Home Weddings Events Harp Hire Harp Lessons Gallery Contact
h&v banner
<empty>

About

phone: 021 252 7632

email: robyn@robynsutherland.com

<empty>
pic1

Robyn Sutherland is an Auckland based harp player and singer. She performs at events, weddings, funerals and other functions in and around the Auckland area and throughout the North Island of New Zealand

Her performance repertoire consists of contemporary pop songs, Celtic and Medieval songs and instrumentals sung and played with an ethereal flavour - her style has been likened to Enya, Eva Cassidy and Loreena McKennitt.

Robyn has been working in the music industry in New Zealand since 1980 & has played solo & with well known performers like Rick Bryant, Karen Hunter & Midge Marsden as both bassist & singer

She has been a bass player and singer on the covers band circuit in her home town of Dunedin for over 15 years playing in rock/pop groups and in duos. Bump and Grind featuring Mark Blandford and Matt Hall and Alien Antics also featuring Matt Hall, were the last bands in Dunedin Robyn played with before moving to Auckland. Matt and Mark used to both be in Christchurch band The Elevators.

She has played at corporate functions, weddings & funerals, on TV, national tours - performed at pubs, clubs, theme dinners, restaurants & garden parties. She's also played festivals like Sweetwaters, Mountain Rock & WOMAD & at various food & wine festivals.

Robyn has also taught beginner bass and beginner guitar privately and for music shop Sounds Musical in Dunedin. She has experience with tutoring bands and has also taught bass and guitar and some larger group tutoring at St Peters College in Mt Eden at their after school rock music classes with fellow musician Cadzow Cossar. She also taught some music at Metro College in Mt Eden and enjoyed jamming with the students playing drums and bass, and encouraging their playing.

Based in Auckland since 1994 & concentrating primarily on her harp playing, bass playing, singing and composition - Robyn has worked with:

Winterland - Gothic, Dark Wave rock band - as bassist and backing vocalist - performing live gigs and also playing on the 'Alone in A Fairground' album

Rick Bryant and the Jive Bombers - Rhythm and Blues Group -
as a backing vocalist and sometimes called on as a bassist as well.
The Jive Bombers also played one of Robyn’s songs called 'The Moon' which she sang lead vocals on.

Jan Hellriegal - as bassist and backing vocalist, two of Robyn’s original songs were included in Jan's longer nights of playing, 'The Moon' and 'Journey'.

Incantata - Medieval duo - with Caroline Lynn. Incantata‘s songlist included Medieval and Pilgrim songs, selections of the Cantiga de Santa Maria, haunting Sephardic & Traditional songs from around the world, early chant and original works.

The Porcelaines- a folk group with country leanings featuring Peter Lange, Nadine Spalter and Chris Southern.

Robyn currently performs regularly in and around Auckland playing the harp & singing, mostly at weddings and corporate events.
She plays a 36 string Camac electric harp, made in France this blue and gold harp looks stunning in any room, great for situations where amplification is required.
Robyn also plays a 34 string Aoyama lever harp which is a Japanese made instrument. It is a beautiful golden coloured maple harp with tiger stripes in the woodgrain on the back. The Aoyama is an acoustic instrument and can be used without amplification for very intimate functions.

She also hires out harps with a teach yourself book to students and others and offers harp lessons for beginners in - both children & adults. Lessons are held in Point Chevalier, Auckland and also offered via skype.

Songwriting and composing have been a passion for years and Robyn loves to spend time writing music.

Robyn has sung with the Oratia Singers, the Oratial community choir under the direction of Jennifer Gash.

She is also a current member and past committee member of the New Zealand Harp Society

<empty>

Personal Bio

Robyn's home town is Dunedin where she played in covers bands around the pub and club circuits
as a bassist and singer from the age of 16.

For many years she worked as a printer in various photographic laboratories while working on her
music on days off and in the weekends.

She developed an interest in Tai Chi at the age of
21 which has stayed with her and she is passionate about caring for the health of the older generation. Prevention is better than cure and Tai Chi is a great way to keep people moving well into their golden years. She practices Yang style and has taught Tai Chi at various places including community centres, schools, Odyssey House and the Auckland Deaf Association.
pic1

Robyn has also completed an instructors course for the Peter Lam Tai Chi for Arthritis as taught in conjunction with ACC falls prevention programmes.

She has recently learnt the 32 sword form and 56 Gong fu fan form and is enjoying both immensely!

She likes to grow her own food as much as possible and has an edible garden.

An interest in the lifecycle of the Monarch butterfly has lead to several swan plants appearing in the garden and a host of other plants that the butterflies like to feed from. It is amazing how many butterflies now come to visit and is a constant delight.

If you hire a harp you may well leave with an electronic tuner and a tuning wrench in a hand felted bag made by Robyn. Fibre arts are also an interest and the harp studio walls are slowly being covered by shelves of wool and other interesting craft bits and pieces. Spinning and weaving are new hobbies and interestingly enough the art of spinning also features in a lot of harp songs!

Robyn also runs Spinning Galaxy - Fibre Craft Supplies - NZ suppliers of Navajo Style Spindles - contact her if you want to make an enquiry.

