I took a day trip to the magnificent Virginia Harp Center today, mainly to make googly eyes at all the pretty harps and hopefully get closer to making a decision about what to do with my rent-to-own Troubadour VI when the 6mo is over. (My mind is made up now!) I have a really inexplicable emotional reaction when I'm around a lot of instruments at once. I get overwhelmed. Am I alone? (Almost afraid to ask - Is this diagnosable? Ha...) There's just something so awesome and comforting about it... Anyway! I spent a great deal of time gazing at and playing a new Style 100 (oh em gee, I think it's *the one* you guys!) and also playing a used Style 30 circa 1967... Both harps blew me away in person in a way you can't really read about or hear in recordings. I gave a few other harps a chance, but nothing compared to the Style 100. For me, it's the total package. I got some excellent advice from the forum at harpcolumn.com ~ A kind soul suggested that I have the person working at the harp center play the harps for me so I could hear how they fill a room rather than just what they sound like as you play them. The woman at VHC was more than accommodating, and hearing the harps from a distance really helped me get a feel for the volume, character, and tone of the individual instruments. Again, I wish that harp stores were everywhere so I could do this every week. However, I am fortunate that the VHC isn't too terribly far from where I live. I've got some big decisions to make soon!
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
I played in my first recital last night! Of course, I made my nails super fancy to mark the occasion. It was my first time transporting my harp, first time playing in front of people I don't know (live), first time with my name written on any sort of music program in at least 7 years... it was so fun! My Troubadour VI fit beautifully in the folded down back seat of my husband's Honda Civic... Now I only need to gain more confidence and learn to drive a stick shift and I'll be all set for playing more in public! Everyone at the recital was very warm and encouraging! I played a small song from my rinkydink beginner harp lesson book and then my Clair de Lune/Pavane combo... It wasn't perfect, but I got through it fine - shaking hands and all! My teacher, Kelsey, played a neat Celtic medley with a recorder player and violinist (pretty awesome!). Kelsey's teacher, Amy, played Impromptu Caprice by Gabriel Pierne, which is the most insanely awesome thing I've witnessed on harp to date. The harmonics! BOOM! I was so impressed. After the recital, we mingled a bit and I mustered up the courage to ask to play Amy's pedal harp -- it's a Lyon & Healy semi grand, I don't remember the model but it's over 10 years old and has a really beautiful sound. The sound quality and general feel are so extremely different than my Troubadour. It was a dream come true for me, just to play a few arpeggios and push a couple of pedals down and see the mechanisms in action and hear the result. I left the recital feeling giddy and accomplished! I'm so grateful to have been included last night! I'm also very excited that the recital is over, because now I can start focusing on NEW THINGS!!