What: Josh Layne: Bach and Butterflies When: Tonight, 7: 30 p.m.
Where: Victoria Truth Centre, 1201 Fort St.
Tickets: $12/10 at the door
If cats are the kings of Youtube, then Josh Layne has carved an earldom for himself, where harp enthusiasts are his subjects.
While the local musician continues to perform in traditional venues - tonight he premières a new piece alongside older favourites at the Victoria Truth Centre - he's also reaching audiences in a new way. Layne launched "Harp Tuesdays," a biweekly tutorial on YouTube two years ago.
"It's not like funny dog pictures or something, where you're going to get millions of hits," he said. "But you get a number of people who've found them quite helpful and enjoyed them."
Layne's YouTube channel has 490 subscribers and he has received responses from people in Germany, Australia and Hong Kong. Turns out, he's not alone.
A YouTube search of 'harp' yields more than 260,000 results. 'Harpist' yields 13,400.
It follows his earlier YouTube glory - a video performance of the cadenza from Handel's Concerto for Harp has more than 100,000 views. It also prompted him to begin giving lessons via Skype, a way to reach isolated, aspiring harpists.
"There's not always, of course, a harp teacher available where you're living," he said. "I grew up in Victoria and Kathryn Ely is an amazing, amazing teacher. But that was luck: I wanted to learn the harp and she happened to be here. I'm sure I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing now, had I not had her as a teacher."
Layne, 35, is an independent harpist and composer in Victoria. He began writing Cotton Butterfly, the new composition he performs tonight, following his brother-in-law's suggestion that he create something for CBC Radio's contemporary music program The Signal.
"For some reason, this title, Cotton Butterfly popped into my head and I had this idea about how the piece would go," he said. "Of sort of a darker, rumbling section as the chrysalis is transforming into the butterfly and then it emerges and we get this sort of joyous, flying section."
Layne wrote his first piece, called Passage, in 2005. He has begun writing for instruments beyond the harp and Cotton Butterfly includes a part for double-bass, which will be performed by Vancouver's Mark Haney.
Also on the program is Layne's transcription of Bach's Partita No. 1, ReniÃ©'s LÃ©gende, Layne's Fantasy on Greensleeves and Rhapsody, and, with Mark Haney, Arvo PÃ¤rt's Spiegel im Spiegel. firstname.lastname@example.org
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