Tiny Desk

Jason Vieaux And Yolanda Kondonassis

Jason Vieaux And Yolanda Kondonassis: Tiny Desk Concert
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/408459547/408539855" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

We rarely invite Tiny Desk alumni back to the confines of Bob Boilen's work space, but we couldn't resist this time. Harpist Yolanda Kondonassis and Grammy-winning guitarist Jason Vieaux have both given solo Tiny Desk performances. Since then they've paired up for concerts and a new album of works composed especially for their combination of instruments.

Although the harp and guitar are both instruments you pluck and strum, they seem to come from different corners of the classical world. The guitar conjures up the legacy of zesty Spanish music while the harp must contend with the cliché of its angelic role in the orchestra. But when Kondonassis and Vieaux are together, the two instruments seem to merge into a singularly evocative voice. Kondonassis joked that they could call it a "guitarp" until someone quickly Googled and told us there actually is such a contraption.

Music for harp and guitar isn't easy to come by, so Kondonassis and Vieaux have been busy commissioning works like the opening "Elysian," part of a larger suite written for the duo by Gary Schocker.

Anything that sounds even vaguely non-Western is a good fit for the duo because most cultures enjoy their own versions of the harp and guitar. Alan Hovhaness, an American composer with a global outlook, weaved Asian ideas into his Sonata for Harp and Guitar, subtitled "Spirit of Trees." And the duo ends by beating out the interlocking rhythms of the African candombe, which Argentine composer Máximo Diego Pujol placed in his Suite mágica.

Set List

  • Gary Schocker: "Elysian" (from Hypnotized)
  • Alan Hovhaness: Fuga: Allegro – Andante grazioso, Canon: Allegro (from Sonata for Harp and Guitar, "Spirit of Trees")
  • Máximo Diego Pujol: Vals, Candombe (from Suite mágica)

Credits

Producers: Tom Huizenga, Maggie Starbard; Audio Engineer: Brian Jarboe; Videographers: Morgan McCloy, Maggie Starbard; Assistant Producer: Meredith Rizzo; photo by Meredith Rizzo/NPR

[+] read more[-] less

More From Tiny Desk

Jun Tsuboike/NPR

Tiny Desk

Ben Folds

Performing solo, Folds performs three songs from his new album and two old favorites.

Tiny Desk Concert with Chelsea Wolfe. Ariel Zambelich/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Ariel Zambelich/NPR

Tiny Desk

Chelsea Wolfe

Wolfe takes three songs from the metallic Abyss and makes them howl by their lonesome.

Tiny Desk Concert with Car Seat Headrest. Jun Tsuboike/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Jun Tsuboike/NPR

Tiny Desk

Car Seat Headrest

Will Toledo is a wordsmith with a vision, as well as a DIY sound that's still finely crafted.

Tiny Desk Concert with EL VY. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Tiny Desk

EL VY

The National's Matt Berninger and Menomena's Brent Knopf team up in an intimate setting.

Tiny Desk Concert with The Arcs. Jessica Mowery/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Jessica Mowery/NPR

Tiny Desk

The Arcs

It's our 500th show at the Tiny Desk, featuring The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach and his new band.

Tiny Desk Concert with Wolf Alice. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Tiny Desk

Wolf Alice

The band's music can be noisy and primal, but at the Tiny Desk it showed a different side.

Tiny Desk Concert with River Whyless. Jun Tsuboike/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Jun Tsuboike/NPR

Tiny Desk

River Whyless

The North Carolina band fills its rootsy music with unexpected instruments and clever ideas.

Tiny Desk Concert with Benny Sings. Morgan Walker/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Morgan Walker/NPR

Tiny Desk

Benny Sings

The Dutch singer layers R&B, jazz and pop over hip-hop beats in his first-ever U.S. appearance.

Tiny Desk Concert with Natalie Merchant Jun Tsuboike /NPR hide caption

toggle caption Jun Tsuboike /NPR

Tiny Desk

Natalie Merchant

The singer-songwriter gives a warmhearted performance of two new songs, an old favorite and a hymn.

Tiny Desk Concert with Mariachi Flor De Toloache Jun Tsuboike/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Jun Tsuboike/NPR

Tiny Desk

Mariachi Flor De Toloache

While on tour with The Arcs, the powerhouse mariachi band performs live in the NPR Music offices.

Back To Top