Calvin Arsenia, (28 years old) standing 6’6” in flats, his Afro hairdo pulled back and adorned in pink roses, sings Joni Mitchell’s ‘A Case of You,’ self-accompanied on a Celtic harp to a sold out listening room in Edinburgh. Born in Florida, raised Evangelical in the suburbs of Kansas, Arsenia elegantly destroys our familiar relationship with an archaic instrument traditionally reserved for funerals and weddings. Pairing his original songs about the nuances of contemporary romance with harp-friendly versions of Britney Spears, Björk, and Radiohead, Calvin Arsenia courts his crowd with heartbreak and humor.
Arsenia’s height, energy, and curated environments fill the often intimate spaces he performs in. Brought in to 9 countries through public and private grants in less than a decade, Arsenia builds a scene for his audience, and for himself, packed with beauty and lasting delight by incorporating flowers, scents, edible, and drinkable musings.