What great duet songs could be played at my wedding?
Recently we set about thinking about our unique selling point and what makes us different to other musical artists and in particular harpists. We totally loved the process, and this is what we came up with.
Duets have been popular for many years, with classical musicians performing together, family duos and famous singers coming together to create something beautiful.
For us being in a duo is really special, not only because we are sisters, but we also both sing and play the harp at the same time. We love arranging all our instrumental music and songs into duets. This unique blend of music can evoke strong emotions, perfect for every type of event.
It led us to have a fun, rainy day, sat on the carpet in our music studio with mum and dad’s old record player. We had the most entertaining time in ages, debating what are the best duet songs ever written, performed and why…
When you sing covers of songs, it’s exciting to be able to go back and listen to some of the classics. It really inspired us to look at some of the best romantic duets. However, picking our favourite lyrics, from each song, was more difficult, because as you will soon hear, each one chosen has a special meaning and its own place on our list. We hope you will love them as much as we do.
Our favourite duet songs perfect for your wedding day (in no particular order)…
They Can’t Take That Away From Me
Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong sum up why a relationship is all about the little things in life. This simple, stripped back and quirky jazz duet takes you back to the era of the 50’s. When choosing your wedding music playlist, it’s often an overlooked song, however it is stunning for the signing of the register, creating a relaxed atmosphere for you and your guests.
“The way you hold your knife
The way we danced till three
The way you changed my life
No, no, they can't take that away from me”
Listen to the original song here https://youtu.be/uhCXXOhQ4zw
Up Where We Belong
Sung by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes (1982), the truthful lyrics and heartfelt melody line really speak to your soul. The simplicity of the first two lines sung by Jennifer, accompanied by just the piano, which builds to the harmonious chorus, makes the song a truly emotional one. Having won numerous awards this is a must have for any wedding music playlist, whether you prefer classic music, or a more modern couple, [Academy Award for Best Original Song, Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, BAFTA Best Original Song Written for a Film].
“Who knows what tomorrow brings
In a world few hearts survive
All I know is the way I feel
When it's real, I keep it alive”
Listen to the original song here https://youtu.be/bjrOcrisGyI
I’ve Had The Time of my Life
A romantic duo song, mostly known for its feature in the cult film ‘Dirty Dancing’. This groovy, contemporary classic track was first released in 1987. It’s a must for couples looking to add the feel-good vibe to their first dance.
“Now I've had the time of my life
No, I never felt like this before
Yes I swear it's the truth
And I owe it all to you”
Listen to the original song here https://youtu.be/4BQLE_RrTSU
When I Said I Do
One of our favourite country songs performed by Clint Black and Lisa Hartman in 1999. This song, with its warm harmonies has truthful lyrics, idyllic for a couple who want something meaningful for walking up the aisle. The simple melody line takes you to somewhere beautiful, imagine your first dance under the stars, that’s exactly the vibe we get when we listen and play this piece of music.
“When I said I do, I meant that I will
Til' the end of all time
Be faithful and true, devoted to you
That's what I had in mind, when I said I do”
Listen to the original song here https://youtu.be/ZgalAdgEd-E
Beneath Your Beautiful
One of our personal favourites, this beautiful song is so touching, when we first heard it we fell head over heels in love with it. It’s an alternative to the more classic song choice, fantastic for modern couples. Sung by Labrinth, featuring the stunning vocals of Emeli Sande, honestly this can only be described as the ‘perfect’ duet.
“Would you let me see beneath your beautiful
Would you let me see beneath your perfect
Take it off now girl, take it off now girl
I wanna see inside
Would you let me see beneath your beautiful tonight”
Listen to the original track here https://youtu.be/bqIxCtEveG8
You Are The Reason
A more recent duet, released by Calum Scott and Leona Lewis in 2018 the sweet harmonies are simple and innocent, giving the song charm and truth. It’s a song which talks about how far you are willing to go for love, ‘I’d climb every mountain’, and why the other person is the reason they want to fight for it.
“I'd climb every mountain
And swim every ocean
Just to be with you
And fix what I've broken
'Cause I need you to see
That you are the reason”
Listen to the original track here https://youtu.be/ByfFurjQDb0
When Ed Sheeran and Andrea Bocelli came together to record ‘Perfect Symphony’, they produced a track which was not only romantic, but also creative and elegant too. Blending the original English lyrics with Bocelli’s Italian vocals creates beautiful harmonies for your first dance. This song has a really ‘warm’ family feeling. Why not watch the official video to see how Ed Sheeran and Andrea Bocelli recorded it, we can’t stop watching it?
