Interview: Margaret Davis
Davis is an accomplished musician with an extremely versatile background (and
future) in music. We caught up with her to learn more about her current
releases and her next musical moves…
Thanks for your time today Margaret, tell us about your recent travels and musical performances!
Hi, thanks for having me! I’m actually in Mexico right now playing with the Orquestra Filarmonica de Jalisco. We’re playing a sort of obscure opera called “Puss in Boots” by Cesar Cui, it’s really beautiful. Earlier this month I played with the Spokane Symphony, which is about four hours from my hometown, Seattle, so that was a really fun work trip because I got to stop home for a couple days. I play a lot of different genres – obviously classical music, but I also perform jazz as a singing harpist, and write original, indie, electro-acoustic music with my band, Astoria Window, so there’s a lot of variety in my performances haha. It’s been sort of nice to do a lot of orchestral playing this month, I always enjoy zeroing in on one genre for a few days when I have the opportunity.
It’s no secret that the music biz is tough and not for the faint of heart. What’s the biggest problem you’ve had to overcome so far?
Honestly, I feel really fortunate to play music for a living. It’s a very intimidating field, especially for those of us who went to music school because once you graduate, you have to figure out what to do next, like anyone else, but there isn’t really a road map for everyone, especially a singing harpist like me. Many of my colleagues from school aspire to join orchestras, (which means playing auditions as positions become available), and they have to figure out something to do in the meantime before they, hopefully, get into a group. Something that has been crucial for me as a freelance player has been performing multiple genres; having the option of taking classical work, jazz work, event gigs, singer-songwriter collaborations, etc. has allowed me to support my music projects like my band and albums I’m working on, by playing music live. I’d probably say that’s been my biggest trepidation, at least, and I’m really grateful to be able to find work as a performer.
What do you enjoy most about being a musician?
There’s this thing that happens to me on stage sometimes, it’s like I go into a trance. It only happens when I’m totally prepared and totally in it, which, you know, hopefully is every time, but these moments are extra special. It’s like all I’m feeling and experiencing is the music and I’m not thinking or worrying about anything else. In moments like that, it feels like the audience and I are together in a little bubble in time and having an experience together that’s like a pure exchange of energy. I haven’t figured out a way to say it without getting super cheesy haha, but moments like that and feeling the interaction between me and the audience are some of my favorite memories and things I look forward to. I also love meeting people through music and playing with new collaborators. I would definitely say I’ve learned something new from every new person or group I’ve played with.
If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
question. I think it would be cool if it was easier to be discovered by
listeners. The space is so saturated with talented artists and I want there to
be room for everyone, but the sheer numbers definitely make it sometimes
feel hard to find or be heard. I’d like to think the music speaks for itself
and I’m hopeful that really rad music will find its way to an audience for
Is writing music therapeutic for you? And if so, how?
guess you could say that, yeah. Working on original music is definitely
one of those activities I can get lost in and hours will pass without me
noticing. It’s also one of the most challenging things in a way; sometimes
ideas will flow into a complete song and it’s like kismet or something,
but other times I’ll get this fragmented idea and not be able to get it out of
my brain until I figure out where it should go. But finishing a song like that
is always such a huge release.
Any dream gigs or stages you’ve always wanted to play?
I was fortunate enough to play on my dream stage in Carnegie Hall a few times, which is always a total thrill, but honestly, I kind of just want to play on all the stages haha. I want to share my music with as many audiences as I can and I love becoming friends with my listeners. I definitely want to play some festivals and amphitheaters. Outdoor music is a blast.
How do we get tix to your next performance?
I keep my website updated with all my show info, check it out at margdavismusic.com!
Please tell our readers how they can support you on line and be part of your tribe!
Friends, find me on Instagram, @margdavismusic, I post covers, classical snippets, and jazz, singing harpist videos. Feel free to send me requests and if you’re into indie, electronic, singer-songwriter, harp, ukulele, acoustic chill-step vibes, check out my band @astoriawindow.
End of Interview