Being A Harpist

Short Bio (for press)


Classically-trained on harp, Monica Schley (Seattle, WA) freelances in many styles: new music, chamber, improvisational, avant garde, Celtic, jazz and rock. She has worked with pop stars, indie rockers, and jazz composers including Butch Morris and Kanye West. Ms. Schley has toured nationally with Ahamefule J. Oluo's critically acclaimed show "Now I'm Fine," and has recorded for Hey Marsailles, Parenthetical Girls, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Secret Chiefs 3 (for John Zorn's Masada) and Jherek Bischoff. On call as Seattle's most versatile harpist, she also leads a modern harp ensemble, The Daphnes, drawing from folk, jazz, classical, Indian raga and classic rock sounds. Her playing has been described as "intricate and determined." -- Jon Rooney, (Ball of Wax Quarterly). Monica is a private harp instructor at Dusty Strings Music and is also a Certified Clinical Musician. She is a published poet, "Black Eden: Nocturnes" (Pudding House Press) and is working on a CD of her own tunes, "Braids of Kabuya", due out later this year.

Long Bio (for press)

Monica Schley is a life-long musician. Before moving to the West Coast thirteen years ago, she earned a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire where she studied poetry and music. Her main instrument is harp, and she also sings, plays piano and composes. She is a Certified Clinical Musician in hospitals and hospices, a private harp instructor, recording artist, poet, and performer at public shows and private events.

She has had the pleasure to work with pop stars, jazz luminaries and indie rockers, including: Jim Knapp; Eyvand Kang; Jherek Bischoff; Evan Flory-Barnes; Ahamefule Oluo, Samantha Boshnak; Butch Morris; Seattle Rock Orchestra; Bill Horist; Kanye West; Lori Goldston; Rosalyn DeRoos; Jesse Sykes; and with the bands Hey Marseilles, Secret Chiefs 3; Parenthetical Girls, The Dead Science and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.

In 2004, she received an artist residency from the Espy Foundation. Her poetry has appeared in Seattle’s Poetry on the Buses, Raven Chronicles, KNOCK, and Burnside Review and her poetry chapbook “Black Eden: Nocturnes” (Pudding House Press) was published in 2010.

She has composed for site-specific work at Seattle Center with installation artist Mandy Greer, and has worked with artists Sarah Kavage & Adria Garcia for their site-specific Kabuya piece in the King County Parks System. Monica has been a featured artist on Nancy Guppy’s ArtZone (Seattle Channel) and at after hours events at Seattle Art Museum and Bellevue Art Museum.

She is currently working on an album of her own music entitled, “Keep the Night Dark.”