Dear Miss Metheney,
I recently bought your cd "Notes On The Moon". It is truly lovely!
I was a harp student myself, and just graduated from a musician academy in Belgium. I graduated playing Deborah Henson's "New Blues". However, this has been my only experience with jazz/blues on the harp so far.
I would love it if you could give me some inspiration or information, such as where to find the sheet music for your arrangement on "Moondance" from Van Morrison.
Many thanks for considering my request.
Thank you very much for your email!
I love "New Blues," too. Deborah Henson is great! Maybe you would like Baroque Flamenco and Nataliana by her, too.
Yes, its difficult to get started with jazz, and there aren't a lot of options for finding arrangements. My best advice would be to download a piano version of a jazz/blues song you like, then adapt it for the harp with fingerings, pedals, different chords or arpeggios, etc to make it more "harp-y." That's what I did for Moondance. I bought a skeleton version of it from musicnotes.com or sheetmusicplus.com and learned it, then threw away things I didn't like and added notes that sounded good to me. In learning and playing and experimenting, I would make mistakes and play notes that weren't on the page. The beautiful thing about mistakes is that sometimes they sound really cool! So if I accidentally played something "wrong" that actually sounded cool, I would try to remember it for the next time. Little by little, you will have your very own arrangement of a song you love.
If you read chord symbols, there is a whole other world out there for you. A lead sheet is what jazz musicians use to play from and improvise. There is a written melody, usually for the right hand, and above that, there are chord symbols like C (do major) or am (La minor). If you can read the chord symbol, and know that in a C chord, there is a C, E, and G (do, mi, sol), you could play those three notes somewhere in the left hand. So the place to start would be to google image search or purchase the lead sheet of a song you like, then learn the chord symbols, and then have fun making your own arrangement.
I hope this helps get you started!!