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“Boîte à Outils” (“Toolbox”): new music for lever harp by François Pernel

François Pernel enjoys a well-deserved reputation for fantastic student lever harp pieces! Here’s just a very brief tour:

– “Les Amuse-Bouches”, sixty original compositions for lever harp beginners.
– “Autre Chose Volume 1”, beginner-intermediate level and 52 arrangements and compositions.
– “Autre Chose Volume 2”, advanced level, 35 compositions.
– “Mélange” Vols.1 and 2, lever harp ensemble
– “Mélange” for harp and other instruments, with 23 compositions.

There is also music for pedal harp, a musical tale for children, and even a Stabat Mater. All in all, he has published more than 180 lever harp solos, 73 harp duets, diverse harp ensembles, and a wealth of chamber music for even the youngest students.

This incredible contribution is now joined by another beautiful volume: “Boîte à Outils” (“Toolbox”), a sequel to “Les Amuses-Bouches.”

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“There are enough works in C Major on this earth”, François says. “I would like to train the ear from the very beginning. Why, in a study to learn how to place three fingers, do we need to write major chords in root position, when there are many other musical possibilities? In any case, I have observed that both child and adult beginners ask for this complexity. They are already immersed in global culture with its rich and varied sounds. My music requires conscious listening where every note counts, and it can all be played in concerts.”

Boîte à Outils de François PernelFrançois Pernel has also long worked with a group of harp teacher colleagues, who test the pieces with their students, and collaborate in detail. “Boite à outils” is no exception: Aude Forctict, Elise Estavoyer and Julie Sicre have all been involved. Each piece has a clear teaching point of focus – technical, musical, or both – clearly defined in the contents.

François has a further regular collaborator, in the illustrator Perrine Cierco. All the printed books are consciously beautiful; Boîte à Outils also comes in a deluxe hardback edition, artisan-made. This time the pieces are also accompanied by poetic writings in French and English: “the score is only part of the music”, François explains. “As in theatre, the text is the tip of the iceberg. Let us remember that interpretation is an active process, specific to each person. From the very beginning of the teaching process, one must address the students as future musicians, gifted with personality and critical faculties.”

François Pernel signing his book, at the Camac officesThe printed copies have just arrived at the Camac e-store offices, both deluxe and classic soft cover. The first ten deluxe copies and the first twenty soft cover have also been signed personally by François.


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