|Harold E. Smith|
Artist Views: 51371
City of Birth: earth
Current Residence: world
Played With: Discography
**In The Valley Of Sacred Sound
**Unconditional Love/ Creates Good Vibrations
**Wild Flowers Volume 5
*Crystals, Sam Rivers
Ancestral Link Hotel
*Philly Jazz, Byard Lancaster
*Joe McPhee Surival Unit 2
with Clifford Thornton
*Trinity, Joe McPhee
*Live, Frank Wright
(**= Harold as leader on these recordings)
Instruments: drums, wind and percussion instruments from many continents, gongs, whistles, conch shells, traditional Australian Didjeridoo and vocals.
Other Activities: Mr. Smith is also an incredible Light Worker.
|As a multitalented musician, Harold E. Smith makes music out of anything he picks up. He plays drums, wind and percussion instruments from many continents, gongs, whistles, conch shells and the traditional Australian Didjeridoo. In the jazz domain, Harold is noted for his highly energized, emotional, and innovative style of drumming, both as a leader and sideman. In all domains, Harold Smith is a person deeply in touch with the spirit of nature and the nature of our spirit. The first time he picked up the didjeridoo, he could play it. When he plays, he is always in conversation with the Great Spirit. He makes music that warms folk’s hearts, and brings smiles to their faces. The music comes from his heart, and his magical soul to ours. Harold has not just sought out the indigenous instruments from around the world, he has spent time with people who make and play them in concert settings and socially. From the Australian Aborigines, Wugularr Community, the very ones that made some of his Didjeridoos, sharing talks and music in his home, to the Tibetan Monks from various monasteries, Sera Je, Ganden Jangtse, and the more recent Drepung Gomang Monastery, with whom he has spent the most time helping them raise funds to build their new Monastery. |
Harold’s compositions reflect the relationship between the old world and the modern world without compromise. In order to write the music, one has to have the understanding that many of these instruments being played have only ONE BASIC NOTE, such as the didjeridoo, conch shells, gongs, drums, chimes and many more. So, to make the composition flow smoothly for those who are playing modern instruments, you have to write and build every thing around that singular key signature of the ancient instruments that are chosen to be play on any given song. Also the didjeridoo requirers circular breathing, a technique of seemingly breathing in and out at the same time, that has been used by various indigenous cultures for thousands of years.
*Reviews#1 JAZZMATAZZ Harold E. Smith
In The Valley Of Sacred Sound
It is no wonder that drumming was banned during the slave-holding years in America. Drums were tools of communication, perceived as able to telegraph messages indecipherable to slave owners and as the richest, most telling connection to African religion.
Drumming, or more broadly speaking percussion, remains communicative as both medium and message for spiritual religions. Percussion is ultimately about pulse, breath and the cadences at which meditation and enchantment occur. And percussion permeates and powers the spirituality of In The Valley Of Sacred Sound.
Philadelphia-based drummer Harold Smith switched to the didjeridoo, gongs, conch shells, and small percussion, and joined them with the pulsations of two master musicians—Badal Roy on Indian tabla and Steve Turre on trombone and conch shells—to create pieces at once environmental and structured, where pulsing rhythms, some of which drove funk and Miles Davis and others of which are as natural as breathing deeply, prove meditative and invigorating. Atop, within, and intimately a part of the rhythms are the didjeridoo, trombone and conch shells, instruments used to create heart-reaching tones and seemingly-Tibetan-like chants, not really melodies but nonetheless songs. And albeit meditative, this is rarely somnolent—the pulses are intense, indeed racing, even while spiritual.
Jazz? Somewhat, as there is clear improvisation and at times a funk that ultimately is rooted in swing. International? Of course, as disparate religious, ethnic and national elements are joined. Successful? Undeniably. This is a beautiful work on the musician’s own label, one that deserves a good listen and certainly rewards and sustains.
— Jules Epstein, January 2001
*Review#2 GMN Exotic CD Released By Harold E. Smith Percussionist, didjeridoo-player and pursuer of multicultural and spiritual musical expression Harold E. Smith, has recently released an unusual and evocative CD entitled "In the Valley of Sacred Sound" on his own label. Accompanied by Steve Turre on trombone, conch shells and percussion and Badal Roy on tabla, the Philadelphia-based Smith adds his own battery of percussion instruments, gongs, conch shell and didjeridoo to the mix for a totally engaging foray into a world of ethnomusicological exotica. First brought to my attention by close friend and Peabody Award-winning documentarian Steve Rowland, the music is best described in Steve’s liner notes: "(This music) sounds so good because it hits the spirit center. And that interchange of parts - which cycles from the breath, to the beat, into the heart of the vibration - through that cosmic, funky groove, and finally to the soul. Your soul. Our soul. Soul music."
