Christchurch Symphony harpist Helen Webby performs new works for harp written for her by nine Kiwi composers, and released on her latest CD Pluck (ODE). Unintimidated by Christchurch’s ferocious 2011 quake year, she relocated to Dunedin and contacted nine Kiwi composers, asking them to write a work each: Chris Adams, Pepe Becker, Ross Carey, Claire Cowan, Lyell Cresswell, Graeme Downes, Anthony Ritchie, Mark Smythe and Gillian Whitehead. Creative New Zealand funded it, University of Otago’s John Egenes produced the CD, and Helen premiered seven of the nine works (three including voice, sung by Pepe Becker) in the 2012 Otago Festival of the Arts. The production of Pluck was made in to a documentary film ‘Harps Make Fine Companions’, about the importance of music in a broken city, the skill and focus required to master such diverse pieces, and the talented people Helen collaborates with along the way. Helen Webby tours Pluck in September and October with the documentary ‘Harps Make Fine Companions’.
‘Webby’s choices and execution are tops’ …. Ian Dando, The Listener
‘This is an exciting and valuable collection of works and Helen Webby is to be roundly congratulated for her vision and advocacy’ …. Ken Young, The Critic’s Chair, Radio New Zealand Concert