“Baby, I'm dancing in the dark, with you between my arms
Barefoot on the grass, listening to our favourite song
When I saw you in that dress, looking so beautiful
I don't deserve this, darling, you look perfect tonight”
Listen to the original track here https://youtu.be/eiDiKwbGfIY
Crazy in Love
If you love upbeat, contemporary R&B pop music, this duet between Beyonce and JAY Z should have a place in on your wedding music playlist. It’s been labelled a ‘classic’ and thought to have ‘got even better over the years’. In fact, this song sounds great as an instrumental, slowed down as you walk down the aisle or performed faster as you exit your wedding ceremony (recessional).
“I look and stare so deep in your eyes
I touch on you more and more every time
When you leave, I'm begging you not to go
Call your name two or three times in a row
Such a funny thing for me to try to explain
How I'm feeling and my pride is the one to blame
'Cause I know I don't understand
Just how your love can do what no one else can”
Listen to the original track here https://youtu.be/ViwtNLUqkMY
This is a duet we wrote and performed, inspired by love and friendship between couples we are lucky enough to meet and play for. It’s called ‘Always’ and talks about how the other person is everything they need.
“Waiting for you to arrive at the door,
Bridesmaids with flowers as you take to the floor.
Friends are all gathered and family is waiting,
But my eyes are always on you.”
Listen to the original track here https://youtu.be/u0uIf0I4H2w
Can I have a duet played at my wedding?
If you have a favourite duet and would love us to play it at your wedding, just ask us about it here. https://2ofharps.com/contact/ Or, if you would like for us to write something specially for you, we would love to create something new for your wedding day!
What is a USP [Unique Selling Point]?
Before we started this process, we hadn’t really got the essence of what is unique about us, 2 of Harps. Now we totally understand that a USP is, what makes you – you or in our case ‘us’. What makes us stand out from the other music professionals.
We really took our time, and totally enjoyed searching for what is our USP, and found that, in fact, it’s not only about being in a duo: two harps and two voices, that makes us unique, but it is also the music we create together. We create a truly unique sound, that is deep, rich, soulful and has lilting melodies. By beautifully arranging, writing timeless instrumental-acoustic and vocals we create the most stunning, uplifting and ambient music for your wedding.
If you are keen to add layers of uniqueness to your wedding or special event, please complete our online enquiry form and let’s arrange to meet to discuss how we (Karina and Adel), can together play some unique music to entertain your guests.
Why is live music better than recorded music for my wedding ceremony?
Why should I book live music for my wedding ceremony?
There are many reasons why live music supersedes recorded music during your wedding ceremony. The wedding ceremony is one of the most important parts of your wedding day and the music should capture the special moment for you and your guests. Many people think of live music as an ‘add on’ for their wedding, however live music is essential as it creates a relaxed atmosphere and unforgettable memories for you and your guests.
Live harp music can add that special ‘wow factor’. By keeping the harpists, a secret until your wedding day, as guests enter the ceremony area, it can make for a wonderful surprise. A truly unique addition to your wedding day.
Not only can live music be enjoyed by every age group, but having a musician performing at your event instead of recorded music ensures everything runs smoothly on the day. If there is a delay for any reason, 2 of Harps will entertain your guests before the wedding ceremony begins meaning you do not have to worry about your music running out.
Why do I need live music for when I walk down the aisle?
Walking down the aisle is a monumental moment for anyone, so why not make the music just as special as the moment itself?
Although some couples opt for ‘free’ ways of playing music for their entrance song, using for example Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Amazon Music or CDs etc. Sadly, the more affordable way of playing music for your wedding ceremony may not be such a bargain. These cheaper options can be a huge hassle that can cause stress for both you and your venue staff. Even when couples have thought they have downloaded their music, sometimes this is not the case, it can simply turn out that they have the wrong version. And, at some venues, especially in rural locations the internet and WiFi connection can be poor, meaning that your music can be slow to download, or sticking or ‘buffering’ can occur. Not something you want for your wedding ceremony. With so many different phone sockets, wires and adapters needed, it only takes one broken or forgotten wire to spoil your wedding music, whereas 2 of Harps can adapt and be flexible.
If you book live music, such as 2 of Harps, you won’t have to worry about WiFi, internet connection, putting the correct track on, CDs sticking and adverts interrupting your walk down the aisle or the rest of your ceremony.
When booking 2 of Harps, timing is also something you will not have to worry about. Adel and Karina will work with you expertly to create the perfect music to fit the length of your walk down the aisle. After all, you don’t want to be worrying about counting footsteps to a song you have heard on YouTube.
