Much overdue, it is with great pleasure that I introduce to you another featured independent musician. Her name is Erin Hill and she plays the harp. Yes, THE HARP! Not only does she play the harp, but she is a geek and writes sci-fi songs, which she plays on the harp. Yes, THE HARP!
She has performed both on stage and on screen, plus has performed with many talented musicians such as Enya, Moby and Kanye.
Currently, she is raising funds via Kickstarter (campaign ends Nov 16, 2011 at 11:59 pm EST) to create a music video album for her upcoming album, Girl Inventor.
There is so much more to learn about her! Below you will find her bio, the video for her song Giant Mushrooms, her Kickstarter video, 4 of her songs, plus links to the various places you can find her online.
Erin Hill is a singer, harpist, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, screenwriter, actor and science fiction geek. Radio 3, BBC says “Beautiful! Voice exquisite, words telling tales everyone wants to hear.” She’s had a #1 album on the Billboard world chart, and in the Top 40 on the Independent chart (2009). She’s a singer, songwriter and musician on the Dream Jam Band’s major label debut on EMI (2010). She’s played with Kanye West, moby, Enya, a-ha, Cyndi Lauper, Levon Helm, etc. and has played solo at The Royal Albert Hall. She is also known as The Pretty White Girl on Comedy Central’sChappelle’s Show.
With electric harp as the lead instrument, Erin plays and sings with her band, Erin Hill & her Psychedelic Harp, which includes vocals, harp, bass, drums, and pedal steel. The music is beautiful and psychedelic pop: “Hill is a songwriting angel… with tracks that fascinate and mesmerize the audience.” (The Louisville Eccentric Observer). Erin Hill & her Psychedelic Harp recently returned from Spain, where they played the 2011 Dia de la Musica Festival in Madrid.
In the film Clear Blue Tuesday (2010), she is a composer, screenwriter, and actor. The New York Times says: “Erin Hill, as a giddy, harp-playing Trekker, is a standout… The best and funniest scene in the film is Ms. Hill’s… And from Variety: “A memorable number is “Reckless,” penned by Erin Hill and delivered by her character, Etta, a sci-fi soundtrack-session harpist and one of the film’s few solidly intriguing personalities.”
On the Celtic side, Erin’s 2009 album with her group Four Celtic Voices, “Four Leaf Clover,” hit #1 on the Billboard World Music chart, charted in multiple Top Ten Heatseeker charts and in the Top 40 on the Independent chart.
She is also in The Dream Jam Band, whose major label debut is now out on EMI (August 2010), produced by Rick Chertoff (Cyndi Lauper, Joan Osborne, Ron Howard’s The Grinch, etc.). As “Erin the Red,” she plays bass, harp, keys, sings, and is a songwriter and arranger in the band.
In 2008, Erin toured with and opened for a-ha in Europe and London, where she played solo at the Royal Albert Hall (see the a-ha.com interview with Erin on a-ha’s official site).
She has sung and played with Enya, Cyndi Lauper, Kanye West (Live Earth, MTV, BET, etc.), moby, Joan Osborne, Randy Newman, Dave Chappelle, Marshall Crenshaw, Martha Wainwright, Duncan Sheik, The Smithereens, Savoy, Julee Cruise, John Flansburgh (of They Might Be Giants), Lenny Pickett (of Saturday Night Live), and Levon Helm (of The Band). She plays regularly with Will Lee (of David Letterman), Jimmy Vivino (of Conan O’Brien), G.E. Smith (of Saturday Night Live), and Garth Hudson (of The Band).
Erin is known at the Ritz-Carlton on Central Park South in NYC for her rock ‘n’ roll arrangements on solo harp, playing (and singing) everything from Bowie, The Beatles, Stevie Wonder and Neil Young to Aerosmith, The Police, Prince and Avril Lavigne.
On the silver screen, Erin played Sandra Mescal in the most recent Tim Robbins’ film Cradle Will Rock and appears on the soundtrack along with PJ Harvey and Eddie Vedder. Erin has sung solo on HBO’s The Chris Rock Show as the Hippie Chick, and on Comedy Central’s Chappelle’s Show as the Pretty White Girl who sings Dave’s thoughts. Erin was in the original Broadway casts of Titanic, Cabaret, and Urinetown and has twice been part of the Sundance Theater Lab in Utah, originating the role of Ilse in Spring Awakening with Duncan Sheik, and as musical director for Lil’s 90th (also at the Long Wharf Theater in 2010) with Jo Bonney. In 2010-11 Erin toured with the Lincoln Center production ofSouth Pacific as harpist and pianist.
Erin is a songwriter and screenwriter on the upcoming sci-fi film Fade To White, which Erin describes as “On the Beach meets Saturday Night Live.” Her songs can be heard in several other films, including Spent, Bad Bride, and American Desi. She signed The Buddy Scott Trio to her label and their songs can be heard in the MGM film A Guy Thing. As a voice-over artist she’s been heard on commercials from Coca-Cola, Match.com and Walmart to Play-Doh and Dunkin’ Donuts.
Erin is the harpist on the new soundtrack for The Fantasticks, on Martha Wainwright’s acclaimed debut album Martha Wainwright, on the original Broadway cast album of Sam Mendes’ Cabaret, on the tour of the Lincoln Center South Pacific, in various commercials (Dunkin’ Donuts, etc.), and on MTV2’s Wonder Showzen.
Erin studied voice with Marni Nixon and at L’Ecole Hindemith in Switzerland and has played Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. She was a founding member of the band Wicked Felina with G.E. Smith (of Saturday Night Live), where she was a co-writer, co-singer, and played harp, guitar, flute, accordion, and hammered dulcimer. Erin’s played drums with Martha & the Vandellas; she’s a classically trained pianist and plays keyboards, as well as percussion, guitar, and vocals for Will Lee and Jimmy Vivino in The Fab Faux; and she plays saxophone and flute (and harp) on the Sam Mendes Cabaret soundtrack on RCA.
Erin’s original science fiction songs are often inspired by classic science fiction literature or television, such as the Philip K. Dick-inspired “Owls,” or the Twilight Zone-inspired “Meredith Moon”. Other songs have a straight science edge, such as “Lookout, Science,” and “Girl Inventor,” while others are inspired by art from science fiction magazines of the 1930’s through the 1960’s, which Erin collects.
When playing live, Erin likes to sprinkle in a few covers at her gigs, ranging from David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” or The Beatles “I’m Only Sleeping,” to the Celtic classic “Danny Boy” or a Puccini aria, which she sings probably even better than The Doctor on Voyager 😉
Oh, yes — she also juggles and is an expert at walking on her hands (one of which can be seen in Clear Blue Tuesday, and the other on The Rosie O’Donnell Show, the Tonys, and Late Night with David Letterman).
Erin Hill & her Psychedelic Harp links:
Kickstarter: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1242097495/erin-hill-the-sci-fi-harp-girl-makes-a-music-video Ends Nov 16, 2011.