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Margaret Davis
Marg Davis

Margaret Davis

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Margaret Davis
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Astoria Window

Extremely talented harpist Margaret Davis has an extraordinary voice, a classically trained background and knack for achieving her dreams.

Astoria Window
Margaret Davis uses...
Origin
Playing Jazz and family jams

I come from a musical family, my parents are classical musicians. They met when they were in the Seattle Symphony. Music has just been kind of a family business. I just always assumed that I would do it because they do it. My primary instrument is the harp. I grew up singing Jazz and did my schooling in the harp and I’ve just recently finished school which has given me the opportunity to get back into singing again. My mom plays the violin and my dad plays the Cello, my brother is a jazz trumpet player. I’m sort of a cross-genre musician, I play this really classical instrument but I’m trying to find new ways of diversifying it across different styles and genres. I was really lucky growing up that I was surrounded by different music because of my parents' jobs and interests, and my brother being a jazz musician. I just heard so much music, there was always music on in the house and the car and I just figured there must be a place for me musically.

My brother and I have collaborated before, he plays trad jazz, like jazz of the ’20’s and ’30’s and we’ve made a few recordings together in that style. It’s really cool to play music with family. My mum and I have also dueted together at her church, her on violin me on my harp which can be really fun. We don’t have jam sessions in a traditional sense I guess, but we do enjoy playing different music together.

Astoria Window

I would definitely describe myself as an artist, I’ve dabbled in some music production but it’s not my forte. I am in absolute awe of talented producers, but my passion is the playing and composing. At the moment, I play a lot of jazz with different groups at venues and events. My primary project is my band, ‘Astoria Window,’ which features harp, ukulele, vocals, and electronics. It’s a great way to bring the harp into an experimental space and write original music, which I love to do.

My band and I are working on finishing our debut EP and playing shows in New York. Recording original music is one of my biggest challenges because it’s hard not to be a perfectionist when I have a vision for the final product. We’ve recently started working with Ableton Live which has totally changed the game, it’s been awesome.

I am freshly out of school, I went to Julliard and Yale which was incredible and getting into those schools was a huge achievement for me but one of my stand out moments in my life so far was playing in Carnegie Hall… that was a lifelong dream. I mean a lot of people play there and it’s not a big deal but as a kid it’s what I always dreamed of.

Jazz, Trumpets and Harps

Before we started working with Ableton, we were trying out a lot of FX peals - the TC Electronic Echobrain analogue delay pedal, the EHX Ocean’s 11 reverb pedal, TC Helicon harmonizer pedal, and a few more. I really enjoy working with hardware, but Ableton definitely makes our set up for shows a little easier since we just bring a laptop instead of a big pedal board.

I hadn’t heard of Aston until I saw the Origin in guitar center, and I thought that is a really cool looking mic! I had been wanting a vocal condenser mic for ages, I had only had dynamic mics in the past. I had a little bit of experience with AKG at my schools' studio but I just wasn’t sure what I wanted. At the guitar center that I went to you could try every microphone, they had them set up so that you could sing into them and wear headphones to hear yourself. They probably had around twelve set up that day and I just went from mic to mic going down the line finding a favourite and then comparing again and again, I must have been there for around half an hour trying all these different mics. The Aston just beat everything else out completely. It was just really clear and I really liked the quality and the detail that it picked up. I get questions about it all the time because people are always like, that mic looks so different what is that mic?!

What is kind of coincidental is that in my band ‘Astoria Window’ our Ukelele player and I went to Juliard and Yale together and he plays trumpet, so he borrowed the Origin from me and he came back to me after using it and said it was an incredible mic for recording brass instruments. Which is crazy because it’s really hard to find a microphone that sounds good on brass because it can be so loud. It’s cool to have such a diverse useful mic though.

Out-takes and Credits

Q. Who are your favourite artists?
A. I’m always going back to the 'sound you need' and 'majestic casual' on YouTube. So all my favourite artists are usually on there. Recently I’ve been obsessed with Tom Misch, I’ve been into Billie Eilish and Anderson Paak I always go back to him.

Q. If you weren’t working in the music industry what do you think you would be doing?
A. I think I would definitely be in Art somehow. Something I have always wanted to do, like my longtime goal as a musician is to partner with a Charity or do some kind of artists for activism, which you know that’s motivating for me to continue building a platform. I think I would love to be involved in connecting artists with other artists and charities as well. I would definitely love to help promote or work with artists I think.

Q. What would your fantasy microphone be?
A. Honestly, I love the way Aston’s look. I haven’t come across a mic that I love more. I think I would be into a slightly more vintage Aston. Like one of the square ones from Grease, that would be really cool. But honestly, I can’t really think of anything more than what I already get from the Origin. All I really want is pick up, clarity and detail. So many times I listen back and feel like whichever mic I’m using has distorted something. I like that with the Origin it doesn’t have so much EQ on it already that when I use it, it already sounds like I have put some kind of software on it. It is pretty true to life. I mean if you guys keep doing what you’re doing, I’m sure you’ll have invented it soon!

Q. What four words would you use to describe Aston Microphones?
A. Boutique, Original, Futuristic and Classy

Q. What was the first song to make you cry?
A. Honestly it was probably something classical as I grew up going to classical concerts. Currently, Kacey Musgraves has been making me tear up! But probably Brahms 3 or The Prayer.

Margaret Davis - Dream a little dream of me

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