Pink Martini’s plucky heroine (pun intended!) Maureen Love creates aural waterfalls from stage. Though we sadly can’t afford to take a harpist on the road with us full time, Maureen has been a staple of Pink Martini shows in our hometown and at major venues around the world, like the Hollywood Bowl and Carnegie Hall, since nearly the beginning. Thomas, who grew up listening to Ray Conniff and has always loved the harp, met Maureen at a wedding performance (back in the days that Pink Martini still played weddings) in Oregon City, and knew he needed to recruit her to play those incredible harp swirls that open “Amado Mio.” Maureen has recorded with us on every major Pink Martini studio album.
Maureen was born and raised in Los Angeles, and began harp lessons at the age of 10. She attended USC on a music scholarship, soloing with the USC orchestra. In 1980, she moved to Oregon and began playing harp in the lobby of the new Marriott Hotel, and has since performed at events all over the region. Maureen is also a prize-winning photographer, specializing in landscape and travel fine art photos.
1. If you could have seen any musician in concert, dead or alive, who you never got to see live, who would it be?
Chopin. His music thrills me.
2. What is your favorite Pink Martini song to perform?
“Amado Mio” is a favorite, and not just because Thomas wanted a big glissando flourish as the introduction. It’s a beautiful song.
3. What Pink Martini song gets stuck in your head?
Una notte a Napoli sticks in my mind.
4. If you had a robot that could do one household chore for you… what would it be?
I would really appreciate someone washing windows inside and outside.
5. If you could instantly be fluent in any language, which?
I would love to speak fluent French. I did study Spanish for 4 years.
6. What was the first concert you ever saw?
While at USC, performing with the Orchestra playing Ravel’s “Introduction and Allegro.” Very scary since my long gown was getting stuck in my pedals and almost throwing me off! But I prevailed without a disaster.
7. If you could have one dish from any restaurant appear instantly anytime, which?
I enjoy Mexican food very much. Chicken enchiladas are a favorite meal. Tacos, too.
8. What music would you choose as a soundtrack to your most triumphant moment?
Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto #2 would be one to soothe my soul.
9. What’s your favorite sweet/dessert?
Pear tarts all throughout Paris is a fond memory. Locally, lemon tarts with marshmallow topping is a favorite.
10. What illustrated animal or object would star in your children’s book?
A beautiful White Swan would be nice in a children’s book.
11. Who do you wish would play you in Pink Martini: The Movie?
Meryl Streep would be my choice to play me in a Pink Martini movie.
12. Pride of Lions, Pod of Whales… what would you call a pack of squirrels?
School of Squirrels
13. Are you on the party bus or sleepy bus?
Sleepy Bus for me
14. If you could safely tour any ancient civilization, which?
15. What is your favorite non-musical hobby?
A nonmusical hobby is Photography. I use a Canon 80 D camera and have several lifetimes of photos all over my home and studio.
16. If you were instantly skilled enough to have any one other occupation in the world besides musician, what would you choose?
An exciting second occupation would be a National Geographic Photographer. Traveling the world and photographing the most beautiful places would be thrilling.
17. How did you choose your musical instrument?
I was born into a musical family and my mother would have a musical in our large living room (20×40). I first heard the harp at one of these gatherings in our home. I immediately fell in love with the beauty of the instrument and the sound, of course. At age 10 my parents surprised me with a used harp found in Los Angeles.
18. How are you keeping sane and calm during this crisis and these months of quarantine?
In order to stay sane during the Pandemic, I do things that bring me joy. I turn off the disturbing news and go to my concert harp and practice new music and some very old music that has faded from my memory over these many years. I also love to take photographs of Oregon Vineyards, lovely flowers and people. Both of these bring me such pleasure.