Seven years ago, Sabine Silver took up the harp. She was pregnant at the time, and a poet friend recommended she try the instrument out.
“We both agreed that only to play the ancient bardic music of the angels would be sounds fitting for the gift of life growing within me,” Silver says.
She immediately fell in love with the instrument. For the last three years, she’s been performing with her harp on stage, but not in the typical way—she amplifies it and runs it through lots of atmospheric effect pedals. She brings a dreamy, psychedelic, gothy element to her music, and a lot of theatrics, including colorful outfits, makeup and stirring performances. Sometimes she’ll recite a capella monologues or play songs that are as long as 45 minutes.
“The music really does tell many stories,” Silver says. “My intention is to essentially construct a dream-world full of things and sounds [people] have never seen or felt before, to uncover rooms in their caves perhaps forgotten about, to put them into a trance, to trigger such a quality state of higher beauty and refinement.”
She lived in Santa Cruz more than a decade ago, and moved back last summer. Silver brings her fourth album Lucky Penny to the Blue Lagoon on June 12.
If her music sounds intense, that’s because it’s written from an intimate space.
“I’m an expert eavesdropper. And the music that I write these days is inspired completely by eavesdropping, whether it’s said or not said,” Silver says. “Whether it’s a thought or an emotion, the synchronicities and patterns moment-to-moment in life.”
9 p.m. Wednesday, June 12, Blue Lagoon, 923 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $5. 423-7117.