Deeply rhythmic, heartfelt and beautifully performed with great sensitivity, "In the Valley of Sacred Sound" offers collective improvisation at its best and most provocative, with swirling soundscapes created by three musicians who truly demonstrate the meaning of synergy. Smith, who has performed with many fine artists, most notably the great saxophonist/flautist/composer/theoretician Sam Rivers, has been focusing lately on the didjeridoo, a long-deeply resonant instrument from New Guinea made from the hollowed-out bamboo-like stalk of the Century Plant. It’s dark, haunting sound is reminiscent of the East African Bung’o horn or Tibetan trumpets. Roy, best known for his work with Miles Davis and a veteran of many boundary-crossing musical fusions, and Turre, who leads his own Sanctified Shells group and has performed with everyone from Dizzy Gillespie and Tito Puente to Lester Bowie and the "Saturday Night Live" Band, are ideal companions for this delightful musical experience. George Lane Sun Nov 12 2000 (8:07:22 PM )
“Harold is a multidimensional healer who uses sound to bring an individual into alignment physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. He has a powerful presence, with a heart as big as he is tall. Many of his clients are healers themselves. He plays various sacred instruments, primarily the Aboriginal didjeridoo, as well as Tibetan bells, bowls, Indonesian gongs, conch shells and drums to facilitate healing. In addition to his tonal work, he also utilizes several other modalities such as therapeutic touch, quantum touch, he is also a reiki master and channels messages from Spirit. Harold is an an accomplished performance artist as well and is available for concerts and salon gathering,which are very POWERFUL” Hemitra Crecraft and Sue King, administrative directors of Spring Haven Center.
08/12/02 - Posted 12:51:36 AM from the Daily Record newsroom
Australian instrument brings healing power
By Zenaida Mendez, Daily Record
MORRISTOWN - Susan Rospond sat up in her chair, closed her eyes, and absorbed the deep, vibrating sounds emanating from the didgeridoo played by Harold Smith.
More than halfway through his healing concert at the First Church of Religious Science, Smith went around the room and played a chocolate brown didgeridoo named Stumpy into each person's chest.
After a couple of minutes with Rospond, she exhaled deeply and a smile spread across her face.
"I don't know if I have words to describe it," the Morristown resident said after the two-hour concert. "It was soothing. It makes your soul giggle."
Following a couple of serious accidents nearly 10 years ago, Smith, a devoted jazz musician, picked up the world's oldest wind instrument.
The didgeridoo, discovered by the North Australian Aborigine, traditionally is made from eucalyptus branches or saplings naturally hallowed out by termites.
Instinctively, Smith says, he played it well. Consequently, the Pennsylvania resident gave up his network television job and playing modern instruments for Tibetan bowls, conch shells, shakers, wind chimes and drums.
Today, Smith plays venues around the globe using his instruments to communicate his message about the importance of self-love.
"This is about you taking the time to take care of you," he told the audience. "For me, it's like I'm putting out a signal, a 'bat signal.' It hits the wall and comes back to me."
Breathing, allowing the mind to explore and taking in the music is body maintenance, he explained to the 20-member group.
"It's about realizing energy," he said. "Very seldom do we take time to tune up the body. I'm here to tune up your body."
Misty Nail was captivated by the hypnotic sounds. When the concert was over, Smith asked members of the audience if their hearts felt full, if their bodies experienced a change.
"I feel awesome," Nail said. "I was really tired, and I'm thinking 'I'm not sure if I am going to make it through the concert.'"
She stayed, and by the end of the concert she felt revitalized.
"It was better than I expected," she said.
Coincidentally, Smith's concert complimented the Rev. Frankie Timmers' service, which focused on nourishing one's spirit and indulging your inner child.
"I think words, language are limiting. So much more happens beyond language," Timmers said after the concert.
"Music in a church, sound, enhances the spoken word."
Zenaida Mendez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (973)989-0652.