Brendan Power Signature
Brendan Power
 
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Brendan Power

This is the website for professional harmonica player/maker Brendan Power. Here you'll find my albums, custom harmonicas, instructional material, plus music to listen to, interesting stuff to read and links to click.

I'll always love playing and performing, but am equally engrossed by designing and making harmonicas. The two go hand-in-hand: to play the music I like in the way I want to, I've found the best way is to customise harmonicas in one way or another. All the harps I play are in one of my personal tunings, and I'm always experimenting with new possibilities.

For those interested in back stories there is info on my early playing years in New Zealand, and techie types can read the history of my many harmonica experiments and innovations over the years.

If you want to skip straight to the music albums, instructional material and custom harmonicas, just follow the appropriate links. Have fun!

We are always happy to hear from players and customers and we now have a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section, so please check there before contacting us to see if you can find an answer to your query.
If you are in the UK or USA and would like to place an order, you might find some or all of the products from our reseller sites:

The Harmonica Company
The Harmonica Company, Somerset, UK


Rockin Rons
Rockin Rons, San Diego, USA

March 2020: NEW instructional videos

It's now 20 years since I wrote my instructional book "Play Irish Music on the Blues Harp". It's been acclaimed in the many positive feedback comments on the webpage as probably the best learning package for Irish harmonica - but now we're making it even better! I've recorded a series of videos to give extra in-depth visual and verbal assistance to players learning the lessons. Now you can actually see me demonstrating crucial techniques like tongue triplets, jaw flick triplets, grace notes etc, explaining and showing you exactly what I'm doing! Being able to see and hear the techniques in action at the same time makes them much easier to learn quickly without going in the wrong direction and getting discouraged. The instructional videos are tailored to different levels, from beginner to expert. You can choose the whole set of videos so far, or just select the ones you want. There are five videos in this first release, priced individually at $6.50, or you can buy the series for $25. *** But if you buy the whole series before the end of March the price will be only $17. ***

June 2019: GASKET-VALVES RELEASED

A new quick, easy and effective way to add valves to your diatonic harmonicas, whilst at the same time sealing your reedplates to reduce air loss. Check them out

Jan 05 2019: JANUARY SALE!

We have some items on sale, including a limited number of Lucky 13 Harmonicas with ONE THIRD OFF!

Be quick as stocks are limited and when they're gone, they're gone.

Check out all our offers

Additionally, from now until the end of January, all orders over £40 will come with a FREE CD of one of Brendan's albums (pot luck).
Orders over £100 will receive TWO FREE CDs.

July 2018: New & Improved PowerDraw and PowerBender Harps released

Check them out!

June 2018: The Overblow Booster released

Play overblows like a pro!

April 2018: SlipSlider released!

The SlipSlider is a revolutionary new Blues Harp!

Jan 30 2018: Twin-Harmonica System Diatonic models are back!

THS Diatonic models are now available again and we have added a discounted DIY kit option (called PowerParts).

Jan 2018: Website Update for New Ordering Options

Some products will be unavailable while we switch to a new system for offering most of the harmonica products on my site. The good news is that they will be CHEAPER and SHIP FASTER than before.
UK-based New Zealander Brendan Power is acknowledged by many as one of the most creative, skilled & versatile harmonica players around today. Equally at ease on both the earthy Blues Harp as well as the sophisticated Chromatic Harmonica, he tunes them to his own scales to create a highly original style. He has recorded over twenty solo CDs to date, in a wide variety of musical genres.

Since he moved to Britain in 1992, Brendan's eclectic skills and sympathetic ear have made him an in-demand session player, leading to live and recording work with artists such as Kate Bush (her latest album 'Director's Cut'), Sting, Van Morrison, James Galway, Paul Young, Shirley Bassey, John Williams, Mike Batt and many more. Brendan Power His playing is also heard on many Hollywood movie soundtracks (eg. the 2008 Oscar winning soundtrack for 'Atonement', Jackie Chan's 'Shanghai Noon'), and internationally syndicated BBC TV series (eg. 'Billy Connelly in Canada', 'Auf Wiedersehen Pet', and Bruce Parry's 'Arctic' Series). He has featured on the world-renowned 'Jools Holland Show' and regularly toured worldwide, performing in venues such as China's Great Hall of the People, the Royal Albert Hall and The Kremlin. Brendan was voted "International Harmonica Player of the Year 2011/12" by the respected SPAH organisation of America.