An additional feature of live music, which recorded music simply cannot reproduce, is the fact that your song will be truly unique. At your one to one meeting, 2 of Harps will discuss your musical preferences. Which songs and styles you like. If you have a song in mind, they will be more than happy to look at arranging this for either two harps as a breathtaking instrumental piece, or an elegant vocal harmony and two harp duet. Adel and Karina can also arrange your favourite song to suit the ambiance and your wedding theme and can perform it in a style that suits your ceremony.
Whether you both love a club classic song, but imagine it sung slowed down in the tempo of a romantic ballad, or are looking for a music medley of traditional tunes that mean something to you. 2 of Harps can create a sound that is rich and full of emotion to capture the famous resonant sound of the harp, in a modern, alternative and contemporary style and performed uniquely for you.
What about music during the rest of the ceremony?
You can now imagine yourself walking down the aisle to the magic sound of the harp. But what about the rest of the ceremony, and is music necessary?
Adel says, “It’s not only your aisle song music that’s important, but live music before and during the ceremony can make such a difference. Wedding guests can be waiting for your arrival anywhere from ten minutes, up to half an hour. So, keeping your guests entertained is definitely a priority. Many brides take this opportunity to design a music playlist styled to their wedding theme (Disney, Blues & Jazz, Show Stoppers, Boho and Country Garden Wedding Playlists) which we love performing.”
Live music creates a common talking point between family and friends who may not have met before your wedding day. It can help to relax them, set the tone and can break the silence which can sometimes cause nervous energy before the ceremony, especially in large empty spaces such as churches.
Karina says, “The signing of the register (or certificate for celebrants led weddings) is when your guests are sitting and waiting for you and your witnesses to sign the register followed by photographs. Harp music and singing can be a wonderful way to entertain your guests during this time. If you are having an outdoor ceremony, this helps to keep the ceremony organised and guests are less likely to leave their seats because they can watch the musical performance.”
Karina continues, “Because in most churches, the signing of the register takes place in a side chapel, it’s magical to have such a magnificent building filled with the mellow sound of the harps. It is truly lovely to have background music which you have chosen”.
Adel adds, “Some couples really struggle to find their perfect exit music (as you walk back down the aisle). Having your perfect exit song performed live is not only incredibly exciting but creates a positive vibe as everyone leaves the ceremony area. We genuinely believe it’s not the same playing the same track on a loop. Karina and I make sure we arrange each exit song with care, so all your guests have left the area before the music fades. It’s always a fantastic feeling as guests thank us on their way out, commenting and thanking us for the ‘lovely and beautiful’ music”.
Why choose 2 of Harps for our ceremony?
2 of Harps know that booking a musician for your wedding ceremony should not only be a positive experience, but also a personal one. So that is why they invite you to a pre-wedding meeting to get to know you and your music style for your big day. At the meeting you will be able to listen to live samples of their vocals and harp instrumentals, which will help you to decide on music for your entrance, signing of the register and exit.
For a wedding ceremony, 2 of Harps play a selection of music based on your personal preferences for the seating of the guests. They will entertain your guests until you arrive, so if you are delayed there will still be music.
If you choose something special to you and 2 of Harps don’t have your song in their extensive repertoire of over 500 different pieces of music, they will learn it for you! Adel says “We know it’s important to choose the perfect song for your entrance. That’s why we will guide you in the process and help you to choose your dream song. Whether this is a romantic ballad, an alternative rock cover, or something classic, it’s totally up to you.”
2 of Harps play your choice of music for the signing of the register and you can listen to the music whilst your photographs are taken. For the exit they play the tune you have chosen. This music carries on until all your guests have exited the ceremony area. 2 of Harps believe the exit song should be something crowd pleasing, uplifting with lyrics to suit your wedding theme that really celebrates the moment.
Karina says, “Many couples struggle to find their perfect exit song, but that’s why we’re here! We enjoy coming up with ideas and helping you find great songs you’ll absolutely love. Our one-to-one meeting is the perfect opportunity to be creative with your music choices and to curate your wedding music playlist with us.”
Karina and Adel concluded with, “We can’t wait to meet you and hopefully to share your big day” x
Why choose two harpists over one for your wedding music?
As two sisters, who have grown up learning to play the harp to a professional level, we believe that with all our experience and knowledge we are best placed to share with you why two harps can bring that extra special romantic experience to your big day.
Music can play such an important role in your wedding day with harpists remaining a popular option for both your ceremony, drinks reception and during your wedding breakfast as couples often want more classical music, but with a modern twist for the first part of their special day.
Does booking one harpist save you money?
