Inspiration can come anywhere at any time. For Emma Newton, it was playing a popular video game. She’ll tell you more about that later. For now, we’ll talk about her time at Berklee. While she’s moved on from being the student to teaching and being a sound engineer outside of Boston, the harpist is grateful for her time at the infamous school. She noted, “Studying at Berklee has taught me that the harp is an instrument with a vast horizon of possibilities, and I’ve learned to embrace all the sounds it can make. Writing music has become limitless for me.”
In recent months Emma has been balancing her new career as well as her artistry. One that includes playing AS220 this past month in Rhode Island. Next, she’ll play the Fourth of July, Sailfest, and a couple of other shows throughout the summer. You can check out where she’ll be here, and check out more about her and her music below.
Kendra: The harp is not an instrument you hear many picking up. How did you land on that one?
Emma Newton: I was a total geek for the Legend of Zelda games, specifically A Link to the Past. I would listen to “Faerie Fountain” repeatedly just to hear the 8-bit synthetic harp sounds. I was pretty much hooked from that point forward and begged my parents to let me learn harp until they finally caved, perhaps just to shut me up.
Kendra: Listening to “Wildflower” I got a whiff of artists that defined an era of my childhood like Paula Cole and Shawn Colvin. Were you inspired by a lot of the women who made up that whole Lilith Faire generation?
Emma Newton: I wouldn’t say I’ve been heavily influenced by those artists. I’ve always loved to incorporate a mystical vibe into my music. I’m deeply inspired by nature and the Earth’s beauty, and my lyrics often reflect that.
Kendra: You also have “Goodnight Dandelion.” All of the floral elements made me wonder what flower you’d compare to your overall sound and aesthetic as an artist?
Emma Newton: Though it’s painted a little differently in the song, I’d compare my aesthetic to a dandelion. It starts out with a shock of color and matures into fluff that goes every which way and wreaks havoc on everybody’s lawns. Similarly, I never find myself adhering to a genre and instead branch out in whichever way the wind blows me.
Kendra: After all the shows this summer, what’s up for the coming months?
Emma Newton: After those, I’m going to be recording an album and hopefully doing several shows to promote it.