We had the good fortune of connecting with Pia Salvia and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Pia, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I started music when I was about 7 years old and since then, it was always part of my life, part of myself.
There were no musicians in my family, but apparently when I was about 4, I asked my mom to start playing harp. We never knew how and where this idea came from. I am guessing I might have seen a harp in a cartoon on TV or something like that.
My mom was raising me and my other 2 siblings alone, so affording a harp and a private harp teacher was not possible at that time. Luckily, music schools in Brussels were free for kids between 7-12 years old so I waited until I turned 7 to start studying. My mom told me that every year I would ask her if it was time to start the lessons (she probably thought that I would forget about it). Finally the time arrived and I started learning harp! I never stopped playing since then.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
As a teenager, I started noticing that there were two sides to my musical life. On one side, I was studying classical harp, and playing the “regular” harp repertoire, while on the other side I was playing guitar, piano and singing rock, pop, reggae and more songs in different genres. This went on for a long time, until I thought “Why not mix the two together?”. I then started singing while accompanying myself with the harp in different music styles.
Later on, I traveled to Cuba, Brazil, Colombia and other countries around the world to study musical traditions and I was inspired to put those elements into my playing and composing.
Nowadays, I am very passionate about exploring the boundaries of the harp repertoire, and trying to break out of the box of the classical harp. I love the sound of the harp and feel that it should be explored with different genres and songs, which have yet to be played on a harp. This leads me to explore jazz, pop and world music, compose and arrange different songs from those genres on the harp.
Many times when arranging a piece of music for the harp, I run into different challenges that the instrument presents. I love the search of how to overcome those challenges, and usually the result is unique and inspiring to me.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I haven’t had the time to explore enough yet as I recently moved to Los Angeles, so if my best friends would come visit, I would be discovering things with them. From the places I already visited, I really enjoyed the Griffith Observatory, Villa Getty, Joshua Tree National Park and spending some time at the beach or going hiking. Let me know what are you favorite spots so I can visit them! Looking forward to getting to know new places.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My mom! She is my number one supporter and it is truly thanks to her that I am doing what I am doing today. She sacrificed herself for me and my siblings, made sure we could do what makes us happy in life, without any judgment, even though life was not easy. She is an exceptional person.
Other: TikTok: @pia.harp
Ghila Krajzman Taiga Kunii Krystian Jaworz Zavaleta Photography Ryan Nava