There is no industry set fee for a harpist to play at your wedding and fees tend to vary depending on several factors, such as:
- when you would like to book the harpist to play from and until
- whether you want them to play for your Wedding Ceremony, the Drinks Reception only
- if you want to include playing throughout your Wedding Breakfast
- do you want them to work later and perform for your First Dance?
- Where your venue is located
- If there is a change of venue, for example we start at your church and then move onto your venue.
Whether you book a solo artist or two harpists, the most important piece of advice is to know what you are getting for the fee you’re paying.
What are the pros of booking two harpists for your wedding?
There are many benefits of booking two harpists (a duo) instead of just one harpist. These include:
- the main benefit being the quality and depth of sound
- some music is written for two musical instruments
- making your experience doubly memorable as the joint sound will not only be charming but also set your event apart!
- your guests will remember seeing two harps up close
- everyone will feel the emotion and the atmosphere evoked by watching and listening to professional musicians.
What happens if you book 2 of harps for your wedding?
2 of Harps will be delighted to not only provide you with a personal service, from the time you book, but also right up to after your wedding day. This ensures that your wedding harp music on your big day and any harp music on your treasured wedding videos are perfect.
It’s so important to know what you can expect when booking your harpist, such as what music they will play or if there is a meeting beforehand. 2 of Harps offer you a one-to-one meeting, to:
- really get to know you both
- understand what music you like and why
- discuss your music arrangements for your wedding day
- help you select a style of music for your tailored playlist.
Why should we book 2 of harps?
2 of Harps are the only harp and vocal duo in the world – with two harps and two voices. This means that yours and your guests experience is truly unique, a one of a kind music act for your wedding day.
What better way than to entertain your guests with live singing accompanied by the mellow tones of the magical harps?
Seeing two traditional harps at your wedding, are aesthetically pleasing to the eye and make a stunning backdrop for your ceremony. However, if your space is small or you want a less imposing instrument, we offer practical alternatives.
2 of Harps can perform with different sizes of harps, both large and small, giving us the flexibility to move throughout the day and change location. As a result we can move sets quickly and efficiently, because we aren’t held back by the impracticalities of a full-sized pedal (orchestra) harp. Because there are two harpists, it means that one harpist can continue to play during the move to your next location.
Adel said, “Karina and I have harps that can also be amplified; these are perfect for your wedding ceremony, drinks reception and wedding breakfast. This ensures that we can be heard by all your guests and not just the guests sitting nearest us. This is great for larger venues and for bigger groups of guests. Two harps are perfect for weddings which are happy, celebratory, and as a result, at times noisy occasions! Having two harps means that the music is loud enough to be heard by everyone, even if you’re looking for relaxing, contemporary classical background music”.
Karina added, “Harps that are amplified have the benefit of being heard easier outdoors. For example, we have performed at venues with surround sound, where we have been able to plug into your venue’s sound system, (videographers love this). This can be great during the reception, when guests are enjoying their drinks, both in and outside the venue but the live music can be heard near the harpists and through speakers. This also works well when guests are called away for photos as this means you the couple will still be able to hear the music you have chosen”.
Will two harps take up more space?
You may have seen a huge harp on TV or YouTube, and if you have a small intimate venue, of course this could cause you some concern. However, finding enough space has never been an issue for 2 of Harps, we can play in the smallest of spaces. With the two especially made Lever Harps (which are smaller than harps you usually see played in orchestras) you can rest asured there will be enough space for us. The Lever Harps not only save space but are easily transportable. They are also suitable for venues with tricky staircases that other harpists would struggle to ascend and descend.
Adel said, “In fact we have moved our harps up and down some impressive staircases, ranging in size and height, including a 77 stone spiral stairs at the impressive, immaculate and stunning Borthwick Castle, in Scotland https://www.borthwickcastle.com/, we couldn’t believe how amazing this place was having travelled up from the Kent coast!”
Karina continued, “We have a range of hand–crafted Lever harps including their 27 string Mark Norris harps http://www.norrisharps.com/choices-content/levers that are perfect for compact spaces. Adel and I can stand up with these harps, so we don’t even need space for chairs! We have attended some International weddings with these harps, because they have handmade flight cases and are small and so relatively easy to travel with”.
What difference does it make having two harps, to the sound of the music?
If you haven’t considered a harp duo for your wedding, this is the perfect time.
Two harps offer you so much more. You can compare the difference if you imagine a singer without an instrument and a singer with an instrument. Two musicians playing at the same time provides you with a richer, fuller sound, because there are more layers to the music, than a soloist can achieve. It means that the melody line, or tune, is easier to pick out and recognise for your guests.
