Who Is Evergreen?

Q&A with Evergreen Erb.

1.) Why did you choose the Harp as your instrument and how did you get your start?

The harp kind of chose me. I was in a store called Celtic Cottage about twenty years ago on Church Street in Burlington, VT, and looking for a harp tape by Kim Robertson, a musician I admired. The clerk mentioned that she had a friend who took harp lessons, and my ears perked up, and then she said that her teacher lived in Jericho (which is where I live), and I thought “bingo”. I contacted Tina Tourin, bought a harp, and started lessons. The minute my harp and I met, it was love at first sight. I took lessons for quite a few years….Tina was a wonderfully gifted teacher, but now lives in San Diego, where she founded the International Harp Therapy program. Even though she was from here, she is one of the best known Celtic harpists in the world. She taught me to play from my heart, and to improvise. Then I took lessons from another woman in Stowe who really helped me with some more technical things. Playing events happened very organically, without any intention on my part. I played for fun at the yearly May opening of the Birds of Vermont Museum. People heard me there, and asked me to play in their wedding. This was around 1993 or 1994. From there things just happened, and now I have done well over 100 weddings, as well as openings, funerals, and many other type of events. For my CD. I slowly composed songs, and recorded them over a period of years, and then put out the CD. The first thousand sold with no advertising.

2.) Do you have a certain style of music that you play or different styles?

I play mostly Celtic music, and my own compositions, which have been described to me as kind of new age Celtic, and some Classical. I also play some standards. I definitely lean towards romantic and lyrical music. It’s just what comes out of me, and since I really play for my own enjoyment, I play what I like. Many people have used my CD for stress reduction, or as background for massage therapy, or yoga.

3.) Do you have a list of venues you’ve played?

Yes, many. To name a few, Trapp Family Lodge restaurant, Shelburne Farms Inn, many fund raisers including at the Fire House, The Echo Museum, the Flynn Theater… a running gig at a restaurant called the Equinox, that used to be in Essex Junction, and of course many weddings.

4.) Who/what are your influences? (Musically, personally, spiritually, etc.)

The natural world is a huge influence in my music, and in my life. Part of my belief structure centers around honoring the Earth, and finding the sacred immanence, especially in the elements of air, fire, water and earth. Other important influences have been my family, and my communities of friends. Musically, I have been a folky for a long time. Growing up it was The Kingston Trio, then Simon and Garfunkel, Judy Collins, Joan Baez, later Gordon Lightfoot, Harry Chapin and John Denver. Now I love Richard Shindell. I love World music of many different kinds. In the nineties, Loreena McKennett was a huge inspiration. I really love classical music. I also play percussion in the forms of middle Eastern Tambourine, Tar, djembe, and love all kinds of drumming.

5.) What types of events or audiences do you play for?

I like playing for people in intimate settings, weddings, openings, almost anything… I have played in so many different settings, including campfires around the country.

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