In addition to his Pop, Jazz & Blues skills, Brendan is an expert player of Irish traditional music (winning the 1993 All Ireland Title), and performed for three years as soloist in the Riverdance Show. He has recorded with many well-known Irish artists including Donal Lunny, Altan, Paul Brady, Arcady, Artie McGlynn, Mary Black and others. In February 2012 Brendan and Tim Edey won the "Best Duo" title at the 2012 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

A respected harmonica technician & customiser, Brendan was employed for 5 years by Suzuki Musical Instruments Co. of Japan as their International Harmonica Specialist, during which time he helped Suzuki develop and promote most of their current range of diatonic and chromatic models. He left in April 2013 to pursue freelance projects. One is devoted to making high-performance extra-reed harmonicas for increased note-bending ability: X-Reed.com. In the course of this project Brendan taught himself CAD design and mastered the new generation of maker-machines such as 3d printers, laser cutters and CNC millers. Constantly inventing, he designs and creates a wide range of cutting-edge custom harmonicas in his home workshop, selling them all over the world to players seeking fresh sounds and better performance.

Brendan was recently added to a site honouring notable New Zealand musicians. Click the link below for a fascinating interview on his career plus early photos and videos:

Read Brendan's Profile at AudioCulture

"In Power are combined all the elements which make for a master player: remarkable technical skill, deep knowledge of the instrument, and a truly creative approach to the music." - THE IRISH TIMES, Dublin.

"...Power plays both diatonic and chromatic single-reed harmonicas with extraordinary dexterity, at times enough to make you shake your head in wonder. He will harp blow your socks off." - THE IRISH ECHO, New York.

"...dynamite Kiwi harp player...magic harmonica..." - TIME OUT, London.

"Power's dexterity is breathtaking...he takes the harmonica along paths you never suspected it could go. World class and wide ranging music." - NEW ZEALAND HERALD, Auckland.

"Brendan Power reaches astonishing heights of technical brilliance..." - THE GUARDIAN, London.
Brendan wins the Bernie Bray award
Brendan wins the prestigious Bernie Bray award "Harmonica Player of the Year" at Spah 2011 (photo)

REMOTE SESSIONS

Brendan is an experienced session harmonica player who has recorded with big-name artists like Sting and Kate Bush, as well as famous Hollywood movies and TV soundtracks (see Session Credits). He has a home studio for recording his own music, and has done many remote sessions for outside clients. These involve playing harmonica overdubs to pre-recorded tracks sent online. If you are interested in hiring Brendan, get in touchwith a link to your track and a description of what you want. The more detail you can provide, the closer you will get the harmonica to what you want. Or you can just trust to Brendan's taste and many years' experience, playing in a wide range of genres. He will try various approaches and only send back something he thinks works well with the track.

TERMS

Brendan will provide two takes per track, Mono 24bit 48k wav files, no effects or EQ, with a snatch of the master track at the front to act as a cue. Price for one track is GBP £125, for two or more £100 per track.

SESSION CREDITS

ALBUMS

  • KATE BUSH: Director's Cut
  • STING: Ten Summoners Tales
  • PAUL YOUNG: Paul Young
  • JAMES GALWAY: Un-Break My Heart
  • JOHN WILLIAMS: John Williams Plays the Movies
  • PAUL BRADY: Common Ground
  • MARY BLACK: Speaking With the Angel; Full Tide
  • ALTAN: Blackwater
  • SHIRLEY BASSEY: All By Myself
  • ARTIE McGLYNN: Causeway
  • ARCADY: Many Happy Returns

MOVIES

  • LEAP YEAR (2010) - Amy Adams
  • FAINTHEART (2008) - Mike Batt Composer
  • ATONEMENT (2007) Oscar Winning Soundtrack - Keira Knightly, James McAvoy
  • LOVE ACTUALLY (2003) - Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson
  • CROSSROADS (2002) - Britney Spears
  • LUCKY BREAK (2001) - Timothy Spall
  • SHANGHAI NOON (2000) - Jackie Chan
  • THE NEXT BEST THING (2000) - Madonna
  • PUSHING TIN (1999) - John Cusack, Cate Blanchett

TV SERIES

  • AUF WIEDERSEHEN PET (Jimmy Nail, Timothy Spall)
  • PARADISE HEIGHTS (Neil Morrisey)
  • SUNSHINE (BBC Oct '08 - Steve Coogan)
  • BILLY CONNOLLY'S JOURNEY TO THE EDGE OF THE WORLD (2009-10)
  • BRUCE PARRY'S ARCTIC SERIES (2011)

Kate Bush - Director's Cut
Atonement (2007) Movie
Bruce Parry's Arctic Series

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