Adel added, “We often hear guests singing along to popular songs and harp covers during the drinks reception or after the wedding breakfast. Sometimes we even hear guests playing ‘guess the tune’ which always leads to further requests.”
Karina continued, “We love to chat and interact with your wedding guests. It’s fantastic when they ask us questions about the harps. They often ask us if the harps are different from each other, for example, if one plays the bass. It’s wonderful that they have such an interest in the instrument and what we do. We know we strike the right note and leave a positive lasting impression on your guests!”
Having two harps enhances the depth and texture of the sound. Not only do you have everything one harpist would usually play, but an added extra layer of sound which complements the other harp, creating an intense and magical feeling of harmony.
What if you have your heart set on a piece of music that is a song?
2 of Harps also sing as a duo, whilst playing the harps, for your wedding so you can choose whether you have just instrumental music or vocals perhaps during your drink’s reception?
If you have a favourite song, but can’t decide whether to have the original song or and instrumental version, why not have something arranged specially for you by 2 of Harps? You could even have your favourite song played on the two harps and sung in harmony for walking down the aisle.
If you’re looking for music that isn’t just classical for your big day, popular covers on two harps sound perfect. Because there are two harps rather than one, Adel and Karina can experiment to produce an authentically sounding instrumental cover, not always easily achieved with a single instrument.
If you’re a more traditional bride and for example Pachelbel’s Canon https://youtu.be/JNbe34V1nog is your dream piece of music for your entrance, then two harps are perfect. A ‘canon’ is a piece originally written for two instruments, with the main line echoed by a second line, often in forms of variation, creating two lines of blended sound, which entwine together. To achieve this effect on one harp is really is impossible, and thus only two harps can play a truly authentic Pachelbel’s Canon, or also popularly known as ‘Canon in D’.
What do our clients say about 2 of Harps?
Here are some kind words:
“The girls are amazing, so talented and friendly. Patiently helped us to choose all of our music before the wedding, we had so much fun choosing the music at their beautiful house, they gave us so many surprises. All of our guests enjoyed their music so much on the day. Thank you very much for making our day perfect!”
– Cher Bai
What type of music can be played on the harp?
There is no specific type of music that can be played on the harp because, (especially during the recent years), harpists have begun expanding their repertoire. This means that some harpists, like other established musicians and bands have developed their own unique sound.
At 2 of Harps we play a wide variety of genres, including covers of songs you may not have thought possible, but have always dreamt of having at your wedding. These range from contemporary classical pieces, popular music from the top charts, favourite romantic ballads, Disney and Theatre songs. Adel and Karina also play Blues, Jazz, Motown and Reggae songs, for those looking at something alternative and contemporary for their wedding day.
Did you also know the harp is a wonderful acoustic instrument to accompany the voice. 2 of Harps are the only two harp and two voice duo in the world! Their beautiful harmonies, over the underlying tone of the two harps can bring something completely new and unique to your wedding day and will really wow your wedding guests.
Can I ask the harpist to learn a particular song for my wedding?
At 2 of Harps we understand it is important to capture memories on your wedding day with music and words that are special to you. Yes, Adel and Karina can learn other music which is not already in their repertoire (which consists of over six hundred pieces).
Whether it’s a song that celebrates you as a couple with your family, or something that reminds you of when you first met and perhaps even your proposal. Maybe it’s a new song that you’ve heard which you would love to walk down the aisle to, we will ensure your music is perfect for those meaningful moments, all we need is a little time – time to meet and understand why the musical piece is important to you, time to practice and time to perfect – we usually ask for around four weeks.
Can I book a harpist for my church wedding?
The sound of an organ at your church wedding service can be very traditional and being honest it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. As a consequence, some couples choose not to have the church organ for their wedding ceremony. Because of this, 2 of Harps offer to lead the Hymns, both singing and playing for you and your guests. This makes for a less formal service and blends perfectly with your other chosen music.
As an aside but whilst on hymns, did you know if you are getting married at a venue, it’s important to make you aware that the venue’s license does not enable you to include traditional hymns during your civil wedding ceremony. However, an excerpt of a piece of music selected by you is a beautiful and alternative way to capture words, either instead of, or in addition to a reading.
Can I have a harpist at an alternative wedding?
Yes, you can have harps playing at an alternative wedding. Because 2 of Harps can play the harp not only in an utterly romantic, manor but they have also had them designed to create a modern looking and sounding instrument, that can fit into any type of wedding. Whether this is a historical castle, a traditional country barn, boutique wedding hotel, fairground boho themed wedding or an outdoor festival wedding, their harps can either bring something truly elegant, or a little ‘quirky’ to your alternative day.
