago (July 5th, 2007)
Maybe indigo?
I tried to comment the other day, but MJ kept crashing... so today, I was able to get back here to listen again and comment.

Its great to here something new from you. I love the "bloozie" feel to this... and really like the separation of harp and reverb! It adds such an ambience.

Keep on trucking, and good luck in your venture further west.
Cameron said 4063 days ago (July 5th, 2007)
Alimar!
Luckily for me, you DID finally come back and comment -- thanks!

It was very frustrating when MJ crashed. Usually, the first and second days of a song's release are the best for air-play and momentum, and this happened during the first day. I was unable to respond to comments until much later.

I had been writing a very LONG comment response to someone when MJ went down, so I lost everything. That's a good reminder to write long responses in Text Edit FIRST, so it is saved.

It's nice to be posting here again, for sure. For the past couple of years I have been rather frustrated about my low output, mostly because of my circumstances on the road.

Now that I'm NOT on the road, I look forward to posting more music here.

As I mentioned earlier (but will "plug" again) I will be releasing the other three movements in this improvised "Last Day of June" suite in the coming weeks.

I was fortunate to get a total of four decent tracks from that session. (Thanks, Muses!)


Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
jgurner said 4063 days ago (July 5th, 2007)
heh!
This is fun and interesting. Not the kind of blues I'm used to hearing here in Mississippi, but, to me, that's a good thing. :)

The effect in the harp is actually quite cool. It gives it almost a dreamy sound. I really enjoyed this.
Check out my latest song called Too Little Time
Cameron said 4063 days ago (July 5th, 2007)
jgurner!
Thanks so much for stopping by here.

Yeah, I can imagine how different the blues must sound in Mississippi. A lot more authentic, surely.

It was fun for me to fool around in this style, though.

I'm glad you picked up on the dreamy quality. It was that kind of hot summer night, perfect for improvising.

Thanks again!
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
cchaplin said 4063 days ago (July 5th, 2007)
Wonderful !
The atmosphere in this piece is very seductive. I could nearly feel the heat and smell the perfume of that June evening.

It%u2019s lovely how the blues and harp combination brought out what I thought were brief hints of Debussy here and there...

Check out my latest song called IV
Cameron said 4063 days ago (July 5th, 2007)
cchaplin...
...I'm honored that you have come here to listen and comment.

One of the wonderful by-products of improvisation is that the performer picks up on the "vibe", the atmosphere of his/her surroundings, and it insinuates itself into the music.

Thankfully, you (along with other listeners) have picked up on that summer evening quite well!

Thanks for the comparison to Debussy...I will be interested in your feedback about the second movement in this series (which I will submit in the next several weeks; don't want to overload the site with my harp ramblings all at once!) which is entitled "II. Cadenza". It has a lot of glissandos in an impressionistic style.

Thanks again for your comments.
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
Parichayaka said 4063 days ago (July 5th, 2007)
The poise...
I remember Bubbling Brook. I liked it very much. This one I like even better! It does have a blues feel - kind of a serene blues though. Seemingly effortless, yet quite complex with a clear theme, yet maintaining the feel of an improvisation. I had to change the left/right balance on my amplifier to get a balanced stereo on my headphones, but the quality of the recording is detailed and warm with just the right amount of reverb. Listened to it a few times now and I'm starting to warm up inside, like after drinking a cup of tea sitting outside, enjoying the late night summer breeze...beautiful.
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Cameron said 4062 days ago (July 6th, 2007)
Parichayaka!
How interesting about the imbalance of L and R channels...

I duplicated the original stereo track, and panned each a bit L and R from center (+/-16). Hmmm...I wonder what's going on?

Anyway I'm glad you like the piece and general characteristics of the recording. Thanks so much for listening and commenting!
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
Feter said 4060 days ago (July 9th, 2007)
Leaving Bisbee Blues
very interguin and interesting ....
very impessive ....a deep bow !
Check out my latest song called Roll with it
francescasongspirit said 4014 days ago (August 23rd, 2007)
nice moody piece, but nice mood!
Cam --

The piece was moody but the mood had a nice feel. As other said, very pensive, internal feeling, but there was peace to it. I could almost feel the floorboards under my feet and the Bizbee weather.

The Native American flute really lends itself to blues, and of course I can scat vocal all over the map and throw in guitar too. Actually, I prefer to say blues-tinged because it's more fun to be fluid when it comes to style. Colors on a palette, not something to limit ourselves by -- just a familiar flash that brings instant recognition and hopefully a smile.

Hope we have some fun jams in our future soon.

peace,

Francesca
francescasongspirit said 4013 days ago (August 24th, 2007)
another thing I thought of
Perusing some of the other comments here, I also wanted to add my voice say that for all the years I've known you, I've never ceased to be delighted by your ability to improvise.

I've always felt a lot of enjoyment and delight at the freshness and spontaneity.

When I tell people about your ability to improvise I have always said that you "play" music. You sit down with an instrument and "play" with it and music comes out from whatever space you happen to be in, or tap into, at the time.

peace,

Francesca
bronco said 3324 days ago (July 13th, 2009)
Beautiful!
Any instrument can be used to play the blues and you prove that your harp has soul and can wail with the best of them. Loved it!
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lilmom said 2966 days ago (July 6th, 2010)
Wow Cameron
BEAUTIFUL! UNIQUE! SPLENDID!
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Name: Cameron Kopf
Location: In the Woods Northern CA USA
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I've been meaning to update my bio for a few years now -- much has changed! At the beginning of 2013, I decided to start drawing my Musicians Union pension. I no longer play union professional orchestra/show gigs (French horn). It is a great relie... [see more]

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Genre Info
The blues is a vocal and instrumental form of music based on a pentatonic scale and a characteristic twelve-bar chord progression. The form evolved in the United States in the communities of former African slaves from spirituals, praise songs, field

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