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Edward Harrison: “The Vibraphone Is an Instrument That Has Been Close to My Heart for Many Years”


This interview delves into the multifaceted career of musician Edward Harrison, renowned as the principal timpanist of the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Harrison discusses his involvement in Tim Corpus’ innovative project, “The New American Timpanist,” aimed at advancing solo timpani repertoire, showcasing his collaboration with Corpus in crafting sophisticated yet accessible compositions. Amid the challenges of the pandemic, Harrison reflects on the creative solutions employed by the Lyric Opera, including virtual recordings and outdoor performances.

Transitioning from percussionist to principal timpanist, Harrison shares insights into his musical journey, influenced by legendary figures like Vic Firth and Gary Burton. Notably, he explores his passion for jazz vibraphone, emphasizing its role in enriching his musical expression. Harrison’s diverse projects during the pandemic, from intimate driveway concerts with his wife to virtual performances for Covid patients, highlight his versatility and commitment to artistic engagement.

A noteworthy aspect is Harrison’s venture into composition, exemplified by “El Silencio,” a maracas soloist piece inspired by his experiences in Caracas. Delving into the double meaning of the title, which signifies both “silence” and a poignant historical event in Venezuela, the composition serves as a memorial and a testament to Harrison’s rich musical narrative.

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ISSN: 2792-8349

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International Journal of Music