Will the size of the harp make a difference to my wedding day?
The harp is known for being aesthetically pleasing to the eye. With the stunning instrument coming in many different shapes and sizes, many people believe smaller harps can mean less and a poorer quality of sound, however this is a myth. 2 of Harps have different types of harp because it enables them to have the flexibility to choose what kind of sound they want to achieve when they perform, as not all harps sound the same, but also if you prefer the look of a larger, more traditional, or smaller harp we will work with you to get the best look and sound on your wedding day.
2 of harps have two larger 36 string harps called ‘Eos’, which is Welsh for Nightingale, and two smaller 27 string harps, made by the renown harp maker Mark Norris (to read more about the amazing Mark http://www.norrisharps.com)
All four of our harps can also be amplified through speakers, this makes them very versatile instruments to have for your wedding day. 2 of Harps can provide indoor and outdoor amplification for your wedding, which means the sound of the harps carries, and because the harps are small and easy to move they can be played (weather permitting) wherever you and your wedding guests may be.
Is the harp for me on my wedding day?
A common question asked that we hear a lot at 2 of harps is, ‘Is the harp for me on my wedding day?’ At 2 of Harps’ we always answer; “Many people we speak to (and some who we have played for) have never even thought of a harp, or a harpist for their wedding or special event and those who have, often have a misconception of what a harpist is really like. Some associate the harp with orchestras, angels, or Disney and fairytales! As modern-day harpists, we want to offer you something completely different – an alternative way of experiencing live music from a romantic and classical instrument, yet still being able to enjoy contemporary, pop, rock, jazz and other brilliant genres on your wedding day”.
Adel continued, “There is something so exciting, when we see people recognise the music we are playing. It always makes us smile when wedding guests sing along to songs during the signing of the registrar, during the drinks and canapes reception or wedding breakfast!
One of the most important things for both of us, as musicians, is to make the harp accessible to everyone. Our repertoire is broad, so there is music for all ages and tastes”
Karina added “We are always happy, when our clients are happy. It is such a pleasure to receive exceptional reviews and testimonials after performing at weddings, events and concert.”
“Massive thanks to the girls for a brilliant performance throughout our wedding at Swarling Manor in March. The music was perfect and the fact you performed for so long was amazing. 2 of Harps were so accommodating in learning specific songs for the wedding which was amazing. Cannot recommend highly enough x
Dominic Comins” http://www.swarlingmanor.com/
Duo Means Two, or Does It?
The inspiration for this blog came to me when I sat thinking about Karina, my sister, and how we have always done everything together.
Ever since we were little, we would take on new challenges, try new things and go on adventures – together. So, when we both had an interest in music, it only made sense for both of us, to learn and perform together.
Later, ‘2 of Harps’ was born.
At the young age of 12 and 16, we didn’t realise the potential our young ‘duo’ had. We played because we loved music, the sheer joy we had from it and the happiness we saw it brought others.
Soon, we realised we both wanted to make music our jobs and invested time and money into expanding our small family business. We didn’t realise we would face obstacles, but all the experiences, both negative and positive helped us grow as people and musicians.
After years of performing, rehearsing, composing, working, collaborating and sharing ideas together, we knew we were much more than just a duo. It may have started with playing two harps together, but as we began introducing our voices and other instruments, we realised we were a team…
Two sisters. Two harps. Two voices.
Writing Music – Our Story
Written by Adel
The first time I realised I wanted to write music, was after my Grade 1 Harp Exam. Although I am only 22, this was many years ago now, when I was living in Scotland.
I remember the exam day as clearly as if it were today. I was doing both my Grades 1 and 2 one after another, very unusual and nerve wracking for me! I had chosen my favourite pieces to play and was well prepared thanks to my fantastic teacher Helen MacLeod. The exams were taking place during the Edinburgh International Harp Festival, it was busy, so there were several people helping out. After noting down my tunes, Ellie, one of the helpers said, ‘ You do realise the examiner is Wendy Stewart?’ My chest felt tighter – I’d picked two pieces to play written by her! Eeeek! I had no time to panic, just gather my thoughts and go into the room where I would meet Wendy, the person who first inspired me to write music.
Sisters of the Harp
On the way back home, I thought about the stories I could create through my music, just like Wendy had. Shortly after that, I found myself with my own manuscript book, sitting at the harp wondering how and where to start. That wasn’t the problem however. After some false starts and bad attempts, I finally completed my first piece called Pebbles which would later feature on one of our 2 of Harps albums ‘Sorelle di Harpa’ [sisters of the harp]. The problem I found with writing, was stopping. I could sit for hours at the harp. If it wasn’t for my parents reminding me it was lunchtime, I would forget to eat and drink.
