"Part of my ambition is to turn this instrument I love into less of a precious, unwieldy thing—less of an enigma."
Classically trained on the harp since age 11, Mary Lattimore (b. 1980) incorporates experimental techniques and technologies into her music, thereby extending the conventions of her instrument. Her compositions bring the harp into new aesthetic and methodological territories, which allow the listener to consider the instrument in a new light—for example, combining the chiming arpeggios one would expect from a harp with textures more common to a synthesizer. "I am melding [my history] with the harp to form a single, personal voice that is a product of my diverse experiences," she says. "The classical training, the composition, and the experimental improvisation are all the infrastructure of the larger picture." Lattimore's innovative collaborative work includes recordings and performances with multi-instrumentalist Jeff Zeigler, indie rock luminaries Thurston Moore and Kurt Vile, and singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten. She received her Bachelor of Music in Harp Performance from the Eastman School of Music in 2002 and she has since recorded a solo album, The Withdrawing Room. In September 2014, she will release Slant of Light, a collaborative record with synthesizer player Jeff Zeigler.