An interest in technology sees her working with computers on a daily basis. It is amazing to see what is evolving on the internet and many an hour is spent at the computer.

In 2010 Robyn studied with Mary Hancock at the Titirangi Celebrant School which was a wonderful experience. She graduated with a certificate in Celebrant Studies.

<empty>

This article was in The Fringe magazine - December 2013 issue - Bandstanding
written by Susannah Bridges

I wouldn't have expected that the local fish'n'chip shop would present a candidate for Bandstanding, but our editor's eagle eye spotted flyers advertising harp tuition and hire in one such aforementioned joint - so I thought I had better follow up and see just what this malarkey was all about...

"I did do music at school" confesses Robyn Sutherland. "I wanted to have singing lessons but Mum insisted I learnt an instrument first so I chose violin. At high school, when I wanted to take music as a subject, Mum wouldn't let me and wanted me to take typing instead!" But fortunately there was a light at the end of the tunnel... "My sisters friend was in a band and he gave me a bass guitar lesson. Then mum bought me a bass guitar, and the friend asked me to join his band". "I played my first gig at a local Rugby club. When I got home I found Mum waiting up for me. I was so excited and pronounced that all I wanted to be was a professional musician! She replied "that's nice dear..." Staunchly Robyn soldiered on, and went on to play bass and sing in many bands - for functions, events, in pubs, some originals, some covers - and sometimes fronting as lead singer.

Dunedin born and Bred - Robyn moved to Auckland some 18 years ago after the three bands that she was in down in the deep south were in a state of flux. the then bass player and singer thought that the north offered more opportunities - after all, she had all of three contacts here...

"My car blew up in Kaikoura! When I did arrive in Auckland I stayed with friends till I got settled and worked in Photolabs while I got my music going again. After I had been here for about a year my Mum died. I had been writing songs at the time, and I heard a track by Bjork...she was singing with a harp accompaniment. I thought it was the most beautiful thing, and that the songs that I had been writing would sound great with a harp. Mum left me some money in her will, and I bought my first harp with that - from the Trade and Exchange in 1987. I had had lessons with Anna Dunwoodie in Blockhouse Bay, and I travelled the country writing and playing songs for friends. It took a few years to become good at it!"

Resident in Oratia for the past 15 years, Robyn now hires her harps out all around the country and teaches the harp, beginner guitar and bass guitar. "I really want to get people enthusiastic about playing the harp. It's not especially difficult to play - the strings are set like keys on a piano. Once you find the C string, then you can work out chords from there. There are no "finger gymnastics" as there are in guitar playing, so it can be an easier instrument for people to learn". She even offers lessons via skype if you can't make it to her place anytime soon.

Owner of (as far as she knows) the only electric harp in the country, Robyn also has an array of acoustic lap harps and Celtic (or Folk) harps. The lap harps are smaller, the Celtic harps are larger and free standing and have more complex tuning mechanisms. Acoustic harps have a hollow body "sound Box" to give them volume and resonance. Most of Robyn's harps are made in New Zealand, with the exception of the electric - which is French - and a 22 string Welsh harp. Harps can be made from almost anything - solid timber, plywood, plastic, even cardboard. The electric blue harp gets plugged into an amp, and so can take the kind of the effects that can be used on a guitar. Robyn has a delay pedal. I ask if she has a distortion... but alas - no! Or not as yet, anyway...

Harp playing has led Robyn into many an interesting situation - she has played for Helen Clark (when she was Minister for the Arts) at weddings, funerals, corporate events, for the Hospice, for fashion shows and many a fancy dinner... including a pop-up dining event on the Devonport Ferry. "That must have been one of my most memorable gigs" laughs Robyn. "The whole thing was over and done in 12 minutes - the time it takes for the ferry crossing from Auckland to Devonport. It was full on - quite choppy and hard to balance! The diners boarded, drank and ate their entrees, I played and everyone was in nautical fancy dress!

An occasional member and performer at Titirangi Folk Club, Robyn has recorded a CD - Tempest Lament - comprising her original harp and vocal compositions alongside old traditional scores. For eight years she was a back up singer in Rick Bryant's Jive Bombers, and she's played bass in Jan Hellriegel's band and for Auckland outfit the Porcelaines (featuring well known potter and occasional guitar player Peter Lange).

With wedding season coming up Robyn is set to be pretty busy over the Summer months - with bookings all over the North Island. It's just as well that she and partner come musical technician Brett Orams like travelling.


<empty>
Home Weddings Events
About
News
Repertoire
Links
References

Wedding Ceremony Music Guide
MP3's
Wedding Photo Gallery
Wedding Musician Info
Wedding Customer Comments
Christmas Entertainer
Funerals
Gallery Harp Hire Harp Lessons
Video
CD
Celtic Harp Tuner
Harp Hire Worldwide
Looking After Your Harp
Harp Teachers NZ
5 Performance Tips
Skype Harp Lessons
Skype Harp Teachers
  Contact  
<empty>

© copyright robynsutherland.com 2017
page last updated 7th April 2017