It was not until a couple of years after I first began writing music, that I began collaborating with my sister in writing songs. Eight songs and an album later [Moving On], we discovered that when we worked together, we were unstoppable. It allowed us to explore ideas, be more creative and bounce off each other.
Now, several years later and with more understanding of the music we want to create, we are working to produce an album which showcases our story and musical journey.
If you loved reading about our music and would like to download one of our albums, click here.
Breaking [it] Down
So many things to think about when you’re heading out for a gig. You’ve loaded up your vehicle. You’ve left plenty of time to get to the venue…
The engine won’t start!
It’s normal to panic, but there are steps you can take as a musician to avoid it.
We had finished playing at a wedding and packed our car, ready to go home. Except we couldn’t… Our car wouldn’t start! But there was no need to panic. With great business insurance and breakdown cover, we called the RAC and were able to drive home [although later than planned..!].
You’re in Safe Hands!
The RAC fixed the problem, and even if the car had to be taken away, we could have:
- been driven to another venue [if we had another performance], then back home, with all our equipment
- given a replacement vehicle, until ours was fixed
- driven to any immediately upcoming performances
We’ve Got it Covered – Have you?
- Is your vehicle covered for business use? You may need to double check this and update your insurance.
- Breakdown cover. It’s best to be safe than sorry. Look at the best cover, not the best price. Always speak with an expert first. Things you might want to consider include: do they provide alternative travel to and from the venue? What about a vehicle replacement if yours is being fixed. You’ll need this, especially if you have performances booked for the following day.
- No musician wants to miss a gig. Be organised. Have you registered with the Musicians’ Union? Have a look at the benefits – it’s worth the money and takes little of your time. If you’re not an MU Member, you’re missing out! Sign up, Like and Follow them online.
A Girl Should Be Two Things, Classy and Fabulous
At 2 of Harps we believe that looking the best for any event is important, that’s why, we have been redesigning our image and developing our style.
‘Your Hair is Your Crown’
Life can be hectic and stressful. Your hair is the last thing you think about and before you know it, it’s time to head out of the door to perform… Not any more! Thanks to Gillian Smissen, our hair stylist who has adapted hairstyles for us that are quick and easy, we are never left with a ‘bad hair day’ look.
‘Makeup Magnifies the Beauty That Already Exists’
Musicians don’t always look flawless, they don’t wear makeup whilst writing lyrics for their songs, or whilst in the recording studio. Our makeup artist Gillian Smissen [https://www.gilliansmissen.com/]works with our skin to find the best products and create effortless looks for photoshoots, events and performances on stage. It’s all about creating the perfect balance to match the overall look. We love working with someone so talented!
‘Fashions Fade, Style is Eternal’ – Yves Saint Laurent
We have been developing our individual style, so that we stay comfortable, but still look and feel great! We have chosen to pair up fashionable and modern dresses with Converse shoes. It’s all about the colours and the cut of the dress to make us look elegant yet allowing us to move around with ease. Why Converse shoes? [https://www.converse.com/uk]They are comfortable, they look fantastic and they come in gorgeous colours and textiles, from glittery pink, to sequined silver and hessian gold.
Our style showcases us as people, it helps others see our characters – young, fun, elegant and with a passion for fashion!
Dressed to Impress
Thanks to the Golden Valley Cleaners, our dresses always look the best. A personal service, leaving us feeling fantastic for all our performances and events.
Golden Valley Cleaners at 125 Enbrook Valley, Folkestone, Kent, CT20 3NE. Tel. 01303 221748
Our Charity of the Year 2019!
Photographs by @howlingbasset Photography – performing at the Hythe Imperial Hotel for a Summer Wedding July 2018
Keeping Up to Date
At the musicians agency in Tenerife ‘Artistas de Tenerife’ planning and organising our Tour 2019!
Like and Follow
Wedding Harp Music
Browse our repertoire
Wedding harp music – https://2ofharps.com/musicrepertoire/musicforyourday/
Professional Harpists based in Kent
Thank you to everyone who came to support us at our concert and afternoon tea today (08/09/17), raising money for the Community First Responders.
Adel and Karina received Awards at the National Art Award Presentation Evening at the Copthorne Tara Hotel in South Kensington, London on Monday 17th October.
Karina won Gold in the Child Music Category and Adel was presented with Silver in the Youth Music Age Group for their music compositions.
