1. Kirsten Agresta Copely: multi-style Harpist, Composer, Arranger Leah Roseman 1:16:04

Welcome to Conversations with Musicians, with Leah Roseman: This podcast is available wherever you listen to podcasts, or as a video on my YouTube. This week’s episode is with the award-winning GRAMMY-nominated harpist and composer Kirsten Agresta Copely. The video and transcript are linked on my website: https://www.leahroseman.com/episodes/kirsten-agresta-copely
Kirsten has had a really diverse career, starting with rigorous classical training as a young child, an illustrious career as an internationally touring solo harpist, and then a contrasting career performing with pop and rap icons such as Beyonce, JayZ, Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys and so many more famous artists, lots of studio work, and as a composer and arranger. In this wide-ranging conversation we talked about dealing with Grief, ways of dealing with stress and anxiety, and many insights from Kirsten’s unique path through the music industry, including as an educator and mentor. Very shortly after we recorded this episode, Aquamarine was nominated for a GRAMMY award for Best New Age, Ambient or Chant Album. Kirsten has shared several tracks from Aquamarine and some of her other projects that are excerpted in this podcast, and if this music draws you in, please click on the link to her website: https://www.kirstencopelymusic.com/

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photo: Joseph Cartright


(00:00) Intro

(01:57) clip from I Am Water

(03:15) the creation of Aquamarine, Kirsten’s mother

(06:41) Kirsten’s musical education

(09:32) intro to Naids

(10:12) clip from Naids

(11:06) production of Aquamarine

(13:12) Kirsten’s development as a harpist, career choices

(19:57) please support the podcast! 

(20:35) the isolation of being a harpist, career advice

(24:44) clip from Aquamarine

(26:58) high school in Michigan, Star Age piano music

(29:28) clip from Threads Star Age piano music

(30:46) Nashville scene, move to Brooklyn

(34:44) Suzanne McDonald

(36:41) intro to Into the Mist

(37:50) Into the Mist

(41:46) dealing with stress, movivation for creating New Age music, Kirsten’s mother’s death

(46:30) Tanzania trip witnessing the Great Migration

(48:27) the Sphere Las Vegas 

(52:16) performing with Beyoncé for President Obama 

(54:12) Live 8, playing pop arrangements

(57:47)how a pedal harp works

(01:04:01) different aspects to Kirsten’s career: soloist, different albums, arrangements 

(01:06:40) clip from Kirsten’s arrangement of Radiohead’s Creep 

(01:08:10) arranging for harp

(01:10:00) mentoring younger musicians, career advice

Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/leah-roseman/message

I am a violinist and podcaster. This interview series features a really interesting mix of musicians, talking about their lives and careers, with perspectives on overcoming challenges, and finding inspiration and connection through a life so enriched by music. It is available as a video, podcast, and I am publishing the transcripts to my blog, all linked.