By my plum tree, harvest time

Todd Harper connects many art forms through his music, which ranges from lyric free jazz, to folkoric waltzes, art songs/orations, to new chamber works. Harper creates ensembles that play his works. They are usually about Nature. Call it “Musical Ecology”

Musical Ecology

Music and Nature have always been intertwined. This isn’t just in subject matter, but in process as well. More on that later.

I had the transformative experience of encountering a visionary musical mentor, Carei Thomas , when I was 20 and completely unsure of myself. Through our connection in 1978, I have been able grow my musical/artistic life. More on that as well.

In this critical time in human history, encouraging music is needed more now than ever. The solution to all our problems are not going to come through technology, government, or other linear ways. We need to life our spirit. This doesn’t mean we ignore pain, sadness, rage; we can take these experiences and transform. I want my music to be able to do that.

Oh yes, I play piano in jazz and other contexts, and compose music for improvisors and readers. Now I when i go fly fishing, I spend more time watercolor painting and watching birds. I retired from elementary school teaching.

What I Do

• Curate musical events

•Use visual arts and spoken word in music

•Collaborate with artists of other mediums

• Compose for performers and ensembles


Keys Please: piano music of 3 generations
(2001 – 2016)
For 15 years, Carei Thomas, Paul Cantrell and I curated a yearly concert series, first at MacCalester College, then at Studio Z. We presented new works; jazz , new classical, poemmetry, a weather report. Paul would always perform a work from the Romantic era,,, we had special guests each year,: John Minceski, Gary Schulte, Jaquiline Ultan, Laura Witzkowski, David Edminster, Pat O’Keefe, Bob Ockenden, James Holdman, Nathan Hanson, Kim Sueoka, & Heather Barringer.