Adel and Karina would like to thank everyone who attended their ‘Concert and Afternoon Tea’ on the 14th September at St Mary’s Bay Village Hall to help fundraise for Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance.
Adel and Karina performed for a Private Sponsors Party of Art for Youth London, Mall Galleries SW1 London.
2nd July 2016
Adel and Karina playing harps, flute and singing at Saltwood – Sandgate Centre for Dance, a night of Celtic Capers – we also had the opportunity to fundraise for our Charity of the Year 2016 – The Kent Sussex and Surrey Air Ambulance!
2 of Harps’ Charity of the Year 2016
Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance
“The charity exists to relieve sick and injured people in South East England and surrounding areas by providing a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) and Air Ambulance Service for the benefit of the community.
The Kent Air Ambulance Trust, a registered charity, was established in 1989, to provide an air ambulance service for the people of Kent. 2005 saw the introduction of doctors on board and, in 2007, the Trust expanded its service and launched a second helicopter to cover the counties of Surrey and Sussex.”
To find out more about this charity’s work please visit https://www.kssairambulance.org.uk/
Help 2 of Harps Raise Money to Save Lives
To make a donation please contact 2 of Harps, or you could attend one of their fundraising concerts or events – 07795 511355 or email email@example.com
June 19, 2015
Seven exceptional volunteers were honoured for their dedication to improving the lives of local young people at The Duke of Gloucester’s Volunteer Award ceremony, held at the Coca-Cola London Eye last week.
Innovative Volunteering – Adel and Karina Wilson
Adel and Karina Wilson have been volunteering for five years. Both sisters run mini harp workshops for vulnerable children and adults in their local community in Kent, providing others with the opportunity to play a harp and listen to music. They also lead highland dancing workshops.
Bristol A-level student Levi Hodge was announced as the Volunteer of the Year for his role in providing positive activities to young people facing adversity. Levi also won the Leadership category for his outstanding contribution to a regional youth forum that has successfully brought local young people together with the police, councillors and MP’s to address anti-social behaviour.
Levi commented: “I can’t believe I’ve won! This is amazing. Volunteering has helped me turned my life around and given me a positive outlook for my future. I’d never be going to university without the support of Youth Moves and I’m so grateful to them for nominating me.”
Levi says his life could have been very different if his youth club hadn’t engaged him in volunteering at a time when he was getting into trouble with the police and at risk of being excluded from school.
Six other lucky winners who were chosen out of 13,500 volunteers in Ambition’s national network of youth clubs and community projects, also received a prestigious HRH Duke of Gloucester Volunteer Award
Enterprise – Claire Kelly
Claire co-facilitates the Youth Forum at the New Horizons Youth Centre in Kings Cross, which gives young people a voice on how the centre is managed. In 2014 Claire set up a social enterprise market stall called ‘Crepe Up’.
Fundraising – John Shallcross
John is a successful local business man who has led Nortumberland Club for Young People’s Corporate Fundraising Programme for last 30 years. He has raised over £1,000,000 for the organisation, and has established a number of successful partnerships and sponsorship opportunities.
Healthy Lifestyles – Matthew Thorne
For the last two and a half years Matthew has volunteered twice a week after school. He runs the ‘Fit to Run’ project and the ‘Happy’ video project in Poole for young adults with learning disabilities, and provides weekly activities for 9-12 year olds including cooking, games and trips out.
Social Action Project – Young Advisors NE Lincolnshire
The Young Advisors started a youth campaign in February 2012 to improve access and accessibility to public transport. As a result of their campaign, Stagecoach agreed to introduce a cheaper ‘Holidayrider’ for young people as a trial in the school holidays, and bus usage in the area increased by 60%. The campaign has been a huge success and continues to this day, enabling thousands of young people and families to access positive activities.
Helen Marshall, Chief Executive of Ambition commented: “Volunteering is a fantastic way for young people to gain transferable skills and life experience, making a positive difference not only to themselves but also to their local community. All of our winners should feel very proud of their achievements and I’m delighted that we could celebrate with them.”
All winners received a cash prize. Levi will attend Ambition’s prestigious 90th anniversary Gala Dinner at Kensington Palace on 7 July 2015 to receive his award from HRH The Duke of Gloucester.
The Duke of Gloucester’s Volunteer Awards launched in January 2015 to celebrate the 90thanniversary of Ambition. Prince Richard, HRH The Duke of Gloucester, has been Ambition’s president since 1974 following in the footsteps of his father, Prince Henry, who became President of the charity in 1926.
Here you can listen to music recorded by 2 of Harps. Follows 2 of Harps on SoundCloud and be the first to know when new music is released!