MC, aka Maria-Christina, is an award winning, experimental electric harp player. Originally hailing from Greece but now based in London, she performs as MC & The 7 Pedals, a project with which she creates beautifully fresh and hypnotic compositions on her electro-acoustic harp using loop, ‘wah’ and distortion pedal effects. MC also uses bows, pieces of paper and guitar sliders to make the instrument emulate bass, percussive and guitar-like tones. The resulting music is cinematic, dreamlike and highly atmospheric as it seamlessly blends traditional and avant-garde techniques to create mesmerising new forms.
MC & The 7 Pedal’s debut album, Gluten Free is a sublime collection of cutting-edge modern harp compositions, recorded in an abandoned church in Oxford. A highlight of the album is the track Pandora’s Music Box, the lead track which has been brought to life by the absorbing and intense new music video. A Hitchcockian styled vignette that may bring to mind the sinister short stories of Angela Carter or Clive Barker. Of this track, MC reveals that it was inspired by the Greek myth of Pandora’s box, but with a fresh twist. She also wondered what the box would actually sound like once it was opened so this piece is her own spectral interpretation.
Having studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London, MC then obtained a MA in Music Therapy, MC works in hospice, hospital and prison settings as part of community music making projects. Maria-Christina is currently undertaking her PhD on contemporary / modern harp in London. In this project she explores the possibilities of the instrument and composes and commissions new pieces of music for the harp in an attempt to reinvent the instrument for the contemporary world.
The album’s original working title was Dark Side Of The Harp, this heavily hints at the tone of the record, which MC says it is concerned with “deconstructing the image of the harp that is linked with angels and fluffy dresses”. The album’s name Gluten Free is derived from the opening cut, which is an upbeat, rhythmic piece that uses the harp as a percussive instrument. MC says this title was “inspired by a gluten free diet I tried once that made me angry and hungry”.
The album will be available in physical or digital versions from Valentine Records and will also be available on other digital platforms such as Spotify.
Photo by Anastacia Papadaki.